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Author Topic: Top vs Bottom ?  (Read 7329 times)
edward
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« Reply #40 on: January 06, 2013, 09:39:24 PM »

I liked the theory behind the “heat bubble” design that Derekm is fond of, and I wanted to experiment with various versions of that this winter.  If the condensation problem could be solved, that should be the most energy efficient design there is.  I’m not real comfortable with the idea of an open bottom due to thermal reasons. A lack of insulation underfoot makes for a cool room! However if it comes down to wasting heat vs a cold shower for the bees, I’ll go with wasting heat.

Yes I know what I have written doesn't seem to make sens, and I had a hard time understanding it in the beginning.
How could cold floors bee a good thing in the winter time, surely it would bee better with warm bees in the winter.?

The biggest problem for the bees in the winter is getting rid of excess moisture and condensation .

I think the whole idea with poly vs wood is that the poly hives are easier for the bees to maintain a constant temperature.
 
Because of the insulation the bees don’t have to work as hard to keep a warm stable temperature, this means that they use less honey/sugar supplies throughout the winter. If the eat less there bowls will bee not as full and they wont poop inside the hive.

Small or week hives can bee help through the winter if they are kept in a place were the temperature, humidity are constant and they are not in a draft, a shed,barn, garage, or some quiet location.
All hive should bee of the ground, 20-40cm to escape damp and cold radiating from the ground.
Also the poly hives stop both heat and cold radiating into the hive, like a cold draught from a window in winter.

General drift forms for my hives are;

Winter, open with draft over the floor to vent moisture
Spring, after cleansing flight close the ventilation with a small front opening, this helps them keep the brood warm as the old bees die off and before new bees hatch.
Summer, open ventilation so they can cool the hive and dry nectar to honey
Fall, depends on feeding and how late, early, open so the can dry winter stores, late, closed so they can keep warm, make wax to cap cells.

If you have a hot hive that has brood late in the fall opening the ventilation and cooling the hive will help stop the brood cycle.

If you miss closing the ventilation in the spring the hive will not preform well, very important to get an early build up.

mvh edward  tongue

All the old beekeepers fight but one thing they all agree on is the cold is not a problem for any normal hive with stores, but wet bees are not happy and will bee cold dead bees.
 
 Ps yes we insulate our floors in our houses.  grin
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BlueBee
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« Reply #41 on: January 06, 2013, 09:53:53 PM »

Condensation inside the hive rather than outside means heat gain to the hive rather than heat loss.
Aaaahh… a very good point that I kind of forgot about.

You know the single layer nucs with the heat bubble design has the condensation forming away from the cluster of bees, so I suspect if I stick with a single box design, the condensation won’t really do any harm to the bees.  I will keep some of nucs with this design exactly as they are.  I think I will do a little experimenting with a couple others to try to change where the condensation is occurring. 

How many watts are we gaining by letting water vapor condense inside the hive? 

Edward, thanks for explaining your setup.  That is very interesting.  BTW....too often our floors are NOT insulated!
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #42 on: January 06, 2013, 10:48:07 PM »

I have considered whether a slanted ceiling would be advantageous
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edward
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« Reply #43 on: January 06, 2013, 10:59:48 PM »

I have considered whether a slanted ceiling would be advantageous

I try to make sure my hive all lean slightly towards the entrance or back ventilation to make sure the wet damp will drain out of the hives and not cause a pool of water. It might also benefit the roof.

mvh edward  tongue
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derekm
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« Reply #44 on: January 07, 2013, 04:40:00 PM »

Condensation inside the hive rather than outside means heat gain to the hive rather than heat loss.
...

How many watts are we gaining by letting water vapor condense inside the hive? 

...

you get back about 10% of the heat expenditure
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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?
BlueBee
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« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2013, 04:03:20 AM »

I haven’t observed the bees lapping up any of that condensation yet, but I’m not watching 24-7 either. 
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edward
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« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2013, 05:30:19 AM »

I haven’t observed the bees lapping up any of that condensation yet

They probably only do that if they have larvae to feed by mixing pollen and honey to make feed juice .

mvh edward  tongue
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BlueBee
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« Reply #47 on: January 08, 2013, 05:29:24 PM »

That makes sense Edward and matches what I have observed.  Namely bees collecting lots of water when raising brood. 

But over winter when they are broodless, do you think they dilute their honey at all for personal consumption, or do they just consume it raw?
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edward
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« Reply #48 on: January 08, 2013, 05:34:08 PM »

Less water, less poop  rolleyes

mvh edward  tongue
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little john
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« Reply #49 on: January 08, 2013, 05:56:19 PM »

I have considered whether a slanted ceiling would be advantageous

Or fit a moisture condensor ? (pipe the trough out through the side)



LJ
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2013, 04:25:21 PM »

interesting design, I don't hold that it is advantageous for moisture to condense @ the top, I consider it a sign of inadequate insulation.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 06:18:41 PM by Maryland Beekeeper » Logged
BlueBee
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« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2013, 06:44:02 PM »

In theory I agree with you Drew.  But what I have seen in my hives is you can’t really add enough insulation to keep water from condensing above the bees IF your hive is a 2 story.  That second story just gets too cold (below the dew point) and you get condensation no matter what you do (unless you vent the top).  The weird thing is double deckers seem to be recommended configuration for wintering bees in the north. 
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2013, 07:16:05 PM »

Even were I to concede your point, it would, to me, suggest another problem :
-hive not airtight
-entrance to big
-cluster to small

another thought : -hive shape
hand to forehead thought - vertical distance cluster to entrance, add empty ?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 09:07:06 PM by Maryland Beekeeper » Logged
BlueBee
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« Reply #53 on: January 11, 2013, 02:02:03 AM »

I’m not the type of beek who believes in absolutes, but I can tell you my latest heat bubble design is about as air tight as possible!  It’s basically a box under a foam shell.  The foam shell is completely airtight since it was glued together with gorilla glue.  I could use it for a boat if I turned it upside down.  So it's very air tight.

Next concern:  entrance too big?  My entrance is 9mm x about 100mm, even smaller on some boxes.  Any smaller and I fear the bees would be asphyxiated due to a lack of O2/CO2 exchange.   

Next concern:  Cluster too small.  That could be.  It is pretty clear when looking at hives through clear covers, that a small cluster in an insulated box acts as an ice cooler.  That can’t be good for the bees or condensation.  You need appropriate sized cluster for the size of the insulated box.
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #54 on: January 11, 2013, 02:15:55 AM »

lets see.......you haven't created a bubble, got to add height, or decrease width,increase insulation, is this a nuc we are talking about I forgot Smiley 2" on top sounds thin, I have 1" pvc entrance I believe to be more than substantial enough.... TBC Smiley
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BlueBee
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« Reply #55 on: January 11, 2013, 02:58:22 AM »

LOL....2" of foam sounds thin?  How many inches of foam are you using?  The thickest stuff they sell here in the big box stores is 2" thick.

I don't think are friends in Scandinavia even have 2" (50mm) thick insulation in their hives.  Smiley
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #56 on: January 11, 2013, 03:24:33 AM »

better to say your bubble is getting constantly irritated by entrance air, it needs static, and my 1" pvc is half blocked
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Finski
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« Reply #57 on: January 11, 2013, 06:40:54 AM »


Or fit a moisture condensor ? (pipe the trough out through the side)



LJ



Never seen like that.

First what I think is that that in that construction a hive looses kits valuable heat to the loft.

What is the advantage of that? - I cannot see any advantage.

When you feed the hive for winter, make it quickly that bees do not start brood rearing and they return to autumn rest mode as quick as possible.

Bees must be in winter mode that they do not consume their inside body stores (fat body). When nature gives pollen, it is time to wake up.

in Finland as in Michigan bees should be now in winter cluster. And it is not a bad thing in UK either.

To keep bees in wake up mode during winter is very strange. It tells only about nervous beekeeper.


When you feed your hives full in autumn, food stores cannot cease in couple of months. If the hive makes brood all the winter around, that is a bad thing too because in Michigan level it is sign of "non locally adapted strain".


in UK many places gives pollen in January and temp is +10C.

But I cannot understand why to feed hives in January?  At least, if I give emergency feeding to my hives, I pour
syrup into combs. Easier way is to take a crystallized honey  frame from store house.

.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #58 on: January 11, 2013, 06:32:10 PM »

better to say your bubble is getting constantly irritated by entrance air, it needs static, and my 1" pvc is half blocked
That is a legitimate concern and I have addressed that in more recent designs by using an entrance "tunnel" as opposed to a 9mm x 100 gap.  My entrance tunnels are now about 100mm long and should buffer the wind considerably.  Your PVC is probably also a good idea.  I considered using PVC pipe, but I thought the bees could defend a 9mm tall tunnel better than they could defend a pipe so I went the tunnel route.  Defending against robbers and yellow jackets that is.  I still like the idea of low cost PVC though.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #59 on: January 11, 2013, 06:52:22 PM »

in Finland as in Michigan bees should be now in winter cluster. And it is not a bad thing in UK either.

Do you mean sleep like this?



I’m just joking with you Finski.  You are right, sleep is good, but we are enjoying a record heat wave for a couple of days here and most of my hives were out in mass today.  There were so many bees flying around it sounded like there was a swarm in the air. 
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