Daft idea or not?

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SusieB 

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I was wondering about getting one of those cheapie gazebos from Wilkos/Argos to put up over the hive for the winter, mainly to keep the rain and possibly snow off and to provide a bt of cover for if I ever need to do anything (oxalic acid etc) Obviously I don't intend opening up the hive in pouring rain or snow but if there's an emergency I want to protect as much as possible

Daft idea or not?????
:biggrinjester:
 

RoofTops 

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It's not a daft idea at all - but it will only work if the location is sheltered otherwise the gazebo will take off in the gales. I have seen them used for inspections in the rain.
 

justme 

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That is something I've thought about but was also not sure whether a dumb idea, wind and all. So, thank you for asking Susie B:.)
 

Onge 

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We have used one at our bee club to inspect in the rain.

Don't know about all winter but I'm 99.9% sure the snow will bring it down.

Good luck and get back to us if you over winter a gazebo. :D
 

oliver90owner 

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Rooftops, you are a salesman. Do you do a line in gazebos?

Maybe not a daft question, but I reckon one would be daft doing it!!

3 reasons:
1) Wind
2) Rain
3) Snow

If you need one, then erect when needed!

1) how long will it last? Wind will go under it anyway, unless you put it up at half-height! (you will need to be seriously vertically challenged to do any inspections!)

2) How much will it stop? Not a lot if the wind is blowing.

3) Snow on the gazebo will likely collapse it! Snow on a hive is often good, as it is a very good insulant (if it is quickly melted by the warmth from the colony, they are wasting too much energy!)

No, putting it inside a tent is a much better idea.......bees will be out to forage before the bulbs even sprout through the ground, if it catches the sunlight.

We are talking, of course, of 'cheapie contraptions'.

A more substantial construction may be a better idea. Especially as you don't say where you are in the UK. In Canada or parts of continental Europe, for instance, they are called bee houses (not to be mixed up with the famous plastic beetainer!) or bee cellars.

Save your money or invest some of it in some simple hive insulation.

Regards, RAB
 

Adam 

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Why do you want to keep the snow off? It's a great insulator, keeps the warmth in. If it's good enough to keep an eskimo warm in his igloo, I'm sure your bees will be OK. Also, hives seem to thrive the following season when the weather is cold.

Given Oxalic is only done once, you should be find to find a decent day.

Adam
 

SusieB 

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that's why I love this place, all the differing points of view


IT was more for keeping the rain off to reduce the chances of damp getting in the hive really.

I'm in Lancashire, near Accrington
Hive is in the garden ina fairly sheltered spot and not particularly windy (side of big garden surrounded by 6fit high fencing)

I may give it a go and see what happens. The gazebo we had at Download festival stood up to strong winds and rain :coolgleamA: sadly daughter nabbed it and took it home!
 

oliver90owner 

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OK, so what are you going to over-winter on?

If it is just the brood there should be little chance of damp getting in with a well-held-down standard roof. A deep roof would be better as it covers the join well, even with a thickish sheet of insulation over the crownboard.

If leaving on a super of stores for the bees, then the hive might benefit from a good pull together with a ratchet strap or two. The boxes will be propolised by the bees, given they are not opened after the weather stops them working. More important if cracking seals for administering oxalic acid.

Now to the floor. Is it an OMF?

If the answer is yes and only a brood above, I would stand the hive on an empty super to reduce turblence in the hive; if on a brood and super it is not so important as they can move up that much further.

I overwinter on 14 x 12s with OMF, no top ventilation, insulation above and nothing below. That works for me. I rapidly progressed from standard broods (with a super of stores) on solid floors to the present arrangement when I found the colonies were so much drier in the springtime (I had not properly mastered the amount of top ventilation - with the top insulation of bits of carpet - which seemed the 'norm' ten years ago).

A solid floor will need somewhat more ventilation to keep the hive dry without wasting too much energy. Some say raising the brood from the floor by 3mm (matchstick spacers) is adequate but I have never tried it.

Regards, RAB
 

barratt_sab 

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I overwinter on 14 x 12s with OMF, no top ventilation, insulation above and nothing below.
Here comes a daft one...

by "no top ventilation" do you mean none whatsover - in particular, no holes left in the crown board (with bee escapes or otherwise)?

I was thinking of putting a 2" slab of low density polystyrene insulation over the crown board. My worries are that they are in WBCs, so this might be overkill, and also that they might eat it!
 

Poly Hive 

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With bottom ventilation it is normal to give top insulation.

I have used 2" of floormate on as a crown board on top beespace hives and yes there are at times a few nibbles, but they do not really bother with it as such.

Double wall hives, WBC & Glens, traditionally had a top layer for winter of sacking over the frames and a couple of old quilts on top. Duvets if you prefer the modern term and to distinguish from the silly observation glass quilts so called.

PH
 

Monsieur Abeille 

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I have used 2" of floormate on as a crown board on top beespace hives and yes there are at times a few nibbles, but they do not really bother with it as such.

PH
With some sort of pre-cutout arrangement if you want to feed fondant midwinter?
 

oliver90owner 

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barratt_sab,

No top ventilation is just exactly that. My coverboards are 6 or 9mm ply squares; they are topped with a sheet of polystyrene, then the roof. Really harsh weather and the Dartingtons may have the underboard slipped completely into place as they have been readily accessed in the garden, up until now.

Unfortunately, think I only have one deep roof, so some have a super filled with a sheet of polystyrene. I always pull these down with a ratchet strap as the join will be below the roof. Not yet had a full 14 x 12 completely consumed before they are flying in spring.

Smaller colonies (dummied out at the sides) are generally covered with a clearing board with the bee escape holes covered, so it is easier to add a block of fondant. Again, some of the poly sheets have a cut out, into which will fit a typical chinese take-away plastic tray full of fondant (about a kg). Rarely used now and never really needed. Nucs would be fed automatically, with fondant, later in the winter. The odd hive might be left with a super over. It doesn't worry me but there is usually a reason for that. After all, if they don't consume it I will get it next year!

Regards, RAB
 

barratt_sab 

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Thanks RAB and PH - from your comments, it sounds like a sheet of plystyrene insulation would be a sensible idea, even in a WBC (as an alternative to sacking / quilts).

I have been wondering about top ventilation, and had seen the "matchstick under each corner" suggestion before - I think I'll ask some locals to see whether there's any experience with our prevailing conditions and see how many opinions I can collect!
 

Poly Hive 

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If there is one idea in the whole of beekeeping that makes me see red with rage it is match sticks under the CB.

What a bloody silly idea it ever was and with bottom ventilation dafter still

Ask the bees. I wish to the heavens I had a pic of the travelling screen I had which was completely propolised over, so what does that tell you? (I bought in the colony btw)

I have never seen propolisation on a bottom screen. Ever.

PH
 

Monsieur Abeille 

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I have been wondering about top ventilation, and had seen the "matchstick under each corner" suggestion before - I think I'll ask some locals to see whether there's any experience with our prevailing conditions and see how many opinions I can collect!
barratt_sab - I'm not sure the matchstick under each corner relevant for your WBC - you have the ventilation holes in the roof already which you can presumably fill or leave open as you see fit, the matchsticks would (I think) be for the standard roofs used on Nationals etc
 

barratt_sab 

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With bottom ventilation it is normal to give top insulation.
Sorry, my fault PH - I read your post as "with bottom ventilation it is normal to give top ventilation" rather than insulation!

Having re-read it (concentrating hard on the words...) I'm now much happier!

I was wondering how the whole hive didn't just become a chimney, flushing the whole brood area with cold air from the OMF.
 

oliver90owner 

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If there is one idea in the whole of beekeeping that makes me see red with rage it is match sticks under the CB.

Calm down, PH! Misquoted/mis-read again I suspect. I do entirely agree with you on this one BTW.

barrat_sab,

THIS is what I wrote in post#8:

A solid floor will need somewhat more ventilation to keep the hive dry without wasting too much energy. Some say raising the brood from the floor by 3mm (matchstick spacers) is adequate but I have never tried it.

I most certainly didn't mention raising coverboards.

Regards, RAB
 

Poly Hive 

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Thanks RAB and PH - from your comments, it sounds like a sheet of plystyrene insulation would be a sensible idea, even in a WBC (as an alternative to sacking / quilts).

I have been wondering about top ventilation, and had seen the "matchstick under each corner" suggestion before - I think I'll ask some locals to see whether there's any experience with our prevailing conditions and see how many opinions I can collect!
I think I am still able to read even after the hebridies.... LOL
 
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