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Author Topic: Keeping hives in my garage year round?  (Read 6109 times)
Tito
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« on: February 10, 2006, 01:26:13 PM »

Hi,
I'm excited to enter this hobby but have less than ideal room available.  For me the best place to put two hives would be in my garage with a 'bee door' through the wall.  Across from the bees there about three feet there is a small shed.  This means the bees would have to either fly over or around with a space just a bit more than three feet wide,,, does that pose any problem?
The garage is not climate controlled or anything.  Of course when tending the hives I could open all doors and such.

Any thoughts or suggestions are much appreciated.  I know this is not he 'conventional' outdoor placement of hives but I'm trying to figure a way that I can make this work as I don't have any good spot outside that would work.

Thanks in advance! smiley
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2006, 02:28:51 PM »

It would be helpful if you updated your profile with a location so we would know your climate.  

One thing is they would not benefit from the sun and could be an issue if your climate is cool.

The 3 foot space should not be a problem.

Have you considered the roof of the garage?http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?p=23652&highlight=#23652
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Jay
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2006, 04:46:28 PM »

As Robo has stated, the 3 foot distance is not a problem. The bees can and will be 30 feet in the air by the time they are 3-4 feet away from the hive.

The other issues regarding the inside of the garage, hmm...

Is it a detached or an attached garage? If the garage has at least one warm wall (ie attached garage) even if it is unheated, it can stay a good 10-15 degrees warmer than the outside temps. Good for winter. However, it can get god awfull hot in there in those dawg days of summer, and can stay that way long into the cooler summer nights unless you open the garage doors to let the inside and outside temps equalize.

Do you keep your cars in the garage? Think about carbon monoxide fumes when you start your cars, lawn mowers, weed wackers, leaf blowers etc. The gas cans for all these machines can also leak fumes if not tightly covered.

The technique you are suggesting is sound. In Canada beekeepers keep their hives in barns like this with all the hives inside along the walls and all the entances outside. But the building is dedicated to this purpose and does not share space with other interests.

If this is your only option for keeping bees however, don't let it stop you from trying it and seeing how it works! You may find that they thrive in your little protected environment! Good luck and keep us posted on how it works out. Cheesy
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2006, 05:25:31 PM »

I've often, and currently do, have hives that are six inches from a wall FACING the wall so people walking by aren't walking in front of the hives.
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Finsky
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2006, 11:24:33 PM »

It is very common to keep bees in "beehouses" or what ever.  But I think that carage is too important to use as beehouse. One hive only is difficult to maintain.

And when you nurse hive it is difficult to see the combs. It needs light of sun and space to work.  I think that you meet more difficulties than advantages.

Here is beehouse from Finland. But these are not very populas any more. Another picture is from Slovenia.




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Ymbe
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2006, 05:11:43 AM »

I know that the bee houses in Slovenia, like the one Michael shows, have a tall roof space inside with ventilation at the top - this allows bees to escape after an inspection has disturbed the hive. You will need to consider this if you put the hive in the garage.

On the other hand some Slovenian bee houses sufficient room inside for honey extraction etc. Pretty handy as you can lift out a couple of frames, extract them there and then and off you go with ultra fresh honey!
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2006, 06:27:59 AM »

Quote from: Ymbe
I know that the bee houses in Slovenia, like the one Michael shows, have a tall roof space inside with ventilation at the top - this allows bees to escape after an inspection has disturbed the hive. You will need to consider this if you put the hive in the garage.

On the other hand some Slovenian bee houses sufficient room inside for honey extraction etc. Pretty handy as you can lift out a couple of frames, extract them there and then and off you go with ultra fresh honey!


You have obviously not had an invasion of bees in your " extracting space " whatever it is.

Not to say that you could not isolate the interior of the bee house from the outside but bees will be abuzzin around the exterior and become a nusance, IMO. You would have to pull the frames of honey when outside the house and then move inside to do the extracting. Better to remove yourself and the frames of honey to some point away from the bees and hives.

The smell of exposed frames of honey wafts in the air and bees find that quickly. More so in the dearth period.

I have had the experience of bees in the extracting room.
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Finsky
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2006, 07:07:33 AM »

Quote from: Jack Parr

I have had the experience of bees in the extracting room.




And there are many more flying insects which like to come after honey smell. House flies, fruit flies, blowflies, wasps. When I take honey into exracting room there are bees inside. At autumn robber bees wait the opening the door. And when you handle honey there shoud not be any another odors. Those odors go into honey. And if you have  mice holes  into the shelter you have a good mess.

Quote from: Ymbe
Pretty handy as you can lift out a couple of frames, extract them there and then and off you go with ultra fresh honey!


Once I saw jars in the crogery. The bottom of honey jars had a lot diffrent kind  of insect legs. Honey is as fresh where ever you extract it. You cannot eat 100 kg honey in one hour.
.
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Ymbe
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2006, 01:06:00 PM »

I can imagine the fun of extracting with a lot of bees buzzing around. How the Slovenians cope with this I don't know, but I've seen bee houses which are used like that; I assume they clear a super and remove it free of bees, but some must remain...anyone out there who uses a bee house as an extracting space who can shed [Cheesy pun intended!] light on this?
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Finsky
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2006, 01:32:59 PM »

Quote from: Ymbe
anyone out there who uses a bee house as an extracting space who


I suppose that it is not wise. To extract honey you need several containers and space to handle things. To extract a couple of frame is not possible because honey is spent to crease uncapping container, ectractor, sieves,    and the rest to final honey container.

I collect 100 kg = 7-10 medium boxes cappep honey before I start extracting.
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Trot
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2006, 08:52:50 PM »

I have been regularly visiting this forum, but today I joined just so that I can add my two cents worth on this discussion on bee houses:

There are a lot of beeks with bee houses (shads) in this part of the world. They range from Alaska and just below the Alaskan boarder in British Columbia, to right across the country. Of course they are open in front and only provide a place to hide from bad weather. If they are made properly they take full advantage of the sun - important in the cold parts of this continent.

The reason I'm writing is the need to shed a bit of light on those Slovenian Bee-houses - since none of the Slovenian members care to straighten things out.

Ymbe is looking for some light on the situation? So here it goes:
Firstly, Slovaks are people from former Checkoslovakia as Slovenians are from former Yugoslavia - there is a big difference!!!!
Slovenia is a small country on sunny side of Alps. Some time ago better known as Carniola !  
Yes, you got it! Slovenia is a birth place of Carniolan bee - Carnica...
Country is mountenous, to flat and about 80% covered in lush forests. Beekeeping can bee a bit of a challenge cause of terrain, climatic conditions and for the lack of a better word, sparse forage - with few agri areas with good forage crops.
In the past beeks kept bees in small boxes called "Kranjici" where bees would free-build comb and cause it was fixed (limited space) they would swarm often. Those swarms were the mainstay of Slovenian beekeepers. Their swarms were shipped by the tens of thousands, all over the world.
Cause of the nature of beehives a roof was needed to protect them from the elements. Thus the bee house was born - as we know it today. About a hundred years ago a new - modern hive - replaced the old kranjic - called - AZ hive.

Look at foto:

 http://users.volja.net/anton_zor/slike.htm

On picture are two (new) type hives, where the bottom part is brood chamber and middle and top is honey storage. On second hive you can see how is the hive closed with screens and on top of all this one closes the main hive door. (on second hive the door is off its hinges, for better pic.)
As you can see, this hives are easily stack-able - cause they are worked from behind.
All the talk about flying/attacking bees is nonsense. Each bee house has on one side a window and if any bees take to the air they fly straight to the light source and out through the trap on the glass window.
I have kept bees like this and we never used any protection at all. in fact I newer knew that protection existed until I came to Canada.

Extracting used to be done in those behouses, but with the EU and tougher helth laws, extracting is done now same as here. In those beehouses one often find a cot atop the hives and let me tell you - it is quite an teraputic experience to lay atop the hives an let your body absorb the hum and wibrations of milions of bees beneeth you...

Those bee houses are a national treasure and great pride for Slovenian Beekeepers. But in recent years LR hives are slowly taking hold - especially with young generation.
Measures are taken by the government to protect the unique bee houses of Slovenia and its Carniolan bee!

In years gone by, it was also a custom to paint the facades of their hives and they have been declared national treasures and are protected cause of their unique historical and monetary values...

Take a peak at some more fotos:

 http://www2.arnes.si/~sscrnomelj/drustvo/cebelnjaki.htm

http://www.phespirit.info/pictures/panjske/
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Andrew Tyzack
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2006, 02:34:12 AM »

I have often thought of keeping bees in the attic and making a hole in the roof. This would be in a town house of course and an attempt to keep them a secret from unenlightened neighbours...maybe they'd notice??? wink

Andrew
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TwT
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2006, 02:57:47 AM »

nice pic's finsky,, do those shed's and trucks and trailers have hives on both side's with a center walkway or is it just hive's on 1 side??
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Finsky
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2006, 03:57:37 AM »

Quote from: TwT
nice pic's finsky,, do those shed's and trucks and trailers have hives on both side's with a center walkway or is it just hive's on 1 side??


These was not my pics. The first picture was fron Finland and another from Slovakia.  This house system is expencive and rigid for beekeeping in our land.  We have had houses many in good old days when people had no cars (transport). Time is different.
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Ymbe
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« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2006, 05:15:15 AM »

Thanks very much to Trot for the information; the pictures of Slovenian bee houses are excellent - I particularly like the converted trailer, what a great way to move large numbers of colonies around. The hive front art is amazing - it's a toss up between Sawing the Hag and Snail Chasing Tailors for me at the moment...

Trot's story about laying on top of the hives and hearing/feeling the hum and vibration of the bees is incredible and I can only imagine what this experience must be like!

Perhaps you would humour me by responding to another question I have never heard a good answer to regarding bee houses of this sort: mixing (also called drifting). How much mixing of colonies in such close proximity occurs - presumable the hive art/colour helps the bees identify which is their hive, but some mixing must still occur. Is this a problem and are there any identifiable benefits?

I can see it might be problem from a disease point of view, but there could, I speculate, be a benefit of mixing because the colonies could conceivable support each other in development, build up and heat retention? For example, a strong colony would have more flying bees and therefore more would mix with weaker colonies potentially helping build up?

I know of at least one beekeeping here in the UK who keeps hives back to back in blocks of 4 and claims benefits from mutual heat retention, but how much real benefit this is I don't know. The given wisdom here is that hive placement should be in such a way to prevent mixing (broken patterns, differing hive entrance direction), but the bee house concept seems to fly in the face of that.

Any thoughts?
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Finsky
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« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2006, 08:10:46 AM »

Here is interesting pictures from Uzbekistan (from Slovenia to east)

Frame style is same and..... They use chest like beehives (long hive).

http://www.worldbees.com/cgi-bin/apimages/imageFolio.cgi?action=view&link=Uzbekistan-Ouzbekistan&image=21_uzbekistan.jpg&img=&tt=

In Ex-Soviet Union beekeeping was well kept but now systems have collapsed a little bit.

http://www.worldbees.com/cgi-bin/apimages/imageFolio.cgi?direct=Uzbekistan-Ouzbekistan&img=0

Frame size  http://www.worldbees.com/cgi-bin/apimages/imageFolio.cgi?action=view&link=Uzbekistan-Ouzbekistan&image=15_uzbekistan.jpg&img=&tt=
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Trot
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« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2006, 10:49:16 AM »

Quote from: TwT
nice pic's finsky,, do those shed's and trucks and trailers have hives on both side's with a center walkway or is it just hive's on 1 s
ide??


Hi TwT,

Sheds/bee houses have hives only on one side.
Trucks and trailers are for migratory beekeeping and to maximize the space, (and cost,) the hives are situated on both sides with a centre walkway - roomy enough for easy manipulation of the hives.

Regards,
Trot
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Trot
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« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2006, 11:16:44 AM »

Quote from: Ymbe
Perhaps you would humour me by responding to another question I have never heard a good answer to regarding bee houses of this sort: mixing (also called drifting). How much mixing of colonies in such close proximity occurs - presumable the hive art/colour helps the bees identify which is their hive, but some mixing must still occur. Is this a problem and are there any identifiable benefits?

I can see it might be problem from a disease point of view, but there could, I speculate, be a benefit of mixing because the colonies could conceivable support each other in development, build up and heat retention? For example, a strong colony would have more flying bees and therefore more would mix with weaker colonies potentially helping build up?
Any thoughts?



Very common concern for beeks who encounter hives in such close proximity.
In Germany they did some research on this matter in early 1950-s and surprisingly there were no drifting problems to speak of.
It is said that bees in such hives poses heighten sense of home protection and those that miss home door are swiftly chased off!
I have found it to be the same in my long years of keeping and observing bees.
I dare to ad that bees which are "closely stacked' are bees with different disposition (for lack of a better word."  They seem to be attuned to neighbours. They are healthier, better natured, also react as a close knit community... Seem to all know what is going on in respect on forage , etc...
I dare to say that they "communicate" or at least stay in touch within all the
hives within the bee house.

The above problems with which you are concerned are prevalent in freestanding colonies - which in my mind are viewed by each hive/colony as potential competitors and even enemies...

In free-standers, in my observations, is a lot of drifting (drifting to us) actually attempts to scout the enemy and if weaker or sick - is kept in mind as potential target...

This is something with which I have been wasting some of my 51 years with bees and keeps one thinking about the workings of a bee colonies which have been so successful in their 125 million years on this earth  - without any major changes in their system of governing...

Regards,
Trot
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ApisM
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« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2006, 03:37:28 PM »

Hello Trot,

Awesome pics.  how many colonies do you overwinter.  I'm from Red Lake, ON, so we have similar climates. Thanks for signing up and sharing your experiences.

Cheers,

Apism
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Trot
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« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2006, 07:36:56 PM »

Quote from: ApisM
Hello Trot,

Awesome pics.  how many colonies do you overwinter.  I'm from Red Lake, ON, so we have similar climates. Thanks for signing up and sharing your experiences.

Cheers,

Apism



Hi neighbour, and thanks for having me.
I gave up the business side of beekeeping in late eighties and now only keep a few hives to pa the time. I even tried without them but little girls won me back.
I usually don't have much to say, cause the new generation beeks have things pretty well in their grasp and I feel that if I just listen, I too have much to learn before my time is up. All that said, when things get a bit vague and if I can, than I will speak up and try to help things on the right track...

Regards,
Trot
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