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I have my hives on 4-way pallets with strips, which create the entrance. Two hives face the opposite direction of the other two. During the rainy season, a lot of water gathers at the bottom of some hives.
I guess, the rain gets mostly through the entrance, if the pallet is inclined or through other cracks. Moisture stimulates the mold growth and is bad for bees. I had a case when bees bearably were able to get out through the entrance, because water was so high.
I made some holes on the bottom boards (pallets), but they got clogged with dirt.
Now, I want to reconstruct the hives to keep the water away. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Some type of single roof over all 4 would probably work good, if you can figure out something that still gives access. I'm using 36" pallets and stapling the (3ft wide) hardware cloth right on top. If I use strips on top, I found some 3/4 inch plastic that I'll cut on an angle and plane down to 3/8, and put them so the angle goes right under the bottom box. That should fix the entrance puddle issue. Now I have to rethink my flat tops, any puddles up there and it's like a stupid bee magnet, how they can die in a "film" of water amazes me :)
 

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You can cut a 1 or 2 inch long piece out of back strip and let the water drainout. I loaded bees for another beek last month...hives faced the same way with entrances in back of two. Sure was nice loading..no bees coming at you adn you can place so if there is slope it is downhill. From what I've heard/seen works great. With teh little strip out the bees have two entrances...doesnt hurt.
 

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Funny thing, a lot of that water is probably coming in through the roof, although it doesn't look like it. Water runs off the cover and can curl around the underside and run down inside the hive. Know what I mean? Hard to recognize. Also have you ever noticed how the weaker ones have more water? My pallets are front to back it's better on a big truck (Ithink) because the bees aren't facing the light and don't come out against the net as much.
 

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Water actually wicks in through the joints between boxes as well as under lids. This is obvious if the old black frame feeders contact the hive wall. They sometimes fill with (foul) water.

One solution is the telescoping lid. I returned to telescoping lids after repeated problems with migratory lids wicking water.

Another solution, and one which works with migratory lids is to simply cut a sheet of plastic an inch larger than the hive top all around and place it under each lid. It will act as a drip edge. It has other advantages, too, as it will seal against wind a bit and also make the lids easier to remove -- too easy, maybe, and you may need a rock or nail.

Clear plastic sheets allow a quick inspection without bees flying or being exposed, but the clear plastic soon becomes fogged and waxy.

A similar idea is used on drums of honey left outdoors, since they will often wick water in under the lid as well.

Watertight floors may seem like a good idea, but they have disadvantages. Water accumulating on a floor with debris often ferments making a compound which resembles Bee-Go and which repels bees from the hive, further weakening it.
 

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Water actually wicks in through the joints between boxes as well as under lids. This is obvious if the old black frame feeders contact the hive wall. They sometimes fill with (foul) water
FYI:
The modern inside feeders are constructed with a rain guard that prevents the rain from entering the feeder. The 1st ones that came out would fill with water, depending on the hives angle.

The 1st thing that a hive will do is propolise their inside dimensions for various reasons.
Capillary attraction of water to wood is problem. But, a hard wind driven rain will stay out of the hive when the bees propolise the hive constituents together.
The plastic sheet seems to be impractical for commercial beekeeping.
Regards,
Ernie
 

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A dude I know custom made his own pallets. He built in a screened area for each hive as a bottom board. The hives use the pallet as a bottom board and are set in cleats.

dickm
 

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> The modern inside feeders are constructed with a rain guard that prevents the rain from entering the feeder. The 1st ones that came out would fill with water, depending on the hives angle.

Yes, you are right. I've noticed a number of new designs that avoid that problem. There were some old blow-molded ones that avoided that as well. The simplest I've seen lately was just several bumps on the top of the sides to hold the feeder off the hive wall. Others have a covered top with just access holes going down. I wonder how a person would clean them out. Maybe the tops come off? Looked like hobbyist bait to me. I did not look closely. I have a lifetime supply of the old ones.

> The 1st thing that a hive will do is propolise their inside dimensions for various reasons.

Then the beekeeper comes along and cracks all the joints...

Unfortunately, too, in our region we cannot count on that if the hives are weak or the season cold and windy. In summer? No problem.

> Capillary attraction of water to wood is problem. But, a hard wind driven rain will stay out of the hive when the bees propolise the hive constituents together.

This is particularly true in warm regions. I have always wondered how Californians can use lids made with planks loosely butt-jointed. Up here, that just does not work, but down south, I suppose the bees seal everything quite quickly.

> The plastic sheet seems to be impractical for commercial beekeeping.

Yes, it is a nuisance, It blows around when taken off and is just one more thing to handle. Nonetheless, we use a pillow up here all year long and many of the commercial guys use some sort of inner cover substitute under the lid. Canvas is popular and some use a rectangle of carpet.

Without something to seal the cracks in spring when the bees are too cold or weak to do it themselves, build-up suffers and many hives are lost.

The water shedding problem is also much less of a problem when hives are strong and in warm weather. In that case nobody worries about it and the water running through the hive does not seem to matter.

I think the answer to a lot of these questions depends on the region and the season.
 

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Line the floorboard with tapered wooden (cedar/redwood) roof shingles. They are about the right length, and a bundle will last a liftime and has many uses - shims to stabalize rocking hives for example. Tapering the floorboard back to front should offset a pallet that was not grossly out of level.

I used a 3/4 strip under the bottom board rails to tilt the hive forward for winter. That solved the problem of over-winter queen loss resulting from falling into the chilled water collected on the BB.

Walt
 

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Allen Dick stated:
Others have a covered top with just access holes going down. I wonder how a person would clean them out. Maybe the tops come off? Looked like hobbyist bait to me. I did not look closely.
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There is a feeder on the market that has the caps and ladders. They look nice. From my own observatio, they are not practicle because of their construction. They seem to become miss-alligned where they snap together.
I know a man that tried to use the ones with caps and ladders in a large operation. He was feeding a pollen substitute and syrup mix. he had to pull the feeders because the method did not work,
Regards,
Ernie
 

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> He was feeding a pollen substitute and syrup mix. he had to pull the feeders because the method did not work

I know this is another topic and if this turns out to be more than a short sidebar, a new topic is in order, but...

I've wondered about the liquid protein concept. To me it always looked like a huge iunconvenience and a poor way to deliver any significant amount of protein. Add to that the all the extra equipment required and the caking, spoilage and cleaning problems that seem probable. I know Gordy spent a lot of his time and effort into making MegaBee as a syrup additive, and that was the reswon for reducin the particle size as he did, but as far as I know, everyone who uses it uses it as patties. Has anyone used it much as a liquid? Any comments?
 
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