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Author Topic: Solar Hive Ventilator  (Read 1915 times)
Trailrunner9749
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« on: July 09, 2013, 03:21:50 PM »

Anyone use them?

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Jim 134
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2013, 05:44:03 PM »

Is someone trying to sell you a solar ventilated bee hive Huh

To me if they are it just sounds like more snake oil.




                  BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
Trailrunner9749
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2013, 06:27:51 PM »

Well, I actually got one.  I thought it was a good concept and the research or their data seemed sound. flying pig Undecided
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Psparr
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 06:48:58 PM »

Saw one at an old mennonite junk store the other day.
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Psparr
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2013, 06:50:07 PM »

The only concern I have is if its real hot and humid. Aka summer. It will just draw moisture into the hive.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2013, 08:56:57 PM »

No, never used one. 

It doesn’t sounds like a horrible idea though.  I’m skeptical they would do much good in my bee yard though.  Why am I skeptical you might ask?  Well, it’s because I used to run inner covers of pure hardware cloth/screen at one point.  What I found was the bees worked overtime to completely plug up the screen to prevent airflow.

I think the reason for a solar ventilator is valid; namely too much solar gain (watts) into the hive from the Sun.  My solution for that problem is polystyrene.  Keeps out the solar gain that otherwise cooks a wood hive.   
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Trailrunner9749
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2013, 10:18:07 PM »

Saw one at an old mennonite junk store the other day.

Yep looks like the one I got.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2013, 10:25:21 PM »

If you are worried, adds piece of 1/2" foil covered insulation inside of the cover. Makes a drastic difference.
Jim
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derekm
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2013, 06:14:03 PM »

this works
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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?
OldMech
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2013, 08:39:07 PM »

this works




  HEH! Isnt that interesting!
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2013, 02:23:56 PM »

I am concerned that they don't have any kind of feedback mechanism to handle all of the tipping points in the hive.  There are several.  When the CO2 gets too high they ventilate more.  When the temperature is too high and the temperature outside is below the threshold (93-95 F) they ventilate more.  When the temperature outside is higher than the threshold (>95 F) they ventilate in a way to evaporate water to cool the air so they don't overheat the brood nest.  All of this is controlled by the bees.  I'm afraid a fan would cause them MORE work rather than less. Much about the ventilation of a bee hive is still a mystery and I think we should be careful when we think we understand it.  Huber concluded that less is more...

"We tried increasing the number of openings in the side of the box, but were not successful.  One of the two candles went out at the end of 8 minutes.  The other kept alight as long as the ventilator was in motion.  I had there-fore not obtained a stronger current by multiplying the openings.

"These experiments show that in a place with an opening only on one side, air can renew itself when there is some mechanical cause tending to displace it, and this seems to confirm our conjectures on the effect which the fanning of bees has on the hive."--Francis Huber, New Observations Upon Bees, Vol II, Chapter VIII, 5th Experiment:  Increase in openings decreased  ventilation. Pg 539 of the 2012 edition.
 
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Michael Bush
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Jim 134
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2013, 02:41:19 PM »

  th_thumbsupup goodpost th_thumbsupup




               BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
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"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
Robo
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 04:08:08 PM »

To add to what Michael posted.

A few quotes from "Constructive Beekeeping"  by Ed Clark



"A similar misunderstanding is on at the present time about
the best way to get rid of the moisture in the hive. The bees,
from the habits and customs, carried down for ages, contending
that condensation is the system best adapted to their mode of
life, while the beekeeper is trying to force them to use the ventilating
system. I think that the beekeeper, being a most sensible
person, will see the error of his way and eventually follow where
the bee leads. The bees but show their contempt for ventilation
when it is at its best."

"How do the bees dispose of the great amount of water carried
into the hive in the nectar? You say: “they evaporate it and it is
carried off by the air.” . But is it? Try drying the family wash in
a room of dimensions, as regards water to be evaporated, temperature
and opening at the floor, proportionate to the beehive,
and see how fast your wash dries. Be sure you have no windows
in the room to condense the water vapor. Try it when temperature
outside is 60 deg. F and the atmosphere one-half saturated,
(one-half saturated in the evening is about as dry as we find the
air in May and June where there is ample rain fall). Then try
it when the atmosphere is 9/10 saturated, and after this experience
you will be more amazed than: ever at the bees’ efficiency.
Still you are skeptical and remember that you should have
put an electric fan at the opening, because the bees are seen to
fan at the entrance. Let us not delude ourselves about the bees
moving all the water vapor, given off in ripening honey, out of
the hive by fanning.
Records of temperature and humidity taken from the U.S.
Weather Station at Moorhead, Minnesota, for three days at 7 P.
M. are as follows:
1916 Temperature Humidity
May 13 45.5 93
May 14 42.5 100
May 15 37.5 96
To remove from the hive one grain of water vapor by fanning
on May 13, the volume of air that would have to be moved would
be five or six times the air capacity of the hive. To remove one
pound of water would require the removal of a volume of air
equal to the capacity of from 30,000 to 40,000 hive-bodies. On
May 14 the outside air being saturated, no water vapor could be
removed by a change of air, and on May 15 the result would be
about the same.
From this it can readily be seen that little evaporation from
the nectar could take place by ventilation, and we are led to
believe that on such days as these the urge takes hold, giving
swarms the last week of May.
No contention will be raised when the statement is made that
the water is evaporated from the honey before we have ripened
honey. It has been taken for granted that as soon as the water
passes off by evaporation the bees were done with it. They
would be if this evaporation took place the same as from the
family wash hung on a line in open air. But if instead of having
the great volume of moving outside air, we have in a standard
hive body a little less than one cubic foot of air, where is all this
water vapor going to go? Saturate this small volume of air at
hive temperature and the water vapor in it would be from 1/600
to 1/5000 of what the bees evaporate in a night during a good
honey flow. If they saturated this air in the hive and then forced
it out at the entrance, they would cause rain in the hive near
the entrance."


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derekm
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« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2013, 10:29:35 AM »

I am concerned that they don't have any kind of feedback mechanism to handle all of the tipping points in the hive.  There are several.  When the CO2 gets too high they ventilate more.  When the temperature is too high and the temperature outside is below the threshold (93-95 F) they ventilate more.  When the temperature outside is higher than the threshold (>95 F) they ventilate in a way to evaporate water to cool the air so they don't overheat the brood nest.  All of this is controlled by the bees.  I'm afraid a fan would cause them MORE work rather than less. Much about the ventilation of a bee hive is still a mystery and I think we should be careful when we think we understand it.  Huber concluded that less is more...

"We tried increasing the number of openings in the side of the box, but were not successful.  One of the two candles went out at the end of 8 minutes.  The other kept alight as long as the ventilator was in motion.  I had there-fore not obtained a stronger current by multiplying the openings.

"These experiments show that in a place with an opening only on one side, air can renew itself when there is some mechanical cause tending to displace it, and this seems to confirm our conjectures on the effect which the fanning of bees has on the hive."--Francis Huber, New Observations Upon Bees, Vol II, Chapter VIII, 5th Experiment:  Increase in openings decreased  ventilation. Pg 539 of the 2012 edition.
 

With such  complex and little understood climate control behaviour in bees, we should concentrate on getting the bees back in control, rather than make large bee keeper led  changes, like external fans. By That I mean we should revert as much as practical back to measurable nest conditions. For Apis mellifera this means the conditions inside a tree cavity with a bottom entrance with  a climate similar to  Europe below the conifir line. If we are to continue to use conventional box hives we will need to alter the materials of construction so as to be emulate the physical properties of a  tree nest.
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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?
Oblio13
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« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2013, 01:24:19 PM »

Bees ARE "solar hive ventilators".
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2013, 02:41:31 PM »

I think a lot of things to do with ventilation could be understood better.  But since bees are changing the conditions based on the conditions it is tricky.  If you have a thermostat in your house and we leave the door open the temperature may stay the same, but the furnace is working harder... so you need to measure both the conditions in the hive to see if they are constant or changing, and the effort being put forth by the bees in both fanning, and in the case of cold, generating heat with their bodies.  There are issues with both humidity (drying nectar and needing a certain amount for the eggs to hatch) and heat (sometimes using evaporation cooling and sometimes just using ventilation).  There is a relationship between humidity and heat because evaporation cools, condensation heats and nectar needs to be dried and evaporation happens faster when the temperature is higher and when the humidity is lower.

We need another "Huber" to sort it all out and separate all the related issues.
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Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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derekm
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« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2013, 03:15:13 PM »

I think a lot of things to do with ventilation could be understood better.  But since bees are changing the conditions based on the conditions it is tricky.  If you have a thermostat in your house and we leave the door open the temperature may stay the same, but the furnace is working harder... so you need to measure both the conditions in the hive to see if they are constant or changing, and the effort being put forth by the bees in both fanning, and in the case of cold, generating heat with their bodies.  There are issues with both humidity (drying nectar and needing a certain amount for the eggs to hatch) and heat (sometimes using evaporation cooling and sometimes just using ventilation).  There is a relationship between humidity and heat because evaporation cools, condensation heats and nectar needs to be dried and evaporation happens faster when the temperature is higher and when the humidity is lower.

We need another "Huber" to sort it all out and separate all the related issues.

you missed out the complications of thermal stratification and thermal mass of the nest and the honey...
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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?
Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2013, 04:00:14 PM »

>you missed out the complications of thermal stratification and thermal mass of the nest and the honey...

Well, I didn't elaborate.  Winter gets even more complicated...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesscientificstudies.htm#overwintering
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Michael Bush
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2013, 10:51:48 PM »

The best type of hive ventilation is passive. A screened bottom board or bottomless hive with a small vent at the top is passive, letting the air circulate naturally, like in many bee trees; the bees require less industry to regulate the internal temperature of the hive.

No top vent will result in condensation which will rain on brood and bees when disturbed, to large a top vent and the bees abandon the lower entrance allowing pests and predators in. 

There are all kinds of gimmicks out there, the vast majority, such as solar ventilation, is quackery.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2013, 08:59:18 PM »

Don't tell that to a friend of mine, Steve. He went to pull honey last year and due to our high humidity, most it was uncapped. A few weeks later he walked out his back door and all of his hives were roaring. He could hear them 200' away and the out side of the hives were covered with bees. He used small computer fans and solar panels. The fans only come on when the sun is on his hives. Just during the middle of the day due to tree shade. His frames are now capped quickly and he has them on all his producing hives. He has little bearding. He thinks they make a big difference. They probably aren't needed in dry areas but with 80 to 100 percent humidity they help.
I use screen top boards with insulation in the top cover and it helps. I do often have several frames that are not capped but usually due to new nectar in areas that had had some brood it in.
Jim
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