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  1. #21
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    Oct 2009
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    Louisville Kentucky USA
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    458

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    delber, The double screen dont cause humidity,lack of ventilation by wrapping them up tight causes humidity. You have to consider that stacie is in Georgia and you are in Pa. hive wrapping down here(Kentucky on down) is pretty much a waste of time. I've seen bees fly out of hives that were heated up by the sun on tarpaper and never get back in from the cold. If humidity is a problem then you need to make sure you have a vent open at the top so it can escape.I dont even block off the screened bottoms on my hives.I just make sure there is a vent in the inner cover to allow airflow,usually right at the front,and then I cover the hole in the center of the inner cover with a piece of insulboard (or anything that will absorb the moisture and still allow a little air to flow) and toss on the outer cover and wait for spring.If a hive is weak sometimes I will put a candyboard on top.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Hemichiuck, thanks for sharing!!! I often figure out what I'm going to do and think that this is the "best" way to do things. In reading this thread I didn't consider location. Thanks for sharing about the tar paper also. That's very good to know.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Delber, another piece of information that might be helpful in regards to wrapping hives,I got this from a conversation I had with the state apiarist here. He said that they did a study where they put temperature probes into bee hives during the winter to graph the internal temperatures as the season went on. They observed that the temperature inside a beehive is about the same as the temperature outside the hive.The only place inside the hive that is warm is inside of the cluster. So if your insulating a hive and wrapping it up with stuff to hold heat I would imagine it is kind of like super insulating your house and not turning on the heat.It would be just as cold inside as it is outside.Now if you were walking around in a snowmobile suit inside your house(like the cluster)you would be warm but you would not be generating enough heat to have any effect on the temperature in the house. But you would be putting off some humidity and heat gain from your roof could also cause some humidity in the house(ie,condensation on windows)unless of course you left a door open to let the air flow through which would equalize the temps and eliminate the humidity. Cold dont kill the bees,humidity does. Now in your climate,according to where your hives are located, you might not be able to overwinter like I do. Kentucky dont have the bone chilling winters that you guys have but we do get cold spells.My biggest problem is early spring where it might go up to 50 for a couple of days and then drop back down to 10 degrees in a matter of hours and stay there for a few days, The bees will break cluster and go out to fly around and when they are forced to go back into the cluster they get caught in a part of the hive that dont have a lot of food.I've had some hives starve out 2 inches away from a frame full of honey. The extreme swings in weather here have been some of my worst nightmares.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    I have many of the same problems as hemichuck. Here it seems as well as there that the big problems are the wild swings in temperature and cold starvation as I call it. I've been trying to explain for a long time that insulation is unnecessary because the bees don't heat the hive. Sometimes falls on deaf ears because people insist on using pointless comparisons like a house with the window open. It doesn't apply.

    Last year, I did all lower entrances over winter. This year, I'm shutting down all the lower entrances and using reduced upper entrances with my entrance shims upside down to make an awning for snow. This may have an effect of helping to eliminate warm drafts from the bottom making the bees think it is warmer outside than it is. It also reduces or eliminates condensation because moist air rising from the cluster will be removed more directly.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Solomon, I agree with you completely,I think Arkansas is very similar to Kentucky with regards to weather patterns. I thought about going to top entrances myself for the same reason.We sometimes get 6 or 8 inches of snow that cover all of the entrances and then the next day it will swing up to 40 or 50 degrees and the bees will be blocked in the hives. I go out and knock the snow off the fronts of my hives but I have hives in several other spots that are not afforded that luxury. I have some hives at a farm that I own about 30 miles up in Indiana and the weather there is drastically different than it is at my house.I'm thinking about changing those to top entrances.This next spring I plan on eliminating all of my landing boards and just going to a hole in the front of the hive to combat SHB. I know from doing cutouts and bee removals that the landing boards are not needed. I have done cutouts on buildings that had a small 3/8 inch hole in an overhang and when you open it up there would be 200 lbs of honey and 60,000 bees. They just dont need much entrance to defend.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    If the tar paper does heat the inside of the hive up a little during the sunnier days wouldn't that help to enable them to perhaps break cluster a little and get the honey that's 2" away? I realize that in Pa it is colder than in the south, however I'm in southern Pa which is warmer for sure than the northern half of the state. We dont usually get below 10 during the winter. Single didgets is a rare thing here. However it does stay cold for a good ammt of time, however it's often sunny better than half of the week. My thinking is that would help heat things up inside to help them move around a bit. I am using upper entrances to deal with the moisture thing. Any thoughts?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Delber,if it works for you by all means keep doing it.Our temps rarely stay cold for long periods but it does happen. I was at a bee meeting last night and they were selling this wrap for hives that was a dark plastic on the outside and like foam on the inside I guess to gain heat but still have airflow.They were charging $8 per and I have about 30 hives so thats about $240. About half of my hive bodies are painted dark green anyway so I guess they gain enough heat on their own. Up in your area I would be more concerned with snow drifting or blowing through the bottom screens so I probably wouldnt leave them open like I do here.Do you guys get the quick ups and downs in temperature like we do? I come up to Pa.every year for the Chrysler show at Carlile. Its a beautiful state, lots of history.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    roswell, georgia, USA
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    I think the bees activities are determined by them equating that what is going on INSIDE the hive (temperature-wise) is being directly affected by what is happening outside. I don't think they send Karen - the eye witness weather bee, outside to report back whether it's OK to do a cleansing flight, or it's time to tighten up the cluster, or time to drag in water and start fanning the brood during summer-time.

    Bees have dealt with weather for a good long time, but since we have thrown them into these 3/4" thick pine box homes, I don't imagine that artificially heating (ie thermal wrapping) hives in Nebraska, Montana, Fargo... when the temps dip down into the teens (& way below) for a month heats the inside of the hive to the degree that they think its ok to break cluster or run outside to the outhouse.

    Except than in prolonged & extreme conditions (certainly not Decatur, GA), anything other than limiting bottom drafts and providing for some top ventillation is probably pretty sketchy by introducing a false environment.

    Dry sugar (mountain camp) is a great moisture-control agent, but finding hundreds of bees frozen on the top of it having tried to feed tells me to use a different method - you can read plenty of pros & cons accordingly. Lots of bees and immediately-adjacent food in frames vs having to break a small cluster for food sources - good luck making it thru winter.
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sudbury,Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    I was hoping the guy in the video would use a hammer
    instead of a hive tool to take the bees off the frames.

    So much for Treatment-Free Beekeeping those bees are flying high at 11:40 in the video.

    Well at least, he knows how to light a smoker.

    On a serious note, aren't those hives shaded too much?

    Don't give up though, you'll get better.
    Last edited by Lost Bee; 11-04-2011 at 07:42 PM.
    There's 10 chefs in a kitchen and still not one will tell you how to boil water unless there's something in it for them.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Dorset, Vermont
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    I've been trying to explain for a long time that insulation is unnecessary because the bees don't heat the hive. Sometimes falls on deaf ears because people insist on using pointless comparisons like a house with the window open.
    Try putting a thermometer in one or two of your hives. Keep track of the readings inside the hive versus outside the hive for a few days. This will change your mind.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Quote Originally Posted by JRH View Post
    This will change your mind.
    No, it won't. It's fundamentals of thermodynamics. My unheated attic will be a couple degrees warmer than outside, but I do not heat the attic and it has open venting.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,812

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Sol. do you know that as a fact, and have measured it?

    Hemichuck did a good job of explaining the dynamics.

    Crazy Roland

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    My doctor's son did a science project on it. He was pretty thorough. He lowered a probe down through the hive and took measurements every two inches. Bees only heat the cluster, it's a simple fact. Otherwise, they'd consume an inordinate amount of honey heating the five deeps I give them to over winter with.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    My information on inside hive temperatures was taken from conversations with Phil Craft who is the Kentucky state apiarist and it was based on his research on hive temperatures at Kentucky State University.They put probes in a number of hives mounted directly to the frames every 2 inches or so and hooked all the probes into a computer that monitored the temps all winter. I had the chance to hear him speak at the Ky State Beekeepers meeting a couple of weeks ago and he said they were doing the same study again with more probes and a different program to monitor and tie it all together. Hopefully we will gain some more insight into what goes on in the box.
    My theory and practices on keeping bees is just that, theory,and nothing I say is Gospel. I change my way of thinking on beekeeping every time I open a hive and get faced with a new situation as I would imagine most of us do. I am fortunate enough that I get to hang around some pretty knowledgeable people and pick up little pieces of good and helpful information from each of them and try to take all that info and work it into something that works for me. Some of it does,and some of it fails miserably and I just try to relay my experience. Thats whats great about this website, lots of good people a lot of which pay better attention to detail than I do and they are willing to share their knowledge with me at no cost.Gotta love that!

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Well said Hemichuck!! I am also so thankful for those that are willing to share their insights w/ us. In thinking about this temperature thing I guess another way to look at it is if you have bees in an attic that's 6' tall and they're on the gable end with say 30' to the other end. There's a ton of space there for any ammt. of heat to get dispersed. That doesn't mean that the cluster is cold, but that there's no noticable difference to the inside of the attic based on them. Now put that same cluster in a box with only a little ventilation (the "proper" ammt. for your area), insulate the box, and the inside temp would be higher than the attic. There's not the amount of room for the heat from the cluster to disperse as compaired to the attic. It does make sense that the inside of our hives could be / would be warmer based on so many different factors. From experience I know that when I'm in a deer blind in the winter I notice a significant difference in the temp outside vs. inside. I get cold outside while inside it's all good. In a garage I'd also get cold. Not as cold as outside where there may be some wind, but still it's not as easy for my body heat to heat up the garage. Perhaps my New Beek thoughts may help someone. This is what makes sense. Now the question I'd have is if a hive is able to adequately warm the box up enough for them to break cluster even a little to reach out to other stores then that's what I want to do. I've read from other beeks that they've had a hive starve w/ stores 2" away. Personally I want to figure out how to help my hives out so that this doesn't happen to me / them.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,647

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Obviously some amount of heat that the bees produce escape into the interior of their hive space. For me, the studies done on this subject suggest that it is a byproduct of the winter cluster, not a deliberate action by the bees to heat their space. To base one's management on a byproduct sounds more like coddling to me. Bees are able to withstand periods of very cold temps. Weather seldom remains so cold without a warm up to allow movement of the cluster. If you want to manage your bees for that small percent where the break in weather doesn't happen, go right ahead. I favor simple beekeeping and base my management on how bees are designed to live. I think often we are pushed into practices more out of fear than anything else. Why would I want to invest the time and material into wrapping and insulating when I have not found there to be any difference in winter survival by not doing this?
    Regards, Barry

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Barry,
    Thanks for your post. I agree with you also. (a by-product) Mgmg. out of fear? Perhaps. Perhaps also (at least for me) just a new beek w/o the experience to base decisions on, just knowledge. I like a quote that I read from someone I can't remember who. . .
    "Knowledge is not better than experience and wisdom, but is a whole lot better than ignorance.
    As a novice I study, read and learn. The experience will come."

    I also want them to "do their own thing" and hope to find out more of what that is in the years to come. Thank-you for a great site and for helping us new and not so new beeks out!!!

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Dorset, Vermont
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Bees only heat the cluster, it's a simple fact.
    If this were true, it would never be warmer inside the hive than it is outside the hive. In fact it is always warmer in the hive ABOVE the cluster because the cluster gives off heat. Try putting the outdoor probe of an indoor/outdoor thermometer down through the hole in the inner cover and you will observe this.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    Exactly. The bees are heating the cluster. Some incidental heated air will escape the cluster and transfer a limited amount of heat to the surroundings. But the surroundings will always be very near the temperature of the outside of the hive but slightly above. The ambient temperature of the hive will never be the same temperature as the cluster. Hence, bees only heat the cluster.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Dorset, Vermont
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Video of the world's worst beekeeper in action!

    But the surroundings will always be very near the temperature of the outside of the hive but slightly above. The ambient temperature of the hive will never be the same temperature as the cluster. Hence, bees only heat the cluster.
    Sadly, an opinion not backed up by the evidence. After watching hive temperatures for two Vermont winters, I can tell you that it is common to see readings above the cluster that are as much as 50 degrees (F) higher than the outside temperature. At zero degrees (F) outside, readings of 50 (F) are not uncommon.

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