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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure what the best way to help increase ventilation is on my TBH. We're in the 90s, and the girls are bearding like crazy. I don't want to stress them out, but I also don't want to over react and start drilling vent holes. Is there anyone who has some advice on the best way to keep a TBH nice an ventilated, but not to the point where it's too much? We're approaching June, and in my area, it actually cools down a bit and stays in the low 70s, and won't get hot again until August, but we have intermittent spells of heat like we are today.... Kind of wishing I put in a screened bottom board.
 

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My TBHs have a full width top entrance similar to those pictured at this Michael Bush page:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
That entrance functions well to also provide air exchange.

As far as 'open' screened bottoms, keep in mind that bees actively cool their brood nest with water. Since they want a constant brood nest temperature of 93-94 degrees, a constant 'hot' breeze coming through a screened bottom will make it harder for them to cool the hive when the outside ambient temperature exceeds 94 degrees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well its too late for a screen bottom anyway, so that's not an issue, but its also too late to have a top entrance too. I was thinking about drilling a hole in the false back and putting some screen over it.
 

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On many TBH designs, simply leaving a space (perhaps 1/2" wide or so) where the first bar would otherwise go will provide a top entrance.
 

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Can you raise your outer cover to provide ventilation above the bars and then move the bars back like Radar mentioned? That would be the easiest way to cool it down.
 

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you only need to move the front bar back 3/8" from the front which they will leave the gap as entrance space just like they do with the drilled holes now. everything behind it will stay tight the same as it is now.

From Michael's site
 

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Or take the false back/ follower board out completely and let them have the whole box to fill as they grow. I prescribed to Michaels idea that they aren't needed. They move backwards at their own pace and build comb as they need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The roof DOES have space underneath for air flow. The girls frequently go in the small cavity randomly. There are two wood pieces as handles that the roof rests on, so it lifts is up 3/8" or so above the bars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
11 if I remember correctly... but the swarm I caught is HUGE (5.5+ pounds) so they fill it up pretty nicely as of now. I actually had it down to 8 bars because the other swarms were a LOT smaller...
 

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What about driving some T-posts and suspending a shade cloth above the hive?
Shade is what I do,anchored down easy pop up yard canopy. It gets up to 107 here (last year over 100 many days,over 3 months!) with no collapsed comb (but I don't open up either except first or last light on those weeks). NO venting of any sort to the hive was needed. I left my screen door closed too since I figured the bees could regulate easier with a constant, not changeable hive,and night temps swung wildly.
 

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The follower board does not prevent wonky comb unless you have a habbit of not tending your hive for a month or so, then its just not as much. I'm with Micheal Bush on the whole follower board not need bit as well, except for the winter and insulate the unused portion, thats its only benefit that I can think of.
 

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You should have the opening at the front of the hive. That is where the bees are so it is easy for them to defend. If it is in front of the follower you would constantly be shifting the entrance. The bees generally have entrances at the brood nest in nature, that is where they like it.
 

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http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#ventilation

The bees cool they hive by evaporation, so they need a way to move dry air in and moist air out, but in a controlled manner. If it's over 94 F outside and they bottom is wide open they can't cool the hive as the hive quickly is filled with air that is over the limit of 94 F. It's hard to air condition your house with the door wide open...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, I decided to move the follower board to the back, so hopefully that will have them more space as to not roast the inside of a much smaller volume jammed packed with bees.
 
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