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Top Bar overwintering

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  • karon
    So, I have been thinking about top bar folks in more northern climates. You have, most likely, already thought of this but, would the kind of insulation used
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 17, 2013
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      So, I have been thinking about top bar folks in more northern climates.  You have, most likely, already thought of this but, would the kind of insulation used beneath home siding help?  I mean, you could cut it to size and make sections for each side of the hive. they could be attached any number of ways, even if all you did was use zip ties connected to one another wrapped around the hive to hold them on, that would help. If your entrance is a round hole, you can use wine corks to close them. leaving as many or few exit holes as you see fit.

       

      With sheets of this house insulation, you could even layer, if needed. Possibly lower the box to the ground to lessen the air flow under the box? Using follower boards, you can decrease the size of the over wintering nest and use the empty space to the bee’s advantage. With cork holes in the follower boards, you would be able to allow the bees to enter the space left empty of comb bars and install feeders, maybe even 1 gallon bucket feeders inside that empty space. That way, the bees would have food without braving the elements.

       

      With a little electric work and knowledge of electricity, you could rig a light bulb on either side of the nesting space, hook it up with a thermostat, and use a light bulb to keep things warm for them. rather like the way we keep chicken eggs and hatchlings warm.

       

      Anyway, just some thoughts on ways to keep from losing your hives from top bar hives in the cold.

       

      Something else I wondered, if you had the space and the interest, I wonder how things would be if you actually moved your hive indoors?  Yes, yes, sounds very silly but, here’s the idea. If you have a room, completely unused, or, even, used for other purposes but still having a lot of empty space, this would be kind of neat. You could set up hives in the room, using gutter downspouts for entrance tunnels. Run the downspouts from the hive out through the walls. Then, to work the bees, you would close the door to the room and work the bees as you normally would in the bee yard.

       

      Now, assuming you had the space to spare, the need and interest in the idea, this could work.  Work through your hive in the comfort of heat or air conditioning, keep the ambient temp of the hives, themselves, even and have your harvested honey more easily accessible to the extracting equipment. 

       

      Yes, how do you deal with bees that leave the hive when you are working them? Well, close the windows and cover them so your light source is the light fixture. When you are finished working the bees, close the room. Then, the only light source in the room is at the end of a tunnel between the room and the outside. The bees follow the light outside of the room to the outside of the house. When they return, they will fly back to their home hive entrance on the side of the house.

       

      I don’t expect anyone to actually raise bees inside their residence but it is, to me, an interesting thought experiment. Trying to think of any potential problems and how to solve them. it just seems like a way to solve the problem of insulation, security for the bees and easy access for weather as well as how far one must haul heavy equipment to harvest.  Just fun ideas (imho)

       

      Have a great day. I hope you find a way to make your KTBH’s work for you.

       

      Good luck.

       

      Karon Adams

      Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)

      You can send a Rosary to a soldier!

      www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary

      www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com

       

    • Jorg Kewisch
      There is a group for that: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/TopHive/
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 17, 2013
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      • KSzu
        In the 1800s (when homes were pretty chilly in the winter) people in northern climates often moved their hives into a dark cellar during the coldest months. 
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 18, 2013
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          In the 1800s (when homes were pretty chilly in the winter) people in northern climates often moved their hives into a dark cellar during the coldest months. 
          Here is  a USDA booklet advising on the best methods:

          http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96593/

          http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96593/m1/1/


        • snowflye7
          Someone emailed me a few years ago about an old 1800 s general store in Douglas, Ma where a bee cupboard was found on the 2nd floor of the house with a mail
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 18, 2013
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            Someone emailed me a few years ago about an old 1800's general store in Douglas, Ma where a 'bee cupboard' was found on the 2nd floor of the house with a 'mail slot' opening in the wall that was used for bees' comings and goings. No one had a lot of information on the details of how this had been done.
            She said, " I visited a historic general store in Massachusetts that has a bee hive built into the second story under the eaves. The bees were only permitted access to the hive which is totally in the house/general store, thru a mail slot an opening at the second store level, to let the bees go in and be protected from bears and other 1700's New England predators."
            This is the Jenckes Store Museum in Douglas, MA.
            Knowing how unbearably hot and humid Massachusetts summers and house attics get in the summer, I suspect the bees might have been moved in here for the winter only.

            --- In Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, "karon" <karon@...> wrote:
            >
            > So, I have been thinking about top bar folks in more northern climates. You
            > have, most likely, already thought of this but, would the kind of insulation
            > used beneath home siding help? I mean, you could cut it to size and make
            > sections for each side of the hive. they could be attached any number of
            > ways, even if all you did was use zip ties connected to one another wrapped
            > around the hive to hold them on, that would help. If your entrance is a
            > round hole, you can use wine corks to close them. leaving as many or few
            > exit holes as you see fit.
            >
            >
            >
            > With sheets of this house insulation, you could even layer, if needed.
            > Possibly lower the box to the ground to lessen the air flow under the box?
            > Using follower boards, you can decrease the size of the over wintering nest
            > and use the empty space to the bee's advantage. With cork holes in the
            > follower boards, you would be able to allow the bees to enter the space left
            > empty of comb bars and install feeders, maybe even 1 gallon bucket feeders
            > inside that empty space. That way, the bees would have food without braving
            > the elements.
            >
            >
            >
            > With a little electric work and knowledge of electricity, you could rig a
            > light bulb on either side of the nesting space, hook it up with a
            > thermostat, and use a light bulb to keep things warm for them. rather like
            > the way we keep chicken eggs and hatchlings warm.
            >
            >
            >
            > Anyway, just some thoughts on ways to keep from losing your hives from top
            > bar hives in the cold.
            >
            >
            >
            > Something else I wondered, if you had the space and the interest, I wonder
            > how things would be if you actually moved your hive indoors? Yes, yes,
            > sounds very silly but, here's the idea. If you have a room, completely
            > unused, or, even, used for other purposes but still having a lot of empty
            > space, this would be kind of neat. You could set up hives in the room, using
            > gutter downspouts for entrance tunnels. Run the downspouts from the hive out
            > through the walls. Then, to work the bees, you would close the door to the
            > room and work the bees as you normally would in the bee yard.
            >
            >
            >
            > Now, assuming you had the space to spare, the need and interest in the idea,
            > this could work. Work through your hive in the comfort of heat or air
            > conditioning, keep the ambient temp of the hives, themselves, even and have
            > your harvested honey more easily accessible to the extracting equipment.
            >
            >
            >
            > Yes, how do you deal with bees that leave the hive when you are working
            > them? Well, close the windows and cover them so your light source is the
            > light fixture. When you are finished working the bees, close the room. Then,
            > the only light source in the room is at the end of a tunnel between the room
            > and the outside. The bees follow the light outside of the room to the
            > outside of the house. When they return, they will fly back to their home
            > hive entrance on the side of the house.
            >
            >
            >
            > I don't expect anyone to actually raise bees inside their residence but it
            > is, to me, an interesting thought experiment. Trying to think of any
            > potential problems and how to solve them. it just seems like a way to solve
            > the problem of insulation, security for the bees and easy access for weather
            > as well as how far one must haul heavy equipment to harvest. Just fun ideas
            > (imho)
            >
            >
            >
            > Have a great day. I hope you find a way to make your KTBH's work for you.
            >
            >
            >
            > Good luck.
            >
            >
            >
            > Karon Adams
            >
            > Accredited Jewelry Professional (GIA)
            >
            > You can send a Rosary to a soldier!
            >
            > www.facebook.com/MilitaryRosary
            >
            > www.YellowRibbonRosaries.com
            >
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