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Newbie in Texas heat


#1

I’m getting me and my top bar hive ready for it’s first colony. I read about heat being a problem, so I have a suggestions for that person and I wanted to run them by you, Matt, to make sure what I’m doing is okay.

To create a chimney effect to keep the hive cool, I have put staples on one side of three top bars. I used a shim under it to hold the dimension at 1/8" between just three bars. Then I make the partition the correct width so when it and all the bars are in place air can pass, but bees can’t. I don’t want to risk getting a comb attached to the roof. Then I drilled 1" holes at each end of my pitched roof near the apex and covered the inside with 1/8" hardware cloth. With the hardware cloth on the bottom of the hive, air should be drawn through to keep it cool. I’m pretty sure it won’t be enough to dry it out, but I plan to check it often

The other thing I have done, even though the hive will be in the shade, is to cover the roof with over-lapping, self-adhesive, reflective roof flashing. This stuff sticks to anything it touches, so be sure it’s located well before you put it down on the rooftop. My roof also projects about 3" all around and extra in front where the entrance is located.

Another thing I’m doing different has to do with inspection. I purchased a 3/8" diameter, lighted endescope with a 16’ reach on eBay for just $22. It works great!. I plan to drill 1/2" holes in at the bottom of all four corners so I can remove a rubber plug and slide the endiscope in to inspect the hive without disturbing or moving the top bars.

Questions?:

  1. Do I need side entrances?

  2. Will the light of the scope (which is adjustable) bother the bees?

  3. I used a very good grade of plywood with untreated aspen veneer for the body of my hive. None of the rough edges are exposed to the bees. Have you heard of the glue or glue I used for the corners cause any problems.

Thanks to any who answer for taking the time. I’ll post pictures next time and if I can post video you can see how well the endiscope works.


#2

Hi, DrDoorlock,

Welcome to the forum from someone who’s been here not much longer than you! :D

Since I’m just starting out I don’t have any insight as to whether or not the ideas you have to help minimize heat buildup in your hive there in Texas will help, but they sound like they might. We don’t normally get the temperatures you get in Texas (I spent four years in Austin, so I’ve seen a little bit of how hot it can be) but last summer we had some higher than normal temperatures here in southern Ohio and I’m worried about it happening again when I’m starting out.

Your idea of using the endoscope is pretty cool, too. Since I bought my hives from Matt they have windows and I’m looking forward to using them to let my grandchildren see the bees in action but you’ve come up with a great way to check out the hive without disturbing the hive. I image that same idea could be used with Warre hives as well.

Cheers,

Tom


#3

I would try some side ventilation holes or entrances and see how they do. If the bees want them they’ll use them. If not, they’ll likely propolize them shut.

I doubt the scope will bother them much if at all…I’d love to see photos of the endoscope attached to the hive! I’ve never seen this before!

I also doubt the glue will cause any issues. I’ve found feral colonies living in walls with insulation and all sorts of other stuff fused to their combs and they were fine.

Best,

Matt


#4

Here you go Matt. Why have pictures when you can have video. The first video shows how simply this cheap endoscope works. It’s waterproof and someday I plan to take it fishing to video a fish biting my hook. The second video just shows the inside of my empty hive, but I narrated it. Please post this where it will do the most good. It’s especially good for TBH beeks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6HW1UORbF0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hXzWIKJ79U


#5

Cool video, Doc! That could be a very handy tool for hives without observation windows.