Its very windy here, I have to ratchet strap my hives or they will blow away. Pallets work great for that. 2x4s not so much.I don´t like that pallet type of low hive stand, I have them 35 cm high, on just two 2x4s and this prevents the snow staying so close to hive structures. Later if there is much snow it does obviously not do it anymore, but the cavity under the hive helps snow to collapse and make entrances clear in time before cleansing flights.
(Main reason to dislike pallets as hive stands is the fact that I cannot get close enough hive when working. Stuck my feet to the pallet, in my structure my feet fit under it.)
I only measured consumption one winter, and what I saw was that (as you suggest) bees don't need much food to keep warm. In the second half of December and January, they used very little food, two or three pounds each. (for a sample of two hives) However during warmer weather, they consumed much more, probably because they were foraging, taking cleansing flights, and raising brood. The hives had dropped nearly 40 pounds between the end of October when I closed them up, and the middle of December when I started weighing them. I personally try to make sure they have plenty of food, because a little too much is pretty harmless, while a little to little is a dead-out. I don't claim to be a very good beekeeper, though.The use of upper entrances and consumption of food:
"E.B. Wedmore calculated the amount of honey required to overwinter a measured population of bees in his influential 1947 book, The Ventilation of Bee-Hives. Wedmore converted the caloric content of honey to watts and then using wattage he calculated that the basic needs are about three lbs. per month between mid-October and mid-April. Therefore, if Wedmore is correct, and the primary Winter honey requirements of an average population of bees are in the range of ~21 lbs., it seems like our need to provision Winter stores at four times that amount, may indicate something about the burden on bees to generate additional heat beyond their basic needs. One obvious reason is the loss of heat by an abundance of added ventilation."
The figures of consumption are pretty much what I have measured, although I have always said that everything above 1,5 kg /winter month is a sign of troubles or too much ventilation.
While it is true that black surfaces radiate heat at night, it is also true that white painted surfaces radiate heat at night just as efficiently....
I would point out that "black surfaces radiate energy at night as well as absorb daytime sun energy. ...
I have bears to worry about so I need something a little more stable than that. My ratchet strapping them to a pallet locks them down pretty good.
Interesting. Thank you for that.While it is true that black surfaces radiate heat at night, it is also true that white painted surfaces radiate heat at night just as efficiently.
The reason is that The emissivity of white surfaces in the infrared part of the spectrum is about .95, while the emissivity of black surfaces in the infrared part of the spectrum is about .95. In the visible part of the spectrum, the white surface has an emissivity of maybe .05, while the black surface has an emissivity of about .95. This is the reason a white car is cooler than a black car on a sunny day. It reflects the visible light from the sun, while radiating in the infrared to lose heat just as effectively as the black car. The chrome trim on both is burning hot because while it reflects most of the visible light from the sun, it is an even better reflector in the infrared part of the spectrum, and as a result cannot re-radiate the heat it gains from the fraction of visible light it absorbs, as it does not radiate in the infra red much at all.
So in a cold climate there is no downside to painting a hive black. It will always be as warm as or warmer than a white hive.
Your bears are pretty **** lazy or have eaten too much salmon if that wire is keeping them.I have bears to worry about so I need something a little more stable than that. My ratchet strapping them to a pallet locks them down pretty good.
I am also on a hill so that would not work too well. Here is a backside picture to get a better perspective on my bee yard location.
Seems to me you don´t have bear problem.Bears are not tolerated in the village here at all. Any that come in get shot by the police, or anyone else that wants to. So really no bad bears left here, they quickly learn to respect humans or get shot.
Here we can shoot them in defense of life or property. No permit required. The bear goes to the state though.Seems to me you don´t have bear problem.
Just the opposite here. Bears get arrogant and near people when the learn that only one bear gets killed in an area which is about 100 kmx100km (and to kill you have to have expensive permits which are VERY hard to get) and the hunting season starts end of August.
Your welcome. I hope you found some it useful.Thanks for posting this thread, YukonJeff. I am planning to help my sister get started beekeeping in the coldest part of the lower 48 (North and west of International Falls, MN). This gives me lots of good ideas. It should be easy there...