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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello: My name is Tim Wetherbee, I am in Blackfoot, Idaho, I am not a Beekeeper per say but I have been hauling them for 8 yrs using my Vacation time from my job with the USDA. I have also been involved with storing bees in cellars for about the same time.

I would like to retire from the USDA but need something to do.

I have looked into leasing some cellars for 5 years here in Blackfoot, and would like to talk to Beekeepers that might be looking from a storage/Home for their bees from Nov - Feb on their way to CA.

Please contact me with questions or comments: Through the forum or
My email address is [email protected], I don't have a smartphone so I check my email when I am home. Thanks Tim

PS I know this is a busy time of the year with robbing, extraction, processing, ect. but fall/winter is coming fast. This is my First time doing social media thing, hope I am doing it right, I am more of a talker (using my dumb phone) than a writer, If you would like a phone number let me know Thanks
 

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I'd love to see a conversation on cellaring bees. Methods. Success rates. Etc.
Hi Mr. Bush Thanks for the reply, sorry it took so long to get back with you, it been one of those days, I would be happy to get into a conversation about cellaring bee, but I don't know where or how to start on a conversation in a forum. This is all new to me.

I know cellaring bee works depend ending are what you are looking for as far as results. If it is a rest period with cool temp, dark all the time and no weather
problems, it a great success

If it for building hives, not so good as there is no way to feed them once they go into the cellar

as far as methods go we have used air tubes that go the width of the cellar with air hole every 8" between 3 rows of hives. We have gone with no air tubes the width of cellar, open air hole on the air duct and have not noticed any changes in o2 or in air flow or mortality, we do run a contentious air supply with recirculated air mixed with fresh air if we need to warm the cellar or fresh air to cool and can add humidity if needed Thanks Tim

PS its kind of like a computer If you put good in, you get good out, bad in=bad out
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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My hope would be to get them through our bitter cold winters (occasionally -27 F) and keep them inactive in our hot days (sometimes 70 F). Winters are hard on bees here and I'd love to be able to winter a lot of nucs for the following spring.

What I had been considering is trying to let more air in when the temp in the cellar was above freezing and the temp outside was below freezing to try to get the ground to freeze to keep it cool on those occasional warm days (31 F frozen ground will absorb a lot more heat than 33 F thawed ground do the "change of state"). And of course I'd like to keep the cost at a minimum and the labor as automated as I can. I have a tractor with a fork lift (finally after 40 years) and it would be nice to be able to move them in and out on pallets. Of course they need enough air etc. Trying to automate the ventilation to:
o Cool the cellar when it's above 31 F
o Warm the cellar (less ventilation?) when it's below 20 F
o Add ventilation whenever the CO2 is high
and do all of this with just ventilation based on indoor and outdoor temperatures and CO2 levels. I have wondered how to automate this so the ventilation adjusts based on those criteria.

The idea is that if it doesn't get below 20 F I have had no trouble wintering nucs. If it doesn't get above 50 F they should stay inactive and clustered. The frozen ground should help with the cooling and the bees and the ground should provide the heat when it's bitter cold out.

I've considered several structures, the simplest of which is a modified potato trench/cellar and the fanciest would be a used reefer trailer with controlled ventilation that air conditions it on warm days.

But that is just my ideas based on concepts, not real experience cellaring bees...
 

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using a used reefer unit in a insulated building would work well and give you more storage room, You would need to spend some time figuring out have much of a area you could do with a reefer unit and some duct work. Some reefer trailer has a fabric tube that runs from the unit to the back of the trailer. The unit can maintain frozen food in the trailer or most unit can warm things up (like to keep a load flowers alive in the middle of winter) In the cellar it has a control panel with sensors mostly temp (air in the cellar, air in the air duct, a outside air) that can be set to run in a given temp range, we set ours on 38 to 42 degrees and it makes the air mixed adjustment for us , we also keep a continuous flow of air going, This system cost a lot to purchases, maintain, and operate but works well in larger applications
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I would have to figure out how to wire the controls, but except for the warm days, the reefer should work with just ventilation and on those days that require cooling it shouldn't be to extreme of a temperature difference. Often it would be something like 60 F outside and need to cool it to 40 F to keep them inactive. Not like trying to keep a house 70 F when it's 100F outside. The trench cellar would be cheaper and I think could be maintained by freezing the ground for the warm days... of course a long warm spell might ruin that idea...
 

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You can find free trailer houses on craigslist. Mounting a motorized damper in one of the windows would help to control the temps inside. The damper motor is very low draw, so a solar panel would probably work. I know of a honeywell controller that would handle all of this for little cost.

Good topic for us cold weather beekeepers.
Dave
South Dakota.
 
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