Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    769

    Question

    I've been keeping bees for about 2 years and it seems that more ventilation is better. I'm using SBB on all hives and prop open the hive tops a couple of inches. Still, I suspect more air flow would be better. Does anyone have any experience with using a fan to fraw air up through a hive ? Any dos/don'ts for ventilating hives ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

    Post

    There's a guy on ebay who sells hive covers with solar-powered vent fans. I was thinkking about building an observation hive with a low-cfm fan just to help change the air more evenly. Michael Bush recommended against it, saying the bees are their own best temperature regulators. I suppose that's right. But, if I had more than one hive, I'd try it, just to satisfy my curiosity.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

    Post

    Additionally, I'm wondering if the bees didn't have to use so much energy for fanning, would they produce/save more honey? Or are they gonna fan anyway, just because that's what they're supposed to do?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    I've been wondering that since bees nests are made of wax, that I should coat the inside of the wooden ware with melted wax. I wonder if this helps them to regulate the humidity?

    Any comments?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    fall city Wa USA
    Posts
    112

    Post

    The wood would absorb less humidity if you wax coated the inside. Cut wood stabilizes at 8 to 10% moisture content in most climates outdoors. Seal it and you are somewhat locking the MC for the duration of the sealer effectively stabilizing it between seasons. I would think bees like wood beacuse it allows them to utilze its ability to fluctuate hive MC with the environment. Just thinking outloud. If you wax coated I would think the vent fan would be a requirement. Then you would possibly have a counter effect in the cold of drawing in colder air than you would want. If the temp never dropped below a certain level or you could regulate the operation of the fan by temp it would make sense.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

    Post

    Daisy, I think the bees will eventually varnish the inside of raw woodenware with propolis. I wonder if waxing the inside would encourage burr comb?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,794

    Post

    I think a passive ventilation system is best for these reasons:

    1. The bees can control it.

    2. You don't have to fix it (no moving parts)

    3. It's cheaper.

    I would just used the SBB and maybe some ventilation on the top like an inner cover with a top entrance or a Imirie shim (make one or buy one from Brushy Mt. or a D.E. vent kit (www.beeworks.com).

    Coating the inside with beeswax will increase the burr comb. I don't coat them with anything, but the bees do. The parafin and gum dip sounds like a good idea, but I never had the time or the equipment to try it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    769

    Big Grin

    True, bees can do it cheaper, less work for beekeeper, etc. On the other hand, we arn't keeping bees in a natural (for them) situation. We expect them to produce a hugh (again for them) honey surplus, force them to have large colony populations and live in a hive. So the natural air circulation mechanisms are probably not adequate. Someone did the math (I can't find the article at the moment) - it takes a LOT of air to cure a pound of honey. Imagine the work (energy=honey) it takes for the bees to do it the natural way. Also, I read somewhere that lower hive humidity adversely affects the varroa mites.

    THANKS for all of the feedback.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,794

    Post

    I have gotten huge crops with the DE ventilation units and I didn't have to make sure the fan was working and the bees didn't have to counter-act it so much on cold nights.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Post

    I used my computer fan supers again this year and I am a firm believer in that they absolutely increase the yield. I have mine controlled by a THERMOSTAT so cooler nights are not a problem.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
    Posts
    456

    Post

    How about on the heating side? don't get the bee journal with the article on solar heating, comments? experiences?

    [This message has been edited by wfarler (edited September 02, 2003).]

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    769

    Post

    Solar heating might cut down on winter losses if the hive could be kept above freezing, some fresh air circulating and humidity removed. I'd be interested in reading any articles or experiences about how to do this.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    About the DE hives.

    Isn't it just about as affective to add the empty super box on top of the stack and screen over the top of the super and tilt up the cover? I have extra boxes I use for inside feeding.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,794

    Post

    >Isn't it just about as affective to add the empty super box on top of the stack and screen over the top of the super and tilt up the cover? I have extra boxes I use for inside feeding.

    I'm not sure exactly what you're describing, but anything that provides ventilation on the top helps and if it provides some "attic" space that is bee proof and ventilation it's even better. I often take a medium super and put holes in the ends with hardware cloth over them (#7 or #8) and a either a piece of plywood nailed on top or a migratory or telescopic top on it for a lid, and an inner cover with a couple more holes in it covered with hardware cloth.

    I may have to rethink how much I need on top now that I'm changing over to Screened Bottom Boards.

    The DE Vent kit is well planned and adjustable for winter and summer. It's also a bit expensive, but it is really nice.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads