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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Huntsville, al
    Posts
    3

    Default Paint top black to help keep warm in winter

    I am an engineer so I sit around thinking about things like this. I can't help it. I was thinking, why not paint the top of the hive flat black in the winter to help keep the hive warm? Any comments?
    thanks
    Gregg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
    Posts
    190

    Default

    Can be done and does work. But it also means you need to have a second set of rooves for when the weather warms up, or you're working against them trying to cool the hive down.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Fairfield, Connecticut
    Posts
    597

    Default

    If you have tar paper laying around wrap it with that and make a cut for the entrance
    If it isn't broken, don't try to fix it. If you build it, they will fill it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Madison Heights VA
    Posts
    396

    Default

    Paint the top Black and you are heating the top. It's the cluster of Bee's that need to be warm not the top. You are in Alabama forget about it. Give them ventilation. (Humidity Control) They will control the temp.
    Curtis

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tip of the Thumb, Michigan
    Posts
    676

    Default

    Keep in mind... I've only HEARD of this and can't provide any documentation:

    I once heard of a northern state beekeeper that painted the front and one side of his hives white, and the other side and the back black. In the summer, the white side and the white southern exposure would get the sun. In the fall, the beekeeper would turn the hive 180-degrees around on the bottom board and have the black side get the sun first, and then the black southern exposure would face the sun, all winter long.

    No idea if it works, though.

    Personally, I wrap in tar paper. This year, I'm planning on double screening my hives AND wrapping in tar paper!

    DS

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Randolph County, Indiana
    Posts
    693

    Default

    BigDaddy, what do you mean by double screening?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tip of the Thumb, Michigan
    Posts
    676

    Default

    The basic idea behind double screening is pretty simple to grasp.

    Since heat travels upward, it stands to reason that two hives stacked one on top of another should be able to "share heat" for the duration of the winter. (They're also sharing queen pheremone which tells the hive that everything's okay, too, but that's aside the point.)

    Now, if you simply placed a piece of window screen between the two hives, stacked one on top of another, the lower bees will bite the feet off of any bees from the upper box who land on the screen. But... what if you separated the two hives with a rim? And used two pieces of window screen, one on the top and one on the bottom of the rim, which are separated by about 1/4 inch of space? That way, they'd still share heat, but they couldn't bite at one another! Do you follow?

    The upper hive will need to have an entrance, which should be placed opposite the lower hive's entrance, to prevent drifting. Likewise, because of the added moisture of a second hive, you need to have superior ventilation to disperse moist and humid air given off through normal respiration.

    The major downside to this method is the weight of (deep) brood boxes and honey supers, which need to be stacked high atop the lower hive. Feeding with a hive top feeder of any sort becomes nearly impossible, due to having to move all the heavy boxes. And spring inspections, needless to say, are tougher also. It should be noted that if any "mechanical" failure of the hive should occur (like a moisture problem, or a wind gust toppling the hive), you'll probably lose both colonies.

    In the spring, should both hives survive, you simply separate them and place the upper hive on to it's own bottom board, and provide top covers to the lower hive.

    Simple, no?

    DS

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,729

    Default

    Black will cause more heat loss at night and more heat gain in the day. Sort of. The sun isn't straight up in the winter, as it is in summer, so the heat gain will be a lot less.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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