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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Prince William County, VA
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    24

    Default How to help them cool the hive?

    I'm in Northern VA and we are experiencing I think the 14th consecutive day with temps above 95 degrees. In fact, today is supposed to top off around 105. So what can I do to help the girls keep the hive cool? I still have a hive top feeder on both hives - is it a good idea to fill them with cold water, or will the condensation on the inside do more harm than good? I can fill some containers with water and put them out near the hives but they will eventually warm up. Any other suggestions? How are the rest of you helping your hives to beat the heat?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
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    243

    Default Re: How to help them cool the hive?

    I made a styrofoam tent over my tbh and have a soaker hose circling the hive

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,953

    Default Re: How to help them cool the hive?

    My first thought would be to make some shade.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Prince William County, VA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: How to help them cool the hive?

    Yeah, I probably should have mentioned that... I have some makeshift "walls" up to block the sun, as long as we don't get any gusts around here they should be ok. I just went out and filled a large bowl full of water with some styrofoam landing pads for them. I read in another thread that another beek's hives withstood 109 degrees without much trouble, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that mine can do the same. Hive activity looks normal with hardly any bearding so I guess they're managing!

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to help them cool the hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by HunnyMunny View Post
    I'm in Northern VA and we are experiencing I think the 14th consecutive day with temps above 95 degrees. In fact, today is supposed to top off around 105. So what can I do to help the girls keep the hive cool? I still have a hive top feeder on both hives - is it a good idea to fill them with cold water, or will the condensation on the inside do more harm than good? I can fill some containers with water and put them out near the hives but they will eventually warm up. Any other suggestions? How are the rest of you helping your hives to beat the heat?
    Do not put ice water in the hive top feeder! I assume condensation would become an issue, although I guess you wouldn't have to worry about freezing. But you may have to worry about mold, mildew, etc.
    In addition, heat rises, so if anything, put ice water in a tray under the screen bottom board. But the simplest thing to do is to provide some shade. Again, let's think natural. When do bees have cold water in the hive?
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,295

    Default Re: How to help them cool the hive?

    I propped the covers open about 1/4 inch on the front of the hives so the excess heat can escape, mine are in a shaded area under a tree line and that helps a lot. Be watchful of the outer cover temps if they have sheet aluminum or steel covering them and they are out in full sun, the metal covering can get very hot.....Bill

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: How to help them cool the hive?

    They are fanning the hive inside to keep cool, right? Shade, water close but not too close, Ma-Ma NaTure knows what to do!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: How to help them cool the hive?

    I have the vented screened inner cover and a screened bottom board. I drilled a 1/8" hole in one hive and used a kitchen temp. probe to check hive internal temp in the brood nest. (92 degrees in a 95 degree day with about 50 percent humidity). The hive is white in an open, sunny yard, one deep and two supers with an empty super above the inner cover, the bees are about one half done filling the second super. So far no bearding. With all that screening the bees must think they live in a wind tunnel. ( This hive was started in mid April this year with California bees, Taber Italian).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Haslet, Tx
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: How to help them cool the hive?

    Are any of you familier with the concept of an evaporative cooler? the concept is this. if you have low humidity in the air you can cause the temprature to drop by adding humidity. In a home you have what is called an evaporative cooler in one window on one side of the house it through the simple expediancy of a fan draws air through a wetted pad and blows into the house. you then open a window no more than half of the total square footage of the blower and wala cool air traveling through the house. place fans to properly stir the air in each of the rooms and you get a maximum of a thirty degree drop in temprature. now bees don't need a fan they have wings but if you open up the hive too much their evaporative cooler dosen't work.evap_chart3.gif

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,496

    Default Re: How to help them cool the hive?

    We are in SoCal and heat may be an issue (not so far). I am using screened bottom board doubled with solid board with 1/2" gap between and inner cover with 4" screened hole on top (Lang). There is 1/3" gap between inner cover and telescopic cover for air. I find that bees controls temperature by covering the screened hole in the inner cover by their bodies. Very smart. My beehives also are in the partial shade. I have a few water sources on the property, which bees ignored (neighbor's Jacuzzi is better). Sergey

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: How to help them cool the hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by mhorowit View Post
    I made a styrofoam tent over my tbh and have a soaker hose circling the hive
    Find a wide piece of cardboard or styrofoam that overhangs the hives and place it on the top cover with a few bricks. This will provide shade as well as some insulation. Freeze a water bottle and having it taped to the side of the hive. Upside down, have a ziplock stapled to the side so the cold water will drip into it slowly allowing the bees to have a cool water that feed slowly and stays cold.
    Last edited by drmanhadan; 07-08-2012 at 08:04 PM. Reason: typo

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: How to help them cool the hive?

    This is a rather long piece but well worth reading about shade vs direct sunlight on a shelter;

    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/reso...perature_x.htm

    All to say that a second commercial top with 1x2 standoffs will greatly reduce the heat input to your hive, position the boards to give a 2" standoff. You could improve that by cutting the extra top about 3 foot square.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Liberty, Ms.
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: How to help them cool the hive?


  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: How to help them cool the hive?

    Just give them some water for now. Shade from the mid-day sun would be good. I have my hives where they get morning sun but afternoon shade. (They have a wall behind them.)
    If they are not bearding out of the hive then it probably isn't even an issue. I'm in northeastern NC so I'm getting the same weather. I haven't had any problems. Hive temp is 90 plus degrees so their "room temperature" is hot.
    If you have a screened bottom board, now would be a good time to use it to provide intake for your air circulation. The air under the hive is in the shade and next to the earth so it will be considerably cooler.

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