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Thread: Full Sun?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Exeter, WI
    Posts
    127

    Default Full Sun?

    So, I am finished building my KTBHs and am ready to put them in place and level them in preparation for my bees this weekend. I have my lang hives on a south-facing hill in the full sun. It does get pretty hot on the hill during the summer. Here in WI, we ususally get a few weeks above 90 and a few days in the 100s each year. Some years are worse. My langs are fine, although I can tell they do not really enjoy the weather.

    I am a bit worried that putting KTBHs in the hot sun will leave the hives too hot. I have read about comb collapse and would like to avoid it. For now, I am using the reflective foil sided hard foam insulation as the top cover, but plan to build something more substantial at some point. I may also just use a sheet of plywood in conjunction with the insulation. I plan to use the MB entrance method of simply recessing the first bar enough for the bees to enter/exit. It seems that a wood box in the full sun with just one entrance at the end might get very hot. I know bees are skilled at ventilation through one hole, but would I be better off to find a place in the shade?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,101

    Default Re: Full Sun?

    For most hives I like full sun, but a new top bar hive will have soft new comb and I have had a total collapse in one on a 100+ F day. Shade might be better, at least until they have some older comb An air gap between the top bars and the cover is good too so the heat from the cover doesn't go directly to the top bars.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    426

    Default Re: Full Sun?

    With temps that high I would keep direct sun light off the body of the hive. A thick cover and air gap as MB suggest will go a long way in helping the bees be more comfortable.
    Last edited by Delta Bay; 04-09-2014 at 09:55 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Exeter, WI
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Full Sun?

    Thanks,
    I should mention that I decided to give my new hives a head start and cut down a box of medium lang frames, so each will start with 5 bars of comb. That should help them get a quick start, but won't really solve the comb collapse issue.

    I was planning to eventually build a more substantial top than just a sheet of insulation, but it sounds like a shadier spot is a better idea. I could put it in a full-on woods, but that much shade is probably not very good either? Ideally I'll find a spot with morning sun and afternoon shade.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,101

    Default Re: Full Sun?

    Do you have spacers between the top bars of the lang frames? Make sure they are not up against each other. They should be a minimum of 1 1/4" on center.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Exeter, WI
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Full Sun?

    They have the normal ears (which is the top of the side bar) as spacers that lang frames have. I believe the width (including ears) is 1 3/8 inches. They width (including ears) is the exact width of my top bars.
    This of course leaves a bee space gap between the lang bars, meaning that the lang bars do not create a bee tight cover. I am putting a thin piece of panelling over these bars to make sure that it is bee proof. I also intend to cycle these bars out as quickly as possible, although they may not build up enough to allow that in one season.

    This should work fine, right?

    Although now that you mention it, it might be easier to knock the 'ears' off and just cut some spacers to put between the bars. It would make the cover issue easier too.

    I'll try to take some pictures tonight and post a new thread about my newly constructed hives and get any other feedback on things I may have overlooked.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,101

    Default Re: Full Sun?

    I guess the question is how you will use them. Most top bar hives have solid bars on top with no gaps. If you leave the end bars on, yes that will space them. Then it depends on what kind of cover/innercover etc you have how the rest works out...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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