new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monitoring - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    "...the Tesla of Beekeeping"

    Not long ago I saw a Tesla being charged at a remote location by a generator being run by a diesel engine. Explain the logic of that to me before you sell me the way to keep tesla bees.

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    How did you derive a design requirement for R value? Is it based on the needs of honeybees in a cluster mode? I left wondering how you get "4000 times better" with a R-value of R25 to R30 versus a wooden hive at a typical R 0.8 to R1.0. Is this based on thermal resistance of materials and heat trasnfer by just conduction? Calculations based on convection and radiation models with defined boundary conditions too? Does it also include any mass fluid exchange affects of things like vents? I am interested in understanding your dynamic model. I am a big believer in "conservation of energy" which is the fundamental purpose of an enclosure or typical hive assembly or a tree cavity for honey bees IMO. I will be testing an insulated hive(s) year-round starting this Winter. I am not sure I can adequately measure important variables but will try over time. ( I will look at your site.)

  4. #23
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    Simple - a Telsa is a vehicle waiting or wanting a new source of electrical energy supply - hopefully a federated one able to work independently too. A hive enclosure has been evolving for a longtime with lots of variations. The current simplistic single, thin walled hive does not make sense to me - overly simplistic. Given the tools honey bees are capable managing their internal hive environment quite well. Substandard housing makes it a lot harder on them. It may be a cost trade-off for commercial operations but backyard beekeepers can do a lot more in colder climates.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    Quote Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
    If your sensors could find the conditions that show queenlessness coming I would like that a lot.
    A predictive sensor ? That has the ring of a Nobel Prize about it. I'd like about a hundred that can predict when my virgin queens are at risk of predation so that I can lock them in that day, and another hundred that can indicate that they haven't mated properly. Meanwhile, back in the real world ...

    You guys must have very short memories ...:
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...ee-researchers

    In which the OP claimed: "... there will be a dozen or so sensors inside the hive monitoring about 28 different variables ...". But strangely, as soon as some of us started asking for more specifics regarding these 'sensors' and the 'variables' being monitored - in a hive which was allegedly already in existence - the information stream abruptly dried-up.

    Until such time as these "dozen or so" sensors are described in detail, along with their "about 28 variables" - I'd suggest that this project is either a scam or the brain child of a self-deluded salesman - and I invite the OP to prove otherwise.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  6. #25
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Holcombe View Post
    The current simplistic single, thin walled hive does not make sense to me - overly simplistic.
    Perhaps you're not aware of the closed-cell high-insulation designs as used in countries like Finland ? Not all hives are wooden these days.

    Relatively thin-walled wooden hives suit me well at my location, where I experience zero losses during Winter, year after year. (plenty of failures during the season - but that's another story)
    Thin hive walls enable the bees to sense brief warm spells on sunny days during winter, which enable them to take clearance flights, as well as re-locate onto fresh areas of unused stores.

    In areas of the world where winters are severe, various methods have been devised over the last 150 years for tolerating such conditions - and yet from time to time we still get lone individuals who know better than the many thousands of beekeepers who preceded them.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  7. #26
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    Quote Originally Posted by IWASHERE View Post
    Beekeeping has more or less stayed the same for decades now.
    Really?

    Is it really hard to imagine that someone has improved upon what's out there?
    Apparently it is. You don't seem to have imagined that a lot of people have already done that. You seem to be laboring under the assumption that it has stagnated for decades.

    The reasons why you haven't seen a market revolution have nothing to do with technology. If you think you can bring your hive box to market for $23 then you might have something. You'll have to out price those Finnish guys who have a superb lightweight well insulated hive design, already have an operating factory, have already brought it to market, and have started expanding their distribution into the Americas now. The technical hurdles are easy — that is why others have already done it. Have you even thought about the economic hurdles?

    People have been putting everything ranging from cheap Raspberry Pi and Arduino systems (toys) to more advanced systems like ControlLogix and Beckhoff systems on hives for quite a few years now. I am an Electrical Engineer with 35 years of experience in controls and instrumentation. There are companies that already have brought hive monitors to market that you can connect to your smartphone. Most of the time the user finds the data is interesting but that it doesn't save a bees life. It will tell you if the bees are dead yet. In a hive configured with proper ventilation the bees can regulate the temperature and humidity themselves. While a little insulation is good, hyper insulating a hive is bad and actually increases starvation since the more active the bees are the more they eat. The more they eat the more water vapor they exhale. More water vapor means a greater need for hive ventilation. Monitoring system are good for researchers - often they want to configure the instrumentation themselves for their particular experimental needs. The hobby beekeeper who is technically inclined will want to build his own Raspberry PI monitor because its all part of the hobby — not pay someone else to do it. The commercial beekeeper has no interest in spending more than a colony is worth.

    One of the problems with indiscriminate data collection is that almost all of the data is useless to researchers. You can know all about what is inside the hive, but if you don't know anything about the genetic lineage of the bees, including available mating drones from other hives in the area, the age of the queen, external hazards to the apiary, what flowers were blooming, was the field just mowed, how many wasps were around, where are the bees getting their water, and hundreds of other independent variables then that data cannot be put into a deterministic scientific context. All it is good for is raising the alarms over how many colonies are lost without telling us why — in other words, it does exactly what we already do with the data. Real researchers carefully design studies in advance with control groups and with experiment groups and conduct research in an environment where they can control for other variables (why some universities conduct their research on islands for example) and document variables that they cannot control for. Those are the guys doing the real science. That is the kind of data that identifies how diseases get spread, the scientists who sequenced the Varora DNA, and the ones that are breeding the new genetically controlled queens. You cannot do that with data that doesn't have independent variables controlled for.

    How much does your steel box weigh? How heavy is it when you add 80lbs of honey in it? When apiary workers are lifting them eight to ten times an hour for a full work day how is the accumulated stress going to affect the workers?

    I am not intending to put you off from your enterprise. By all means go ahead. I wish you luck and may you be successful. But for you to imagine that others haven't beat you to it is an underwhelming lack of imagination.

    What I'd really like to see is a system that monitors Varroa populations in real time. Now there is something that could solve a problem that actually exists. People are working on that too, but unlike hive environment monitors they haven't brought anything practical to market yet. So for now we have use other sampling alternatives.
    Last edited by JConnolly; 10-16-2019 at 04:50 PM.
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  8. #27
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    I collect simple numbers to go with observations to avoid being too anedoctal. I am quite familiar with insulating foam systems and especially like using them for starting up my nucs. I used blown, closed cell isocyanate foam in the 1970s for insulating purposes and more. For all the thousands of beekeepers preceding me and biological research personnel I have yet to find logical articles that quantify temperature, heat loss, humidity management, CO2 issues, cluster ventilation and active thermal regulation by the bees. Owen's 1950's thermology report is good but essentially focuses on a single variable - temperature profiles and survivability. (If you ant a fast, early Spring build-up insulate ( Owens).) One problem has been the lack of adequate humidity sensors but they, sensors, are coming on. Electronic, small and improving accuracy, as well as many other types of sensors. I still use simple dial indicators, fish scales and a weather station remote sensors for gross observations. (I do know what a thermocouple is, strain gauges, wet bulbs, and laser sensors are as well as a thermodynamics book.) Bees store energy in the fom of honey, wasting it to heat loss seems to be a poor design practice. To ignore other variables is also poor judgement and there are several related to a hive's design ( Im still learning about important design parameters like propolis layering.) One specific subject - top vents. I do not use them as well as thousands of other beekeepers world wide. I have not drowned a single bee from humidity in a hive but yet bees do die from hypothermia (test data) and maybe dehydration. Read Dereck Michell's work, Seeley's comments and M. Palmer's winter configuration in Vermont. Small steps but in the right direction IMO. BTW, I agree about thin wall hive's thermal response time to solar radiation is quicker but I have also carefully watched my internally warmer insulated hive's bees out on cleansing flights at the same time as reported by FB bee sites for uninsulated hives and on days when it was not reported. Strong sunlight effects are another area of interest to me. So much to learn and to think about but to assume we know it all is simply a way of deceiving oneself. I hope this helps explain my comment.

  9. #28
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    I'd like about a hundred that can predict when my virgin queens are at risk of predation so that I can lock them in that day,
    Oh I so wish I had one of those just a couple of weeks ago. My only loss in over a year was September 21. A hive was the victim of a robber bee attack. They killed the queen and cleaned out all the honey. She was a recently mated queen from my best line. Now I had been in that hive the day before and had marked the queen. I was going to cage her, but decided at the last second to let her free roam until I had readied the hive that I wanted to transfer her to instead of caging her for two days. Here she is, being let loose to face her impending death less than 24 hours later.
    Queen08292019-A.jpg
    Now if only there was a sensor that could have alerted me the day before that the hive would be robbed I would have gone ahead and caged her and then closed the robber screen. The sensor that worked was my own eyes, I saw the robbery in progress and got in and found the ball. She was still alive when I peeled all the robber bees off of her, but she only lived about an hour.
    Zone 6B

  10. #29
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    little jhon.
    If you have a 3d printer there are bee chasity belts in a few different sizes you could use.

  11. #30
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    Believe it or not! My grandson's high school has a bee club focusing on adapting sensors at the entrance /landing area to data mine for honeybee characteristics including Varroa. I would think thermal imaging may show something. I know some European group has developed a level of varroa recognition coming and going from the landing. I am not sure the beekeeping world has enough money to adapt and understand acoustic signatures like submarines do. I am not big on the current crop of hive monitors.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    Quote Originally Posted by firebob View Post
    little jhon.
    If you have a 3d printer there are bee chasity belts in a few different sizes you could use.
    LOL - love it
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  13. #32
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    Another thing I see with a lot of these 'bee ventures' is everyone thinks they're going to be the next flow hive... and not in concept, just success of the crowd funding part. Not that a follow a lot of them, but the few that I took a look at, none gain hardly any traction of even come close to meeting even meager goals now. The main issue I see is none scale well in terms of cost or efficiency which eliminates most commercial operations using them or even small operations and then comes the issue of availability if you are successful at getting orders. Could you produce 100 or even 1000 boxes rapidly right now if someone were to place an order that large?

  14. #33
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    Quote Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
    Lowell,
    There is a specific problem i have noticed in the last few years:
    Sudden queenlessness.
    A hive can be robust, populous, bringing in pollen and putting up some nice honey.
    Next thing you know it is queenless. No brood, no queen, no laying workers (yet)
    And no apparent reason. I know several other beeks having the same issue. Not on a large scale, but enough to get your attention.

    If your sensors could find the conditions that show queenlessness coming I would like that a lot.
    Thanks
    Sorry for the delay. The last few days have been hectic.

    With the sensors, monitoring queen health is one of the things we will be doing, so queen-less is an easy one to note and send alerts so you can requeen asap.

    I've read through everyones comments, and will respond to each. I don't know how to quote multiple threads at once so it might take me a while to individually do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
    I have tried insulation and the bees do not come through winter any better. So I no longer waste my time wrapping hives.

    Not saying it would be a bad idea in extremely cold places, Alaska and such.
    But in most of the country it just isn't necessary.

    As per Dr Richard Taylor:
    "Nothing has been said of providing warmth to the colonies, by packing hives or otherwise, and quite rightly so. ...... Bees do not suffer from cold as such. They suffer severely from moisture. "

    Having said all that, more insulation certainly can't hurt as long as you provide some way to reduce moisture.
    One of the purposes of using the steel is to ensure that there is a massive reduction in moisture. Steel doesn't hold moisture like wood does. Moisture in the cold and hive loss are the major benefits of the new hive body.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim KS View Post
    "...the Tesla of Beekeeping"

    Not long ago I saw a Tesla being charged at a remote location by a generator being run by a diesel engine. Explain the logic of that to me before you sell me the way to keep tesla bees.
    It's a simile. The main comparison is how they use modern technology and machine learning to eventually reduce major hazards of driving and increase survivability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Holcombe View Post
    How did you derive a design requirement for R value? Is it based on the needs of honeybees in a cluster mode? I left wondering how you get "4000 times better" with a R-value of R25 to R30 versus a wooden hive at a typical R 0.8 to R1.0. Is this based on thermal resistance of materials and heat trasnfer by just conduction? Calculations based on convection and radiation models with defined boundary conditions too? Does it also include any mass fluid exchange affects of things like vents? I am interested in understanding your dynamic model. I am a big believer in "conservation of energy" which is the fundamental purpose of an enclosure or typical hive assembly or a tree cavity for honey bees IMO. I will be testing an insulated hive(s) year-round starting this Winter. I am not sure I can adequately measure important variables but will try over time. ( I will look at your site.)
    Thank you for writing. These are excellent questions. From what I've seen the typical hive has a R value of .25-.5. With that, and the way in which I am enclosing the insulation wit the stainless steel compounds the insulation to that level of improvement. I'm going to be doing extensive testing on this this winter.

    I'm working on a news piece right now where we get into the science side of things really deeply. I'll message you it when it comes out.

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    A predictive sensor ? That has the ring of a Nobel Prize about it. I'd like about a hundred that can predict when my virgin queens are at risk of predation so that I can lock them in that day, and another hundred that can indicate that they haven't mated properly. Meanwhile, back in the real world ...

    You guys must have very short memories ...:
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...ee-researchers

    In which the OP claimed: "... there will be a dozen or so sensors inside the hive monitoring about 28 different variables ...". But strangely, as soon as some of us started asking for more specifics regarding these 'sensors' and the 'variables' being monitored - in a hive which was allegedly already in existence - the information stream abruptly dried-up.

    Until such time as these "dozen or so" sensors are described in detail, along with their "about 28 variables" - I'd suggest that this project is either a scam or the brain child of a self-deluded salesman - and I invite the OP to prove otherwise.
    LJ
    I thought people stopped messaging on it, so I stopped visiting the thread manually as my notifications don't seem to work. That's my bad. Though it looks like you guys were being a jerk in that thread to a random person for no reason. If you don't like what I'm making then don't waste your time. It's not for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Holcombe View Post
    Believe it or not! My grandson's high school has a bee club focusing on adapting sensors at the entrance /landing area to data mine for honeybee characteristics including Varroa. I would think thermal imaging may show something. I know some European group has developed a level of varroa recognition coming and going from the landing. I am not sure the beekeeping world has enough money to adapt and understand acoustic signatures like submarines do. I am not big on the current crop of hive monitors.
    That's fascinating. Do you have links to them? I'd love to read more. I'll google as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Another thing I see with a lot of these 'bee ventures' is everyone thinks they're going to be the next flow hive... and not in concept, just success of the crowd funding part. Not that a follow a lot of them, but the few that I took a look at, none gain hardly any traction of even come close to meeting even meager goals now. The main issue I see is none scale well in terms of cost or efficiency which eliminates most commercial operations using them or even small operations and then comes the issue of availability if you are successful at getting orders. Could you produce 100 or even 1000 boxes rapidly right now if someone were to place an order that large?
    I don't feel that way. I don't want to be the next flow hive. I just want to build the thing that I think will have a great positive affect on the community.

    The hives will be built in the US to the quantity that is needed through the kickstarter. I of course do not have the ability to field large orders right now, as thats one of the reasons for the kickstarter raise...

    I hope I responded to everyone. Let me know if there are more.
    Last edited by IWASHERE; 10-17-2019 at 11:01 AM.

  15. #34
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    Quote Originally Posted by IWASHERE View Post
    One of the purposes of using the steel is to ensure that there is a massive reduction in moisture. Steel doesn't hold moisture like wood does. Moisture in the cold and hive loss are the major benefits of the new hive body.
    Wood is moisture permeable. Steel is not. Please explain how a non permeable material like steel causes a "massive reduction in moisture." Here is some relevant science that you will must deal with: 6O2 + C6H12O6 → 6CO2 + 6H20. This chemistry equation that describes the process of cellular respiration tells me that in a non-permeable box the internal humidity must (not might, absolutely must) skyrocket without an engineered solution to the non-permeability of steel. Now if you have to engineer a solution to solve having a non-permeable material, then how can you claim that the non-permeable material solves that problem? You might claim another advantage to the material, but you cannot claim that advantage. In short, steel will not solve the moisture problem. It will exacerbate it. Stick to your original claim that it is more durable and then tout your engineered solution to managing the water byproducts from the chemical reactions of life as a different advantage. Don't mix the two claims, it just looks dubious. Baloney claims cause others to question if you have the understanding necessary to be engineering a new hive, and that directly impacts your ability to raise startup funding.
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  16. #35
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    Quote Originally Posted by JConnolly View Post
    Wood is moisture permeable. Steel is not. Please explain how a non permeable material like steel causes a "massive reduction in moisture." Here is some relevant science that you will must deal with: 6O2 + C6H12O6 → 6CO2 + 6H20. This chemistry equation that describes the process of cellular respiration tells me that in a non-permeable box the internal humidity must (not might, absolutely must) skyrocket without an engineered solution to the non-permeability of steel. Now if you have to engineer a solution to solve having a non-permeable material, then how can you claim that the non-permeable material solves that problem? You might claim another advantage to the material, but you cannot claim that advantage. In short, steel will not solve the moisture problem. It will exacerbate it. Stick to your original claim that it is more durable and then tout your engineered solution to managing the water byproducts from the chemical reactions of life as a different advantage. Don't mix the two claims, it just looks dubious. Baloney claims cause others to question if you have the understanding necessary to be engineering a new hive, and that directly impacts your ability to raise startup funding.

    The steel causes a massive reduction by not absorbing it, and thus causing it to not be trapped in the hive.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    My experience with foam hives was that I had a lot more moisture than with wood. Significant enough that the inside was always wet and the bees did not survive. I'm sure it's working for some people, but my experience was that the foam did not make the problem less and I assume it was because it was not permeable.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  18. #37
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    The moisture originates inside the hive from the bees. Overwintering bees exhale enough water vapor that if condensed it will be over six gallons of water. Water moves through wood from the high humidity side to the low humidity side, from the inside toward the outside. The house you live in is designed, and regulated by building codes, with this principle in mind. The hive is the bee's house. Humidity cannot move through steel so steel does not solve that problem. That is why I am calling bull s*** on the claim that steel is the solution. Engineered ventilation is the solution, not the steel, so base such claims on the engineered ventilation. Spurious claims and claims that are obvious rubbish turn off investors.

    If you still are having trouble grasping what I am saying here, then think on this: put a quart of water in a steel bucket and put a lid on it. Put a quart of water in the same sized wood bucket and put a lid on it. In twenty years the steel bucket will still have a quart of water in it. In a few weeks the wood bucket will be dry - water can slowly wick through the wood to the outside where it evaporates. Which material solved the water problem? Now repeat the thought experiment but this time change out the lids for lids with ventilation. Both buckets will dry out. What solved the water problem, the steel bucket, or the lid that was engineered to provide ventilation?

    I haven't seen you answer how much the steel box weighs. You say it is durable enough to outlast wood, so it needs some resistance to buckling and denting. Your rendering is a sleek smooth box without any ribs in the shell (more on that in a second). That means you'll need at least 30 thousandths of an an inch thick for a product quality threshold that permits some denting due to normal handling in the apiary. Assuming the steel is only an exterior shell, the steel shell will be at least 8.8 lbs. If you want a product quality threshold that minimizes denting except in abusive handling then the shell is going to be at least 11.6 lbs. This is at standard Langstroth exterior dimensions. You need to add the weight of the advanced insulation material to this. If you have had to expand the exterior size to accommodate the insulation then those weight figures are low. Weight is going to be a drawback. A wood box is 7-1/2 lbs. If however you aren't married to that sleek smooth shell in the rendering, you can use a thinner shell and at the same time increase dent and buckling resistance if you roll or stamp some ribs into the sides of the shell. Ribbing can let you reduce shell thickness by 30% or more. It also gets your shell weight down so that after you add the insulation (depending on what it is) you don't end up significantly heavier than a wood box. The disadvangate is that rolling ribs into the steel jacks up the manufacturing costs. Hire a good Mech. Engineer and he could conceivably design a box that is as light as, or lighter than, wood.
    Last edited by JConnolly; 10-17-2019 at 03:51 PM. Reason: edit to add the bucket thought experiment.
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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    When I leave my car in the sun it gets very hot, yet somehow my wooden wheelbarrow do'es not, this is telling me something.

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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    My experience with foam hives was that I had a lot more moisture than with wood. Significant enough that the inside was always wet and the bees did not survive. I'm sure it's working for some people, but my experience was that the foam did not make the problem less and I assume it was because it was not permeable.
    Most all foam hives assume mostly open (and screened) bottom.
    The only way to work them.
    They do work.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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    Default Re: new beehive designed to stop bees from dying over winter, and to have 24/7 monito

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    mostly open (and screened) bottom.
    Engineered ventilation.
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