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Optimum temperature range inside a TBH?

 
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Craig Howard
House Bee


Joined: 03 Jul 2016
Posts: 16
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:43 am    Post subject: Optimum temperature range inside a TBH? Reply with quote

Any one know from experience or have information on what kind of temperature range a TBH is comfortable /safe for its inhabitants ( bees) ?

I have temp probes that can easily be added (fixed or temporary) to a hive to monitor this... and my hive build currently in construction, allows for variable ventilation via base and ceiling design.

My area experiences ranges : frosts to -2 C and up to 35 C over a year of seasons.
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My climate is cooler than yours (-8C to 28C). My hives get no additional ventilation, but have insulation above the top-bars all year round (keeps heat out in summer, warmer in winter) and the bees seem fine with that.

Brood nest is maintained around 34 - 35C, the rest of the hive is generally not allowed to get hotter.

Your bees might benefit from some shade in the hotter parts of the hotter days.
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rays
House Bee


Joined: 09 Jul 2012
Posts: 24
Location: Vaud, Switzerland

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My hives get no additional ventilation


Does that mean the that you have a solid floor and the only source of ventilation for the interior is provided through the three (?) entrance holes as provided in Phil's default TBH plans?

Thanks, in advance, for elaborating.
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have mesh floors with bottom boards that are tightly closed except for cleaning (10 minutes, three times per year). I have three entrance holes but usually one open in winter and two in summer, which is the only ventilation. Hopefully similar setup to a tree cavity.
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Craig Howard
House Bee


Joined: 03 Jul 2016
Posts: 16
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your info.

I will be using a mesh floor with an opening base board and also a similar arrangement in the "ceiling" to allow air flow when required..

A standby insulation pad for the top of the bars will be available for Winter.

Is your opinion that the bees themselves are generating and maintaining ..

Quote:
Brood nest is maintained around 34 - 35C, the rest of the hive is generally not allowed to get hotter.


I know that bees are able to regulate temps by fanning their wings.

My hive will be located in a spot that has shade and dappled sunlight in the Summer seasons and direct sun in the Winter seasons. ie under fruit trees that lose their leaves of course..
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The location sounds good with summer shade and winter sun but I would urge you to rethink the mesh floor and upper ventilation. Like John (trekmate) I have mostly two entrance holes open in summer and one in winter and I have eco floors, so no real air flow as such, but breathable and no top ventilation although I do have mesh covered holes in my gabled roofs to prevent build up of heat in the roof space, but the top bars are all butted up tight. I think ventilation is very over rated.
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the bees are very able to control and maintain their own environment. Bear in mind that it's not just temperature that they control, but humidity, acidity and pheromone levels too. Ventilation will make them work harder to keep all of those at the right level.

I always try to compare a hive to where bees choose to live in the wild - mostly hollow trees with small entrances (no mesh floor, very limited ventilation) and good insulation (very thick wood). Bees collect water and evaporate it to help cool the hive in hot weather.

Give them something like a hollow tree and they'll do the rest
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BridgetB
Scout Bee


Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 355
Location: UK Cornwall, Falmouth

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fedor Lazutin's book "Beekeeping with a Smile" - He has found research that shows how adequate the exchange of air at the entrance is. Bees tolerate much higher CO2 levels than we do, and the integrity of the upper part of the nest is crucial. Small air flow at the base is OK, but not in the ceiling.
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rays
House Bee


Joined: 09 Jul 2012
Posts: 24
Location: Vaud, Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the response.

So, with day temperatures getting near 30°C, you're saying it should be okay to keep the base closed under the mesh floor?

So, when I see all these bees clustering outside, that's just part of the internal temperature control system, and I shouldn't worry?

The reason I started dropping the hinged floor slightly to allow greater ventilation was because I've experienced comb detaching and collapsing in summer heat previously. You think that opening that additional ventilation is not necessary and I should let the bees work it out for themselves?

I know I haven't knowingly seen any tree holes with adjustable floor tilt and ventilation. Confused But the few tree hole nests I have seen seem to have generally larger entrances where the tree branch used to be. I have the impression that even three champagne sized cork-holes add up to less area than most of the tree nest entrances I've seen.

Are there others that can add weight to trekmate's view? I've only got the one colony currently and while it is very strong, I'd hate to be stressing it either way.

Thanks in advance for any and all additional inputs here.
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Craig Howard
House Bee


Joined: 03 Jul 2016
Posts: 16
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THanx all.

I have revised my ventilation plans according to advices and info above.

Very helpful.
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rays wrote:
...The reason I started dropping the hinged floor slightly to allow greater ventilation was because I've experienced comb detaching and collapsing in summer heat previously. You think that opening that additional ventilation is not necessary and I should let the bees work it out for themselves?...

That's why I insulate ABOVE the top-bars all year round! Without insulation the top-bars get hot, soften the wax and allow combs to detach, especially if moved. I've only broken one comb since doing that, but have "rescue bars" available whenever I inspect - see half way down the page at http://www.thegardenacademy.com/BK_-_Rescue_Frames.html.

John
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