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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Dallas, Texas

    Default Cooling the hive

    I've got an idea to help relieve the heat for my hive in a Texas summer. Tell me what yall think of it. Let me know if there's any dangers or Precautions I should take beforehand.

    I have a top feeder on my hive, but not the type with floating wooden slats.This one is caged around the entrance with screen the allow them to walk up without escaping when I open the hive and for them to hold on to when drinking. It's probably not the best design out there because they have to hold on upside down and it slants the opposite way they'd prefer it to. ANYWAYS, my idea is to put a frozen sealed water bottle in their feeding tanks to cool the liquid, and to actually dissipate the cooling action down into the hive. It'd be kind of like cool piping in the roof of the hive.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia

    Default Re: Cooling the hive

    My frank suggestion is: don't "intervene."

    Never in a thousand years of history did a bee-tree ever have either a "top feeder" or air-conditioning. You are meddling.

    Let honeybees be what they always have been. If your hives are in direct sun, move them to any sort of shade. Or, maybe, let them deal with the heat and see what they come up with. Go to Wal-Mart and buy an open-sided picnic awning and put it over the hives for the rest of the summer. Don't coddle wild creatures. You're as likely or more likely to kill them than to help them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Eugene, Or

    Default Re: Cooling the hive

    Quote Originally Posted by mrobinson View Post
    Go to Wal-Mart and buy an open-sided picnic awning and put it over the hives for the rest of the summer. Don't coddle wild creatures. ....

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Why not just lean a board against the hive on the sunny side? It will create a shady pocket and act as 'insulation' from the sun.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Winhall, VT

    Default Re: Cooling the hive

    Sounds like good intentions but I have to agree with others. Just let them bee. Shade if you are in a hot area with some good top ventilation should be enough. Broodnest temps are around 92 normally so you don't have to freak out if it gets 10 degrees warmer than that.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Olympia, Washington

    Default Re: Cooling the hive

    Never in a million years has a leafless bee tree moved into the shade, or put a piece of plywood on itself to get shade.

    These, too are meddling interventions - and wise prudent ones at that.

    As soon as one puts bees into a box or other artificial hive, he is committed to meddle. It just ain't natural to put them on moveable frames.

    If you have more than one hive, prudently provide shade for most of them, and experiment with one. Whether or not your experiment benefits the bees, it will be successful in learning something.

    Personally, I'd set one edge of the top cover on top of the inner cover and set a stick under that edge to make a venting space before moving a hive to shade.
    If that didn't work, I'd use a plywood shade before I tried moving a heavy hive and disorienting the bees.

    Or just take the covers off and let the hive vent through the screened opening of the feeder.

    Simple is good.

    Have fun.
    Enjoy your bees.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Lavaca county, Texas

    Default Re: Cooling the hive

    Even in a gawd-awful south TX summer, my bees do better in full sun, rather than partial sun. SBB just made a freeway for the SHBs/WMs/and fire ants to walk in, plus the girls went propolis crazy. DH made a ventilator of 2 x 4 s made into a frame, 2" sides up. He drilled holes in the 4" sides with a lock set drill attachment, and covered them with screen wire. This goes on top of the hive, under the top cover, above supers or brood boxes. It helps. I rarely even have bearding, unless it happens to be particularly still.

    Good luck,

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