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Condensation and varroa! Missing link to survivalists
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very nice find Bernhard! What an insight! Exactly as Jurgen Tautz describes in his Buzz About Bees book. Im linking this to my blog!

Cheers
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newwoman
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Joined: 19 Apr 2011
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Location: UK/North East Wales

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very good video Thankyou Bernhard
Just a query from a learner here-do bees also die in the heat when they kill a wasp-I understand they can kill a queen if they wish too but are bees also 'lost' in this type of 'furnace'
Pat
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Pat!

If I remember correctly the bees can tolerate 1-2 Celsius degrees above the wasps/hornets heat tolerance, and bees do survive this. I cant remember where i read this Embarassed
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newwoman
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Joined: 19 Apr 2011
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Location: UK/North East Wales

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thankyou Che
Pat
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

study on bees and water
http://jeb.biologists.org/content/212/3/429.full.pdf
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pargyle
Guard Bee


Joined: 02 Oct 2012
Posts: 94
Location: Fareham, Hampshire UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very interesting thread so I'm not going to apologise for hijacking it, it's well worth a read if you haven't come across it in the past ...

I've built a bait hive and was looking for some ideas about 'varnishing' the interior with propolis/shellac and I think I have all the answers (several answers ! As usual !!) to that particular enigma.

BUT ... the question I am looking for an answer to is how big should the entrance be for the bait hive... The consensus on the forum appears to be that a hole of 1 1/4" is about right ... any shape.

However, I have loads of Blue tits, Wrens and Yellow hammers that nest in the garden (not to mention mice !) and anything that has a small entrance of about this size and a cavity tends to get occupied for a nest by them. So, does it make sense to just have an 8mm, Bee sized, slot for an entrance rather than a small bird sized hole ? Can a swarming Queen get into an 8mm slot ?

Anyone found that 'holes' as an entrance to a hive present the opportunity for the wrong sort of residents to take up the accommodation ?
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AnthonyD
Silver Bee


Joined: 14 Aug 2011
Posts: 707
Location: County Kerry Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pargyle wrote:


BUT ... the question I am looking for an answer to is how big should the entrance be for the bait hive... The consensus on the forum appears to be that a hole of 1 1/4" is about right ... any shape.


Thomas Seeley a bait hive expert who co-wrote 'Bait hives for honeybees' available free online, states that bees prefer a circular opening about 1 1/4" in diameter.

As for the bird issue, two nails are usually put crossed across the entrance.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just cannot understand the mechanism how bees remove the moisture out of the nectar. Maybe I am calculating completely wrong?

In a very strong colony and flow we measured a plus of 10 kg in a day. 10 kg of nectar equals 6 kilogramm of water and 4 kilogramm of sugar. (60 % average water content.) Now, to get to a 18 % water content of 4 kg sugar:
4 kg = 82%
0.9 kg = 18 %

6 - 0.9 kg water  = 5.4 kg water that has to be evaporated.

How much water can warm air hold? One has to be aware, that it is not dry air, but mostly 60-80 % rel. humidity. Which means, you have to subtract the water that already is in the air from the air's capacity to hold air. Now divide the 5 kg water through the air's ability to take water.

So at 30°C one m³ of air can hold 30 g of water maximum. It already has, let's say 70 % rel. humidity, so 70 % of 30 g is 21 g. Leaving us 9 g capability to take the water. Per cubic meter! So 5.000 g divided through 9 g = 555 m³ of air, which is 555.000 litre!

A Warré hive with three boxes has 54 litres, so in a day the hive's air must be exchanged 10.277 times. Or 428 times an hour! This is not possible. Simply not possible. How they do it?

The resulting air mass or volume is just crazy! Can't be possible. There must be another way how bees remove the moisture out off the nectar. Or am I just calculating wrong?

I reckon it is turned into brood food instead of being evaporated, but could that be?

Bernhard
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Broadwell
Foraging Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Kent, High Weald

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully this isn't a stupid guess, but might they individually drink some of the water content for their own sustenance? Perhaps that's part of the honey drying process, i.e. they put back what sugars they don't need from the fluid.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is known, that they dry some of the water during the flght back to the hive. The closer the forage, the more water in the honey brought back. So yes. Some water is for drinking.
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And they carry out the excess?
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Broadwell
Foraging Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Kent, High Weald

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Might all the non-foragers also drink from the same fluid that the foragers bring back after it is deposited into comb, further drying it?

And then then there might be some deliberately taken out as trash if that's what Phil means, and perhaps also the quantity pi**ed out as post-intestinal trash by the whole hive.
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surprising result: old comb not too bad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1EVSALw78k

Old comb holds much more water than fresh comb does.
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SueBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 115
Location: United States, Pacific Northwest, Camas

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've spent two days reading this very informative thread. Now, an embarrassing question or two: I am a newbeek---lost my first cutout this past fall. Am spending the winter reading and studying as I prepare for a swarm this coming season (I hope..).

I have a Warre' hive. I am way too stupid to follow all the math on this thread, but want dearly to provide a good home for my bees. What would be the simplest solution to the condensation issues for my hive? I'm no carpenter, but I believe I could construct Berhard's condensation "roof"/bee feeder. Should I stick a stone slab in this sub-roof thingy?

My hive box is already heavily propolized from last year's bees. I can make a small entrance and keep a solid floor. I can tilt the hive to one side.

Can I construct some kind of a simple deep floor for a Warre' hive?

Should I just stick to keeping calendars of bees, instead of real bees?? I don't want to do them more harm than good.

Thanks for all your wisdom!
Susan
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Susan.

Better stick with the original hive plans, it is all experimental and experiments are no good to start with.

I recommend to use either a solid floor as the original hive has, or like Giles Dennis has: a partially screened floor for some added ventilation. About one third of the floor screened.

Also I recommend to use some more insulation on top of the quilt. So use the quilt and on top of that some sheet of insulation, 2-3 cm thick. Woodfibre board or such of a sort of insulation material. You may need to make the sides of the gabled roof longer so the sides of the quilt are protected and the roof reaches down almost onto the handles.

Bernhard
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SueBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 115
Location: United States, Pacific Northwest, Camas

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bernard, thank you. Could I put the fiberboard INTO the quilt box, instead of adding to the top? Also, I am constructing a 4" high feeding box for just under the quilt. I planned to put thin wood floors with holes in them on top and bottom of this box, with a hinge opening in front where I can insert bowls of comb honey for feed.

I was wondering if adding a small dish with a wet chunk of thick moss into this feeding "box" might be helpful. Since I am hoping for a swarm this spring (I am on a few lists for swarms), I was planning on feeding them when I first get them, right?

Bee well!
Susan
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I strongly recommend to build a decent top feeder as in the original Warré plans. You will have much more joy working with it. Forget about bowls and stuff. Do yourself a favour.

Leave the quilt as is and add the insulation on top. The quilt is needed as a buffer for both warmth and moisture. What about hive beetles, do you have them in your region?

I also recommend not to feed the honey from deadouts. It spreads diseases and you end up with another dead hive. Completely unnecessary.

Instead feed a little syrup. It might appear "unnatural" to do so, but on the other hand it can be seen as a kick off or start off. You do not do this forever. Just to get started. Once the colony produces it's own honey, you can feed them on their own honey. I see the honey as the blood of the honeybee superorganism. It is not a good idea to exchange blood without precautions. And cold blood from a dead diseased body is especially nothing to put into a young body of a bee baby. Smile I am exaggerating a bit here, but better be extra careful.
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SueBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 115
Location: United States, Pacific Northwest, Camas

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I had been wondering about all that honey I have. My hive was collected from a church eave, in a place where honeybees had abandoned six years before. So, my bees started building in that old very dusty comb, which I put into their new hive when we cut them out. I had always wondered in the back of my mind why the original bees had left that huge colony in the church. It was seven feel long. Those original bees moved to the other side of the church and are still going and growing strong.

I had wondered how contaminated that old comb might be. We don't live in a pristine area (does anyone??).

I guess I should not even use that honey for us.
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CharlieBnoobee
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 97
Location: Virginia,USA; S. Appalachians;USDA zn. 6a

PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:49 am    Post subject: Further condensing hive considerations Reply with quote

Really glad to see this topic starting back up. I’ve spent a good bit of time this and last year researching, designing and redesigning a hive that incorporates as many features that have been proven to be beneficial to bees that I can package into one embodiment. For the main part they (the proven features) emulate to some degree or another at least some of the features we find in large tree cavities. I wonder why that’s the case? H-m-m.

Looking back over the earlier posts, and especially giving careful attention to Ed Clark’s treatise, it seems like he harbored some confusion concerning the role of propolis varnish on the hive wall surfaces, as though it had some direct connection with condensation per se and keeping the hive atmosphere dry during the winter. He mentioned refrigerated rail cars (reefers, they were called) with their heavily varnished wooden walls, as anecdotal evidence. Unfortunately, it seems like some of that confusion was passed onto the participants in this topic, judging from their posts.

Trying my level best to be brief, (yeah, right) there are only a few variables that directly influence condensation rate: RH and Temperature of the moisture laden atmosphere; Temperature of the prospective condensing surfaces; Rate of heat conduction into, through and out of the material underlying the condensing surface; and the Heat Capacity of that material.

Just the surface alone (and its characteristics of color, permeability, etc.) has no direct bearing on the rate of condensation, except in how it interacts with the underlying material. Since we’re talking about interior surfaces, radiation/reflection vs. absorption doesn’t come into play either. Once the condensate is condensed, however, the surface has a great deal to do with what happens to the liquid thereafter. Does it allow the liquid to pass readily into an absorbent substrate? (such as wood), does it cause the condensate to bead up, puddle, or rapidly run off? (some surfaces can break liquid adhesion/ surface tension, others increase it). This is where varnish needs our attention. If propolis is our gold standard, then why? We can assume it contains no substances that might be harmful to bees, short term or long. That may well not be the case with many readily available varnishes. We can also assume it is nonabsorbent to liquid water which certainly is the case with most common varnishes and coatings. Water vapor permeability is of lesser concern since the amount of vapor diffusing into and through the hive walls is minuscule compared to the vapor condensed on the surface and allowed to run off. One additional feature we need to include in our search for the Ideal Coating is ease and economy of obtaining it, and applying it to the insides of out hives.
Likewise, a coating’s thermal conductivity and heat capacity can be disregarded simply because the material is so thin, and its total mass in the hive is so small, that it has no meaningful heat storage or insulating capacity. So, why use any varnish at all? (as opposed to letting the bees do it themselves). I can think of only two good reasons. 1. To protect the bees, right from the outset, from any dangerous or at least objectionable odors (i.e. vapors) or other chemical contact coming from the hive material. This includes something about fresh sawn wood. 2. Relieve the bees of the necessity of gathering, processing and applying the resins needed for doing their own propolis varnishing job. If the varnish we apply is not only safe, but actually attractive to our bees (does such a varnish exist?), then they might choose to devote more time and energy to nectar and pollen hauling. Or to living longer. Either way it seems the results would be beneficial.

There is a similar consideration involving the use of beeswax. Beeswax has a very high heat capacity, compared to all other substances except water—of course. (I say ‘of course' because nothing but nothing has as high a heat capacity as water, either on a mass basis or volumetric basis—truly remarkable stuff, is water.) But wax, like propolis, constitutes only a tiny part of a hive’s total mass or volume of materials. For that reason we might as well ignore its heat capacity, with the possible exception of old comb (see Bernhard’s link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1EVSALw78k_ ) which is quite hygroscopic and will reservoir a goodly bit of water. The water is the heat sink, not the wax holding it. Just too little wax involved.

Speaking of heat capacity and thermal reservoirs, more attention needs to be paid, IMHO, to heat /chill storage, shading, and sun angle throughout the whole 24 hour day. It’s through the arrangement of these three factors that we can devise a hive capable of getting water out of nectar quickly and efficiently while keeping the brood nest as humid as possible, and, during the winter, keeping all the bees warm and dry. It’s the production of four such hives that’s keeping me busy just now. Just as soon as I get them up (and I do mean UP) and functioning I’ll post a report complete with photos and videos.


Last edited by CharlieBnoobee on Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SueBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 115
Location: United States, Pacific Northwest, Camas

PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie, I'm really looking forward to your photos and your report!
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking forward to it, too.
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We need to look at bottom board design:
http://www.uoguelph.ca/canpolin/Publications/ThompsonCody_MSc2011_edited.pdf
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Citation:
"The presence of the bottom cavity beneath the level of the hive inlet greatly reduces the volume of air which directly penetrates the hive body. Instead, air exchange occurs slowly as stale hive air is drawn off by a venturi effect and fresh air is slowly drawn up to replace it. Conceivably, this could offer an advantage to honeybees who are constantly under pressure to maintain the temperature of their brood. Having a bottom cavity minimizes direct exposure of the brood to influent air, effectively buffering the internal hive environment from the external world. An implicit advantage afforded by a slow exchange between the hive and ambient environments is the increased control honeybees may exert over that exchange."
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CharlieBnoobee
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 97
Location: Virginia,USA; S. Appalachians;USDA zn. 6a

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bernhard— Danke, Danke, thank you, thank you, you research beaver, fact ferret, search engineer you. This is such good stuff! I’m in the very midst of papercrete experimentation, with the aim of using this material on the forms/molds that I’ve built to create 37L. stackable cavity shapes which I hope will enhance circulation from warm, evaporating surfaces up and over—via a 'semi-prolate spheroidal' (like half a watermelon split lengthwise) under surface, i.e. 'ceiling', to the opposite and—relatively—cool hive wall condensing surfaces. If all goes according to design, the condensate will collect in gutters built into the papercrete walls, rather than on the frame tops and backs of the bees. Stay tuned.
Until now I’ve paid no attention to the cavity bottom shape. I'm calling the 'bottom' everything below the 20 sq. cm entrance) —other than to provide a deep (3ft.), dark, unventilated 'sump', as Phil would call it, screened off from the hive proper.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://ia700404.us.archive.org/0/items/cu31924052051228/cu31924052051228.pdf

Basic study on wintering and insulation. 1920s
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SueBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 115
Location: United States, Pacific Northwest, Camas

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, Charlie, photos pleeeeeeeeeease! A three-foot sump?? Filled with what? I'm loving the image of this.

I just received my long-saved-up for octagonal Warre'-style hive, and am trying to determine---by endeavoring to apply all I've been reading on these forums---the best place to locate it. I will do a bottom sump. All of the folks in my local bee club of nature beeks are doing this come spring.

And spring is coming quicker than I can believe Very Happy
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
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Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Further condensing hive considerations Reply with quote

CharlieBnoobee wrote:
Once the condensate is condensed, however, the surface has a great deal to do with what happens to the liquid thereafter. Does it allow the liquid to pass readily into an absorbent substrate? (such as wood), does it cause the condensate to bead up, puddle, or rapidly run off? (some surfaces can break liquid adhesion/ surface tension, others increase it). This is where varnish needs our attention.


It would seem logical that propolis is the ideal varnish, since if there was something better in nature, the bees would - at some time in the last 100 million years - have found it and be using it instead!

Since collecting enough propolis to varnish a number of hives would be problematic, I am settling for shellac dissolved in alcohol (which I assume is what Ed Clarke used) with propolis added as available. Since both dissolve in alcohol and are otherwise not so dissimilar (although shellac has a higher melting point, but as we are doing the bees work for them, that hardly seems relevant) that would seem to be a pragmatic solution.

I'm not sure that you can dismiss the thermal insulation properties of propolis quite so readily - didn't Clarke calculate that this was about 20x that of beeswax?

In any case, unless someone turns up a completely revolutionary piece of research that puts me off the idea, this year's experiments with be with shellac/propolis varnish, eco-floors and my new top bar design, which I will post any time soon under 'Bright Ideas...'
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SueBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 115
Location: United States, Pacific Northwest, Camas

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is varnishing the inside of the hive to give a hand to get the bees started? Is there a reason not to let them do this on their own with their propolis?

I'm new here. And dumb. And wondering...
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Broadwell
Foraging Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Kent, High Weald

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Further condensing hive considerations Reply with quote

biobee wrote:
Since collecting enough propolis to varnish a number of hives would be problematic, I am settling for shellac dissolved in alcohol


Would pine resin be a better (or lesser) alternative to shellac? I think it's cheaper to buy than shellac flakes.
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biobee
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Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Further condensing hive considerations Reply with quote

Broadwell wrote:
biobee wrote:
Since collecting enough propolis to varnish a number of hives would be problematic, I am settling for shellac dissolved in alcohol


Would pine resin be a better (or lesser) alternative to shellac? I think it's cheaper to buy than shellac flakes.


I think Bernhard has already tried this - might be worth a search. I don't see why not, but it may set rather sticky...
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