Candle hive stove
There are quite a bit of videos online of people using small candles to heat a room through convection and radiant heating via clay pots.
What do you think of installing a candle stove either made of clay with an exit chimney and something to protect the bees from burning up or maybe something along the lines of a candle hive stove where the chimney would radiate heat. The design below will have windscreen to prevent the wind from blowing out the candle and any debris from landing inside. If using a Langstroth hive, the chimney could be routed from the bottom of the hive to the top of the hive. This may not be viable to a commercial outfit as it would be too much of a hassle to light candle after candle on cold nights.
The design includes a catcher plate for excess candle runoff to protect the floor of the hive.
I understand that by heating, the bees will want to fly more often and it's possible that the queen could start laying drone brood. I have not seen any of that with the top bar hive except laying more as the temperatures are increasing in New Mexico. The bees know it's cold in the garage, cold outside, but warm inside. They only fly when the weather is nice. The cluster has grown a small amount since December, but they certainly are not starving.
It seems I am not the only person using Christmas lights to heat a hive.
Re: Candle hive stove
Originally Posted by mountainbeek
Re: Candle hive stove
Some colonies didn't survive this year's winter because of unpredictable weather, for the mistake of a beekeeper, nosema, mites, condensation, and for many other reasons unknown to us. I am just trying to provide a solution to people who have lost their colony even though they insulated properly and had proper ventilation throughout the winter, but still lost their bees. I am not a commercial beekeeper, but just a hobbyist who aspires to become a commercial beekeeper.
It seems like a far fetched idea, but is it really any different than what we already do for bees? We've taken bees from their natural habitat, a tree, and place them in wooden boxes. We paint hives, we take temperature measurements of the hive cluster, we listen to the frequencies within the hive to predict swarming, we raise and sell queens and nucs. Heating a hive is no different than bringing in the cows to the barn when it's snowing and temperatures drop below zero.
This solution is not for many, but for some without electricity, or a frugal beekeeper, or for those where a state of emergency has been declared and one cannot access running water, electricity.
Take for example West Virginia and the recent water quality issues. Even though were not exactly talking about water here, but there may be a time when one needs to provide drinkable water for the bees, but can't because the water suddenly became undrinkable.
This is a Cherokee legend called, "How the Honey Bee Got Their Stinger".
"Back in ancient times when the people were more pure and could converse with the animals and the Creator would visit with them, the people asked the Creator for something that was 'sweet' to the taste. So the Creator sent the Bee, but the Bee had no stinger. Down came the Bee and it found a suitable tree in which they could build their hive, live in, produce honey, multiply and feed its young. Soon the people came to the Bee and asked for some of the sweet syrup and the Bee gave each person a container full. The people loved the syrup and greedily ate it, then went back to the Bee for more.
But the Bee replied, 'I have no more to give you for a while. You will have to wait.' The people were not happy, as they craved the sweet syrup. So they called upon the Creator, saying, 'the Bee does not give us enough of the golden syrup. We want more!!!' The Creator listened and sent down the Flower People. The Flower People began to spread all types of flowers across the land giving the Bees greater access and variety of flowers to pollinate and make more honey. The Flower People spread all kinds of beautiful wild flowers around to attract the Bees; bright blue, red, orange, purple and yellow. More Bees were created to help pollinate the flowers. The hive grew to be very large. The people seeing how big the hive was went to get more of the sweet syrup. So the Bees gave all the syrup to the people but left enough to feed their young. The people devoured the syrup and wanted more. The Bee responded, 'We don't have anymore, you will have to wait.'
The people were angry and asked the Flower People to make more flowers so they could have more of the golden syrup to eat. The Flower People responded, 'We made all the flowers we could and they are all pollinated. You will have to wait until Spring.' 'No, said the people, 'We want more now!!' So they went back to the bee's hive and tore it apart killing almost all of the Bees and taking the syrup. The remaining Bees were angry. They asked the Creator what to do. The Creator was also annoyed at the behavior of the people, so he told the Flower People to create some 'briar bushes' and for the Bees to eat the briars.
The Bees did as the Creator said, they ate the briars and these were transformed into stingers. The Flower People created an entire briar patch around the Bee's tree. The next day, the people came back and started toward the Bee's hive for more syrup; but the briars around the tree scratched and tore at their bodies. Some of the people made it through the briars to the hive. Covered in welts, they yelled at the Bees, 'Give us some more syrup now, or we will do the same as we did yesterday, kill your young and destroy your home!' The Bees became angry and a loud hum came from the hive in the tree, and out they swarmed. The Bees stung the people all over until they were covered in welts and sent them running.
After that day, the people treated the Bees, flowers, and plants with great respect and always promised to replace whatever they asked for and never be greedy or take more than they needed."
I know that the heater the bees have already works. I am not thinking about switching to candle heat because right now I am lazy and don't want to be lighting a candle every night until spring, but if I had no electricity, I would do it because one is able to keep a colony alive at all costs, the queen can live another day to mate with various drones from around the area whether those drones were raised with artificial heat or produced by a colony living in a bush without the aide of a beekeeper.
Last edited by mountainbeek; 01-22-2014 at 08:46 PM.