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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Sde-Boqer, Israel
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    196

    Default Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    Hi,
    My 30 hives are located in a desert climate
    and now it's getting hot till the peak in the end of August.

    In the last 3 years i shadowed the hives and take care
    for sufficient amount of fresh water and in spite of that,
    they seems to suffer from the high Tempratures.

    After i will take off the second honey supers, i thought to replace them with
    empty shallow super for extra space so the bees won't be too crowded
    and suffer less from the high temperatures.

    Can it be practically idea?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    1,618

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    I'm really curious as to everything you've done so far in reducing the solar gain. I'm in south Alabama, which isn't desert but can get in the 100+F degree range in the summer with high humidity at times. 90+F days are common. My hives are in full sun to combat small hive beetles.

    Top venting? I've cut an extra 70mm hole in my inner covers (using telescoping covers) and have the outer covers propped up about 1/2 inch.

    Bottom board? I use screened bottom boards.

    How have you shadowed your hives? I have thought of basically building some window screens with a shade cloth...and build them with a 5-inch overhang on each side. I want something that wind will somewhat pass through (so as not to become a sail). I'm also trying to figure out how to place the screen on top of the covers...if I simply lay it on top and put a brick on it then the corners of the cover may start cutting into the screen...I feel like I need something to keep it off the corners. How are you doing your shade/shadow?

    I have seen some boxes/supers made with holes cut into the sides of them and screen over the holes. Two or three good sized (an inch or two in diameter) in each side. These go on top of the hives above the inner covers and allow some good ventilation. It's your option to screen the vent holes in the inner cover...without screening the bees will keep the box cleaned of ants and other critters...screening on the inner cover *might* cut down on air flow, too. If using migratory covers I would imagine you could use the same boxes but keep a check on them for burr comb getting built...during the summer dearth I doubt that would be a big problem.

    Here's some thoughts on venting and heat with some pictures... http://www.beebehavior.com/hive_ventilation.php

    Here's a very good article on ventilation/air-flow by Dave Cushman... http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/ventilation.html

    Here's the basic idea of the vented top box from Honey Run Apiaries... http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/stor...ver-p-232.html

    Kol Tuv,
    Ed

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,220

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    You can also use what we call shade boards -- typically these days a sheet of plywood large enough to provide a spot of shade around the hive during the hottest part of the day, maybe a meter square or so. Space it up off the top of the hive with some wood blocks and weight it down so it won't blow away. This provides considerable cooling from the shade and the air space between the hive top and shade board.

    Empty supers with holes drilled in them (large holes, 10 cm or so) above the inner cover will help along with the shade boards.

    A slatted fence to the east and west will also reduce the solar heat loading on the hives in the early morning and late evening, but if you have cold nights you should not do this.

    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Posts
    5,021

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    I stand by upper entrances. Shade helps as well.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sde-Boqer, Israel
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    Many thanks for the replies and usfull information i got hear.

    I am shading with dense polysterene cubes (the ones used for isolation when building concrete houses)
    their size is 1x1 Meter and they are deep and hollow in the middle. The problem is that they are very good
    to protect the hive top cover and not the sides or at least part of them.

    I also plant trees near and among the hives (Ecalyptuses)
    and irigate them manually .

    For the ventilation methods, i think they are great and efficient
    but i have a big problem hear with dust storms that happened every week
    and enter to every little holes all over (especially my house ), so i can't
    use it hear with screen coard or Inner Cover with an additional entrance
    for ventilation.

    As you wrote me, in the summer dearth i am not affraid from wild comb building
    and second empty super will help, so i will try it.

    Thanks alot,
    Randi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    1,618

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    Wow rand, you've got a square meter of shade over the hive and it isn't good enough? That seems like it would cover the sides pretty good for the hottest time of the day. I was planning on just extending my shade frames about 5 inches/13cm on each side...I figured that would cover the hives during the hottest time of the day.

    I understand about the sand...maybe build some baffles into the ventilation holes?

    Sounds like the empty supers would be a good thing. Get them on there and you can still experiment with other ways.

    Best wishes,
    Ed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
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    2,220

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    If you are covering the hives with isulation, you MUST vent it to allow the heat generated in the hive along with the humid air the bees generate by evaporating water to escape.

    I suspect a shade board would work better than insulation on the hives.

    I agree you should not be using vented supers due to dust -- put a 2mm thick shim under the corners of the outer cover to allow more air movement, and you could put a sheet of foam insulation in your outer covers, too to reduce the amount of heat transfer into the top of the hive. Make sure you have good airflow.

    A slatted rack under the hive will help too as it will allow plenty of air flow but greatly reduce the dust problem.

    That dust is a huge problem.

    Peter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,027

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    I too live in a desert climate, since May our temperatures have routinely been 100F or higher (today is forecast to be 113F). I have a yard/apiary for my full-size hives, in my back yard. I have another yard/apiary for raising extra queens and nucleus colonies, it is in my front yard under the shade of a very large mesquite tree.

    This season I noticed that after 10:00 am it would become too hot for me to comfortably work outside with my bees, even in the shade of the mesquite tree. I also noticed that the royal jelly reservoir in finished cells was drying up before the queens emerged from the cells, and that it was very difficult to successfully graft with these high temperatures and 5-8% relative humidity.

    About three years ago I had purchased a 1000 psi misting/fogging system to install in a greenhouse I was building. Long story short; I never completed the greenhouse and moved on to raising queen honey bees instead. On Tuesday I installed the fogging system underneath the mesquite tree -- wow. Now it is easily 80F or less under the tree and the relative humidity is well over 50%. I don't yet know if this helps the bees much, but it sure helps me. The most recent crop of cultured queen cells seems to indicate that the royal jelly is also drying out less. I will graft soon, then see how that does too.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,972

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    Joseph I thought increased humidity would increase the feeling of heat. Is that not the case? Humidex readings are always way higher than the base temperature. Here in Nova Scotia, the high humidity is the only reason it ever feels hot, because 77 with 99% humidity feels a lot hotter than a dry 77.

    The increase in humidity helping the bees I get, but lowering the base temp under the tree is what I don't understand.

    Adam

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Posts
    5,021

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    When water evaporates, goes from the point where it is liquid to vapor without changing temperature, it absorbs heat. When the humidity is very low, water vaporizes easily which is why open water was always so cold where I grew up even though temperatures were above 100. Where I live now, open water is warm, the humidity is high so water evaporates less readily, drawing less heat from the water. In dry climates people use evaporative coolers which draw air through a wet mat and then push it into a building. They don't work where it is more humid.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    Two references to latent heat in one week!!
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Posts
    5,021

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    I tried to make it as simple as possible this time. Just like Tailgater, there shouldn't be any know-it-alls, they are destructive to building community.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,027

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    Adam Foster Collins;

    For example the temperature under the tree can be 113F, sometimes even more, at 5-8% R.H. When the fog system is running, it drops the temperature between 20-30F, while it raises the R.H. to around 50-60%. Even though the royal jelly in queen cells, in the conditions without the fog, usually dries out as soon as a day or two after the cells are capped, the queens still mature and emerge just fine.

    Soon though, I am planning to produce queen cells to ship, so I want to help ensure they are as good as they can be, before sending them off. Dry cells may not ship as well as cells with plenty of moist royal jelly, so I am using the fog system to increase the humidity to about 50-60% to help slow down the drying of the royal jelly. Lowering the temperature, a side-effect of raising the humidity is more for me than for the bees. I'm sure they can deal with it, they always have (for more than twenty years now). But as I'm getting older, 55 y.o. now, I find that I am less tolerant of the heat.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sde-Boqer, Israel
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    Some pics from yesterday wierd adventure....

    I just complained about the summer heat and yesterday we had hear in the desert very very rare
    and unusuall weather that nobody ever remember that happen in our area - 13 mm of strong rain in the middle of July
    for just an hour, something like little monsoon.

    After i went with the kids to see all the rivers flooding
    i went to my apiary and saw all the hives
    in a big pool . I had to move some of them to another close location
    where the water are not so deep and they seems to me o.k.
    till i will check them in Sunday...

    IMG_0922.jpgIMG390.jpgIMG392 (Large).jpgIMG392.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
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    2,220

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    Well, they won't be short of water for a few days anyway!

    You definitely need shade boards on those hives, just put them on top of the top cover.

    Peter

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    I know other folks lay in bed and think about working with there bees and how to accomplish something. I have been thinking about building some frames with shade cloth in them to go over the tops of the hives, extending past the edges. Cost would be kinda of expensive but I figured it was worth it.

    Then a DUHHH thought hit me early this morning (or was that the call of nature?)...anyhow, a simple piece of cardboard with an extra brick on top...

    The corrugation of the cardboard will act as a bit of insulation against the top cover.

    The cardboard can extend ever how much is desired past the cover's edges (limited by side of cardboard boxes scavenged).

    Edges could be taped to keep out some moisture/rain. It could be painted for a little extra water-resistance but it usually has some type of wax coating on it. If you don't paint it and it weathers badly then you can use it for smoker fuel later. It seems it would last a long time in an arid climate, less so in a more moist area but still would probably make it through the hottest part of the season.

    Cheap/free wooden battens (stickers from the lumberyard, slats off of pallets, etc.,?) could be stapled to the cardboard for added rigidity.

    I figure the extra brick would be needed since the cardboard is solid and will not let wind pass through (sail issues).

    Cost is *really* low.

    Just some early morning thoughts that were *way* before I had my first cup of coffee.

    Ed

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    1,618

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    rand, you didn't mention that you had researched the area for high-water marks! How high did the water get above the entrances? Do you have any top entrances? Looks like they made it through it fairly well, regardless...at least now you know that just a few meters away where the higher ground is. When I set up my little 5-stand bee yard I kept eyeballing it and eyeballing it. I beat all the grass down walking back and forth trying to visualize how the water would collect in front of the terrace. The area was in front of a terrace and I didn't want to get too close for fear of standing water. I finally settled on an spot that had a slight rise in front of the terrace and sloped to either side...so far, so good.

    Best wishes with your watershed situation,
    Ed

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,643

    Default Re: Relieving the heat- is it make sense?

    Would an empty super on top possibly make for a heat sump like an unventilated attic keeping the hive hotter? It would have to be well vented to be of help. Maybe an upside down slatted rack and bottom board on top?

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