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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    94

    Default Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    Hi everyone

    My first-ever bees are doing great and my first inspection thrilled me with tight covered brood pattern,only a few drone cells, and lots of larvae to look at! Since April 9 they have 8 bars going so I know they are happy.
    But,it's a hot Spring here and it got me worried about summer.
    We sometimes (quite variable here)get a week or more of 105+ weather in July or August. I have a white tarp to suspend over my hive for the high noon sun but don't know if shade is enough. I also have some 3 inch insulation board that I was thinking of putting on the sunny side and top but am unsure if it will insulate against the heat...or would it just hold extra heat IN at night? I already know not to inspect or do anything during that time. I've read a lot of fallen comb stories in forums. My hive is 1" cedar and I'm kind of wishing is was 2" now,after-the-fact.

    Does anyone deal with this sort of weather with a top bar? What do you do? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    I use exclusively TBH style hives for my bees here in coastal TX. While we very rarely top 100F here on the coast, we often have a month straight of 95F days with 85% humidity... anywise, to help keep the heat off my bees, I painted the tops of my lids with "Aluminum Roofing Paint," a (very) reflective, oil-based paint; I also use the KTBH-style sloped-sides on my boxes, so the sun rarely hits the sides of the hives much, due to their "hiding" under the overlap of the lid. Lastly, I cut my top bars like Langstroth frames, with bee-space between every two bars, and between the bars & the lid, with a top entrance into the bee space above the bars. This way my bees have the heat-fighting advantage of being able to ventilate above the tops of the combs, so the hottest air in the hive is first to be fanned out

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,617

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    HappyBeeing, We have High temps. here in July and Aug. also. I have screen bottomboards on my hives and a top entrance for ventilation, i would not put insulation on the hive, they need air circulation to cool the inside. I sometime put a piece of plywood over the top of the hive for shade.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    Hi robherc and brooksbeefarm! Thank you for letting me know how you work it! So far top ventilation is the common theme and I don't have any in the top of my hive body(just the peaked roof over the flat top). I do have a bottom screen with a swing down door under it I've kept closed so far but figured those high temps would be when I'd open it. I knew instinctivly that something was missing or I'd forgotten something I read though.Since I have a lower slot door I'll probably put some corks up top to open now when the scorcher hits.Thanks again so much! HB

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,617

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    HappyBeeing, a couple of popsicle sticks under the two front corners of the inner cover will give some ventilation and small enough to keep robbers out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    HappyBeeing

    Might want to consider cutting some end vents in your peaked roof. Easy to do, just cut a 2" hole on each end covered with screen/hardware cloth inside to release the heat. Good in winter also.
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    Hi Again brooksbeefarm...Well,gee,that's an easy fix! Do the closed top bars actally "vent" right through the wood? I'm in an area of few other honey bees(other keepers 10 miles or more away and me with only the one hive for now). I needed my own pollinators for my fruit trees and melons. There are plenty of wild pollinators here but they liked the wild growth more than my plantings. I was SO delighted my bees found my fruit tree blossoms immediatly. I imagine when I harvest a comb someday I might get a look at robber activity though by smelling up the area. ha.And I plan on having hive #2 next year.

    Hi beeman! Yeah that's exactly how our peaked roof was done;I must have seen the same specs as you somewhere! I'm thinking now a further vent "closer to the combs" will help though.I don't know how much venting happens right Through untreated wood like my inner cover.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    Ok, I'm not sure why you guys are using inner covers on TBH boxes, but....

    The ventilation holes in the "attic" area of the peaked roof aren't for venting the hive, so much as for venting the super-hot air inside that "dead space" in the roof itself; sun beating down on the roof heats the air underneath, which needs somewhere to go so it doesn't heat the wood underneath it, down to your top bars & start softening combs where they attach to the bars

    Also, if you're using a "normal" TBH setup (i.e. no bee space between, or above, the bars), you can simply push your first top bar back far enough to leave a bee space gap between the front edge of the bar, and the inside edge of the front hive wall, to give the bees a nice top entrance. Michael Bush, I believe, mentioned this in the TBH discussion on his website too. http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,029

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    It is expected to get into the 100s F by next week.

    I use screened bottoms, or a screened vent in my bottom boards, and upper entrances.

    Here is a photo showing the entrances on a Top Bar nuc, growing in a regular 5-frame medium nuc box ->


    Pics of Top Bar Nucs ->

    Top Bar Nuc 1

    Top Bar Nuc 2
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 04-28-2013 at 09:34 PM. Reason: Added pics
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    956

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    In addition to good air circulation, you need a good water source as near as possible to the hive. Its the evaporation of water that actually cools the hive. HTH

    Screened bottom boards give me confidence in the heat. I ordered a screened inner cover as well to try (and duplicate if it works) this year. One up-side to severe heat is that the queen will stop laying eggs. That gives the varroa mites a fit to find brood for their next generation of mites.
    Lee Burough
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Wichita Kansas
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    The past two summers in Kansas have been brutal. 110+ on occasion. I lost 2 hives to comb collapse the first summer. Last year I did the following: Peaked roofs on all the hives with air vents in the end. Air vents in the main box (all vents were 1" in diameter). I painted the roofs white and where possible, moved the hives to get some afternoon shade. That seemed to keep the comb from falling off so hopefully this summer won't test it again.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    956

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    Quote Originally Posted by catbackr View Post
    -snip- afternoon shade -snip-
    Worth mentioning!
    Lee Burough
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    All my hives are TBHs. They are all in afternoon shade. I only had one bar of comb collapse, (a year ago) and it was probably my fault.

    Sondra

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    gordo, al
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    Sounds like your good on ventilation. Only advice I have is afternoon shade and don't go in the hive unless absolutely necessary when its that hot. You have all new comb and its very easy to tear and break up before its that hot. If you do feel you need to inspect be extra careful and expect broken comb. I haven't had any problems with comb collapse when I leave them alone during times of high heat. .

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,617

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    Sorry HappyBeeing, I missed reading you had a Top Bar hive.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    catbackr-EXCELLENT! Thank you for your Exact experience!!!! That was JUST what I wanted to hear when I asked this question! I have an almost white roof,the ventilation figured out now and shade, so I think I'm good!SO glad those things worked for you.

    robherc- My peaked roof isn't really needed right now-it's just an extra form of shade and protection) BUT it's REALLY for winter insulation(the dead space will be stuffed) and SLIDING off the foot or more at a time of very wet heavy snow we get in winter.

    brooksbeefarm-What you said First was still helpful because venting the top part of the hive body(not roof) was the ONE thing that was "missing" in my design.I didn't mind you answering in the Top Bar Forum! I can still remove spacers or add top corks to open or whatever! I know many variables will work and am all set now!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    At 105 F and relative humidity around 60 percent the wet bulb temperature is around 10 degrees less ( the principal of a swamp cooler) so a wick covering the roof (say several layers of burlap or such) and kept wet could help.
    Bill

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Cache co, Utah, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    Speaking from years of swamp cooler experience in the arid west desert, 60 percent humidity renders a swamp cooler virtually useless. Here in Utah, if the humidity reaches much over 25 percent, the swamp cooler is turned off, and just circulation fans are about all that get used. At 15 percent or lower, a swamp cooler can effectively drop the temperature about 15 degrees, but that's about it. The wet bulb temperature is the theoretical limit, and that's with 100% efficiency, which is quite difficult to achieve.

    Shading the hive will have a much more beneficial effect than trying to cool the hive with wet burlap at 60 percent humidity, and not require constant re-wetting attention. Your mileage may vary.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    Speaking from experience in El Paso, TX...I've lowered the temperature with a swamp cooler to WAY below wet bulb; often accomplishing 25F drops; wet blb is with ambient air curents; evaporative coolers, used properly, can exceed it by as much as 3 to 1. That said, I think wetting a fabric covering over your hive would be about the worst thing you could do to "help" your bees when it's hot out...the moisture would interfere with the bees' own cooling efforts, encourage growth of mold, bacteria, wood rot, etc...not to mention being supremely labor intensive, as you'd need to re-wet it every so many minutes throughout the day...so let's go with the reflective roof &/or placement in the shade

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Nueces, TX, USA
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Question about Very HOT weather,like 105

    I live in south texas as well (super hot and humid) and I don't ventilate my hives at all...no screen bottoms, no vents...just a bottom/end entrance...on the new hives we are putting up I'm considering just leaving a gap between first bar and front (like MB suggests)...essentially a top entrance..I think either way is fine really...the bees will regulate the temp. in the hive, I did not used a screen bottom because it seems to me that it would make it very difficult for the bees to control the air flow that way...it can get extremely windy here as well since I am right on the coast.

    I can only recall one or two pieces of comb falling in all the time those hives have been up and I don' think it was a heat issue.

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