Re: Bars Collapsed in Record Heat
I'd recommend (and am planning on) building a short shading structure over my hives. Granted this won't work in a large outyard, or at least it would be inefficient in that situation, but so would TBH's. Just build something like a canopy and stretch shade cloth over it. The shade cloth should give you a pretty good temperature reduction. Just like standing under a shade tree. On that note, my hives currently sit in almost full shade all day. No comb collapse problems yet!
Originally Posted by KatGold
Now for an engineering blurb, recall that heat transfer occurs in three ways: conduction, convection, and radiation. Radiation is traveling by waves, so how we get heat from the sun. Conduction is through a conductive body, like a steel rod. Even the most insulated materials are conductive. So simply laying a piece of insulation on top of your hive really may not do much good. It may actually make it harder for the bees to cool the hive. Your best bet in the summer heat is to block the radiation. If you had a laser thermometer, it would be interesting to take a temp reading on the face of your hive where the sun hits it, and then you could figure up the heat transfer coefficients to know how much of that is transferring into your hive. Blocking the radiation of the sun cuts your maximum temp down to only what the air temp is (109 deg. F). Beeswax melts at 144-147 F.
I haven't tried it yet, but I am confident (possibly naive) that by hanging a shade cloth a few feet above my hives, I will have no comb collapse issues, at least none that are not provoked by something beyond heat, like shaking the hive. If all else fails I guess you'll just have to rig up some air conditioning for the hives.
One package to 4 hives in 3 months. After 12 months I'm over a dozen hives and growing. Head over heels for bees!!!