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Author Topic: Insulation and Heat  (Read 8077 times)

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #100 on: February 25, 2013, 02:10:44 PM »
Ok a little bit of a bump, but I have a heat related question.  Going to be adding a 15 w bulb to my hives.  I have an eke above the cluster with each hive.  The bulbs are a smidge big to just slide in the entrance from below.  So should I place the heat source (bulb wrapped in aluminum foil) in the eke next to the cluster (above the top box) or in an eke on the bottom next to the entrance.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #101 on: February 25, 2013, 05:14:59 PM »
The problem with light bulbs is they make light and light attracts bees.  I'd put it UNDER the bottom board...
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Offline T Beek

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #102 on: February 25, 2013, 06:03:05 PM »
 :idunno:
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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #103 on: February 25, 2013, 06:06:25 PM »
A light bulb wrapped with AL foil?  That is pretty creative, I’ll have to admit.  I agree with the other Bush; Light can make the winter bees hyperactive, so your AL foil wrap sounds like a good idea.  Just make sure you don’t break the bulb and get electrocuted with the tin foil; that would be bad.

I would try to stick the heat source under the bees.  That’s where my 36watts of heat is located and the bees are LOVIN' EVERY MINUTE OF IT.  They were flying like crazy today, it got up to about 40F with Sunshine for a change.  Even the humans were going crazy here with the Sunshine.  I saw a gal out walking in the snow with short shorts and a tank top :)  Spring must not be too far off.  Yipee!    

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #104 on: February 25, 2013, 06:23:40 PM »
Then again, I think we are supposed to get another 8” of snow tomorrow...... 

What’s your plan for the heated bees Bush 84?  Are you going to feed them pollen patties?  Syrup?  Water?

Offline derekm

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #105 on: February 25, 2013, 06:38:53 PM »
extra heat + ventilation=dehydration...
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?

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #106 on: February 25, 2013, 07:03:23 PM »
Then again, I think we are supposed to get another 8” of snow tomorrow...... 

What’s your plan for the heated bees Bush 84?  Are you going to feed them pollen patties?  Syrup?  Water?


Spring heating.  Pollen patties and sugar syrup if needed when the weather becomes nicer in march.  I want flying weather to become more consistent before I do any syrup or pollen patty.  I know natures nectar is in Minnesota and their blog indicates that they give pollen patty typically mid march.  So that's my current plan.
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Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #107 on: February 25, 2013, 11:40:21 PM »
extra heat + ventilation=dehydration...

Tell it to Mr Finski, he’s the one adding electric heat without adding water!  I know better  ;)

Offline Finski

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #108 on: February 26, 2013, 12:27:38 AM »
extra heat + ventilation=dehydration...

After 10 years heating  my formula is :  polyboxes + heating + patty = 3 fold build up.

I know dehydration. If soil is covered with snow, bees do not get drinking water. Larvae became sick.
So I must start patty feeding when soil can be seen partly.

With heating bees start to ventilate when day temp is +17C.

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Offline T Beek

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #109 on: February 26, 2013, 09:33:53 AM »
No 'artificial' heat in my hives, just foam shells for the first time this season. 

6 of 8 colonies had bees meandering at entrances yesterday, one had an 'explosion' of mostly yellow bee poo.  Had a high of 32F yesterday w/ 40 and some sun predicted for today.  I'll be watching for more yellow polka dots in the snow. 

Seems I'm having good results w/out artificial heat.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

Noticed a pair of chickadees munching on the scattered dead yesterday too, first time seeing that. 
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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #110 on: February 26, 2013, 11:39:25 AM »
T Beek, I agree with you, it is preferable not to resort to electric heat for a number of reasons; including safety of the bee keeper.  If you still have lots of bees in a well insulated or poly hive by this time of year, then they do work great and I would do nothing.  Such hives should be booming by mid April without any help from the bee keeper.

IMO, a problem arises if you’ve lost a lot of bees in a hive by this time of year.  Those lost bees are lost heat inside the hive.  If you have a well insulated box with a lot of cold stuff inside (say ice or frozen honey) and a very small heat source (too few bees), that’s what I call a freezer.



 At least with a wood hive, the warmth of the spring sun will really start to warm up the frozen honey.  In a well insulated poly hive, the only way that honey gets warmed up is by sucking the energy out of the bees.

I’m only using electric heat in a couple of weak hives.   I’m not messing with the rest.

Offline Finski

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #111 on: February 26, 2013, 12:24:54 PM »
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You boath never learn. Beehive is a freezer!!! Oh dear.

A while ago I printed some results what our beekeeper put into Finnish forum.

He measured

out temp, free air temp in hive and cluster temp

out .... inside air....cluster

-12C....+11C...+26C
-16C....+13C... 17C
-11C.....+8C......20C

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Offline T Beek

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #112 on: February 26, 2013, 01:36:39 PM »
I also agree with you BlueBee, its why I'm considering removing the south/entrance facing part of my foam shells. 
4 screws and done. 

Today's warm temps and sunshine may be the day.

Finski; the major concern as you know, is the amount of bees along w/ the size of the cavity and ability to collect stores 'wherever' they may be w/in the hive "this" difficult time of year. 

If there is a way to help or save a colony with 'minimal intrusion' when they are their most vulnerable...I say why not?
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Offline Finski

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #113 on: February 26, 2013, 01:51:35 PM »


Finski; the major concern as you know, is the amount of bees along w/ the size of the cavity and ability to collect stores 'wherever' they may be w/in the hive "this" difficult time of year. 



My hives have  3 feet snow around. Size of hive cavity is what it is and clusters are much smaller than in 5 months ago.
It takes 1,5 months that snow starts to melt on my property.

My hives are 150 km away, and I do not know what thaey are doing.


It is vain to talk about sunshine here. It does not heat much.

Bees generate heat inside the hive. That is their system the whole year. They have allready brood there and they have rised the hive temperature.

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Offline T Beek

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #114 on: February 26, 2013, 02:09:37 PM »
Finland is not N/W Wisconsin  ;). 

Happy to say I can look out my Northwest window and see my beeyard at roughly 50 yards away 12 months a year 8-)
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Offline Finski

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #115 on: February 26, 2013, 02:16:26 PM »
Finland is not N/W Wisconsin  ;).  

Happy to say I can look out my Northwest window and see my beeyard at roughly 50 yards away 12 months a year 8-)

I like to live in Capital City. There is no worse life than stir hives all the year around and wonder do they have condensation or not, or  do they allready make poo on snow

This is good place to live. I have lived on this isle 40 years.



Typical scenery on my summer cottage


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« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 02:29:26 PM by Finski »
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Offline derekm

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #116 on: February 27, 2013, 02:34:54 PM »


 At least with a wood hive, the warmth of the spring sun will really start to warm up the frozen honey.  In a well insulated poly hive, the only way that honey gets warmed up is by sucking the energy out of the bees.


rowlocks - you know more than this about heat flow... are you delibrately trying to be provocative to stimulate controversy?
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?

Offline edward

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #117 on: February 27, 2013, 09:37:28 PM »
Insulation , no insulation , poly hives are warm , poly hives are cold fridges , blaa blaa blaa

There is already a practical solution to the problem  :devilbanana: just plug it in and turn the knob to the temperature that is desirable http://www.holtermann-shop.de/popup_image.php/pID/3230/XTCsid/0c18032ddd1c60242c2b30199855b0a5&imgID=1


mvh edward  :-P

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #118 on: February 28, 2013, 01:57:12 AM »
Finski’s freezers + 8 watts of electric heat = Warm box.
Warm box + bees + pollen + water = 3x buildup.

If Finski’s boxes are so well insulated in the first place, then why does he need to add electric heat to warm them up?

Offline Finski

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Re: Insulation and Heat
« Reply #119 on: February 28, 2013, 02:04:41 AM »
Finski’s freezers + 8 watts of electric heat = Warm box.
Warm box + bees + pollen + water = 3x buildup.

If Finski’s boxes are so well insulated in the first place, then why does he need to add electric heat to warm them up?


No need but I do.
There are only few guys who has heated hives with electrict. And as few are who feed pollen patty.

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