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Discussion Starter #1
Well, it is fast getting warm here in Utah, and I have no shade in the backyard for my TBH. Installed May 13th from a wild swarm, the bees are doing really well, have 12 combs drawn and they are working on the 13th. I stopped the 1:1 a few days ago. Now the critters need shade. Since I am total newbie, I needed several sources for TBH shade ideas. This website is fabulous! Helped me tremendously, thank you!!!! Also, I thought, nothing better than page through some good ol' art history books to get some more inspiration from! Bernini's Baldachin over the main altar in St. Peters' in Rome! There ya go! Some scrap wood, a couple of old tennis balls, some obvious support help from the 6' fence in back of the hive (that would be the hive's north), and some pet-shade kennel canopy in tan (right or wrong, I thought black canopy would defeat the purpose and heat up too much), a ladder, some staples, a drill and a few screws. Oh, yes, rubber bands ... and voilà!!!

Their very own "Bernini baldachin/canopy" is almost flush to the hive on the east side, so they can take full advantage of the morning sun, and the beige mesh cloth falls down a tad on the west side, and it extends more to the west for better shade protection during our hot and long summer afternoons. I'll have to see how it works out (or doesn't!) with our strong NW winds and hail-rain in late July, our monsoon season. It's twist-tied in several places. Baroque architecture in Rome, eat your heart out!

baldacchino 001.r.jpg


baldacchino 002.r.jpg

Constructive criticism is welcome ... I am on a steep learning curve!!! And loving every minute of it! This might just be a prototype gone wrong, if you all think I am miserably failing ...

sylvia
 

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I could see the wind having a field day with that design ! I'm a bit OCD requiring most things to be symmetrical and tidy. My suggestion (if you run in to troubles) would be a half sheet of plywood painted white and four 2x4 legs attached to a 2x4 frame like a tall table the hive fits underneath. Then you could easily move it for inspections, tent stakes and poly rope for bad weather/winds. It could even double as a high work bench during inspections. Or just push it over on its side out of the way for inspections and flip it back up when done. Just my 2 cents worth of an idea.
 

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Whilst I love Italy and believe the Baldacchino worthy of imitating I think you might want to go more for sail cloth shade than Baroque architecture. From the picture it looks like you are close but you may need to stretch it tighter. Like a sail if you leave it loose it will flap in the breeze but sheet in and you are underway!
 

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I think it's genius, though the word "monsoon" does concern me. It looks like you've got the north side of the canopy attached to the wood fence with some metal brackets. That side certainly seems as if it would be secure, but ... during monsoon season, my mother had a heavy wicker couch turned over by the wind! So ... i worry. :)

Now that i think about it, i suppose there's enough advanced warning when the winds are going to pick up that you could just remove the canopy (or roll it back and secure it to the fence). It's not like you'd need shade under those circumstances anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thank you, folks, for the feedback, which has been taken to heart. I am keeping a careful eye on the canopy, and evaluating all the possible issues that you have pointed out, as all are definitely well taken. So far, I am in a "watch and take notes" mode. Last night, we experienced sustained NW winds at 31 mph for several hours, with gusts at 38 mph as a storm front went through (no rain, no hail, no precip at all), and so far the canopy is still holding fine. There was no damage to the structure or to the pet-shade cloth this morning. I confess that during the wind storm I was nervous about the baldachin's performance and I went out several times with a flashlight just to make sure nothing happened, like falling all over the TBH. However, I recognize that last night's winds are nothing compared to what our monsoon season will bring in a few weeks, so I am not calling my pseudo-Bernini-copy-cat baldachin design a victory just yet. As I said, all your words of caution are well taken and I continue to keep your feedback in mind. Thank you again for your comments.

sylvia
 
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