Hurricane proofing apiary
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Darlington, SC
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    369

    Default Hurricane proofing apiary

    Anyone have suggestions on how to hurricane ready hives ahead of Hurricane Florence?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
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    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    With this one being so strong, I'd ratchet strap them, two straps if possible. Put them on the ground so they don't have as far to fall. If possible, put them against the side of the house or a structure that you expect to be blocking the wind. Which side that will be depends on which side of the storm you expect to be on.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,291

    Default

    Extra weight on top or ratchet straps. Reduce height and remove empty boxes. Heavy compact hives have much less chance to blow over.

    Hives in low areas at risk of flood should be moved to higher ground also. This is just good site selection practice.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Florida, Gilchrist county
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    Drive a 11/2 or 2 inch pipe in the ground right up next to the side of the hive. Ratchet strap around the bottom box and the pipe. This is the horizontal strap

    Then ratchet strap around the top and bottom hive boxes. This is the vertical strap.

    This got me thru Irma with no loses.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
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    2,643

    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    Sorry guys - these are not even near hurricane-proof suggestions. In hurricane country, you need to dig a 8- to 12-foot deep hole in a high area with a ramp to drive down to your bees. I'd line it with a concrete & cinder block wall on the inside and build a hurricane deck (concrete or blacktop over 2x10 or stronger lumber with strong-ties) over the top of them. It will need several large drain pipes to let water out. The bees will have to be up on double or triple pallets to stay dry. Even this is no guarantee, but it gives them a chance. Yes drive in poles and strap them down under this deck!

    This is the only way one stands a chance of preventing high-speed debris from pummeling the bee hives, or losing them 2 counties away. With winds that can hit 400+ miles per hour, blades of grass can become lethal projectiles.

    Without time for such preparations, put them on a trailer or semi-truck and haul them inland.

    Best of luck and I'll be praying for y'all.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    3,291

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Sorry guys - these are not even near hurricane-proof suggestions. In hurricane country, you need to dig a 8- to 12-foot deep hole in a high area with a ramp to drive down to your bees. I'd line it with a concrete & cinder block wall on the inside and build a hurricane deck (concrete or blacktop over 2x10 or stronger lumber with strong-ties) over the top of them. It will need several large drain pipes to let water out. The bees will have to be up on double or triple pallets to stay dry. Even this is no guarantee, but it gives them a chance. Yes drive in poles and strap them down under this deck!
    Ide be more amazed if you could build that in 3 days than if the hives made it or not. For me it wouldnt be worth the trouble for a few hives. Ide be more concerned about my house and family, let insurance handle the rest.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,373

    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    400 mph winds? On Mars maybe! WRLCPA, there is a post here somewhere about a member in Fl hurricane proofing his hives. Can't seem to find it, but from what I remember he drove stakes in the ground like others suggested. They survived. Good luck. J

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ft White Florida
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Don’t open them. This time of year they should be propolized together pretty good.
    Ratchet strap them and set them near, but not on the ground.
    If you’re near water you need to move them to higher ground if possible.
    If you can get them to the safe side of a study structure or hedge row to protect them from the wind, do so.
    I had several pallets of hives ride thru Irma last year with nothing but rachet straps holding them together. Same thing the year before with that hurricane. I don’t remember the name of that one, it was just a little feller with 80 mph wind.
    Look, be smart about this. If you have time
    ,tend to your bees. If not, to hell with them. You can gather the leftovers back up when them storm’s over.
    Take care of family and friends. Neighbors and old folks. Then get out of the way of the storm. Every thing else is just stuff and can be replaced. Be careful and be smart. This storm is nothing to play with. It’s better to be a live chicken than a dead duck.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    4,600

    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    Richmond appears to be on the north side of the storm and is not expected to get more than TS strength winds. Bought the last four 4-packs of 16' ratchet straps at the local HD. My plan is to strap the hives individually and weight them down with bricks. Last high wind event had the tops all over the apiary and even blew some of the IPM boards out from under the bottom boards. My prayers are with those that will be getting a direct hit.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
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    1,171

    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    I'm born and raise in Florida and have been through many hurricanes. Drove over a three mile bridge about 5 minutes before they closed it due to high winds with the waves washing over the bridge. That was in a leaky 74 ragtop vw bug with my birds in the back. Not my choice to wait that long, but an experience I won't forget. That was Opal. I ran from Ivan. You have two from hurricane alley that have offered suggestions. My thought of putting them down was me thinking of my area. The floods curve aroudn and miss that spot. A pallet is a great idea and do be careful of flood areas. You will probably get floods in places that never expect it. My neighbor drained his pool into my yard years ago, so I have a good idea of how severe rain flows through there. Do be safe and do protect yourself and family. Yes, pine needles have been known to go through a tree during a hurricane. That is often where a tornado has spawned. The tornadoes they throw are often not mentioned.

    JWP, FWIW, I had bricks on the hives, but didn't even take them off the stands when the tropical strength winds came through here this past month. No straps. They were all fine. I hope your fare as well.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    6,645

    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    Too much weight up high can make them top heavy. Better to set them on cement blocks and strap through the blocks so your weight is low. Having them off the ground will also help keep them dry and of course sliding them together will greatly help as well. Best of luck to all you folks that may be affected by the hurricane.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    1,527

    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    Hurricane prep in five words:

    Five Gallon Buckets Of Water


    And you can put holes in the lids so they're self filling
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    East-Central Flroida
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    76

    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    Hoping for the best for you guys. I have discussed this with a few local keepers who have weathered out many a storm here in FL. They all told me pretty much the same thing. The main damage to their hives came from debris hitting the hive or water damage, not the wind. They strapped down their hives as a number of people have mentioned in this post. Born and raised in FL and I have seen plenty of hurricane damage, but this is my first hurricane season keeping bees. So this is just second hand experience.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Port Orange, Florida, USA
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    243

    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    Last year I strapped my hives down but had a big old tree fall into the yard knocking over one hive, go figure. I'm in Florida and just south of Daytona Beach and made it through the last two years without too many problems. Do the best you can, a local commercial beek lost about 200 hives because one of his out yards was in a low area and flooded.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    I live in a hurricane prone area. I take T-posts (the type that barbed wire fences are made from) and drive them down around my hives and ratchet strap across my hives pinning them to the ground or the base that they are resting on. I have survived some minor stuff (maybe 70mph wind gusts?) with absolutely no trouble. But that has not been tested against a direct hit of anything above the outer bands of a Cat. 3 hurricane. Good luck.

  17. #16
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    Jul 2017
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Too much weight up high can make them top heavy. Better to set them on cement blocks and strap through the blocks so your weight is low. Having them off the ground will also help keep them dry and of course sliding them together will greatly help as well. Best of luck to all you folks that may be affected by the hurricane.
    Cement blocks is a great idea for weight and to keep them off the ground. Many beeks have them already anyway. I hope these ideas help those of you in the path. Stay safe! I'm going to file these for future years. (Fingers crossed nothing comes this way this year.)
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
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    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    Word is just starting to filter across the pond about just how bad this one is going to be. Best wishes guys - hope you all come through 'Flo' ok.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    6,645

    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    If forecasters are correct it appears this hurricane's potential destructive effects are more about water than wind. Not good news at all.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  20. #19
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Darlington, SC
    Posts
    369

    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    Thanks everyone... Alot of Great ideas. As of now, it appears this will be a water event. I am 100 miles inland so storm surge is not an issue. Apiary is in an area where drainage is good, I hope. Depends on how fast the massive amounts of water comes. I only strapped them together betting the wind will not get down to the ground (They are hunkered down in trees.

    I will update once I get power back, i am sure we will loss power at a minimum

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    1,630

    Default Re: Hurricane proofing apiary

    Good luck.

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