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Author Topic: Something is warm in there  (Read 1500 times)
rayb
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« on: February 02, 2007, 08:59:07 PM »

The stores are heavy and it looks like something is warm in there. Hope they hang in there.

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Cindi
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2007, 10:36:44 PM »

Good picture.  I bet if they are heavy, and you feel warmth, they are having a very nice time in a peaceful little community, in their little tropical home.  Good show.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Denise
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2007, 10:52:58 AM »

All three of ours did the same thing when it snowed last month. The snow melted off the top of the hives. It was nice to see that knowing they were hanging in there and generating lots of heat.
It warmed up about a week ago and they were quite active. Cleaning house and whatnot. It was good to see them. Go ladies! Spring is coming.
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"I saw me life pass before me eyes. It was really boring." - Babs, Chicken Run
Trot
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2007, 11:22:03 AM »

Great to see that they are OK. But, seeing this on pictures - it could be worrisome - if the cold persists for a while?

I will guess that perhaps such hive is missing an inner cover? If inner cover is on, than  a piece of homosote (1/2 inch) should be on top of it and a piece of Styrofoam (1 - 2 inch) on top of this in winter.
Of course a notch, cut in the rim (3/8 x 3 inch) of the inner cover will aid in ventilation and draw out humidity.
Make sure that bottom and top entrance are on the same side!

Reason I say this, is:  When heat (as seen on picture) comes in contact with cold air, it condenses on the inner surface and if drips on the bees, it will kill them!  Thus the old saying: "The cold wont kill them, but the moisture/humidity will !"

Regards,
Trot
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Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2007, 11:27:00 AM »

Trot, nice to see you making a post.

I agree with all you said.  I actually did not realize how important it is to have the top and bottom entrance on the same side.  Mine are.  So I never actually thought about it.  Maybe others do not have this, so this is invaluable advice.

Bees are much like human.  If we get wet clothes, that is worse than if we had no clothes on, as far as heat retention goes.  Keep the bees dry!!!  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
rayb
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2007, 11:34:40 PM »

Good questions! The inner cover is in place and one end of it has a small gap for ventilation, but there is no insulation above it. Today , I did put a one inch layer of styrofoam board around the outside of the hive and put a two inch piece of insulation ON TOP OF the telescoping cover. Temperatures are forecast to 0 deg F.

?? Will the two inch insulation on top of the telescoping cover provide the same protection or must it be between the inner cover and outer cover?

Thanks, Ray
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Trot
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2007, 04:39:01 PM »

I would put the insulation UNDER the telescopic cover - there it will do the most good.
About being effective on top? I have really never seen, or heard of it ever being put there...  I would think that it could still create water vapour on the inner cover?

If you have center hole in inner cover?  Place a peace of 1/4 inch plywood, or something, to cover it. That way the bees cant go and chew the Styrofoam...
In winter one don't want the air to circulate through center of the hive, cause air/cold will go through the cluster.  In your climate it might not kill them - but will sure make it cold and miserable for the poor things... (They will have to work harder, more stress, burn more fuel.)
The only outlet on top should be on the same side as the bottom opening.
Even if bottom is SBB, the air will still raise on sides, (path of least resistance) and out on top... 

About insulating around the hive?  Not really needed at you temperature.
If you really insist on wrapping them - black tar/roofing paper is plenty good... Hive needs to absorb the sun - styrofoam is preventing that. It acts more like a freezer-box. Keeping cold in - keeping heat out!

Regards,
Trot
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Trot
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2007, 04:46:21 PM »

Cindi,

thank you! As usual, you are too kind...

Ray,
I forgot to mention... If you will keep the Styrofoam around the hive?
At least remove the one from the front of the hive - there the sun has to hit the wood to warm them up !

Regards,
Trot
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rayb
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2007, 05:02:36 PM »

Trot, thanks for the info, I'll go rearrange my insulation. This is my first year and really want to see the girls hang in there a few more months till the warmth returns. Hope they make it in spite of all my help Smiley

Thanks, Ray
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2007, 05:58:49 PM »

My covers are just 3/4" plywood with shims to make the top entrance.  I put styrofoam on top of that with a brick to keep it there.
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Michael Bush
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Trot
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2007, 06:38:36 PM »

MB,

I understand that. With migratory covers one doesn't have too many choices. But than you have it down pat, with all your years of trial and error.
My concern, in Rays' case, he has telescoping covers!? 
I too had made some boners through the years. I still do, not intentionally though.  Often just from plain forgetfulness, too much of a hurry, or taking things for granted. But I should add, that those boners are of more benign nature, cause bees lives and well being, that I take rather seriously.
I find that in our harsh winters, (our temp's are minus 30, for about a month now) so mother nature is not too kind with those who are prone to mistakes, or are not too keen on good-meaning advice...
What I am concerned about is, that telescopic covers tend to take in the cold on the sides and one usually ends up with wet bees or at least very cold and uncomfortable ones in the best of cases.
Main thing is: Migratory cover, Styrofoam on top. Telescopic - Styrofoam on top of inner cover and we all can sleep better...

I am glad that Ray is already taking appropriate measures, to correct things, as we speak. In my book, such people tend to have a better road to travel on.  And that make me sleep better... grin

Regards,
Trot
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Cindi
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2007, 07:49:54 PM »

Trot.  Good advice, you know your bees, that is for sure.

The biggest thing everyone MUST know is to keep the bees dry.  They can withstand extremely cold temperatures, way below the - degrees.  They just cluster tighter.  The only problem they have with the cold, as far as I can see, is if the cluster is too small and cannot move around enough to get to the food.   The larger clusters are able to generate more heat and have the ability to move around more than the smaller cluster.

I think that if people in the cold, cold climates go into winter with small clusters, then there should be a source of food very close.  That is the part of the beekeeper to ensure that the colony has enough stores they can reach.

This is honestly where I see that the sugar board would be a beneficial item.  Only as an emergency safety precaution.  But I am talking, really, really cold.  Should the cluster get really small through bee deaths then they can still get energy to keep their cluster warm.

The onus must be put back on the beekeeper to ensure that the bees have enough food for the expected entire wintertime.

We live in a reasonably mild climate.  BUT we are instructed even in our rather mild climate, to have at least 60 pounds of honey in the reserves for the bees, this is a minimum.  They may not use it all, but this food is there in case that they do.

I had 60 pounds in my hives when the bees went into the winter at the end of October.  In April they still had lots and lots of honey left.  They did not use 60 pounds, but it was there in case they required this.  My thoughts on this.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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