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JWChestnut I have to ask about this you mentioned on another thread. "Worse where I am. Manzanita, sage, buckbrush, and oak trees are not just dropping leaves, but dying flat-out. If the bees don't starve, they are likely to burn up in the summer fires. Fireproofing the out-yards has never been more important."

I have to ask, how do you fire proof kiln dry pine? As a former ground pounder and someone that watched those California hills burn in crazy fast fires with flame lengths that are impressive enough it is laughable to consider using dozers on, I had to ask.
 

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Smoker accident! Burned a full acre and nearly blew up an oil rig...and we made the fire ring after that fire...smart, huh? Yes, it was my fault...
 

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Buy a good weed wacker, push mower, and a good steel tine lawn rake. Have someone deliver a good load of mulch, and scatter it heavy. It keeps the girlies front lawn looking nice too.
 

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Smoker accident!.
One of our greatest fears when working in long dry grass :)

As for our hives, the bush hives have a corrugated iron roof over them that overhangs so embers will not get caught on the wooden sides. They are kept freshly painted so the sides are tight and not easily lit. The grass is kept mowed around them and a firebreak ploughed if possible, otherwise it a mown break.
 

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You may be able to make them fire proof, but you cant make them heat proof. Again make fire breaks, remove dead wood and last but not least remove any dead grasses and brush close to the hives.
why not burn the surrounding grasses and dead wood all around the hives (through a controlled fire ) ? just make sure it's deep enough to kep any fire away before the dry season.
That way the hives won't burn when left alone.
 

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why not burn the surrounding grasses and dead wood all around the hives (through a controlled fire ) ?
Safer to mow and easier to get a permit. Even after burning you would have to maintain the regrowth so mowing is an easy option that does not leave hot, bare earth around your hives which puts more heat load on them.
 

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There are two types of natural cover fire. The kind they often get out west, "forest" fires, are the crowning type which involve trees and can be truly devastating. The best defense against those would be to allow plenty of distance from any trees, and have a fire break. The type of fire that most of the country experiences, ground cover, does not normally involve standing trees, unless they are dead. It is usually the dead leaves and grass on the ground that burns. Again a fire break would be a defense against this.

Something I am considering is putting down limestone gravel around my hives to combat SHB. A side benefit of this would be that if there was burning ground cover near my hives, it would be stopped by the grave barrier. This of course would be more practical for a small apiary than a commercial operation.

A leaf rake is very effective in fighting ground cover fires, especially if it is just leaves burning. I would recommend everyone keep a couple on hand.
 

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Safer to mow and easier to get a permit. Even after burning you would have to maintain the regrowth so mowing is an easy option that does not leave hot, bare earth around your hives which puts more heat load on them.
Not only that...bare scorched earth will be heaven for ants wanting to build nests.
 

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I would also be very cautious about heavy mulches! In my experience, that provided the perfect environment for SHB! :doh: And some mulches burn . . .

I'm thinking a dual-phase force field with cloaking device and tri-lithium batteries in the anti-matter gen are your most effective long-term solution. Or maybe a Tardis?

Good luck in any event!

Summer :D
 
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