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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Crawfordsville, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Record high temps

    My bees are clustering outside the hive above the entrance, under the eve. I assume this is because it's 104 outside and the hive does not have enough ventilation. It happened a couple of weeks ago and they went back inside at dark. If the heat continues, will they abscond? I put water out for them but I don't see them using it. Is there anything I can do? I have an A frame ventilated roof and three 1 inch holes in the front and two in the back. The hive gets direct sun about four hours per day. Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Record high temps

    Same is happening here in Anderson, Indiana. Mine are perched on the entrance too. Sounds like you have enough ventilation. Remember they like the hive at about 90 degrees, so they can manage in this weather a lot better than we can. My concern is where are they gathering nectar. All our clover is toast. I don't see much except queen Anne's Lace and Chicory. We may be feeding a lot his winter. I prop up my top cover and inner cover with a 3/4 inch piece of wood in the back to help ventilation. I don't know whether this helps, but it makes me feel better!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Record high temps

    I don't have tempertures quite that high here in the Pacific Northwest. However I have all my Warres on Screen Bottom Boards with sliding boards under the screen. When it gets into the 90's and the hives are in the sun, I pull the sliding board out and the bees will ventilate the hive up through the screen floor without having to guard for nasties trying to get into the hive.
    Keep on keepin' bees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,441

    Default Re: Record high temps

    You guys might want to put just plain water in a feeder for them and crack the top covers with shims for excess ventilation. You could also put a piece of plywood painted white over the hive for shade.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Birmingham, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Record high temps

    Thanks for the idea to give them a feeder of water. With temps hitting 100' here in Alabama this weekend, they might really appreciate it. They sure are bearding like crazy at night lately.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Record high temps

    It was 103 here yesterday, and will be about the same today. All four of my TBH's have top entrances and removable one inch high x six inch wide clean out doors on the bottom front and back. I removed the front bottom clean out door, and most of the bees went inside. Several went to the bottom to fan with their wings.
    BTW, shouldn't ALL those bees sitting out front drinking lemonade be out gathering nectar and pollen?
    Last edited by Hoosier; 06-29-2012 at 05:47 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Record high temps

    (Some of this is copied from a previous post of mine.)

    I've only got a few colonies so I figure I can make it easier on them without too much expense or trouble. Somethings that I'm doing...

    VENTILATION. Stick a twig or something between the outer cover and edge of the top super to create a larger gap between those two pieces. This keeps the inner cover shaded but will create more ventilation.

    Something that I did, but requires basic tools (drill and hole saw), was to drill 2-3/4"/70mm holes into my inner covers to allow an extra jar feeder (1/2 gal. instead of just a quart) to be used *and* to be an extra vent hole. (Both the porter escape and 70mm holes have #8 mesh over them.) More air flow and thus heat/moisture removal. With evaporative cooling an airflow is required or the air gets over laden with moisture and the evaporative effect is lost. If I feel the 70mm hole is too much I can simply stick the plug I cut out back into the hole (the wire mesh will keep in from falling on into the hive). You don't need a wide open hive...but in a hot climate I really think you have to have adequate ventilation for the heat/moisture.

    SHADE. I put some large pieces of heavy cardboard over the tops of my hives this morning. Weighted them down with extra bricks/blocks. The corrugation of the cardboard will also act as insulation in keep the direct solar gain from the sun from heating the top cover so severely. The cardboard was free and can possibly be recycled. I figure it should last a season. Did I say it's FREE? I also stood some boards up on the sides of the hives to help shade the lower parts of the hives.

    WATER. Make sure they have water close by to run their swamp coolers. I've got an old refrigerator drawer filled with pond water and duckweed sitting inline with the hives...they think it's the YMCA.

    I'm also using screened bottom boards.

    The next three days here in south Alabama are 100F, 102F, 101F. Not desert temps but coupled with 40-50% humidity it will be *really* nice.

    Below are some pictures that might give you an idea.

    Best wishes.
    Ed

    This picture was made at 11:11am CST yesterday. I had already placed the cardboard on top so I slid it to the side to show how much solar energy was hitting the sides of the hive without it...


    This picture was made at about the same time but with the cardboard in position. Just those few inches of overhang resulted in a good bit of shade. The boards laying horizontally are to shade the lower part of the hives...just some boards I had laying around, I'm going to see if I can find some small pieces of scrap plywood or something else rigid that I can stand against the lower parts of the hives. But, for a free piece of cardboard I think it was a good project...


    Here's a shot of my hives with the cardboard in place...


    And last, here is a picture of my old refrigerator drawer I picked up the towns metal recycling point. I had just topped it off with more water and only one bee was venturing into it, but they like it. I shaded the west side of it, too...I don't know if that matters but I had the scrap metal so...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Record high temps

    My station recorded a record high since I've had a station of 103.6F yesterday. It is supposed to be just as hot or even hotter today and this weekend. Luckily I live close to the TN River so the gals have water (although I plan on putting some close to the hive just in case). The bees have been buzzing in and out like they do every day. Hopefully they will survive this heat wave and drought. Hopefully, also, it will rain soon. I've only had 1.3 inches of rain this month. The grass is crunchy and the ground is like concrete.
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenville County, South Carolina
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Record high temps

    Flip your inner covers over, and prop the roof up on it in the front. This creates a upper entrance, as well as top venilation.

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