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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My bees seem to screw everything up. Or is it the beekeeper.?????
Anyhow; Last PM I checked the bees and many were outside the hives. It was 90+ degrees but previousley they didn't cluster outside when that hot. Today I opened the hives and found the ventilated innercover, below the "attic" and cover, was closed with propolis, therefore no ventilation. I have 5 holes in the inner cover, covered with window sceen. I went to the house, drilled 2 inch holes in other inner covers, covered them with screen and put them on the hives. How do I prevent these "dumb" girls from doing this again and how do I clean up the covers they messed up??

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Erwin
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good ideas, HOWEVER;
Fiberglass screen so torch it out.
Pressure washer: Don't have one and I am not goig to haul them in to town to a carwash.
#7 cloth seems to be the way to go or just wait a couple weeks untill it is cold and try poping it off.
The other choice would be to just replace it every month or so with the screen I have a lot of. Only take 5 minutes with a staple gun.
 

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Bees has been around for hundred's of years without our help.
As far as their living space we have done thing's to help us the beekeeper,But the bees could care less.
I was just thinking why would the bees close the innercover with propolis if not for a reason?
I understand BEEnSTUNG,why you gave them more ventilation,But I would like to know why would they seal it up,
I've had them to seal the hole also,to just a little hole that they could just barely get thourgh , & hives setting next to them , in hives that is just alike not do it.>>>>Mark
 

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There are two reasons why someone other than bees "play" with hive ventilation.

ONE. When humidity is an important factor. This is the worst enemy of the hive especially in cold winter. A well ventilated hive will go trought even with a minus 40 degrees a few days.In this case a upper ventilation hole (on the side of the super) the size of a cent is ok. This is to be cloded when hummidity is no longer a factor.

TWO. in extremely hot weather. The same hole could be used or just simply do not properly align the super in order to have an open space in a corner.

Period. In all other cases leave it to the bees and if it is really warm, for you only, forget about the bees and open yourself a beer!|

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Normand Choiniere
Mont-Tremblant region, Quebec, Canada.
http://consultus.qc.ca/valmiel
 

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for ventalation on my hives I put a queen cage or something about that size and prop the teliscoping cover up an inch or two. any hive that dosn't have it dosn't make as much honey as the ones that do.
 

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I was thinking about how to create a screened bottom board, providing a permanent reduced entrance at the same time.

I think I'll add a slice of screen to the bottom of the bottom box, (between the box and base) and drill a hole in the front for the entrance. I may drill a couple of small holes.
 

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Hive ventilation is needed more to prevent condensation. I made my own finned type, that should filter out the condensed water drops. It features a trough, that is sloped down toward the front of the hive. If any water comes out during the warmer days, the bees can collect it. It also should help in drying out the honey.

It sounds good in theory. I have a test colony with 3 deeps, and 3 mediums, and the bees make honey, and rarely cluster in the front. I also make frames with top bars 7/8 in wide. This also helps. I had 3/4 ones last year, but the even look flimsy when fully drawn. If you want to experiment with vent designs, remember not to create the "chimney effect". This will create too much flow, and the bees can't regulate it. Remember, in nature, the bees do the ventilating.

Thoughts to ponder.....


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Dale Richards
Dal-Col Apiaries
Drums, PA
 

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Thanks Dale, under what conditions are you referring too?

I screened the top box today with screen and bungy cords. There is no humidity and it's dryer then the moon around here. Then I put on the telescoping lid propped up with a small hunk of whatever was laying around. It's been over a hundred degrees everyday.

I have only six hives in my outdoor beelab so it's close to make a change. At dusk I'll add the inner cover. Tomarrow when it's hot again, I'll remove the inner cover.

If you are talking about winter, that's another story. Could you clear up what you meant by explaining the effects of a particular weather condition?
 

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I'm confused too. Here in the NW it is moisture & condensation that I am worried about. While I am sure that my bees could make it if I left them alone, I'm trying to keep them as healthy as possible.
So, how much ventilation is enough? And how can I prevent the chimney effect? I was thinking about building a vent box out of some shallow supers. . .
 

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Hi Everyone,

I'm about to throw a wrench into the works so hang on. :< )

"How much ventilation do bees need" is a good question to ask. Books can provide a general guideline but are they specific enough for your bees in your climate?I would like to suggest that everyone let their bees tell them what they need.

I have built an inner cover made of plexiglass that allows me to monitor the bees by simply removing the outer cover. Moisture levels can easily be monitored throughout the winter.

I have found that condensation and winter moisture levels are not the problem described by the books for my bees. In fact, the actions of the bees to seal up all upward ventilation is not a mistake, but my providing upward ventilation is! The condensation is a vital resource used by my bees.

In my climate the only hives that have a condensation problem are those that are very small and cannot generate enough heat.

Barry, the Chicago guard bee, has run a hive with a plex cover and reports the same observations I have seen in Wyoming.

I have taken some pictures of my observations. You can see them at:
http://www.bee-l.com/biobeefiles/dennis/index.htm

For a larger view with descriptions, click on the thumbnail sized shots

So,let your bees tell you what they need. Maybe some need umbrellas and others canteens. :> )

Regards
Dennis



[This message has been edited by BWrangler (edited August 24, 2003).]
 

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Dennis, this is why I cover the top frames in the winter with cotton or hemp cloth. It absorbs and releases moisture according to conditions. This prevents build up of ice crystals, supposedly that is a killer of the bees. .

What do you think?
 

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>I was just thinking why would the bees close the innercover with propolis if not for a reason?

From my experience it doesn't matter if they need the ventilation or not some bee will stop it up with propolis anyway. I think it has more to do with light coming in than ventilation.
 

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I do wonder if the condensation isn't a useful thing to a hive in the winter. I don't know. I've always been a believer in ventilation and have provided it by various means over the years. I've never had a case of chalkbrood, AFB or EFB and have always thought part of that must be ventilation. They seem to swarm less and produce more with more ventilation. I am wondering if the SBBs won't provide a more controled version of it.
 

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Hi Everyone,

Another observation. When the propolis seal on my plex cover is broken by removing it or just inserting a hive tool under it, the bees reprioritize their activities and seal it back down even when no obvious gap appears to my eye. Could be light or draft but the bees quickly seal it up.

Bees also have the ability to create openings in wood where they need them. Anyone who has used a bottom mounted pollen trap knows how the bees can disolve cellulose when necessary. They often use light or heat as a que and work on the thinner wood.

Now if they wanted ventilation at the top, it would seem they could use their dissolving powers on plex cover, expecially when the seal is broken. But they never do.

Why?

Regards
Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Where does propolis come from?
Do they get it from flowers?
Do they make it from honey?
Posibly a mixture of honey and polen. Kind of like the olden days "Flower paste"?

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Erwin
 

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>Where does propolis come from?

Tree sap processed by enzymes from the bees.

>Do they get it from flowers?

No

>Do they make it from honey?

No

>Posibly a mixture of honey and polen. Kind of like the olden days "Flower paste"?

No. That is what you see stored as pollen in the cells near the brood or as they used to call it, bee bread.
 
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