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Author Topic: BEES HANGING OUT  (Read 4525 times)
COLVIN
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« on: June 12, 2006, 01:40:22 PM »

I HAVE TWO HIVES THAT THE BEES ARE HANGING OUT THE FRONT AND COVERING THE ENTRANCE. I HAVE READ MICHAEL AND FINSKY'S VIEWS ON THIS AND HAVE APPLIED THE REMEDIES THEY SUGGESTED BUT THEY STILL HANG OUT.  I ADDED A TOP VENT ON TOP OF THE INTERCOVER THIS WEEK END TO ALL MY HIVES. THE HIVE BODIES ARE TWO DEEPS AND DEEP SUPER ON TOP. THE BEES SEEMED TO WANT TO HANG AT THE BOTTOM. TEMPS ARE VERY HOT HERE (95+ TEMPS) FOUND QUEEN LAYING IN BOTTOM HIVE THIS WEEKEND AND I MOVED SOME ABOUT TO EMERGE BROOD TO SECOND HIVE BODY. (ABOUT 4 FRAMES AND MOVED EMPTY DRAWN COMB TO BOTTOM HIVE. STILL HANGING OUT ABOUT 4-5 INCHES OF BEARD ON FRONT OF HIVE. NO SWARM CELLS SPOTTED AS OF DATE. IN THE MORNINGS THEY ARE OK BUT FROM AROUND 2:00PM ON TOO WAY AFTER DARK THEY JUST HANG OUT. MAYBE I NEED TO INSTALL A/C?  COLVIN
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tillie
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2006, 02:03:59 PM »

Hi Colvin,

I'm in Georgia too in Hotlanta where the temps are high late into the night.  With my top cover ventilated, a screened bottom board, and room to grow in the supers, my hives have been growing bigger beards every night.  MB and Finsky and Brian and others give feedback making me think this is all normal if you've met the above needs for ventilation and room to grow.  It's just hot here and they need to keep the interior of the hive at the right temp so extra bodies move onto the front of the hive to keep the interior from overheating.

Sometimes it looks like a barndance on the front of my hives.

I've recently added robber screens and they pile up inside the screen between the screen and the hive, so not much dancing is happening these days.  Looks like they're playing the 70's game of "phone booth" instead.

Linda T in Atlanta where the hives are hot
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2006, 10:03:51 PM »

Are you using a SBB?  Try putting one one with a slatted rack between the bottom board and the 1st hive body.  This goes a long ways toward alleviating bearding and calms the mind for those fearing swarms.
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Finsky
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2006, 12:02:27 AM »

95 F = 35C  is not enormously hot in shade but it depends in what kind sun spot hives are.

Let's think this theoretically. Brood area temperature is  90 F. In this situation bees keep hive cooler with water.  Inside hive it should be cooler than outside.

Do you think that when you add more and more ventilation inside hive it will be cooler?  Bees and larvae produces heat, of couse.

I think that there some limit to ventilation over which bees' cooling system disturbs.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2006, 05:26:38 AM »

Finsky,

Think of a hive as a factory--a honey factory.  Without air conditioning human workers can suffer heatstroke or similar problems working in a confined space.  I believe bees are no different.  Giving them the means of better regulating the mean temperature within the hive has to help--that's been my experience although I have made no scientific studies to prove my theory.
Proper ventilation does not prevent maintaining heat, but it does aid in reducing unwanted heat.  Whether you're a human or a bee.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2006, 07:52:22 AM »

>I think that there some limit to ventilation over which bees' cooling system disturbs.

I believe Finsky's point is that if you opened all the frames up to the outside air and it's 100 F then you have too much ventilation.  If you close it all up you have too little.  The question is, how much is just right?  Too much would definitely reach a point where the hotter outside air is not longer evaporating more moisture to cause coooler temps and is instead replacing that cooled air with hot air.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2006, 08:02:42 AM »

The answer to that question is use a system that allows management of air circulation by increasing or decreasing the amount of air available.  The smaller the hole the less air exchanged, the larger the hole more air is exchanged.
Using the tray on a SBB is one possible method for letting air flow through the hive.  
On the other hand, if the top is closed the bottom can stay open because the heat will hold inside like hot air in a balloon--even in the winter.
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2006, 09:10:12 AM »

I am making a slightly off topic observation here. A hive in the wild that hangs from a tree branch has no screened bottom or telescoping top. The hive would seem to be much more subject to winds and natural tempratures then in a hive box. I figure bees are fully capable of regulating the tempratures they require under these circumstances.

Now bees that live in a tree hollow may have one entrance but I have seen them beard outside of a tree opening. So even in a natural setting they may beard in order to cool down.

My thinking is this because I am in Florida proper air circulation is critical. I fiave seen the bees gather at the bottom of the frames when it is maybe to cool. The seem to vibrate and block the wind. It is fascinating to watch them  act as a natural airconditioning system. I just wish they would keep it a little closer to 72F /22.2C then maybe I could lower my electric bill.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2006, 10:04:40 AM »

Describe this ventilated top if anyone can please. Also, do shims help w/ temperature control? My "dog days" are just around the corner and i want to be prepared.
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tillie
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2006, 10:29:29 AM »

When I said the top cover is ventilated, I have mine propped up with a stick about the diameter of a quarter.  Some inner covers have cut out ventilation slots, but mine didn't come that way and I'm a klutz with a saw, so I was scared to try to cut out a notch - consequently I ventilate the top cover by keeping it raised up slightly with a stick.

The added advantage is that it gives the bees a back door which some of them seem to like.

Linda T in Atlanta
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Understudy
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2006, 10:55:37 AM »

http://beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=5176

Here are the plans I designed for one.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Finsky
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2006, 01:36:42 PM »

Quote from: Brian D. Bray
 Whether you're a human or a bee.


Bees cannot use internet. That is why I have thinked that I am human. Tongue

There are researches how bees regulate hive's inside temperature.
You may easily look  at your own hives why hive is too hot. It is not difficult.
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tillie
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2006, 09:54:28 PM »

A member of Metro Beekeepers tonight described a very simple ventilated top that he uses.  In the hot Georgia summers, he removes the inner cover and replaces it with a screen wire built into a 3-D frame.  

In other words he makes a raised box of screened wire about 4 inches tall and the width and length of the hive.  It is supported with a frame of wood molding and the screen wire is stapled onto the top and sides of the frame.  He sets that on top of the hive and puts the top cover over it.  The box is screened on three sides and the open side goes against the hive super.  The bees who might otherwise gather at the front of the hive, gather under the screen at the top of the hive.  

He combines this screen ventilated top with a slatted rack and a SBB on the bottom.  His bees don't then beard but rather hang out under the screen top contraption and in the slats of the slatted rack.

Linda T in Atlanta where it is hot and no rain for days
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2006, 10:55:01 PM »

>I am making a slightly off topic observation here. A hive in the wild that hangs from a tree branch has no screened bottom or telescoping top. The hive would seem to be much more subject to winds and natural tempratures then in a hive box. I figure bees are fully capable of regulating the tempratures they require under these circumstances.

Yes, but those trees are bearded with bees that aren't producing anything on hot days.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2006, 04:26:16 PM »

You guys must be engineers, you're making the solution too complex.  I use the KISS method when approaching a problem (Keep It Simple Solutions).  I make my telescope tops 3/4 inch wider than the long side of the hive.  I then cut a notch out of one side rib of the beespace on the inner top and staple in a strip of window/door screen--I use eather the beeescape or more screen to cover the escape hole.  This side goes up. Using some 3/8 strips I space the top so it is centered on the hive--3/8 inch free space on each side.
The air can circulate across the top of the hive in a gentle breeze (or a gale) and can be pulled down into the hive by the bees fanning.  The ventilation is there for the bees to use if they choose the rest of the time it affects nothing.
Call me addlepated if you will, but my experience has been that proper ventilation is one of the most overlooked areas in beekeeping and a well ventilated hive is dry, productive, and disease and parasite resistant.
How many times have you cracked the top off your hive and ad the rain fall between the frames--lack of ventilation and chillbrood or sacbrood is often found in such hives.
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« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2006, 07:08:53 PM »

Quote from: Brian D. Bray
You guys must be engineers, .....


Hey, I thought you weren't allowed to use foul language in the forums. Wink

Architects and engineers, the only profession where you can go to college for four years and come out dumber than you went in.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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COLVIN
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« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2006, 09:09:27 AM »

SINCE POSTING LAST:  I USE A TOP VENT THAT HAS SCREEN WIRE IN 3 HOLES ( 2" CIRCLES ) CUT IN A ONE X FOUR AND FITS ON TOP OF THE TOP COVER. IT IS THE SAME SIZE AS HIVE BODY EXCEPT ONLY 4" TALL. SEEMS TO WORK GOOD. IT STOPPED THE HANGING OUT. NOW THEY JUST SIT ON THE TOP COVER AND ENJOY THE VIEW. THE TELESCOPING COVER SETS ON TOP OF IT WITH NO PROPS OR SHIMS. I MAY USE IT WHEN I FEED IN THE BAGGY TYPE FEEDER THIS FALL.  I WOULD PICTURE IT BUT DON'T KNOW HOW.
COLVIN
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kensfarm
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« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2006, 10:18:30 AM »

Quote from: tillie
In other words he makes a raised box of screened wire about 4 inches tall and the width and length of the hive.  It is supported with a frame of wood molding and the screen wire is stapled onto the top and sides of the frame.  He sets that on top of the hive and puts the top cover over it.  The box is screened on three sides and the open side goes against the hive super.  The bees who might otherwise gather at the front of the hive, gather under the screen at the top of the hive.


I like that idea.. kinda like a roof deck for bees..  it would give them some  protection from preditors..  relief from overcrowding..  and a place to hang out and cool off.  I saw a cat-bird hanging out by the hives in the evening the other day.. didn't know if he was after a bee snack.. or just munching on the mulberry's.  I've never seen the mulberry tree's so packed w/ fruit.  I just started 2 nucs in the beginning of May.. the bees already seem to be working their magic.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2006, 06:58:17 PM »

>>I like that idea.. kinda like a roof deck for bees.. it would give them some protection from preditors.. relief from overcrowding.. and a place to hang out and cool off.

Which is why I use 2 slatted racks, 1 between the bottom board and the 1st brood box and the 2nd on top of the brood chamber in place of an excluder.  with a little ventilation up top the bees beard very little and have plenty of room to stretch out on hot days and a place from which to fan the hive.
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tillie
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« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2006, 09:02:58 PM »

Hi Brian,

I put slatted racks on my hives two days ago and the bearding has decreased markedly.  Do you take them off in the winter when you want the hive to conserve temperature?

Linda T in Atlanta
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