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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,260

    Default cheap foam screen cover

    What do you see inside a bee hive? http://youtu.be/KFS8yfpMTuI
    I am always curious of what is inside my hive. What are they all doing all day long. But not want to open up the hive every time disrupting their process.
    I hate crushing bees after a hive inspection too. It seems after on the next inspection that always a few I killed with
    the heavy hive cover. Squish and crunch! There they go again--bye bye. It took almost a month to make these little girls with time and resources. I don't want to bee a bee killer anymore. So what is the plan or idea to improve and not killing them anymore.
    I had an idea to make a cheap foam top screen cover that will fit inside the heavy hive cover without killing my bees. So far so good with the test drive.
    Even when the foam sat on top of the bees they will not get crush because it is light weight than the heavy cover. This allow them time to crawl back into the hive again from the box edge. Then I just gently released the hive cover to seal everything all back again. What do you think? Any better idea than the one I have without killing these gentle bees? I have bees that I can just pick them up now without a sting yet. Gentle bees are hard to find it seems.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
    Posts
    828

    Default Re: cheap foam screen cover

    Sounds like a good idea but I could never really see it in the video. Keeping it a secret? :-)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,260

    Default Re: cheap foam screen cover

    Nah, not a secret at all. Actually pretty simple to make under 20 minutes to assemble everything together.
    I tested it tonight using red LED lights to see if any would get squish. There are many more bees inside
    the hive at night time almost double the amount than the day time. On purpose I let go of the foam
    when they try to crawl out knowing that it is too light to kill any of them. So I open it up again and sure
    enough, the bee still alive and crawl back into the hive. Not bad for a night test, eh. Only time will tell
    as I run more tests on them. These are not the hard foam but the light and porous type. They are safe
    for the bees though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Eatonville WA USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: cheap foam screen cover

    what i did to prevent squishing bees was I added a screw to each corner of my hive and screwed it to the height of bee ,space and now no more crushed bees when I put on the outer cover. But I like your idea too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Creston bc canada
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: cheap foam screen cover

    I made two of those inner covers myself this fall , for insulation purposes originally , 1" rigid foam.

    I find it is light enough that if I put it on first the bees caught under it will not get crushed , they will either crawl back in or leave the hive.

    After about 30 seconds or so , they are all either in or out , and I can safely put the outer cover back on.

    Cheers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,260

    Default Re: cheap foam screen cover

    It was a successful test. None of the bees got kill either at night or day time.
    Today I put a small honey trough inside the inner foam screen cover. There are
    many hungry nurse bees inside at the top. The foragers can barely keep up to feed them all.
    They out number the foragers 3 to 1. And sometimes gather at the hive entrance
    so the returning foragers can feed them. So they're always hungry for foods.
    I wonder if the nurse bees do poop inside the hive also?
    It is early Spring here so I wonder should I also put a patty inside the hive for the nurse
    bees since the last one finished already?
    The honey trough is small but long enough that the honey inside not even last 15
    minutes and the hungry nurse bees ate them all. Now I have to put a second round for them.
    One advantage of having a screen over them is that the nurse bees not running around to
    the outside edge. And if the weather is hot enough that they started fanning at the hive
    entrance, pop open the hive cover small enough while letting the hot air escape will stop them from
    fanning and refocus on foraging again. Because the hive is cooler now inside with the warm airflow.
    The airflow can be adjusted by how big a gap to open the top cover with a small stick for the gap.
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