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Author Topic: Combination compost bin/ hive base ?  (Read 1777 times)
Maryland Beekeeper
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« on: October 30, 2012, 01:23:36 AM »

So, I have heard mention of swarms liking peoples compost bins. I was thinking they like the heat. ( Which is considerable when I turn mine) So as I sit through the hurricane, pretty much winterized, and look to next season, I am thinking 6x6's across block with removable  clear plastic panels for sides. Just enough clearance under to turn the fork. In the winter the rising heat, which would be occurring in a natural cavity, helps warm the hive. Anyone been there yet ?
Cheers,
Drew
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BlueBee
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 02:05:55 AM »

Nope never tied that or heard of such a thing.  You might also need to consider the gases coming out of the compost pile.  Probably some methane and CO2.  Donít know what effect those might have on the bees.  I know compost piles generate heat, but so do the bees.  If you trap the bees heat via an insulated hive, it might be simpler than trying to heat a hive with compost.  On the other hand, who knows, maybe youíll find out the mites donít like the gases from compost and solve that problem for us.
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Finski
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 02:50:14 AM »

So, I have heard mention of swarms liking peoples compost bins. I was thinking they like the heat. ( Which is considerable when I turn mine) So as I sit through the hurricane, pretty much winterized, and look to next season, I am thinking 6x6's across block with removable  clear plastic panels for sides. Just enough clearance under to turn the fork. In the winter the rising heat, which would be occurring in a natural cavity, helps warm the hive. Anyone been there yet ?
Cheers,
Drew

First thing is that when sun shines onto thin material, it heats the material too high. The hivetemp is out of bees' colntrol

Your winter and Maryland winter!

Bees produce their own heat. They need not sun heating because at night it is coldest and sun does not shine.

When Europen honey bee goes to very warm countries, it cannot handle the heat any more. That is why scutellata was imported to South America.


World is full of all kind of bins and boxes. Many kind of cavities are suitable to bees, even rabbit tunnels.

First of all, beehives are made for human. Ergonomy is the most important in beekeeping..

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BlueBee
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 02:59:34 AM »

Rabbit tunnels? 

Finski, have you seen bees in a Rabbit tunnel?
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Finski
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2012, 04:31:47 AM »

Rabbit tunnels? 

Finski, have you seen bees in a Rabbit tunnel?

No, but Australian expert has written that on treeless areas bee make colonies into rabbit tunnels.

We have not rabbits here.
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2012, 11:57:38 AM »

My thinking:
-If they are choosing compost bins naturally why not give them one. Are they ?
-In a natural cavity, (Tree), there is decomposition happening all around the nest as well as sap flowing to move a tremendous amount of water through to leaves, perhaps helping B's dehumidify/regulate temp ?
-I have to keep hives sealed for SHB so gases from compost would'nt have direct access to hive atmosphere. I'd just set the hive on top to catch some of the ambient heat.
-Have also heard that higher brood nest temps (101 F) kills Varroa eggs
-I did a cutout from a flat black tar roof in Baltimore city, 1yr old colony, piles of fallen(melted) honeycomb for a bottom ( over 500#'s ), it was 115 F on the roof @ the time, I've never seen a happier healthier colony, and pretty too. My conclusion is that they don't mind hot.
Cheers,
Drew
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BlueBee
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2012, 08:11:25 PM »

-I caught over 24 swarms this year.  None were in, or near, a compost pile.  Not saying they wouldnít go for a compost pile, but I havenít seen it yet. 

-I would question the amount of decomposition going on inside a tree cavity.  Trees wouldnít stand for too long if the heartwood decayed too quickly.  The bees will put propolis all around the cavity to boot.  Propolis is a gooey wax like substances which hardens like paint.  That likely protects the wood from rot.

-Iíve heard that higher brood temps kills brood.  I havenít measured it.  The hearsay Iíve read about varroa is that it takes around 115F for 20minutes to kill them.  High enough temps will kill anything.

-Bees can tolerate excessive heat (over 95F) by using evaporative cooling to keep the brood in the 94 to 95F temp.  Bees do live in the Arizona desert were it also gets VERY hot.  Itís their ability to make their own swamp coolers that keep them alive.

Believe it or not, but Iím not trying to throw water on your idea!  Iím just trying to add some more information to your decision making.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2012, 08:16:04 PM »

We have not rabbits here.
What?  No rabbits in Finland?  Now I've learned something.

We have rabbits in Alaska: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=smallgamehunting.hare
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2012, 08:21:30 PM »

That's why I'm here.  Smiley
I've seen it mentioned (compost bin) and just curious as to how common a phenomena.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2012, 08:29:43 PM »

I'm just one hobby beek in Michigan so take that for what it's worth.  

I haven't heard of bees in compose pile yet, but I have seen where bees will move into peoples (warm) houses many times.  If it is heat that is attracting them to houses (?), then maybe there is some hope for your compose pile hypothesis.  
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hardwood
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2012, 08:41:54 PM »

I've removed bees from two different compost barrels in the last two years.

Scott
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2012, 08:58:30 PM »

I've got family in Imlay City and a cabin between Atlanta and Onaway. Whats your SHB problem like up there ? Did you trap all those swarms ? We are getting crushed by the SHB down here so I'm looking for any little advantage I can give these girls. Gotta compost pile and hives, figure if they'd like the pile under the hive no problem.
Cheers,
Drew
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2012, 09:45:00 PM »

Wow!  Not a good idea at all...

I produce 20 cubic yards plus Hot compost a year, with a pitchfork, cussing, water hose, and elbow grease.  Some of that I use as a soil for the garden, some I use in my worm beds as feed and bedding.  There are TOO MANY variables to try and keep the bees safe and warm using compost heat.

To maintain a steady heat, the pile will have to be turned every 2 to 3 days.  You will need to have a mass of 1^3 yard minimum (!^3 meter) to retain the heat after buildup.  Also the heap will produce all kinds of by-products like Ammonia, Carbon Dioxide, and Water vapor.  If not properly aerated, it can produce a chemical toxic to life in general, which name I forget.

Decomposition that happens in the tree cavities is regulated by mass, nitrogen, and moisture.  Thermophiles would require the mass to use as a scaffolding and nitrogen to reproduce.  Wood in itself is very low in nitrogen, and most decomposition is due to mesophiles.  Bees will chew away all dead and loose material, then "varnish" the walls with propolis.

I side with BlueBee and Finski.  The bees produce their own heat using a similar metabolism, and you would have much better results letting them regulate their own environment.
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Finski
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2012, 10:43:31 PM »

We have not rabbits here.
What?  No rabbits in Finland?  Now I've learned something.

We have rabbits in Alaska: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=smallgamehunting.hare



You are leaning, yes. It is hare. NOT rabbit. Rabbit lives in groups. Hare are solitary living.

Rabbit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rabbits are small mammals , found in several parts of the world.

Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. A hare less than one year old is called a leveret. Four species commonly known as types of hare are classified outside of Lepus: the hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus), and three species known as red rock hares (Pronolagus spp.).
 
Hares are very fast-moving animals; the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus) is able to run at speeds of up to 72 km/h (45 mph). They live solitarily or in pairs, while a "drove" is the collective noun for a group of hares.
 
A common type of hare in Arctic North America is the snowshoe hare, replaced farther south by the black-tailed jackrabbit, white-tailed jackrabbit, and other species.

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BlueBee
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« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2012, 04:28:42 AM »

LOL, Finski you are indeed a wealth of information!

I never paid much attention to rabbit vs hare.  Now Iíve learned two new things Smiley  I assumed all the furry hopping things around here were rabbits.  Weíve got some big ones here and they eat a LOT of plants and drive me crazy!   

So, that begs the next question:  Does Finland have Hares?
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BlueBee
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« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2012, 04:44:47 AM »

I've got family in Imlay City and a cabin between Atlanta and Onaway. Whats your SHB problem like up there ?
Hey, Iíve been through Imlay City applause  Iím on the other side of I-75.  Thank goodness no SHB in my bee yard yet.  I do keep all but a couple of my colonies in highly insulated, to super insulated, polystyrene boxes so the bees have the opportunity to have a warmer home if they choose.  They're certainly MUCH warmer than wood in the winter.  Rather that helps avoid SHB, I donít have any data to suggest it does; I think Michigan is still just a bit too cold for SHB.  If global warming heats us up like it did this summer, I might have to ponder moving north toward Cheboygan too  Smiley
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Finski
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« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2012, 08:38:07 AM »

 Does Finland have Hares?



Finland has 2 hares and they may cross between each other.

Abother is forest hare Lepus timidus, which changes its color white to grey according season.

Then we have brown hare Lepus europaeus which has big size and uggly face.


Forest hare summer and winter



Brown hare all the time same color



Then we have wild rabbit in capital city. It has escaped or let go to nature. It has killed  lost of trees in parks.
It is in herds. We have killing project there.




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Finski
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« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2012, 08:40:36 AM »

.
Thanks to rabbits we have now big owl's nests in the centre of Helsinki (Bubo bubo)
Picture from central buss station 2011 March

The wing size from tip to tip can be 200 cm. Its favorit are hares and it may catch cats and small dogs too.




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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2012, 09:29:40 AM »

Blue,
I hate to admit it but we put central A/c in the cabin a few years back. Have used it @ least a few days every summer since. I've been summering there for 43yrs and the thought of a/c would have been laughable. I agree your winters probably to much for the SHB. I have gone to super-insulated hives as well, 2" board insulation around the whole thing, (2'x2'x4'). Hope it will help them both keep it cool in summer and warm in winter. I have three sections of hollow poplar that housed a feral colony and I've been trying to recreate it. What would the B's do if they had to get all their supplies from Home Depot ?  Smiley
Cheers,
Drew
p.s. Can't wait to get up there for some sledding ! Go Blue !

Fin,
Nice owls !  Put up boxes this year but no takers.
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Finski
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« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2012, 10:11:04 AM »

.
Mary, I thought that you was somewhere in south. But you are in quite cool area.

.
Our polyuretna bee boxes are 30-40 mm thick. Two inches is surely enough.

it saves winter food.

What about your queens. How well they have adapted to your local climate?
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