Hive Heating

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Hebeegeebee 

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This Spring I used a 8 w terrarium heater (mains) under a hive that was building up more slowly than the others. Being about 2 mm thick, it slid into the hive entrance over the varroa mesh. I left it in for about 5 weeks or so the help the bees get going. By then there were plenty of bees and the weather had warmed up of course. I did notice that the brood nest was an odd shape - I suspect due to the way the heat distribution worked with the artificial heater.
At that time of year, there was no worries about overheating the hive.

Simples.


Adam
 

MuswellMetro 

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my father's method was to heat four house bricks up in a bonfire on cold nights when Minus 10c or less was predicted and put them under the hive floor

....i remember the same at my grandma house..heated bricks in the AGA then wrapped in towels for hotwater bottles...and the ice on the bedroom windows on the inside
 

Poly Hive 

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I remember (anecdotal here) that at Craibstone they did research using thermo couples to measure cluster temperature the optimum cluster size.

To their considerable surprise bigger/biggest was not the best, the normal colony cluster size was in fact the best.

That in turn makes me wonder out of extreme bee range temperatures whether heating may well do more harm than good.

As HP has already mentioned bees feeling nicely cosy may well decide to go for a cleansing flight and find that the external conditions are far from ideal.

I would suggest that bees are better left to winter as best they can in the UK.

PH
 

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This Spring I used a 8 w terrarium heater (mains) under a hive that was building up more slowly than the others.

Adam


I have experience now 6 years heating with 20 hives. I know quite well how it works. I have same time patty feeding. About spring feeding i have 20 years experience. I know the diffence with natural system.

With small hives, 5 frame or less, it same what you do with them. They are in prisons of their colony size. That is why I do not recommend small colonies over winter.

When you start the feeding or heating, no one knows what kind of spring it will be. You just do it and look what happens.



.
 
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hedgerow pete 

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I only use heating when i want to increase the breeding stock sooner than normal but not overly soon. According to my notes I started to use heating which for me was a pair of night light or tea candles in the bee shed on the 12 th of februeary because it was still below -5c in the shed at night and i wanted it to be +5c day and night, I set for 5C as this is just above frost levels over the next week by leaving the two candles burning durring the night and one durring the day i kept the shed at roughly were i wanted and as the month warmed up so did the shed temp till it was around 8C to 10C by the 27th of february, this was also meet with a 1lb jar of sugar syrup of 200gms of sugar to 450ml of water and the start of several patties of pollen mix each patties weighs 250gm, rolled out to be around 7 mm thick and around size of 150 mm round ish, the next month of march the shed was brought up to a temp of 14C and kept there day and night for the whole month, the first cleaning flights started around february 16th and started in full my the end of feb start of march. Queen started to lay from the 14 of february very lightly but was in full flow from around the 3rd of march and was kept feed and syrup going untill late aprill the 20th pollen patties were taken down within around 3 days at first but after each patties is finished there is a delay of two days before the next one syrup was thinned as the trial continued, which was bad durring early march when we had a warm spell but was needed in early april when we had that wet spell
 

Finman 

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I

I would suggest that bees are better left to winter as best they can in the UK.

PH
Bees need not extra heating in winter. They take care themselves.
The best is warm hive box and NOT mesh floor. Very stupid to heat mesh floor.

I have heated for experience some small nucs with 3W heater. Even 2-frame colonies stay alive.

But it makes no sence to keep 4-2 frame nucs. They make only troubles.

Electrict heating is expencive. If you calculate 2 months kWh x price, it is much.

.
 

hedgerow pete 

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The ease i have with the bee shed is shown through out those notes but i am sure someone with a hive in a field well away from an electric plug will want to think about my playings so lets see what we can do??

lets start with a good covering of lets say ploystirene insulation or something to keep what ever warmth we produce inside, now i am looking at a hive with insultaion on four sides and a roof with the mesh fllor left clear so we have ventaltion and somewhere to heat from.
Now I would wrap the hive stand with say very thin ply wood sides say 5mm thick some times we will wrap inside the framing rather than out side so our ply wood frame is inside the outer edges of the hive . we dont want the wood to touch the under neth , we could realy do with a gap of say 50mm betwen top of boxing and hive floor to allow ventalation, then we are now looking at getting a couple of tins, so pop down to asda and woof a whole box of quality street only for research purposes you know!!!!

any way the thin tin or lid goes on the floor we could use a block or something else thats stable but off the floor or grass so we can put the candle as our heater there now to prevent the flame shooting straight up into the hive we need to build a disfusser which would be the thicker bottom section of our chocy tin this can be set up the other way if you want, allwe have to do is put a couple of screws in the side that stick out so we can hang it from the top of out ply wood tube, so candle off floor burns and warms the chocky tin lid which spreads the heat around and it graduates up wards there fore warming the nest
 

sherwood 

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Has anyone considered the old fashioned method. Gardeners used to heat cold frames by digging a load of earth out and filling with compostable material a light layer of earth and the composting kept the cold frame warm. Obviously there will be methane and other gases produced but a similar arrangement or a variation on a theme might possibly be acheivable or am talking RUBBISH
 

tonybloke 

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a bit less of the 'used to' please!!
gardeners still use 'hot-beds' to grow some crops.
 

MuswellMetro 

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a bit less of the 'used to' please!!
gardeners still use 'hot-beds' to grow some crops.
cucumber anyone...............yes, dig a hole, fill it over winter with kitchen waste, cover it with grass cutting then back fill with soil ..add two Cucumber seeds
 

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