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Author Topic: Hive Heater?  (Read 1535 times)

Offline Bee-Mover

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Hive Heater?
« on: November 29, 2013, 09:32:15 AM »
I ran across this on eBay the other day:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-Heater-for-bee-hives-Beekeeping-savings-alot-of-honey-per-season-12Watt-/321235056595?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4acb19f7d3

This gist of it being that by keeping the hive warmer during the winter, the bees will eat less.  It seem like it could be a good idea, provided you keep a close eye on it.  Anyone have any experience with something like this?

Offline Robo

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Re: Hive Heater?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2013, 10:05:44 AM »
I have used night lights as supplemental heat with decent success.  Here is a thread to start with -> http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,42763.0.html     

a search on "supplemental heat"  will bring up many more threads
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Offline Bee-Mover

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Re: Hive Heater?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2013, 07:12:46 AM »
Thank you!

Offline Bee-Mover

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Re: Hive Heater?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2013, 07:36:04 AM »
I read through that thread, first I was disappointed to see all the squabbling...

It occurs to me that maybe I'm over-thinking things a bit with the idea of the heater.  I'm in Tennessee, and while it gets cold, not THAT cold.  I think I may try building some sort of insulating jacket to put around the hive instead of a heater.

Thanks again for the link

B-

Offline Robo

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Re: Hive Heater?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 08:58:24 AM »
Ask 10 beekeepers a question get 10 answers.

Some will tell you heat keeps the bees too active and they eat more,  I never saw that in my experience.
I found the best benefit for supplemental heat was in the early spring,  it allowed them to raise more brood and faster.
I use polystyrene hives and notice a tremendous difference in honey consumption (about a 3rd less).   I can easily take a single deep through the winter in a polystyrene hive.  I think you are on the right track going after insulation rather than supplemental heat.   Just keep in mind insulation can be a detriment if done improperly.   Insulation also slows the sun from heating the hive on sunny days.   I also take a lot of grief about ventilation, which I don't provide (incidentally none of the feral colonies around here seem to need any more ventilation that the small entrance provides).  It doesn't matter how well your home is insulated if you leave an upstairs window open.

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,36119.msg302068.html#msg302068

Best of luck and hope you come up with something that works well for you.
 
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Offline Moots

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Re: Hive Heater?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2013, 09:18:16 AM »

I read through that thread, first I was disappointed to see all the squabbling...


** emphasis added

Bee-Mover,
:lau:  If "squabbling" bothers you, you've picked the wrong hobby and the wrong forum.  :)

When I decided to become a Beek, I assumed I would research everything and simply do it "the right way"!  I quickly learned that Beekeeping was much more art than science and there is no one "right way" involved in any aspect of it.  As with anything, some Beeks can get pretty passionate in defending there opinions.

Neither you, nor they should take any of the disagreement here personal.  To me, the trick is to simply take it all in and do whatever feels right for you and your bees.  At the end of the day, you only need to find what works for you and your bees.  Whether others think it's "the right way" or not is really irrelevant. 
"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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Offline Bee-Mover

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Re: Hive Heater?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2013, 05:32:23 AM »

I read through that thread, first I was disappointed to see all the squabbling...


** emphasis added

Bee-Mover,
:lau:  If "squabbling" bothers you, you've picked the wrong hobby and the wrong forum.  :)
Ha!

It just seems silly to get personal. 

Aren't we all in effect working towards the common goal of being better beekeepers?  To see (I assume to be) adults squabbling at each other and writing things like: 'Do you really want to question me about...' is funny on one hand and sad on the other.


Offline Bee-Mover

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Re: Hive Heater?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2013, 05:35:48 AM »
Ask 10 beekeepers a question get 10 answers.

Some will tell you heat keeps the bees too active and they eat more,  I never saw that in my experience.
I found the best benefit for supplemental heat was in the early spring,  it allowed them to raise more brood and faster.
I use polystyrene hives and notice a tremendous difference in honey consumption (about a 3rd less).   I can easily take a single deep through the winter in a polystyrene hive.  I think you are on the right track going after insulation rather than supplemental heat.   Just keep in mind insulation can be a detriment if done improperly.   Insulation also slows the sun from heating the hive on sunny days.   I also take a lot of grief about ventilation, which I don't provide (incidentally none of the feral colonies around here seem to need any more ventilation that the small entrance provides).  It doesn't matter how well your home is insulated if you leave an upstairs window open.

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,36119.msg302068.html#msg302068

Best of luck and hope you come up with something that works well for you.
 
Those hives look great!  I see that you're in NY, I wonder about heat in the summer?

I'm in TN, and it gets very hot and humid here, I think I'll need something that can be removed for the summer months, but I'm still pretty green and have a lot to learn.