clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience - Page 4
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  1. #61
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    I put a foam sleeve over my colonies in the winter. I can slide it on and off so I can check my colonies for food. 2 inches of foam on the top, 1 inch on the sides, taped together with tuck tape. Its not so air tight that some moisture can work its way out between the foam and the wood. The goal is to create a dome of warmth and protection and moderating humidity. On my last go round I notices a bit of moisture on top of the inner cover under the foam. But no condensation inside.

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  3. #62
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    Apr 2015
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    Richmond, VA, USA
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    lharder,

    Good to hear that it is working out for you. You have a lot tougher conditions to deal with. What are the low temps where you live?

    The double-thickness on the top versus that on the sides is a good move. I learned the hard way that having the sides more insulated than the top can be a problem. Thankfully, the bees shrugged it off. :-)

  4. #63
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    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    It isn't so bad here. Zone 5/6 where my hives are overwintering. I think the worst was around -22 C, maybe -25 at night. Things were mild this winter except these last 2 weeks. Now sitting a few degrees below normal. Good chance really nasty temps are behind us. The folks on the prairies or up in the hills have it much worse than me.

  5. #64
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    Apr 2015
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Broodup 2019.jpg

    The hive with a Broodminder, 1803 (Piper) looks like it shifted gears about Feb 3rd. Prior to that date, the sensor was reading about 15F-20F higher than outside temps. Since then the differential has been climbing, varying from 25F-50F.

    Two checkerboarded boxes were added Feb 15th. With the added volume, the bees are still managing to keep the top of the stack close to 75F. It looks like the colony is getting ready for spring!

    Incidentally, a good video on brood-rearing, "Bees in Winter" was given by Ben Harden at the 2015 National Honey Show. Very enlightening. It appears the bees often go broodless in Nov/early Dec, though some colonies, will even go broodless in January before ramping up for spring.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pok9lAs-QR0

  6. #65
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    Jun 2018
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    Boaz, KY, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    Incidentally, a good video on brood-rearing, "Bees in Winter" was given by Ben Harden at the 2015 National Honey Show. Very enlightening. It appears the bees often go broodless in Nov/early Dec, though some colonies, will even go broodless in January before ramping up for spring.
    Clong:

    Great video- thank you for sharing. The whole concept of water balance is fascinating and makes me wonder if there is an ideal 'shell' r-factor and/or convective ventilation rate that best exploits this dynamic?

    The temperature increase bit you are recording reminds me of Tim Ives predictive evaluations with a thermal camera.

    Do you think the Broodminder has been worth the investment?

    I am most interested in following what you learn from your evaluations of insulated envelopes and no top ventilation.

    Thanks for the update.

    Russ

  7. #66
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Clong:

    Do you think the Broodminder has been worth the investment?

    I am most interested in following what you learn from your evaluations of insulated envelopes and no top ventilation.

    Russ
    Russ,

    The Broodminder has been worth it. The price was a bit steep, but its ease of use, and help in understanding the temperature and humidity inside the hive has been invaluable. It has been interesting to me how constant they can hold humidity in the broodnest, during the spring and summer with the ambient RH varying from 50%-90+%.

    I have the hive scale model too. It is a blast to watch during the flow. You can watch the weight climb during the day, and drop at night as the bees dehumidify the nectar. The graph looks like tilted stair steps.

    They have had occasional hardware and software glitches, but they always make things right. My latest sensors (they replaced earlier models due to battery drain) have been going for over a year without any hardware problems.

    I can definitely recommend them.

  8. #67
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    The Broodminder has been worth it.

    I can definitely recommend them.
    Thank you, Clong. I sincerely appreciate the feedback.

  9. #68
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Went out to the beeyard last Sunday, 2/24/19, to reconfigure the jumbo hive body with a medium on top. The plan was to remove the jumbo box, move the medium onto the bottom board, and to add a box or two to the top, using Matt Davey's OSBN method to forestall swarming. Instead I found decapitated bees on the top bars, along with hundreds more on the bottom board.

    IMG_4268.jpg
    IMG_4266.jpg
    IMG_4264.jpg

    The entrance reducer on this hive was cut to 1/2". No mouse guards were installed at the entrance. One photo shows the squared-off entrance that was facing outwards at the time. The other shows the edge of the reducer that was facing into the hive. The upper edge of the reducer was chewed. Perhaps the mouse was too fat to easily wriggle out. All the other entrance reducers are cut to 3/8". I am contemplating cutting my own at 5/16".

    Will cutting the reducers smaller help, or should I just assume a determined mouse will chew/wriggle through any wood reducer, and plan on installing mouse guards?

    That puts the count at 4/6 survival this winter.

  10. #69
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    What prevents you from using 1/2" wire cloth on all of your entrances?
    Just do it.
    Staple it everywhere and be done and have the wire in place 24/7/365.
    Usage is very flexible and you can improvise no matter what you have on hand.

    Yes - a silly loss.
    Cannot really afford such losses.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #70
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    What prevents you from using 1/2" wire cloth on all of your entrances?
    Just do it.
    Staple it everywhere and be done and have the wire in place 24/7/365.
    Usage is very flexible and you can improvise no matter what you have on hand.

    Yes - a silly loss.
    Cannot really afford such losses.
    Gregv,

    I had never experienced such a loss, so I guess I thought it couldn't happen to me.

    Sometimes I need to be slapped around a bit. :-|

    24/7/365 mouse guards. Thanks for the good advice.

    Hopefully, someone else will learn from my bonehead mistakes.
    Last edited by clong; 02-27-2019 at 08:57 AM.

  12. #71
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    Gregv,

    I had never experienced such a loss, so I guess I thought i couldn't happen to me.

    Sometimes I need to be slapped around a bit. :-|

    24/7/365 mouse guards. Thanks for the good advice.

    Hopefully, someone else will learn from bonehead mistakes.
    The loss will absolutely happen to you. It is only a matter of the loss degree (hopefully, less than 100% loss).
    I think I am at a good place - having only 2/11 survival in 2018 (less then 20% survival).
    This makes you numb and teaches to not be crying over every single loss (and prevent the silly ones) - look at the big picture, instead.
    So you still have it good, clong.

    But do run 24/7/365 mouse guards. That's what I do.
    Seriously, we have much bigger fish to fry to still worry of the stupid mice, of all things.
    And of course, I still manage to kill few bees.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #72
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    What prevents you from using 1/2" wire cloth on all of your entrances?
    Gregv,

    1/2" grid is small enough, or should I use 1/4"?

  14. #73
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    Gregv,

    1/2" grid is small enough, or should I use 1/4"?
    1/4 will be knocking off pollen/getting in the ways of drones/queens - no good.
    3/8 is probably ideal to prevent most any mammals, no matter how small.
    1/2 works plenty well as for me.

    I have rolls and rolls of 1/2" mesh I have gotten for free from dumpster - I use it for everything (fruit trees too).
    Not a single issue so far with me keeping hives all over the country places.
    People around me keep complaining of mice non-stop.
    Donno what is so hard in just keeping the grid in-place permanently.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  15. #74
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    But do run 24/7/365 mouse guards. That's what I do.
    Clong and GregV:

    I enjoyed reading this back-and-forth. Sorry to hear about the misfortune, however.

    Greg- to clarify, do you leave entrance reducers in conjunction with 1/2" mesh in-place year-round or just the mesh?

    Or maybe you don't use entrance reducers and simply cover the opening with mesh?

  16. #75
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Clong and GregV:

    I enjoyed reading this back-and-forth. Sorry to hear about the misfortune, however.

    Greg- to clarify, do you leave entrance reducers in conjunction with 1/2" mesh in-place year-round or just the mesh?

    Or maybe you don't use entrance reducers and simply cover the opening with mesh?
    I don't use the reducers.
    I now days use N 1/2" holes which I plug/unplug as needed.
    The wire screens are permanently stapled into the hive walls.
    I also used to use slits - the wire was permanently stapled to them.
    I also use 1 inch round holes - always screened too.

    Though for the the case Clong pictured - I immediately see how I would screen it.
    I would created a sort-of cage out of the screen and staple it to the reducer (so the screen becomes an integral part of the reducer). The cage will sort of outline the wood volume taken out of the void and will work as a screen.

    OR, more radically and practically, I would permanently staple a strip of 1/2 across the entire Lang bottom and call it done.
    So that the screen is always there where or not you use reducers.

    In any case, there are lots of ways to improvise with wire screening and just to ensure it is always and permanently in place so this "topic of mice and man" just goes away.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  17. #76
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    Toms River, New Jersey, USA
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    Default

    The one issue I could imagine with keeping hardware cloth on all year round is I wonder if it would decreasedproductivity as it's an obstacle that the bees would always have to pass around on their way into and out of the hive. I keep my half inch mesh in for the winter and I notice bees traffic jamming on a nice day. Also the occasional dead bee and bits of wax paper from feeding get stuck on the mesh entrance on their way out. Not a big deal in winter but I wonder if the added obstacle slows them down during the rest of the year

  18. #77
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by NJBeeVet View Post
    The one issue I could imagine with keeping hardware cloth on all year round is I wonder if it would decreasedproductivity as it's an obstacle
    1/2" is not a significant issue; not worried a bit.
    Of course, you want the best alignments possible not to create more bee obstacles you need.
    For example, my 1/2" round entrances go entirely through the 1/2x1/2 cell of of the mesh.

    And of course, for the major flow you want to have additional entrances open OR the main one widen some.
    If anything, I would worry of other things to improve productivity (not the 1/2" mesh).

    That is when you get into 1/4" - that will be some serious jamming and productivity issue (lost pollen is an obvious issue).

    3/8" - unsure; but I do not have/use it.
    Last edited by GregV; 02-26-2019 at 08:01 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  19. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    I don't use the reducers.
    I now days use N 1/2" holes which I plug/unplug as needed.
    GregV:

    Thank you for the response and the reminder- I recall now how you have multiple openings on various sides to allow you to evaluate warm-way / cold-way etc. Thank you for clarifying.

  20. #79
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Yup, mouse guards on everything. I almost mourn the loss of good comb more than the bees. I take them off once spring hits.

  21. #80
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    Yup, mouse guards on everything. I almost mourn the loss of good comb more than the bees. I take them off once spring hits.
    lharder,

    The only bright spot is, there was some REALLY nice straight brood comb in this hive. The mouse did most of the gnawing on the wonky honey frames, and hardly touched the brood comb.

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