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Author Topic: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground  (Read 1988 times)

Offline ThomasGR

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Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« on: February 27, 2014, 06:34:46 AM »
Hello,
I am searching about the significance of aligning beehives to be totally horizontal. Is this is a must or bees do not care so much? I would appreciate giving me some source links for further reading. Of course your opinion is also very important.

Offline Moots

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2014, 07:52:29 AM »
Hello,
I am searching about the significance of aligning beehives to be totally horizontal. Is this is a must or bees do not care so much? I would appreciate giving me some source links for further reading. Of course your opinion is also very important.

Not sure exactly what you are asking.  :?

Are you asking about there being level?  Or, are you asking about a horizontal hive where you extend the frames and grow the hive by expanding horizontally instead of vertically?

If you are talking about the hive being "perfectly" level...it's really not that important, and I would say most are not.  The exception to that would be if you are foundationless and trying to get the bees to draw straight comb.  Even in that case, level side to side in more important than front to back...And if you give them drawn comb on each side of the foundationless frame, it's a lot less significant.  At least, that's my understanding.

If you're talking about horizontal hives, it's not nearly as common as the traditional vertical configuration, but it can certainly be done.

Hope this helps, if not, can you clarify "exactly" what you are asking.... :-D

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Offline ThomasGR

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2014, 08:07:10 AM »
It is difficult for me to express in English, that's why i did not find anything related to Google!

I think this is what i mean.
being "perfectly" level... ( Water on the top of the beehive do not run...  :'(   )

Offline Moots

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2014, 08:13:28 AM »
Hello,
I am searching about the significance of aligning beehives to be totally horizontal. Is this is a must or bees do not care so much? I would appreciate giving me some source links for further reading. Of course your opinion is also very important.

Thomas,
You've repeated your question, worded the same way...Still not sure exactly what you are asking.  Do you mean the importance of the hive being level?

If so, I'm not familiar with any research on the subject, but there are countless examples of managed and feral hives that do just fine and are not level...
"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 bud1

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2014, 08:20:02 AM »
level side to side is good. back to front it needs a tilt as it dosent run off inside either from condensation
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Offline iddee

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2014, 08:20:49 AM »
Moots, if water won't run off the top of the hive, he means perfectly level.

Thomas. it should be "almost" level across the top of the frames, or side to side in a Langstroth hive, as seen with your eyes. It should be lower in the front by a few millimeters, so water will run out, not in, the hive.
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Offline Moots

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2014, 09:07:41 AM »
Moots, if water won't run off the top of the hive, he means perfectly level.

Thomas. it should be "almost" level across the top of the frames, or side to side in a Langstroth hive, as seen with your eyes. It should be lower in the front by a few millimeters, so water will run out, not in, the hive.

Roger that iddee...somehow, I took his original post for his update...Early morning, sleepy eyes, small iPhone screen...who knows, go figure!  :-D

Anyway Thomas,
Pretty much the points they've made...I think the only things that the levelness of the hive will affect is moisture run off, either from the inside cover (condensation) or the bottom board (Rain).  As well as the bees ability to draw straight comb if not provided foundation.  Again, providing guide comb on each side "may" go a long way in reducing the need for being perfectly level in the case of straight comb.

I think that's about it....but sure others will hop in if I'm overlooking something.
"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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Online hjon71

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2014, 09:48:43 AM »
I will just add being perfectly level isn't THAT important.
It can become an issue if you continue to add supers all summer. As the height increases the hive that was a little off level will soon look to be seriously off level. And could create a tipping hazard. So it is an issue worth consideration.
Quite difficult matters can be explained even to a slow-witted man, if only he has not already adopted a wrong opinion about them; but the simplest things cannot be made clear even to a very intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he already knows, and knows indubitably, the truth of the matter under consideration. -Leo Tolstoy

Offline 10framer

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2014, 10:38:12 AM »
mine lean forward and like hjohn said when they get tall they look like they could tip.

Offline sc-bee

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2014, 10:10:58 AM »
mine lean forward and like hjohn said when they get tall they look like they could tip.

Same here..... if they would ever get tall :) No front to back not that crtical need a little tilt to drain if needed. Side to side by sight don't worry about a using a level (instrument) by no means. Just eyeball it :)
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Offline Cedar Hill

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 06:12:22 PM »
    During the Spring, Summer and Fall months, when you are feeding sugar syrup to a hive from a large gallon size top feeding jar it can be important that the hive be quite level to the ground.   When not level, the vacuum created in the jar may be too weak and will allow the syrup to leak much too quickly from the jar before the bees can get all of it.   During winter, it is important that the hive tilts forward quite noticeably so that the water vapor from the bees which will condense on the inside of the inner cover will flow from the cover to the front of the hive and not on top of the hive cluster itself.   If it is not tilted, the condensed water will drop on the cluster, freeze and may weaken or kill the bees.   OMTCW   

Offline Joe D

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 09:03:15 PM »
I have my hives under a roof over them.  The ones with SBB's are level, the ones that have solid BBs have a very slight tilt to the front.  I have a good many that are foundationless frames and a TBH.  I have thrown a level on them.  I know almost no one does things just like I do.  I had the places to put them and so I did.  One is a 10 X 30 deck the other is a 15 x 18 concrete slab with a roof.  Good luck to yuall




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Offline ThomasGR

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2014, 05:00:36 AM »
Thank you for the response,
I see that you can think about many practical issues about perfect level. Practical applications are more or less obvious, but still very important.
I started searching because i have noticed in a Greek book written by an aged beekeeper, that leveling the beehive must be done before and during main flow in order to help bees build combs and also help them with the storage of incoming nectar in the cells. There was not something else in this book.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2014, 05:32:52 AM »
Thomas,
If you look at hives in a hobbyist yard, most of the hives are as stated below. If you go into commercial beekeeper yard, they usually have 4 hives on a pallet with 2 hives side by side, backed up to 2 hives. They are only as level as the ground they are place on. A fork lift operator picks them off of a truck, finds an open spot and places the pallet on the ground. No leveling.
Jim
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Offline ThomasGR

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2014, 07:10:07 AM »
I got the point, it is a matter of low significance that i gave more attention than was needed. Thank you all for your time.

Offline T Beek

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2014, 09:57:01 AM »
Bees build comb in compliance with gravity's pull.  Depending on hive design, the key is to imagine this natural tendency and then adjust or level with that in mind.   Keeping 'frames' adjusted so gravity doesn't entice bees to build outside of them is the goal.

Unlike the majority of American Beeks, there are some Lang systems, especially in the North and parts of Canada that have "switched" their entrances to the 'long' sides from the short sides, primarily/allegedly for better 'behind' access when conducting inspections.  They generally have their hives either 'perfectly level' or tilted toward one 'short' side.  

They can look kinda funny to see a bunch of them scattered about in a yard, all tilting to one side…not always the same direction……. :laugh:

The objective of shedding water however, remains critical for the Hobby Beek IMO, both in consideration of your bees and your equipment, both of which will live longer with a means to shed water rather that hold it.  It has also been (again, for those in the North) advised that a slight tipping, while keeping frames 'straight and level' can mean the difference between life and death over winter, when considering potential condensation forming, freezing, thawing and dripping directing on a cluster of winter bees, effectively killing them.  No Fun….
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Offline T Beek

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2014, 10:03:41 AM »
ThomasGR;  I just added your website to my favorites…….very cool  8-)
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Offline capt44

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2014, 10:42:04 AM »
I tilt all my hives whether solid bottom board or screened bottom board.
The reason in condensation inside the top cover.
It will let the moisture drain down the inside of the hive rather than drip directly down on the cluster.
A bee can withstand very cold temperatures but at 32 degrees F water dripping on a cluster will kill them.
Richard Vardaman (capt44)

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2014, 12:23:56 PM »
Thomas,
I put my hives on 2"x4"x10' boards that are sitting on cinder blocks. I just adjust the boards so that the hives are leaning a little forward. This way I only have to set the boards and all of the hives are set.
Jim
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Offline Vance G

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Re: Absolute alignment of the beehive to the ground
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2014, 12:30:06 PM »
Only really important if you are drawing foundationless comb.  Side to side is a good idea otherwise but not mandatory with drawn comb.