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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    10

    Sad Advice needed - Very hot day and collapsed comb. What do I do?

    I don't know what to do with my poor bees.

    The other day I came home to troubled family members who had escaped to the house because of bees swarming the swimming pool. I cooled off the hive by spraying nearby trees, misting water over the pool to make them think it was raining, putting a wheelbarrow where the dog water was and filling it up. Plus topping up the "beebath" that I keep close to the hive. They seemed to settle down very quickly and stayed away from the pool for the rest of the day.

    I had already checked the hive through the perspex side the day before, so was content that it was just the 41C day that had disturbed them. They were happy over the weekend, and seeing as it was only a top of 30C on Saturday and 36C on Sunday, I didn't check them until last night.. I wish I had checked them Sunday instead.

    One of the top bars has released the comb! It's fallen on the framed "rescue" bar next to it, was 1/2 full of honey and the bees seem to have anchored it to the floor.

    What do I do? It's going to be high 30's (C) all week. Do I go in there and clean up the comb when I get home tomorrow arvo? Do I leave it there for the bees to clean up?

    Any suggestions are more than welcome. I only want my stingy little creatures happy. They lost their queen and the babies are only just now hatching from the new queen, so there aren't a lot of bees in the hive. The rest of the bars full of comb seem to coping ok.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Advice needed - Very hot day and collapsed comb. What do I do?

    I'd be inclined to leave them as their numbers increase they will clean up as best they can, there will be a wax mess to deal with later but I'd let them bring their numbers up a bit before trying to clean that up. That said I'm still a *very* noobie beek.

    Oh a thought might be to try and increase roof space ventilation if you can so the top of the hive doesn't build up too catastrophic a heat load maybe?

    Cheers, Thomas.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Advice needed - Very hot day and collapsed comb. What do I do?

    Hi PC Girl,

    We had 40C here in Victoria as well, and my horizontal hive was fine. I just had the entrances at both ends of the hive open to at least half width each. This allows a good air flow through the hive.

    Make sure they are in full shade all day on hot days, and as you found they need the water close by to evaporate it, which cools the hive.

    With the fallen comb, I would try to at least get it vertical in the frame with at least a bee gap between it and the frame next to it. Otherwise it will be joined to the other frame and may be a mess when trying to seperate it later. You could use bamboo skewers to help pin it in place and the bees will fill in the gaps.

    Also, the perspex is normally covered isn't it?

    Have fun!
    Matthew Davey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Advice needed - Very hot day and collapsed comb. What do I do?

    Hi Guys.

    The fallen comb is pretty much just a lump on the floor of the hive. It is over the bottom horizontal frame that my husband made me to support broken comb. I got the idea from "the bee man" videos - where he uses rubber bands to hold the comb? It's saved 2 full combs so far. I should get him to do the whole thing!

    I'll try and put a pic of the hive below - but yes, the perspex side is full covered up when viewing is not being done. I've got weather stripping and velcro to block out as much sun as possible.

    The hive is already in 99% shade all day. It might get a bit of sun around 11am, but then it's protected both sides by sheds and a big tree. It's probably the coolest spot in the yard. LOL There is ventilation around around it too.

    I don't have back entrances, but I did pull the bottom slide out a crack to let the air flow through.

    I'll check on them again when I get home tomorrow from work, and decide then. It's going to be cooler tomorrow, plus, if the the comb is getting smaller, then I'll let them clean it up - but something tells me that I'm going to have to do it - but as it was all honey comb and no grubs the last time I looked, at least I can give the honey back to them.

    I was unable to attach or insert photos - so here is my bee photo album on facebook. Mandy's bees.

    It's up for public viewing, and it's the white box at the end. There is a photo of the perspex side without the cover on it too. The comb hanging on the side of the box (and that's the perspex side) is old comb that the bees were ignoring. I took it out and allowed them to clear up any honey that may have seen been on there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Advice needed - Very hot day and collapsed comb. What do I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by pcgirl View Post
    One of the top bars has released the comb! It's fallen on the framed "rescue" bar next to it, was 1/2 full of honey and the bees seem to have anchored it to the floor.

    What do I do? It's going to be high 30's (C) all week. Do I go in there and clean up the comb when I get home tomorrow arvo? Do I leave it there for the bees to clean up? .
    I had a comb drop last summer (when I bumped the hive) because it was weakened by a chop and crop. Of course you need to assess your particular situation (new queen, etc...) but I went in and removed the comb before they had attached it too much to the ones next to it, the sides, and the bottom. A few days and they had already made a lot of attachments! Because the comb that fell had brood and stores in it, I wired it onto a bar so they could reattach it. Some people use string or rubberbands to secure it on too. The bees remove those but the wire you cut off when it is fully attached.

    I have a peaked roof and early afternoon shade so I don't have overheating issues. Do you have an air gap between the bars and the roof? It reduces the heat transfer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,881

    Default Re: Advice needed - Very hot day and collapsed comb. What do I do?

    Remove the slideout, gives the bees a fountain with recirculating water, switch to framed hives.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,137

    Default Re: Advice needed - Very hot day and collapsed comb. What do I do?

    You're roof style might not be keeping the hive cool enough. Some use a spacer on the topbars then a tin roof. The air space between is what helps.
    Dan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Advice needed - Very hot day and collapsed comb. What do I do?

    Wouldn't a tin roof make things hotter?

    I've managed to salvage the comb from the floor of the hive. They had cleaned up most of the honey that had been in the comb, but there was also a whole pile of brood. I used a a frame and rubber bands and now have a very messy, but hanging comb. They seem happy with what I have done and when I left them, they were busy removing the bits of comb that had been left behind.

    We're going to extend the sides of the roof and put some spacers in. That should allow more air and I'll pull out the bottom board to at least halfway next time it gets up in the temps. Not sure if I can do the whole fountain thing. Money is a bit tight.

    It will be interesting to see what they do with the messy comb. Last time I had comb hanging in there for cleaning up etc, they ignored it and I had to remove it. They hated it. LOL

    Thanks for all the suggestions.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,137

    Default Re: Advice needed - Very hot day and collapsed comb. What do I do?

    I thought a tin roof would be hotter than other materials also. The tin is what Wyatt Mangum talks about in his new book. Maybe he uses it because of availability & light when when moving hives to other yards. Anyway I think the space between the roof, & top bars it what helps, didn't know if you had any spacers on yours.
    Dan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Advice needed - Very hot day and collapsed comb. What do I do?

    My TBH has a peaked roof (think a house) and a minimum gap of 50mm (2") at the edges and close to 100mm (4") at the peak. The roof material is 4.5mm marine ply that is painted white. The gable ends have vent holes which I think are 28mm or there abouts.

    Seeing as to day it's 36C (98F) in the shade and the hive catches about 45mins of noonday sun I'm moving it tonight to a spot where it gets good breeze flow and NO noonday sun. The distance it will be moved is all of 2m or so..... Just don't want to see any dropping comb during this heat wave!

    Cheers, Thomas.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Advice needed - Very hot day and collapsed comb. What do I do?

    You did what I would have done when you cleaned it up. No use leaving the mess to get attached to another frame. As for your temperature problems. I use a plywood roof painted white and under it have an inner cover with a thin ply base that is about 2" deep. I have put wood shavings in this and the insulation seems to be doing what I had planned. My hive survived yesterday's 43 degrees ok.
    Cheers
    Rob

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