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Author Topic: Beards and roaches  (Read 4610 times)
tillie
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« on: May 25, 2006, 11:44:18 PM »

I'm really concerned.  One of my hives has an ever-increasing beard every night.  I can add another super tomorrow, but they have not built out the most recent one 3/4 of the way yet.  I've posted about this before and read other posts and every time the answers are about the heat and need to cool the hive.  Maybe by August when it's REALLY hot, the entire front of the hive with be bee-covered???

http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2006/05/comparing-beards.html

Here's the same hive about one week ago, same time at night:

http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2006/05/its-saturday-night-and-bees-are.html

In addition I can see in tonight's picture taken at 11:40 PM that there are huge roaches - we call them Palmetto bugs - under both hives.  I can count nine under the hive with the biggest beard.  

Is there anything I can/should do about them?  We see them in Atlanta all summer long.  Will they eat the honey?  the brood?  

Help!

Linda T in Atlanta Sad
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2006, 11:51:24 PM »

Are you using screened bottom boards or slatted racks?
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tillie
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2006, 12:16:02 AM »

I have a SBB on each hive.  It's open below to the deck - about an 8 inch drop or more.  

 In addition, I have the top cover propped open with a stick about 3/4 inch in diameter.  

The hives are on my back deck -- which is probably the coolest place in the backyard.

Linda T
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2006, 12:24:34 AM »

Linda,

You might want to try slatted racks as they do seem to help mine with ventilation. (http://betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=308)

I would probably go ahead and add that other super too..

As for the roaches, I have not seen any problems from them yet but others might disagree...
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2006, 12:40:04 AM »

The slatted rack gives the bees a place to spread out and also from which to fan (circulate air through the hive)  I've changed the design on mine.  I use 1 1/2 inch wide pine and drill 1 inch holes into which I place 1 inch dowling running the same direction as the frames.  With the slats spaced the same way and the distance apart as the frames the mites still fall through, not landing on the bars where they can hitch another ride.  The dowling actually allows more bee to cluster on the slats or bars than does the square slats.

If the hive gets too hot fill the boardman feeder with just water, the bees will take what they need for airconditioning.
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tillie
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2006, 12:54:58 AM »

I'm going for the slatted rack

(what does slatted mean and why is it not a slotted rack?)

but I continue to worry - we haven't begun to be as hot as it will get in Atlanta - we're still having 65 degree nights and in a month or so it will be 70 something all night long at best.  

It's funny that one hive is having more of an issue with this than the other, although the less crowded hive is making more honey than the more crowded hive....maybe the more crowded hive has to use more energy to cool itself.

Beekeeping seems to be such a live and learn experience so far  rolleyes

Linda T in Atlanta
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tillie
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2006, 12:57:46 AM »

To answer my own question:

slat  (slt)
n.
1. A narrow strip of metal or wood, as in a Venetian blind.
2. A movable auxiliary airfoil running along the leading edge of the wing of an airplane.
3. slats Slang The ribs.
tr.v. slat·ted, slat·ting, slats
To provide or make with slats: slatting the back of a chair.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Middle English sclat, from Old French esclat, splinter, probably of Germanic origin.]

Like I said, live and learn......LT
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2006, 01:27:18 AM »

I actually use 2 slatted rack of my own design.  1st as is customary and the 2nd in place of a queen excluder.  More room means less likelyhood of swarming.  More room with which to circulate the air keeps the hive cooler and better able to evaporate the excess water content from the nectar.
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TwT
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2006, 12:45:49 PM »

I bought one from betterbee last year then used it as a pattern to make some myself, I have still yet to use one Wink, I like the ones from betterbee because the rack go the same way the frames do... I wouldn't worry about the roaches, they dont seem to hurt anything...


http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=308
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2006, 12:20:16 AM »

TwT,
Try using it, I think you;ll be happy with the results.  The one from betterbee is the one I'd recommend although it's not the one I use.  Due to the necessity of inspecting hives from behind, due to my wheelchair, instead of the side.  I make my entrances so that they're on the wide side which necessitated a modification to the slatted rack too.
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tillie
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2006, 08:09:39 AM »

I added a super yesterday and am waiting for the slatted bottom board to get here.  

After adding the super, the bees still bearded in just as large a beard as the night before.  

I'm going to ask about bearding here in Hotlanta at the next Metro Beekeep meeting - maybe this is just what bees do here.  If that's the case, by August I should have some heckuva beard!

This is such a great forum - I have learned so much and everyone is so generous with their time -- you all are the best!

Linda T in Atlanta  Cheesy
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2006, 10:18:12 AM »

Just make sure they have ventilation and room in the supers.  I like the SBB and the top entrances for the ventilation.  I also have slatted racks, but since getting the SBB I don't see that them make much difference.  Someday I'll cut all mine down to dight frames, but they are all for ten frames and my bees are all on eight frame or long hives now.

If they have adequate room and ventilation and they are still bearding it's just the heat.  That's normal.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2006, 10:23:24 AM »

I just looked at your picture.  That's nothing.  A beard will cover sometimes the whole front of the hive from top to bottom and half way around the sides with clusters of festooning bees.  Smiley  Still, I'd make sure they have ventilation and room and then don't worry.

This isn't a beard, it's a swarm being hived, but this is what they sometimes look like:

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/SwarmBeingHived.JPG
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
tillie
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2006, 10:26:59 AM »

Thanks for the clarification, Michael - your pictures are always helpful.  

I have read and read the bee books, but nothing helps me learn more than my own experience and the sharing that others are willing to give from their experience.

Linda T in Atlanta
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TwT
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2006, 11:43:28 AM »

I have SBB's and BB's but all hives have a top entrance and it is used for ventilation also, when august get here my bee's will still beard the width of the bottom board and be hanging down about 8-10 inches and be about 6 inches thick...
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
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tillie
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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2006, 12:07:18 PM »

Thanks, Ted - it's just HOT in Georgia - not as hot as Mississippi where I grew up, but plenty hot, nonetheless - thanks for your Georgia perspective!

Linda T in Hotlanta
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TwT
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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2006, 12:33:08 PM »

aw, another move to Ga from that area, what part mississpi you from? my wifes from McComb, Im from Denham Springs La....we moved here to Ga in 89, will move back one day Wink
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic
tillie
Super Bee
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Location: Atlanta, GA

Bee in N Georgia on a Blackberry flower


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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2006, 12:36:34 PM »

I grew up in Natchez - where my two brothers and parents still live.  I've been in Atlanta for 25 years now and not likely to go back.

One of my brothers has a blueberry farm as a side occupation there and hires beekeepers to put hives on his property.  He said his yield last year almost doubled with the help of the bees!

Linda T in Atlanta now
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2006, 03:17:44 PM »

I ventilate my bees top and bottom.  I use a SBB that I make myself that has the entrance on the long side and is for eight frames.  I then place a slatted rack with slats running parallel to the frames.  the brood chamber is 4 mediums (unlimited setup) with another slatted rack and then the supers intended for harvest.  On the top I use a vented inner top by cutting out a segment of the framework and screening it.  I make the TTs 3/4 inch wider so that air can circulate freely.  The amount of ventilation can be controlled by putting in the tray on the SBB and  duck taping all or part of the screened vent on the inner top.
This is in rainy Washington--it keeps the moisture buildup inside the hive minimal and allows for maximum air circulation when the bees are fanning, which aids in evaporation.
I think this system just might work even better in areas where excessive heat is more of a consideration than moisture.
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Apis629
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« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2006, 03:23:37 PM »

You think it's hot in Georgia?!  Try Florida.  Average summer conditions are in upper 90s to 100 and hummidity to match.
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« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2006, 11:32:51 PM »

I may have to take back my advice about the slatted rack. While it does seem to work well for ventilation it also seems to give the hive beetles a place to hide. I took a hive down today all the way to the rack and there were a lot of hive beetles all in the grooves of the slatted rack. I have removed the rack and will check next week to see if that helped.

Does anyones else have this kind of problem with slatted racks?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2006, 11:59:34 PM »

Will now, that's a problem.  Up here in the Pacific Northwest I've never seen a Hive beetle.  So That's a problem I wouldn't have been able to foresee.  But for those who live in areas without SHB I still suggest using slatted racks.
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