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Author Topic: Too Hot in TX?  (Read 1065 times)
superhoney
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« on: February 21, 2012, 11:04:42 PM »

Hello all,
I have been researching KTBH during the winter and have built two 4 footers. I have become concerned that it will be too hot here for them where I had planned to keep them. For example it hit 80F here today and we're not even out of February yet. I do expect 100 temps during the summer and high 90s as a norm.

I did make them with gable roofs in order to place a screened hole in the peak for ventilation planning for the hot weather. However, our new apiary and the locations for the two new hives will be in full sunlight most of the day and I am now worried about comb falling off the bars. Is there something else I can do to limit this other than moving them to a shadier spot?

I also have oops paint I have painted my other Langstroth hives with which is a light avocado-ish green. Should I go with white instead to reflect more heat on these? The roofs are plywood with no metal. I have only half considered some insulation in the top.

I am looking forward to working with this type of hive as all my others are regular medium langs.

Thanks for the info in advance!
Superhoney
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2012, 12:01:52 AM »

The important things to remember:

1) put them in the shade
2) make a gap between the cover and the bars (a board at each end will do this)
3) don't inspect on a hot day.
4) don't give them too much ventilation or they will not be able to keep it cool.  On a hot day the temperature inside needs to be 93 F.  When it's 110 F outside, that requires COOLING and that means they have to CONTROL the ventilation to accomplish that.  Too much ventilation will make it impossible.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
superhoney
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2012, 12:42:05 AM »

Ok, I have to do some stuff then. The locations were to be on top of stumps from oaks that had rotted centers so those locations are set, and I had no legs built onto the hives. It's the area we call 'the orchard' because this is where most of the fruit trees are planted and removing the oaks has now opened up the sunlight. Perhaps I can erect a sunshade or something like that that blocks the sun during summer. This particular area is the only controlled area away from our goats and the dogs so I have to make it work somehow.

So, no holes in the gable roof ends, ok. And I need no insulation in the top either then? And perhaps legs for the hives... Oh and I had planned for screened bottoms, is this still ok for the ventilation issue?

Thanks for the info!
Superhoney
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2012, 06:04:19 AM »

>So, no holes in the gable roof ends, ok.

Maybe one hole at one end... you may need to experiment.  My point is that they are better off with one opening than too many.  Huber's observations are that they get LESS ventilation with more holes...  but then he wasn't trying to create any kind of chimney effect.

> And I need no insulation in the top either then?

You can insulate the top if you like.  Mainly, though, if it's not in direct sun and there is a air gap between the cover and the top bars to let the heat from the cover dissipate, you should be fine.  Some of this is also how sudden and fast a flow is and how much new soft comb they have that is heavy and full but not mature and strong.  A collapse is often a matter of timing more than anything and often that timing is out of your control.

> And perhaps legs for the hives...

In my climate they blow over with legs on them.  I would just set them on bricks on the ground and use a stool to work them.

>Oh and I had planned for screened bottoms, is this still ok for the ventilation issue?

If you have them closed they may do ok.  I would not have them open.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#SBB

I would not bother with them myself.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
caticind
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2012, 12:24:27 PM »

Not quite as hot here but I routinely see daily highs 95 or above for over a month, with spikes up to 101.  
I actually use open screened bottoms on my long hives year round and have not had a problem with comb collapse because most comb is built before temps get that high and because I am very careful not to inspect or work the hive when temps are over 95 or so.  Make sure you are prepared to go out first thing in the morning when it's still cool - you'll like it better too!.

Do make sure you have a gap between the top bars and the cover.  This is essentially a sunshade on the bars and it makes a big difference.
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Viggen
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2012, 03:52:39 PM »

I am with Michael on this - our desert gets hot. Put some sort of space between top bars and roof. Let the bees control their temps by closing  the hive. White top.  No open bottom. Around here in AZ it goes to 112-115 or more. But our humidity tends not to be high.
I think Michael has things the approach I would use.
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jaseemtp
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2012, 07:15:40 PM »

Superhoney I do not think it gets to hot for them.  Just keep in mind the time of day you are going to work them.  I would wait until it is in the late afternoon or morning. 
There is a post on beesource of a guy who uses the blue 55 gallon barrels to make TBH and he lives very close to our Texas / mexico border.  Try a search I think he called it a honey cow.

here it is

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?252430-Make-your-own-Honey-Cow-(Top-Bar-Bee-Hive)&p=642171#post642171
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superhoney
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2012, 11:42:22 PM »

Thanks for all the input, I might bee on the right track and I have some decisions after some pondering while watching my other hives today.

Ok good the gable roof design will provide a good air space above the bars, and look nice too. The vent hole in the peak was to vent the hot air above the bars, which as I understand [the bars] close off the hive from the above air space. So I 'think' I am ok there with the one hole (will be the experiment part) and hopefully will not interrupt their ventilation activity down below the bars.

Since I cannot move the stump, I have decided to put a shade structure up south of the intended spot. I will initially block it with something like painted plywood, or tin on the hive side, and lattice on the sun side. I intend to transplant some honeysuckle on the sun side and let it go crazy on the lattice until it blocks most or all of the sunshine on that side (2-3 seasons, really it goes crazy when watered), then remove the plywood or tin leaving only the honeysuckle covered lattice, killing two birds with one stone being shade and flowers for the bees, and it will look nice and smell wonderful too.

I do attempt to make my inspections in the morning after milking the goats which puts me at about 9:30am and think that is pretty good. This new apiary is much closer to the house so I can hit it with no problems as a daily task as I understand the management need is higher than Langstroth hives.

And legs were only if I could not figure out some way to keep them shaded so I can nix those now as well. Good! One less thing as Forrest Gump says.

About the screened bottoms...hmm, still up in the air. At the moment I haven't finished putting on the screen yet as I keep punching through the material with my crown stapler. Talking with ronwhite I may have solved that issue and can progress. I did plan to have a board I can install for the winter. I am still not sure what would bee best for them although it seems I have some yea and some nay for the screens. On my langs I use the screened bottom as a mite control system and am looking into a screened top as well for those due to heat issues so I think I might go with the screened bottom on the TBH and see how it goes following the same thought process.

Oh and I do have a big 55G blue barrel waiting outside the shop which I intend to make a 2 honey cows from too (I saw that site)! I love those barrels! I have an aquaponics setup I get copious amounts of tomatoes from yearly that was made from 2 of those barrels. Sooner or later I would love to raise Tilapia, but for now it runs on feeder gold fish.

Well that mostly settles it then, thanks a bunch for the info! I will bee taking pictures once they are all painted and pretty and I'm almost sure I can post pics already, and will. Thanks again!

Superhoney!
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derekm
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2012, 09:14:27 AM »

Remember with 3/4" of wood means there can only be 9F temp difference across it. If the outside surface of the  wood feels too hot to you, its too hot for the bees inside.
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
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