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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Bedford, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    190

    Default Hand Warmers in Hive?

    I had a funny thought today that is, say you were expecting a sharp drop in temperature in the coming nights, somewhere in the lower teens or single digits, do you think putting one or two of those Hot Hands hand warmers in the bottom of the hive would keep from losing as many bees? I think these hand warmers get anywhere between 130-155 degrees and last for 10 hours.

    I was just curious. What do you all think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,027

    Default Re: Hand Warmers in Hive?

    My feeling is to let the bees deal with the cold on a short term basis. They are pretty good at it. For long term you can wrap, insulate or just make sure they have enough food to keep warm.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: Hand Warmers in Hive?

    I don't think it would help. Those thing are too big for the bees to get them in their gloves or pockets.
    The Chem. by products of the chem reaction that generates the heat could also have unknown side effects in an enclosed hive.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,217

    Default Re: Hand Warmers in Hive?

    Not necassary or helpful.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,337

    Default Re: Hand Warmers in Hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    My feeling is to let the bees deal with the cold on a short term basis. They are pretty good at it. For long term you can wrap, insulate or just make sure they have enough food to keep warm.
    Got to agree with Ace. Sound advice!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Hand Warmers in Hive?

    You can also install a sandbox with a heating tape in it. Some of them have thermostats build in and they only kick in when the temps get near freezing.
    It was 10 this morning. My hives are wrapped with Reflectix insulation and a piece of black plastic over the insulation to absorb a little bit of heat from the sun during the daytime.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,217

    Default Re: Hand Warmers in Hive?

    If they are insulated w/ reflextex how will heat from the black plastic do any good? Doesn't reflextex keep heat from getting out as well as getti9ng in?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    875

    Default Re: Hand Warmers in Hive?

    Cold doesn't kill bees, people kill bees. LOL but seriously, if the bees have enough food and enough bees the cold isn't what kills them. Moisture will get them long before cold does. A massive snap back has been known to get the bees, but I am talking 70 degrees in the afternoon and then a snap back to 20 degrees, they get caught away from stores. I leave bottom screens open all winter long and we get down to below zero on occasion. Make sure you have a healthy strong hive with plenty of food,with a way for moisture to get out and they will be fine.
    ROd

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Hand Warmers in Hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    If they are insulated w/ reflextex how will heat from the black plastic do any good? Doesn't reflextex keep heat from getting out as well as getti9ng in?

    I get this all the time. Reflectix has an R value of 3.7, this means it will let some temperature through. The silver foil is to reflective and does not absorb heat. The black foil does absorb heat and it does transfers it to the hive. The foil is not that thick after all. It does a good job of keeping the bees warm and retaining the heat. We have a lots of sun here in the Oregon mountains (over 300 days). We seldom see clouds or even rain (one rainy day every two months) and several hours of sun do provide plenty of warmth during the day.
    The commercial version would be the Hivecozy. Black foil with fiberglass inside of it. It also heats the hive. The Reflectix foil is cheaper and I can use it over and over.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,217

    Default Re: Hand Warmers in Hive?

    I would like you to put some thermometers in your hive and record temps for the winter and see if you canh tell how much heat is being transfered to the hive thru the reflextex. I'd really be interested to know.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

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