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I just can't get the image of Rube Goldberg's Self Operating Napkin out of my head while reading this thread.

An image of a stainless steel hive fitted with wires and sensors and electronics and solar batteries to keep it running . Then of course we need a special hive crane to lift the heavy supers off and don't forget the lightning rods since all that metal will attract lightening out in the open field.
And a laptop for the readouts and pagers and on and on.

Sorry, no disrespect intended. Just made me laugh out loud
 

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Discussion Starter #42
I just can't get the image of Rube Goldberg's Self Operating Napkin out of my head while reading this thread.

An image of a stainless steel hive fitted with wires and sensors and electronics and solar batteries to keep it running . Then of course we need a special hive crane to lift the heavy supers off and don't forget the lightning rods since all that metal will attract lightening out in the open field.
And a laptop for the readouts and pagers and on and on.

Sorry, no disrespect intended. Just made me laugh out loud
It's all good. What you describe is pretty funny.

The hives are not going to attract lightning, nor do you need a crane to lift the hive lol
 

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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.
I have 18 mm plywood boxes, and my bees winter well in them. Actually, the colder the hive the better. In a warm hive bees do not make it to the wintering mode. They keep on raising brood and wear themselves up in notime.

The most famous beekeeper on earth, Brother Adam, made a test on this. The isolated hives had poor spring development compared to his 12 mm box hives.
 

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I have 18 mm plywood boxes, and my bees winter well in them. Actually, the colder the hive the better. In a warm hive bees do not make it to the wintering mode. They keep on raising brood and wear themselves up in no time.
Well - coming from a Finnish beekeeper, I find that comment most reassuring ... Emile Warre was of the same mind, but then he operated much further South than you (as did Bro Adam, of course).
LJ
 

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I've just stumbled across two more novel beeehives designed to 'Save the Bees'.
One dates back to 2015, revealed in the Edmonton Gazette - so dunno why I didn't spot this at the time: :)
"A local beekeeper has developed a novel hybrid hive design to provide better living conditions for Edmonton’s urban bees." https://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/edmonton-beekeeper-builds-a-better-beehive I just had to follow this up ... which took me to the guy's website: https://dustinbajer.com/beehive-purchase/

Well - I'm gobsmacked - what an amazing design ! Hang on to your hats, guys - this is spectacular.

What the guy has done is take an 8-frame Langstroth medium, and - wait for it - he's put one box on top of another ! Amazing, who would have ever thought of doing that ? Then with a 'Warre' box placed on top of this stack of boxes, he's created a beehive which will fairly obviously save all of the World's bees. Brilliant ... Just think about this - no need to worry anymore about Varroa, or SHB, or CCD or Foul Brood - just pay that bloke $200 (plus shipping) and you're home and dry.

Even better - and more up to date - is this 'really practical' design - from someone who's clearly a very experienced beekeeper ...
https://www.designboom.com/design/b-box-kit-bee-population-urban-beekeeping-07-04-2019/

Enough.

/sarcastic mode
LJ
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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In a way, these straw man side tracks are on topic, in that they show that others have had what they considered brilliant and innovative ideas that simply fell flat when presented to a broader market or turned out to not be so innovative after all. I think a lot of what has been offered is realistic advice and should not be glossed over. You may be able to overcome the weight issue by using honeycomb structual panels sandwiched between a light steel or aluminum outershell and a plywood veneer inner liner. The panels offer a decent R value but you will need to research that if interested.
 

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Hello All,

I've been working on a project for sometime to fix the massive amounts of deaths that happen over winter. So I built a beehive made of advanced materials that is about 4000x more insulated than what exists out there. Additionally, there are a host of sensors in the hive so you can know what's going on 24/7, and automatically share that data with researchers to get specific feedback and insights.

I'll be doing a kickstarter in a few weeks. Right now I'm doing a pre-launch campaign where you can win free hives, among other things. I would love to hear the problems people are having, and to get some needed support to help change the beekeeping world for the better.

Check out the website here.[/QUOTE

The original link doesn't work
 

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I think you can sum the comments in this thread up thusly:

Bees properly installed in adequate housing don’t need much that they can’t provide for themselves. We beekeepers can manipulate the hive for our own purpose.
What most (newer) beekeepers need is education and experience. What most established beekeepers need is time. New gizmos should focus on those needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Hello All,

I've been working on a project for sometime to fix the massive amounts of deaths that happen over winter. So I built a beehive made of advanced materials that is about 4000x more insulated than what exists out there. Additionally, there are a host of sensors in the hive so you can know what's going on 24/7, and automatically share that data with researchers to get specific feedback and insights.

I'll be doing a kickstarter in a few weeks. Right now I'm doing a pre-launch campaign where you can win free hives, among other things. I would love to hear the problems people are having, and to get some needed support to help change the beekeeping world for the better.

Check out the website here.[/QUOTE

The original link doesn't work

Thank you fo noting this. I fixed it! :)
 

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It took Moses Quinby (probably the largest commercial beekeeper of his time) years to adopt the movable frame hive. His view as that you can't make money in beekeeping if you spend your money on equipment. He used simple box hives.
Minimal, simple equipment in his opinion, is best. Simple is good...
 

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To quote Michael Bush: "Simple is good."

If you have: Enough bees (to form a football sized cluster; or smaller if in a nuc)
Enough food (so your bees don't starve)
Enough ventilation (so no water drips on them)
And no mites (or as few as possible)

Then: Your bees will live through the winter.

Cold does not kill bees, moisture does. Monitor food supplies, moisture, and mites.
A fancy hive with bells and whistles, wires and fancy phones are for the beek, not for the bee.
 

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>Cold does not kill bees

When overwintering small colonies (usually nucs) cold sometimes does kill bees. But a strong colony, does not die from cold.

"Although we now and again have to put up with exceptionally severe winters even here in the south-west, we do not provide our colonies with any additional protection. We know that cold, even severe cold, does not harm colonies that are in good health. Indeed, cold seems to have a decided beneficial effect on bees."--Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey, Brother Adam

Admitedly, though, winters in England are not nearly as cold as winters in Nebraska...

Often what we do works against us...

"Nothing has been said of providing warmth to the colonies, by wrapping or packing hives or otherwise, and rightly so. If not properly done, wrapping or packing can be disastrous, creating what amounts to a damp tomb for the colony" --The How-To-Do-It book of Beekeeping, Richard Taylor
 

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The honeybee research center at UoG moves small hives inside during the winter. And then they turn on the refrigeration. They keep the small hives cold to keep the bees clustered and inactive so they use less food. Paul Kelly reports that by doing that they have wintered colonies on just 11 lbs of food.
 

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When cluster cannot move because of extreme cold stretch and can't get to honey stores, does it die from starvation or did cold cause the starvation? Doesn't matter much, colony is dead.

Best to insulate, so hive interior is warmer and cluster has a better chance of moving. Mountain camp sugar across tops of frames increases chance of bees always having access to carbs from "sugar bridge".
 

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I have not had to examine oodles of dead colonies from either cold or run out of stores. I have seen where there was a lot of brood and a dead cluster surrounding it. Lots of honey only an inch or so from the edges. That was spring time though so I would rule out extreme cold. I think they used up their body resources trying to maintain cluster temperature for the brood. Without food in their belly they lose ability to produce heat and their internal temp drops below the 45 F paralysis point. Hyperthermia. My own bees have been Carniolan and they are not nearly as likely to get caught that way. My son with Italian types loses some that way when spring jumps early and then retreats.

Research in freezers have shown some rapid temperature rises of the cluster that could have been only produced by the bees. It is supposed they were moving onto new stores.
 
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