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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Canton, Texas USA
    Posts
    533

    Question High wind-Hives vs. tornado near-miss

    We live upon a nice-sized hill, and I cannot complain about the almost daily winds that whip thru here, especially in the summer. However, I am a bit stumped about how high I can safely go up with my hives. It is mainly the thunderstorm winds that I am keeping in mind, as we are the starting point of tornado alley, and the winds can come in gusts of 60-70 mph up here, although 30-50 is most common. Consequently,. I have placed all my hives behind windbreaks of one sort or another. Now, I have a great deal of area for South and SE facing hives, but they would be unprotected.
    I really don't want to come out and see a few toppled hives or more. I see many pics of hives with only one brood box ,an excluder , and one medium super. Of course, I see pics showing more than that, but not as often...That does not strike me as a real honey-maker that I can harvest much from. So, I have that setup and two mediums instead of one. I figure that this way, I can leave one for winter feeding , and harvest the other.
    Now, my meandering mind dredges up up another idea--A stronger hive would/should have more brood space, so how about a brood box and one medium super for a brood area, and two more mediums atop them for honey? That's where the kink is in my line---I want strong hives, but the thought of them toppling over concerns me....Any kind thoughts or friendly advice from you good folks?
    Rick~ LtlWilli :confused:
    Last edited by LtlWilli; 05-02-2008 at 10:28 AM. Reason: Added info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    707

    Default

    Take the approach of those in hurricane prone areas and use tiedowns with ratchet straps.

    Think of the additional cost as the price to keep bees in a windy location.

    I don't know what the average harvest is in your area, but your ideas of reducing the size of your boxes in an effort to maximize your honey harvest does not make a lot od sense to me.

    I run one deep and one medium for brood/ overwintering, but will super four to six shallows high during the flow.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,397

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    LtlWilli, around here our flow is seldom long or strong enough to cause concern about tall stacks. 5 or 6 mediums (including brood nest, I'm all mediums) is about it in most cases. I have hives exposed to the same winds and have never really had a problem. Mine sit low on landscape timbers, but otherwise, it's just propolis holding things together.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Canton, Texas USA
    Posts
    533

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    Thank you, guys, for the good advice... I am a newbie, and just wanted to make sure of my course before launching off on it...I fear that making a lot of sense will plauge me for as long as I am still learning , and I look forward to the day when I will be able to render help to the newbies.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Default

    I picked up my nucs at Frankston today. Nice guy, nice nucs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,296

    Default

    The high winds here are what drove me to move the hives close to the ground (setting on four bys, 3 1/2" off the ground). The skunks then drove me to go to top entrances. But with the hives closer to the ground I haven't had any with BEES in them blow over. I do have stacks of empty equipment blow over all the time. Those 60 mph gusts also take off my shingles on a regular basis. I had four hives go over at once when I had them on concrete blocks.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Canton, Texas USA
    Posts
    533

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    Four at once?...YIKES!!!...I think I'd go screaming into the woods---never to be seen again....Just the thought of untangling that pileup is gonna cost me some sleep...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Yoder, CO
    Posts
    81

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    ~65 mph has been the limit on my hives before they start blowing over. Fix is screw in ground anchors and ratching cargo strap.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Canton, Texas USA
    Posts
    533

    Default

    That is a very good suggestion, mintong. I thank you for it. Tie downs are not expensive, and would go a long way toward relieving my worry and concern about the high wind...I love this hill--it has a very good scenic view for miles southward , and normally, the wind is quite pleasant.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

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    hives stacked tall with light box can be a problem. any 'like kind' problem I have had here has been with extreme winds usually associated with some tornado type storm. over the past several years I have had one hive topple due to extreme winds.

    the extreme windy conditions of the past week or so does seem to have the girls foraging a bit less.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Canton, Texas USA
    Posts
    533

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    I suppose now that my choosing to build all my boxes of true 1" milled red cedar has paid off. ...Yes...they are gonna make stacking a bit harder, I know.
    As proof of extra weight and good positioning, I can say that all of mine are still standing, after having a tornado pass less than a mile north of me this morning at 7:45. It did hit Canton, just to the east of me, and did damage in The Trades Days area. I see limbs down all around, but the hives are all in place on the SE side of large trees , hedges, and outbuildings.I have 3 on the east side of a big patch of bamboo also.
    God has spared us, and , I am grateful...Our home was directly struck twice within a 3 week period 11 years ago. This part of tornado alley is pretty, but there is always that danger of twisters and straightline winds. We are trying to contact friends and family who are still in the path of this storm cell.
    Ya'll take care.
    Rick~ LtlWilli

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