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Author Topic: Smoke and Fire - how close is too close?  (Read 1788 times)
2-Wheeler
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« on: November 15, 2006, 10:31:18 PM »

I have another question about wintering.  I located my hive in close proximity to a year-round water source, which is an irrigation ditch. However, in the late winter, I am required to burn-out the ditch to free it from weeds and debris. This comes in the form of a "controlled burn" where only the tall grasses burn and it goes fairly quickly. Here are a few snapshots of the action:





Anyway, my question is this: Since the grasses to be burned are only within a few meters of the where the  hive is located, should I take any special precautions before doing the burn this year? Obviously I will stand-by with hose and rake to make sure the flames don't lick the hive. But would the smoke be a problem for the bees? (the burn wouldn't be close to them for more than just a few minutes I should think)

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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2006, 08:23:19 AM »

As long as they don't get smoked too heavily or too long, and it looks like that won't be a problem.

Just keep the area around the hives mowed down, and the hose handy and you should be ok.

And the smoke might cause an additional mite drop  grin

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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2006, 09:34:09 AM »

I know our firemen use a ingition fuel, I'm not sure if it is a kerosene of what, but I would be careful of fumes getting trapped inside the hive too.

This one is for the better educated - but these are really only 5 choice I can think of:

1) keep the ignition fuel far away from the hive.

2) block the entrance during the sirt time - even taping wouldn't hurt as long as temeratures from backfires were not a factor - there is plenty of air in ahive for short downtimes.

3) vent the outer cover so that air naturally drafts through the hive (not a very good choice after thinking of it - it could pull excess heat and fumes in a chimney effect into your hives.

4)give yourself a sizable boundry to keep away from the hives - one that insures they don't RUN OFF due to instinctually habits relative to smelling fire.

5) Move the hives and burn off all the area.

I'm sure you'll get other answers too - but these are some which came to mind.
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2006, 10:13:08 AM »

Break out the weedeater  huh
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2006, 07:52:03 PM »

heat rises and will take most smoke along in a fast burn.  can you put a high board in front of the hive while it burns by? maybe some plywood?   that should force most heat and smoke over the hive.
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2006, 08:16:25 PM »

I would just stay away from the hives some and burn the rest, you should be ok though. Like stated before the smoke should rise quickly.
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2-Wheeler
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2006, 02:29:12 PM »

Thanks for all the good tips. I'll try to remember to post an update sometime in January after the burn.
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2006, 02:55:31 PM »

get yourself a sytche, cut it, pile it somewhere else, burn it
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Trot
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2006, 07:30:00 PM »

Mici took words right out of my mouth...

Why asking?
What I see on pictures - it only burns where nobody tended the grass?!
So, cut it! Whack it! Clean a wider swath and you won't have to worry about bothering the bees...

Regards,
Trot
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2006, 03:48:00 AM »

Hi 2-wheeler,
                  Just wait till the wind is blowing away from the hives, start your fire near them and just be aware of any slow back-burn. On a day with a gentle breeze in the right direction it should be a piece of cake.
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2-Wheeler
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2006, 01:52:55 PM »

Mici took words right out of my mouth...

Why asking?
What I see on pictures - it only burns where nobody tended the grass?!
So, cut it! Whack it! Clean a wider swath and you won't have to worry about bothering the bees...

Regards,
Trot
Good questions. I cut everything I can, but where it grows wild is where I can't cut because of the slope along the creek bed or in the bog. The large open area in the photo is a bog most of the year. The tractor can't get close. The Ditch Authority requires me to burn it out every year. If I don't burn, they will and won't be so careful.

This area is naturally a prairie and lots of native grasses and tumbleweed grow where they can find water.  In the western US, the ditch authorities are more powerful than the local sheriff. 
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2006, 02:59:08 PM »

2-Wheeler , sounds like the ditch authority is like the water management district here in florida.
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2006, 04:15:43 PM »

we don't have a ditch authority, but i have a ditch.  bad things happen when you don't tend to the ditch!  after the floods of '96 i am very careful to keep my ditch clear!!
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2006, 12:04:19 AM »

Here in Washington we have Dike Districts.  There job is to keep the rivers inside their banks.  But during a month setting new volume rain records its hard to keep the water in the river.
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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2006, 10:28:03 AM »

Don't worry a few meters is ok, provided not to take too long time. 1-2 days is still all right.
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