camouflage builders screening - any advice or recommended options ?

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citrus 

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Wondered if folks have done any quick covering and screening solutions for areas to make them discrete .....

I have a choice between 'fake UV proof ivy' i.e


or just army surplus


anyone got any real world experience ... I have a 20m run with a few gaps to cover over in a patchy conifer hedge
 

Ian123 

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Rather depends how effective you want the screening. You could try site safety netting used on scaffolding, it’s rather like onion sack material. It’s cheap and on large rolls. Am sure I’ve seen similar for garden use that’s dark green and thicker/tighter weave.
 

Leigh 

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I used to use military surplus camo netting- worked a treat, BUT I stopped using it after I found a dead hare that had become entangled in it.

Instead, paint hives in discrete colours. Dark/nato green works well......downside is they can get too hot in exceptionally warm weather.
 

Ian123 

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Instead, paint hives in discrete colours. Dark/nato green works well......downside is they can get too hot in exceptionally warm weather.
Really I stain all mine dark brown even black. Never had any getting to hot. I’ve seen many colonies surviving happily in black oil drums in the Caribbean as well.
 

citrus 

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i should add this is more for my garden to hide the 'handy bits of builders stuff' i keep at the bottom of the garden :) ...Thanks Ian .. yeah good shout on the site safety netting ... will look at that ...can double it up if need be
 

derekm 

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Really I stain all mine dark brown even black. Never had any getting to hot. I’ve seen many colonies surviving happily in black oil drums in the Caribbean as well.
if they are wood hives in the full sun they will need large amounts of water to keep cool. Ever tried working in a wooden shed in summer? I did that for 2 years in southern Germany... Not pleasant at all! luckily the German space agency I was working for had Beer Machines then, priced at 1 deutschmark per bottle
 

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i should add this is more for my garden to hide the 'handy bits of builders stuff' i keep at the bottom of the garden :) ...Thanks Ian .. yeah good shout on the site safety netting ... will look at that ...can double it up if need be
I've found that the green one doesn't fade into the background very well. The black one is less noticeable IMO.
 

Ian123 

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if they are wood hives in the full sun they will need large amounts of water to keep cool. Ever tried working in a wooden shed in summer? I did that for 2 years in southern Germany... Not pleasant at all! luckily the German space agency I was working for had Beer Machines then, priced at 1 deutschmark per bottle
For a very short period of the year you may be correct but even then if they require water is it an issue. You felt thirsty you had a beer, bees get thirsty/require cooling they go to the pond. I place all my hives in sun if possible. I do have some sites in woodland that tick all other boxes security/access/size. Over the years there’s a marked difference in how dry the hives are and how well they build and winter between the sites. So IMO it’s a good trade off. I would also suggest my hives in peak summer spend as much effort shifting moisture from the hive, just look in on an evening with a good flow on. Upper temps for the brood nest are mid 30s whilst the sides of boxes can get hot it’s not like there in contact with a lot of the colony there’s air gaps between frames/comb after all. I’ve never seen a wooden hive in the uk suffer melt down due to its location have you? When we cut into those oil drums I mentioned some did show signs of comb collapse, but there’s a difference to comb attached to thin steal or hanging in a wooden frame in a hive. As above there are advantages to additional warmth, wooden hives will often start brood rearing before poly hives, why do you think that is?...Ian
 

hemo 

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My full sun hives do far better then the cooler shaded ones, activity and crop returns much better.
 

derekm 

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...wooden hives will often start brood rearing before poly hives, why do you think that is?...Ian
If your efficiency of production is lower you have to start sooner to meet the deadline of swarming in may. If you can brood faster you can afford to hold back in case of poor early spring weather. Poly hives grow faster in spring and have heavier spring honey production and have more offspring colonies.
 

Ian123 

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If your efficiency of production is lower you have to start sooner to meet the deadline of swarming in may. If you can brood faster you can afford to hold back in case of poor early spring weather. Poly hives grow faster in spring and have heavier spring honey production and have more offspring colonies.
The bees aren’t sitting there thinking well we are in a wooden hive so we’ll start sooner, there sitting there going this is nice and warm we’ll start laying. There not adding up pros and cons rather responding to the environment. What’s this swarming deadline of May with respect do you have bees? And as for bees holding back, do they? Surely they respond to conditions. Over the years it wouldn’t be the first time a warm spring has meant colony growth, followed by poor weather and some close to starvation. Poly or not I’ve not noticed any thinking oh we better hang on just in case! And yes I have poly hives for nearly 20 years how long have you had yours. Your assuming a human level of reasoning not often found in the majority off animals/insects. How often have we seen early bumbles or wasps/butterflies caught out by periods of poor weather throughout the year. Or early clutches of eggs or chicks lost to cold spells for that matter. Ian
 
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derekm 

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The bees aren’t sitting there thinking well we are in a wooden hive so we’ll start sooner, there sitting there going this is nice and warm we’ll start laying. There not adding up pros and cons rather responding to the environment. What’s this swarming deadline of May with respect do you have bees? And as for bees holding back, do they? Surely they respond to conditions. Over the years it wouldn’t be the first time a warm spring has meant colony growth, followed by poor weather and some close to starvation. Poly or not I’ve not noticed any thinking oh we better hang on just in case! And yes I have poly hives for nearly 20 years how long have you had yours. Your assuming a human level of reasoning not often found in the majority off animals/insects. How often have we seen early bumbles or wasps/butterflies caught out by periods of poor weather throughout the year. Or early clutches of eggs or chicks lost to cold spells for that matter. Ian
They dont have to think, its just true, if your process is less efficient you have to start sooner. If its more efficient you can start later. You dont need to appeal to anthropomorphism. Honey bees in poly start later but achieve more by the same end date. Poly hives are more efficient thermally. I dont know their internal behaviour mechanism, but it amounts to" if less heat loss they start later but act faster". There are evolutionary advantages to doing that. especially that starting brooding earlier has extra risks. The deadlines are set by the flowers, the bees need to be there in force when the flows occur.
Honey bees have complex behaviours, being aware by some mechanism that they are in a high heat loss environment would not rank as outstanding against some of the others we know about, such as being able to measure the volume of a cavity in the dark.
 

Ian123 

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For a man so sown up in research the statement “it’s just true” strikes me as odd. Poly hives don’t start later because the bees are aware the hive is insulated. They start a fraction later because poly insulates both ways. Yes we are aware poly hives are more efficient I’ve had them for quite some years. I asked seriously did you have some, how long for and do you keep bees? You also state bees have a deadline for May swarming what on earth do you base that on? There’s many here that have kept bees for even a few years that would find that to be blatantly untrue! And in my previous post I did ask why it’s an issue that they require water?
 
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derekm 

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For a man so sown up in research the statement “it’s just true” strikes me as odd. Poly hives don’t start later because the bees are aware the hive is insulated. They start a fraction later because poly insulates both ways. Yes we are aware poly hives are more efficient I’ve had them for quite some years. I asked seriously did you have some, how long for and do you keep bees? You also state bees have a deadline for May swarming what on earth do you base that on? There’s many here that have kept bees for even a few years that would find that to be blatantly untrue! And in my previous post I did ask why it’s an issue that they require water?
"if your process is less efficient you have to start sooner" is just maths of the kind "if it takes 3 men to dig a hole starting Monday and complete by Friday using spades. If they have a mechanical digger at 500% relative efficiency to a single man with spade, what day do they need to start to still complete at Friday ". "its just true" like 2+2=4 is "its just true".
The colony's objective is to swarm. To succeed, they need to swarm close in time to a flow of nectar. Bee colonies do not all swarm at the same time but the evolutionary pressure is a time pressure to be ready when the plants are ready. Its a distribution about May with outliers in March and in August but it still exists.
Requiring to fetch water is an energy drain on the nest, it uses bees (flight time =bees) and sugars to go fetch water. Fetching extra water is an inefficiency.
At the moment we have 6 colonies distributed on 3 sites. We have kept bees in highly insulated hives including polystyrene continuously since 2010, I can see two from where I am sitting.

Ahh the old "poly keeps them cold" chestnut. That does not match observations, bees in insulated hives appear to be able to raise the internal temperature rapidly even when it is below zero C. In insulated hives, activity correlates more to light levels than external temperature. but becareful with light level observations, dont trust your own eyes, use a light meter. Our eyes and brains have a wide range of compensation for changes in light levels.
This response to light levels is one of the reasons we have moved to solid floors.
 
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Leigh 

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Really I stain all mine dark brown even black. Never had any getting to hot. I’ve seen many colonies surviving happily in black oil drums in the Caribbean as well.
Yes, really. I've not had it happen before, but last Summer had some comb collapse. These were big colonies in poly. Plenty of bees to ventilate etc, so no idea exactly why it happened, but bloody hot weather and newly made combs which were very full will have been part of the reason. So there we go - it is rare, but it does happen.
 

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Rather depends how effective you want the screening. You could try site safety netting used on scaffolding, it’s rather like onion sack material. It’s cheap and on large rolls. Am sure I’ve seen similar for garden use that’s dark green and thicker/tighter weave.
Scaffold netting is cheap as chips compared to special ‘garden’ netting and I buy it for the veg patch and used it to construct my garden apiary to divert the bees flight path away from visitors.
 

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If you're concerned about prying eyes finding your apiary then don't forget in this day and age of google maps / earth that viewers from above can spot some hives too.
 

Ian123 

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"if your process is less efficient you have to start sooner" is just maths of the kind "if it takes 3 men to dig a hole starting Monday and complete by Friday using spades. If they have a mechanical digger at 500% relative efficiency to a single man with spade, what day do they need to start to still complete at Friday ". "its just true" like 2+2=4 is "its just true".
The colony's objective is to swarm. To succeed, they need to swarm close in time to a flow of nectar. Bee colonies do not all swarm at the same time but the evolutionary pressure is a time pressure to be ready when the plants are ready. Its a distribution about May with outliers in March and in August but it still exists.
Requiring to fetch water is an energy drain on the nest, it uses bees (flight time =bees) and sugars to go fetch water. Fetching extra water is an inefficiency.
At the moment we have 6 colonies distributed on 3 sites. We have kept bees in highly insulated hives including polystyrene continuously since 2010, I can see two from where I am sitting.

Ahh the old "poly keeps them cold" chestnut. That does not match observations, bees in insulated hives appear to be able to raise the internal temperature rapidly even when it is below zero C. In insulated hives, activity correlates more to light levels than external temperature. but becareful with light level observations, dont trust your own eyes, use a light meter. Our eyes and brains have a wide range of compensation for changes in light levels.
This response to light levels is one of the reasons we have moved to solid floors.
Not sure how to start with this but I’ll give it a go😉bees will respond to the environment in a wooden hive they’ll respond quicker to the suns warming effects. I suggest you mail Murray and ask his opinion and come back and share. In a nice sunny spot I find colonies build better than those in a cold shady spot inc those in poly. Bees often take advantage of this and in wooden Nucs I think it’s more common. In particularly sunny sites brood rearing often starts on the sunny wall. In double Nucs with a thin divider it’s quite common to see brood rearing start on the shared party wall. You still suggest there’s a May deadline, but now with outliers!!. There’s no beek here that will agree there’s a May deadline for swarming, and you did say deadline that’s rather specific. Lets see if any come forward. As for hives in the sun being less efficient because they’ll need water, I’ll take any loss of efficiency for a few summer days, and happily have a drier warmer hive throughout winter and spring when it actually matters. If your that worried about efficiency May I suggest 1 of jenks buggie water feeders in the front door😂 Now pls go back and look to see if I said poly keeps them cold.? I said wooden hives benefit from the suns warmth and respond quicker in a sunny spot! By your own admittance you’ve only had them a short while and very few again I suggest you talk to Murray. IMO once numbers in a poly start building the heat from brood and bees is retained and that’s the aid in quicker colony build up. Having had polys a while I’m more than happy to say that overall they’ll out preform wood. For me though by the time the main flow comes around big hives are big hives polys benefits then are negligible. I’ll much rather purchase poly nucs and think those offer the best return, for me at least in the sunny south. I’m sure for others in more testing conditions some benefits are more pronounced. Now onto another subject, I see you also suggesting bees in trees prefer 100mm of wood surrounding their cavity, pls correct me if wrong. Could I ask how often you find a tree large enough to have a cavity in the 10s of litres but say 12mm(average)thick walls. I’d suggest never because the many tons of tree above simply would have snapped long ago. So is it the bees selection or what mother nature’s offering them. Have you done any trials with bait hives say 50 made with 18mm ply similar to a wooden hive and 50 with 100mm walls. My bait hives made from ply some with sides as thin as 6-12mm have no issues in attracting swarms. Ian
 

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Not sure how to start with this but I’ll give it a go😉bees will respond to the environment in a wooden hive they’ll respond quicker to the suns warming effects. I suggest you mail Murray and ask his opinion and come back and share. In a nice sunny spot I find colonies build better than those in a cold shady spot inc those in poly. Bees often take advantage of this and in wooden Nucs I think it’s more common. In particularly sunny sites brood rearing often starts on the sunny wall. In double Nucs with a thin divider it’s quite common to see brood rearing start on the shared party wall. You still suggest there’s a May deadline, but now with outliers!!. There’s no beek here that will agree there’s a May deadline for swarming, and you did say deadline that’s rather specific. Lets see if any come forward. As for hives in the sun being less efficient because they’ll need water, I’ll take any loss of efficiency for a few summer days, and happily have a drier warmer hive throughout winter and spring when it actually matters. If your that worried about efficiency May I suggest 1 of jenks buggie water feeders in the front door😂 Now pls go back and look to see if I said poly keeps them cold.? I said wooden hives benefit from the suns warmth and respond quicker in a sunny spot! By your own admittance you’ve only had them a short while and very few again I suggest you talk to Murray. IMO once numbers in a poly start building the heat from brood and bees is retained and that’s the aid in quicker colony build up. Having had polys a while I’m more than happy to say that overall they’ll out preform wood. For me though by the time the main flow comes around big hives are big hives polys benefits then are negligible. I’ll much rather purchase poly nucs and think those offer the best return, for me at least in the sunny south. I’m sure for others in more testing conditions some benefits are more pronounced. Now onto another subject, I see you also suggesting bees in trees prefer 100mm of wood surrounding their cavity, pls correct me if wrong. Could I ask how often you find a tree large enough to have a cavity in the 10s of litres but say 12mm(average)thick walls. I’d suggest never because the many tons of tree above simply would have snapped long ago. So is it the bees selection or what mother nature’s offering them. Have you done any trials with bait hives say 50 made with 18mm ply similar to a wooden hive and 50 with 100mm walls. My bait hives made from ply some with sides as thin as 6-12mm have no issues in attracting swarms. Ian
You said "They start a fraction later because poly insulates both ways." what exactly did that mean?

How do you or bees determine the difference, when the temperature on the inside face of hives is the result of the suns warming effects on a un-insulated wall as opposed to their own heat on an insulated wall?
similarly an un-insulated divider as opposed to their own heat on a highly insulated external wall?

How exactly does lack of shade directly correlate the inside of hive being dry and warm. do you have results which show how it varies with insulation level?

I dont recollect writing anything about wall thickness in this thread or
recollect writing anything about shade in this thread perhaps you can point out where?


Since you are suggesting large expansive experiments , perhaps you can share yours? have you published the results? or perhaps you have published a treatise on the theoretical biology, if so please give me the references? I would love to read them.


I spoke with Murray at length about polys vs wood over 8years ago...I quote Murray in some of my lectures and papers
I do recollect speaking about the honey bee preference for thick walls with Tom Seeley in 2012. He later
talked about the possibility of their preference in later lectures but admitted no-one has done that work to date, but it was a possibility given honey bees have nest measurement behaviours more complex than wall thickness measurement.
If you want read about some of my work go buy Tom's latest book.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Where does all this research and data go?
Given the abundance of swarms and the paucity of suitable trees the bees set up home where they can.
I would never suggest that there is no place for investigation simply for its own sake but I'm simply curious what possible application this has.
 
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