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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Round Rock, TX. USA
    Posts
    13

    Default How much ventilation for a HOT climate?

    Hello all,
    I'm building my first hive for locally-sourced bees that will be available in April. The weather here is usually great, and I see (wild?) bees in my yard almost every day of the year. I understand that in the years with a winter I will need to close the bottom of the hive and limit ventilation to a small amount at the top to prevent condensation inside the hive.

    In July 2011 the weather was 105-110F for several hours a day, every day, for two weeks. This isn't normal, but it happened and could happen again. Obviously the bees need a good source of water close to the hive in these conditions, but should the ventilation be restricted to keep the heat out? If so, at what temperature should I close the hive bottom?

    The hive will be a horizontal langstroth raised about two feet above the ground to stay out of reach of the skunk. The bees are from Bee Weaver and should not have problems with the varroa mite.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    fairfield,ohio
    Posts
    674

    Default Re: How much ventilation for a HOT climate?

    A hive needs ventilation year round. Hot days to ventilate the heat out. Cold days to help with condensation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,668

    Default Re: How much ventilation for a HOT climate?

    Paint the hive white which will help a lot. Bees cannot regulate the hive temp when there is no fresh air flow. If anything, increase the top opening and bottom entrance to let the heat out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Smithville, Texas
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: How much ventilation for a HOT climate?

    Hi Ccarter, I'm in Smithville, not too far from you. I have BWeaver bees and run screened bottom boards year round on my langs with no problems. Just make sure they have water in August/Sept, they'll by fine.

    They are great bees. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: How much ventilation for a HOT climate?

    I have a long lang and we regularly get weeks over 40 degrees (celcius).

    I have a warre like quilt in the top to help prevent the heat getting into the hive from the roof (this is just left on all year) and have a four three inch vents cut into the bottom board. I run foundationless and this worked through the last really hot spell with no comb collapse.
    Cheers
    Rob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ravenna, TX, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: How much ventilation for a HOT climate?

    Hey Ccarter, north of you in Aubrey. I run Brushy Mountain screened bottom boards AND Dadant Ventilated Inner covers year round. If the winter temps get down into the 20's I'll slide the corrugated plastic sheet in. Other than that I run them wide open year round.
    Clark - Aubrey, TX

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    949

    Default Re: How much ventilation for a HOT climate?

    I am in the High Desert of SoCal. We also get regular 110*+ days. I run two deeps for the broodnest, a solid bottom board with a slatted rack and have the entrance reduced to about 3" year-round. In the summer I use a ventilated/moving screen inner cover with a migratory outer cover. The hives only get late afternoon shade. In the three years I have been keeping hives they have not died or melted down due to overheating. In the winter I install the standard inner cover and telescoping outer cover. My inner covers have a 3/8" routed slot in them that is on the deeper side of the inner cover. The slot faces down against the hive body in the spring and fall and up in the winter. I slide the telescoping cover forward in the spring and fall, then back in the winter to allow some ventilation but not enough to allow the slot to be used as an entrance. I hope this is helpful. Good luck!
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: How much ventilation for a HOT climate?

    I have three hives South of Houston and the bees are from BeeWeaver's Navasota facility. I run Country Rubes SBB, last year open but will try the new Freeman oil trays this year (SHB is my only issue). I run screened inner covers year round and have no issues. I am getting two package bee sets on 6 April to start 10 frame med. only Langs. to see how they do. That takes me to my max 5 hives. I am very pleased with the BeeWeaver bees and Laura Weaver is fantastic to work with.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: How much ventilation for a HOT climate?

    Keep in mind that the bees on a really hot day are COOLING the hive. To do that they need ventilation, but they need to control that ventilation. Too much and it's like leaving the door open on your house while the air conditioner is running...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: How much ventilation for a HOT climate?

    You could just use screen bottoms and on the hot days jamb a small stick or twig under the top cover to open it up just a crack.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Default Re: How much ventilation for a HOT climate?

    I use screen bottoms and prop the tops year around.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Round Rock, TX. USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: How much ventilation for a HOT climate?

    Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences. I'm impressed by the variety of approaches being used successfully. My guess is that raising the hive out of the skunk's reach will expose it more to the air temperature extremes than if I could leave it in contact with the ground.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Default Re: How much ventilation for a HOT climate?

    My hive stands are generally landscape timbers placed flat on the ground.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: How much ventilation for a HOT climate?

    > I'm impressed by the variety of approaches being used successfully.

    Bees are a self adjusting entity. They adjust and make do with whatever they have to... They control the heat and humidity in the hive. I think our job is to try not to make more work for them, and if possible, less work. But we have to be careful of too much "help" making more work.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,235

    Default Re: How much ventilation for a HOT climate?

    While not the usual condition, we have had temps that high or higher many times.
    a. I do not run a screen bottom. Just a 3/4 inch open mouth at the bottom.
    b. I use an inner cover, properly spaced, and if there were a problem with SHB then the opening in the inner cover would be screened with window screen to minimize the beetles access.
    c. I prop the top up to allow flow from bottom to top.

    The bees can and will use propolis to restrict the air flow to their temp and humidity needs. Having the flow through significantly decreases the number of bees that are bearding and it makes for drier honey when the heat spikes up.

    Fuzzy

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