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Author Topic: Winter Heater  (Read 6130 times)
Finski
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« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2013, 11:34:31 PM »

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There are in catalogue  10$ heating radiator   4 W


Ultratherm Reptile Heat Mat (4) Our Price Only: £9.49 RRP: £13.95 Ultratherm Reptile Heat Mat (4) Product Description : Habistat Ultratherm heat mat, for reptiles that do not require a very high air temperature, eg leopard geckos, corn snakes, king snakes, etc. the heat mat must be no more than half the size of the vivarium base. 4 inch x 5 inch / 4W


I have bent a pocket from offset aluminium cheat. Aluminium sheet spreads the heath to wider area in the hive and protects from burr etc

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BlueBee
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« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2013, 11:46:24 PM »

But Iím not keeping reptiles (or mice), Iím wintering BEES!





MacGyver Bee Heat Controller


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Finski
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« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2013, 11:48:34 PM »



Putting a heat source ABOVE the bees is a bit crazy, since heat risesÖright out of the hive. 


You know, there is an inner cover in the hive and  3 inches insulation in the cover.


Yeah, only 10 years experiences about that.  It is very easy to see, how bees react on solutions when you install apparatus and next day you look inside.

Couple years ago I had a 3 frame nuc in my fire wood shelter. It was -20C and I looked inside the hive. Water was drilling out of hive; what a heck is happening.

The nuc had a cluster and half of hive was filled with snowlike ice crystals. Heat of the cluster melted the ice.
I put 3 W heater on top bars. Next time when I looked inside, hive was dry a and not a sign about ice.
I have forgotten a pencil size upper ventilation hole and respiration fumes condensated inside the hive.

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Finski
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« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2013, 11:50:55 PM »


But Iím not keeping reptiles (or mice), Iím wintering BEES!




OH DEAR!

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BlueBee
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« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2013, 11:56:14 PM »

I kind of miss your humor Finski. laugh  I'm glad you're not banned for life. applause

I think we would agree that a top vent is very important.  One thing is for sure, my electrically heated hives have been dry.  Sometimes I feared they were too dry.
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Finski
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« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2013, 01:44:18 AM »

I kind of miss your humor Finski. laugh  I'm glad you're not banned for life. applause



I hope too. I got blood poisoning into my leg 2 months ago and practically I was out of work the whole August.

Quote

I think we would agree that a top vent is very important.  One thing is for sure, my electrically heated hives have been dry.  Sometimes I feared they were too dry.


I learned via hard way the upper entrance 45 y ago.

Yes but only in solid floor. With mesh floor do not use upper ventilation.

Under snow bees suffer for moisture more than over snow surface.

Bees stand quite much moisture in the hive. Beeks are mad with their condensation talkings.

But upper entrance is essential. No problems if snow stucks the lower entrance.

Mesh floor guys say that they are modern when they use mesh floor.
But I would say that 70 y old beek will not be modern even if theu uses 2 mesh floors.
Floor does not bring honey.


I got on average 100 kg honey/hive this summer. That I say  modern.


I bought yesterday a new phone. It has orange cover. Now I am a modern beekeeper. - So easy.

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RHBee
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« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2013, 06:14:06 AM »

Hey BlueBee do you have a circuit diagram for your temperature controller?  It looks pretty compact. What are you using for temperature feedback? RTD or thermocouple? The whole setup is intriguing.

Finski, sorry to hear about the blood poisoning.  Glad to hear that you recovered well. Glad your back.

I  know compared to you guys I don't have any winter but, using a 7W reptile heater I was able to get a baseball sized cluster to thrive. You never know when this information could come in handy.
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Finski
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« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2013, 07:52:48 AM »

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Winterfeeding

Just now I use heating to get winter feeding finished.
We got cold weathers, and day temps dropped under 10C.  Bees are not able to cap the syrup and they cannot suck it in that temp.

I added 6W heating, but I must add it up to 15W.  Couple of guys tried the same and they got the same results . Good good temp, about  15W is enough. Days are about 6C - 10C and nights near zero.

It is too late to feed here but we got very late honey dew yield from aphids.  Hives have still brood and empty store combs.

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« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2013, 08:43:16 AM »

In Robo's picture a mesh floor and bottom heating is a strange combination.

Yes, that was an attempt to adapt heat to a SBB.   I no longer use it (or SBBs).  I have now gone to polystyrene nucs with no heat.
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Finski
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« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2013, 09:31:57 AM »



 I have now gone to polystyrene nucs with no heat.

My opinion is that it is absolutely the best solution to winter nucs.  Nucs will build up so well that they do not need heating.

I use 3-frame mating nucs. I have splitted them from normal polyboxes. They are so full brood in late summer that in autumn I have difficulties to situate bees somewhere.

But in Spring I use heaters when I feed pollen patty to colonies.
In big colonies early build up is huge, and I can give brood frames to smallest colonies.

- Big colonies in spring patty+heating
- weak colonies under 5 frames, add emerging brood frames.

- Winter- no cold problems.
- Varroa and nosema makes problems.
- I cover winter losses  with spare hives   (20%).

20% has been a god figure during 40 years.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #30 on: October 05, 2013, 11:12:33 PM »

I would also concur that a regular foam hive/nuc is all that is necessary for a good sized, and prepared colony.  If however you have a small colony (as indicated in the original post) and you live in Minnesota, a normal foam nuc is probably not going to cut it.

I havenít seen the case where electric heat in the fall is beneficial yet.  In the fall the bees are near maximum in numbers and still keeping brood at 95F.  If theyíre in a foam hive, that combination of population and brooding keeps the hives on the warm side into December.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #31 on: October 05, 2013, 11:35:26 PM »

Hey BlueBee do you have a circuit diagram for your temperature controller?  It looks pretty compact. What are you using for temperature feedback? RTD or thermocouple? The whole setup is intriguing.
I was just using a 10cent thermistor, 10K nominal resistance at room temp if I recall.  Just set up as a voltage divider with a fixed 10K resistor and fed into the ADC port of that microcontroller.  Thatís just a low cost 8 bit micro.  They only cost about $2 in low volumes.  I layed out that board for another project and just hacked the bee heater onto the board at the last minute (lol COLD temps).   Actually you could make the thing even smaller if designed that way from the start.  I would use SMD LEDs and probably replace the electrolytic cap with a Tantalum if doing it again for a bee heater.

The Mega48 has a single ended 8 bit ADC (Analog to Digital Converter) on board.  That can divide your temperature range by 256 ideally, but in reality with a voltage divider and thermistor your temperature granularity is pretty large (about 3F) with this setup.  If I were going to make more (probably some day) I would try to go with a 12 bit single ended ADC or a 10bit differential ADC.  Either way you should then be able to regulate down to 1F granularity, or better.  Set that hive temp to about 50F and let those bees bee happy. applause 

The 8/16 bit micros typically are designed for these smallish kind of applications and have port pins that can directly drive LEDs whereas the 32 bit micro often have ports limited to about 2mA of current.  May need to add a FET to drive LEDs on such micros, but not a big deal.  Either way, there are lots of ways to be creative and low cost with todays microcontrollers.   

As Finski says, itís fun to be a MODERN bee keeper.  Smiley
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derekm
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« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2013, 02:24:00 AM »

I would also concur that a regular foam hive/nuc is all that is necessary for a good sized, and prepared colony.  If however you have a small colony (as indicated in the original post) and you live in Minnesota, a normal foam nuc is probably not going to cut it.

I havenít seen the case where electric heat in the fall is beneficial yet.  In the fall the bees are near maximum in numbers and still keeping brood at 95F.  If theyíre in a foam hive, that combination of population and brooding keeps the hives on the warm side into December.

just add more insulation
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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?
Finski
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« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2013, 06:35:33 AM »

I would also concur that a regular foam hive/nuc is all that is necessary for a good sized, and prepared colony.  If however you have a small colony (as indicated in the original post) and you live in Minnesota, a normal foam nuc is probably not going to cut it.

I havenít seen the case where electric heat in the fall is beneficial yet.  In the fall the bees are near maximum in numbers and still keeping brood at 95F.  If theyíre in a foam hive, that combination of population and brooding keeps the hives on the warm side into December.

just add more insulation

Your boath guys are so far from practical

"I havenít seen the case where electric heat in the fall is beneficial yet"
I just told that it is. You need not to se. Propably you have not tried even.


" In the fall the bees are near maximum in numbers"
Of course it is evebn if has one frane of bees.
If I joind 2 one frame of bees, then they have again maximum.


"brooding keeps the hives on the warm side into December. "
Our brooding should stop in September.
If brooding continues in Finland to December, that hive is dead.

Bluebee, your bees genepool is not suitable to Michigan climate or your accelerate brooding with your thanks giving honey balls.

"Add insulation"
I have insulated hives. If it is not enough, the colony is better to die.

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Something to learn from you guys,  no!
You are willing to learn something, - NO

So I quite from here before I am kicked to my as
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Finski
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« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2013, 06:48:26 AM »

If however you have a small colony

What is a small colony. Practical minimum size sluster is 5 frames of bees. It means that the colony has had 5 frames of brood before stopping brooding

You may get them over winter alive, but it will have difficulties in spring build up.
If you get  3-frame nuc over winter, it cannot rear brood in spring.

Even if you have one box full of bees in autumn, in spring they may have only handfull. Such is beekeeping and wintering.

But, it is however interesting to try many kind of things and the ,imits of bees.

Part of cluster will die more or less during winter and early spring. If the colony has nosema, feeder bees' gut is not condition and they are very slow to produce new workers.  If yiou giuve a frame of emerging bees from strong healthy hive, nosema sick colony will be healed to normal (mostly). Often the queen gets nosema and it stops laying gradually.


It is much more easy to rear a 5 frame cluster for winter than stugle with 2 frame cluster.
But to beginners it seems very often impossible.


I have read from British forum this kind of stories "I have a strong colony. It fills the whole box. Do I split it?"
When I ask, how many brood frames..... Four...

To me strong colony is 7 boxes in summer.  And to get  that it need to be 15 frames of brood in early summer.

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Finski
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« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2013, 06:50:44 AM »

.
But now I quit. I have teached heating here for years, but it is totally misunderstood.

So hasta la vista!
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BlueBee
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« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2013, 09:53:37 AM »

Professor, I listen to my bees and observe.  The bees are my teacher. applause

No I havenít added heat in the fall because my hives have been PLENTY warm due to the insulation, population, and brooding in the fall.  My foam nucs brood up until about November which I think is good for creating winter bees.  I havenít pulled frames in the big hives to see how late they brood because there are MASSIVE amounts of bees in those hives well into the new year.  Based on the temperature inside those hives, I would suspect they brood into early December.  But since they donít starve out, it would be logical to assume they are not raising frames and frames of brood.  I never feed the big hives honey balls; just the nucs. 

Despite my mods, the bees know winter is coming!  I canít fool them that much.  How the bees know winter is coming, I donít know.  I would suspect light plays an important role.  That would be another reason I would use something other than a light bulb for a heat source.  Bees might even bee able to see the shorter wave IR in some of your heaters, I don't know.  My heaters are long wave IR.

As for being ďfar from practicalĒ, it depends on the problem at hand doesn't it?  For good sized colonies, foam alone work wells.  For small colonies in cold climates, foam + electric works better IMO.  I think having the ability to add some electric heat in the event of a really cold spell (predicted for this winter) might be a good insurance plan too.   
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Robo
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« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2013, 10:13:26 AM »

  That would be another reason I would use something other than a light bulb for a heat source.

I saw no issues with the light. In fact, I found many cases where the queen would come down to the bottom of the frame (right above the light) to lay.    They must of preferred the benefit of the heat over any dislike for the light.   I never saw any indication of trying to block the light with propolis as they do with other things they are not happy with.
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RHBee
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« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2013, 10:16:45 AM »

Hey BlueBee do you have a circuit diagram for your temperature controller?  It looks pretty compact. What are you using for temperature feedback? RTD or thermocouple? The whole setup is intriguing.
I was just using a 10cent thermistor, 10K nominal resistance at room temp if I recall.  Just set up as a voltage divider with a fixed 10K resistor and fed into the ADC port of that microcontroller.  Thatís just a low cost 8 bit micro.  They only cost about $2 in low volumes.  I layed out that board for another project and just hacked the bee heater onto the board at the last minute (lol COLD temps).   Actually you could make the thing even smaller if designed that way from the start.  I would use SMD LEDs and probably replace the electrolytic cap with a Tantalum if doing it again for a bee heater.

The Mega48 has a single ended 8 bit ADC (Analog to Digital Converter) on board.  That can divide your temperature range by 256 ideally, but in reality with a voltage divider and thermistor your temperature granularity is pretty large (about 3F) with this setup.  If I were going to make more (probably some day) I would try to go with a 12 bit single ended ADC or a 10bit differential ADC.  Either way you should then be able to regulate down to 1F granularity, or better.  Set that hive temp to about 50F and let those bees bee happy. applause 

The 8/16 bit micros typically are designed for these smallish kind of applications and have port pins that can directly drive LEDs whereas the 32 bit micro often have ports limited to about 2mA of current.  May need to add a FET to drive LEDs on such micros, but not a big deal.  Either way, there are lots of ways to be creative and low cost with todays microcontrollers.   

As Finski says, itís fun to be a MODERN bee keeper.  Smiley


If you burnt that interface board, good job. That's an impressive little chip. Nice instruction set, looks like Basic. Serial interface. I never considered making my own controller. With the relative low cost of some PLC's like the Seimens LOGO. I now see that I can go way lower on cost. You got me thinking about the possibility's. SCR Control of low voltage AC. Thanks.
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Ray
Finski
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« Reply #39 on: October 06, 2013, 10:47:18 AM »

Professor, I listen to my bees and observe.  The bees are my teacher. applause
   


Now I must say, it is time to buy couple of beekeeping books.

You hear voices...Ųh

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