Okay, the hurricane is headed straight for me. I plan on strapping my six hives down with some strong rope and staking the ropes to the ground. What do you all recommend I use for stakes. I am worried that if the stakes come loose, they will become nasty little projectiles. I was thinking of using two by fours and sludge hammering them into the ground. I don't think they will come loose. What do you all think?
I also plan on making an entrance on the top of the hive in case of flooding. It would stink if all the bees drowned in the hive because they couldn't get out.
Man, I hope it turns and misses us, but it doesn't look good right now.
You can buy shims at the lumber yard and put one on each side to make an entrance on the top. If you have an inner cover you'll need to slide the telescopic to one side. If you have a migratory it will stil make an entrance. A bottom board on top will also make an entrance.
Strapping them down makes sense to me. You might also want to make them as short as is practical and leave the bees room. The taller they are the easier they fall.
I would use rebar instead of the 2x4's.
The rebar can be driven deep into the ground. With heavy rain the ground will loosen up and the wind will work the stakes.
I would also use the tie down rackets, instead of rope.
The other thing is if you can move them closer to a wind break. Downwind of a building, fence, scrubs, etc. something to break up the wind a little.
When Isabel came through here last year, she flooded the bottom 4" of my hives. The bees just moved up, I guess, because after the water receded, they cleaned out the comb that had been flooded--that's how I know the waters came up 4". Too, I just put a cement block on top of each hive. I did it for the wind, but it served to keep my hives from floating away. My friend had a brick on each of his hives and they wound up floating down the river.
I normally have a concrete block on my hives. If I don't the lids blow off on a regular basis. If I thought it was a hurricane coming, I'd put two on.
If you have a hurricane coming MB aren't we ALL in trouble. LOL I mean at that point I think we'd better start buiding a big boat and gathering the animals 2 by 2.
I didn't say that I think there is one coming, but what I would do if it did. I think that is a long shot. But I watched a tornado go by not so long ago.
A tornado ran RIGHT by where my bees are now a couple years ago so I should be good for a while. You know law of averages and all. Guess I've been lucky I have my hive cover propted open(ventilation) with an old queen cage and nothing on top to hold it down and it has stayed in place through all the bad storms we have had lately.
Actually, the odds of it happening again are exactly the same as the odds of it happening the first time.
Doesn't matter...if a tornado hits your hives no amount of stakes or blocks are going to save them !!
That's what I am starting to think about this hurricane. It now has sustained winds of more than 140mph. The strom is so big(300 miles in diameter) that if it hits, it will be there for about 20hrs. I am starting to think the bees might not have much of a chance. But I am going out this afternoon to strap t hem down. I hope a tree or something doesn't fall on the hive. We are planning losing a lot. We live on the water, and flooding is a real possibility. We went and got water and supplies last night and boarded up the windoes. I'm not going in to work tomorrow so I can spend the day making preparations.
The latest report shows the storm passing through Vero Beach. This is about five miles from my home. I think we are going to go to Fort Meyers, which is on the west coast of Florida not far from where Charley hit a few weeks ago. We may go to Atlanta, we have family there.
OK, here's my 2 cents:
1) Even Cat. 1 hurricanes are going to blow over hives even with a couple of cinder blocks. Like the other poster said, keeping them short will help (2 deeps + 1 super max.) Make sure their is room so you don't end up starting them swarming.
2) Stake 'em down. I would definately go with the rebar and ratchet nylon webbing straps. Forget the rope.
3) I wouldn't prop up the lid. Any air space will allow the wind to grab hold and pull the top off.
4) Probably the best idea if you aren't planning on sticking around is seal them up at night with a screened top and screen across the entrance(s)... like you were moving them... then MOVE THEM INTO YOUR GARAGE or an air conditioned room. If your house survives, so will the bees. If your house is so damaged that the hives are knocked over, then the bees will help protect your house from vandals! I can see the headlines now... Hurricane blows beehives into living room!
Okay, I'm back and alive.
I survived hurricane Frances, but man what a ride. I just got my phone restored yesterday, and this is the first time I have been able to log on since Sept 1st. There is good news and bad news. I had six hives - four survived the storm. As I suspected, The winds were not the issue, flooding was. Our yard was about three feet deep in salt water from the storm surge. My house was about 3 or four inches deep in water. One hive died because I was stupid and took the hive off of its stand so it wouldn't fall over. Instead, it drowned. I ended up using 2x4's as stakes and a good quality nylon rope to tie them down. This worked beautifully. The stakes didn't even pull up with the flooded soil. A few banana trees fell on a couple of hives and did no damage, but it didn't seem to aggitate the bees like I thought it might. I have heard that the alarm pheromone smells like bananas. Curiously enough, the hive that had the fallen banana tree over them died, while four hives directly next to this one made it through the storm just fine. The bad part is that any and all flower blooms have pretty much been blown away. I also have to live with my mother-in-law while my house is repaired. Hurricanes blow! I couldn't resist.
[This message has been edited by ewetmill (edited September 20, 2004).]
I was wondering about your outcome. Good to see you are ok. It is also nice to hear most of your bees did ok.
I never thought about the flower thing, looks like you are gonna have to feed. At least your winters are usually short and mild.
Good luck with mom in law