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Extreme temps in subtropical


#1

We had 39.8 C today, and I saw the most amount of bees outside fanning and wash boarding.
I am glad now we have a hive roof and trees towards the west of the hive.Australia subtropics, around Byron.
I just wonder how all of your bees went. Fanning it down to their temp would have been a major effort. And what about all those hives people put into full sun around here as recommended?


#2

Some of my hives are in full sun and we also get the excessively stoopid heat. The lids are painted white and they cope providing they have a water supply. They are actually doing better than the hives in the shade.
There is a forum member, @adagna whose bees died on a +50°c day so they do have limits.


#3

I also believe it is not just the ambient temp BUT the sun intensity. On my farm I am part of a field trial to grow tropical peaches. We have a meter that is keeping track of the temps. We moved the meter out of the direct sun and in a area filtered by the trees because it was saying our temps were 110 + F. But we do not have temperatures that high. With that said I have mine out in the sun with afternoon shade and my friend has his under a tree. I thought of putting a shade cover for sun and rain.


#4

Was around 40 in the Samford Valley (east coast of Oz) yesterday and I had the bees fully covering the front of the hive and bearding down under the hive in swarm type proportions. I went out this morning and dropped the core flute board down to the second slot to see if that helps (after reading all the conflicting opinions in the forum). I noticed a number of dead bees around the back of the hive - more than I have seen before.


#5

Now in summer I keep the white board in the lower slot, unless inspecting frames or harvesting. Haven’t harvested anything yet though.
Didn’t know about conflicting opinions concerning the board, seems practical to me.


#6

I am happy to give it a try - it was a cooler day today but still in the thirties and I had a little bit of fanning happening but no where near what it was like yesterday. I was working around the hive today and they didn’t seem to mind as much as they minded me working around the hive yesterday (bee garden thing happening). The flow super is filling up fast so the smell around the hive is pretty amazing!


#7

I’m in Western Australia and we’ve also had several days in the high 30’s and low 40s. Our Flow Hive is in dappled tree shade all day. After the bees propolised the core flute board to the wire to close airflow out I figured they didn’t want hot air rising in through that spaced and moved the board in the upper slot. Same as closing the house up I guess while the air-con is on inside. I’ve yet to see any signs of bearding.


#8

Makes sense. But they didn’t propolise my board when I had it in the upper position. I moved it down because I stuck reversed tablecloth onto the board to trap SHB. Worked well, but now I added an apithor trap as well. Works even better.


#9

Hi Webclan. I’ve just realised I made a mistake in my post. The board was already in the upper slot when they propolised it up. It gapes a bit in the centre so I packed it from underneath, which will hopefully stop them needing to do it again. I’ve decided a solid floor will stop both hot air in summer and cold draughts in winter so intend leaving it that way for the bees. Fortunately SHB isn’t an issue in WA, not yet anyway, but I still wan’t to keep that board movable to check now and again and to clean out the debris that builds up from the housekeeping.


#10

I clean that board almost daily. Lucky you don’t have those dreaded SHB.
Wonder how others use their boards, high, low, and why?
There is so much to learn. I assumed for strong winters you only have a small entry hole for the bees, and now I read you need air circulation or your bees can die from cold condensation dripping on them. Not that it ever gets cold here, just the fact intrigues me.


#11

Hello there Webclan - I live in hinterland at Eureka and keen to connect with local Flow Hive people. The rain and heat has resulted in a black hive beetle infestation, at the moment I am checking the board several times a day and hand killing off the beetles.bThe brood box was inspected a few days ago with a experienced bee keeper watching and was quite clean, all the beetles seemed to be primarily in the honey super. As a result the beetle population is way down but over the last 2 hot/wet days there are now freshly hatched pupae on the bottom board, which I assume the bees are trying to clean out and I am vigilantly cleaning off by washing down a few times a day.
It seems serious now,I really need Apithor traps - did you find them locally or order online? any other ideas please beekeepers about what I should do ?


#12

Hi Moira,
I too think SHB could get serious right now. I got my apithor trap from a friend, but will order from apithor.com.au
They give research results on their website.
I will also prime a CD case with boric acid and honey as described on some US beekeeping website. May have been on bushfarms.com


#13

Thank you Webclan - Eden Country Store in the industrial estate at bangalow are now stocking beekeeping supplies. They have someone going up to buy supplies today and have added 12 apithor traps to the order , they will be available tomorrow so I intend to get some and give them a go. Cheers Moira


#14

HI again Webclan - where did you locate the Apithor trap in the flow hive please?


#15

I had a flow hive at home for a few weeks waiting to be picked up; We put diatomite on the tray and it collected plenty of beetles !


#16

On the white board in the lower slot.


#17

From memory we had it in the top slot. The hive needed to be taped up and driven to its final location over 100km away. I blocked the entrance with two lots of two sheets of paper towel. The hive was covered with mosquito netting as a precaution but no bees escaped on the journey to their new home.


#18

If you put anything poisonous to bees on the white board, it must go into the bottom slot, coz the bees can reach it and lap it up. That’s why we are supposed to put the board into the top slot when harvesting the flow frames. Any honey leaking goes onto the white board and the bees can clean it up.
I put the apithor trap into the lower slot because it wouldn’t fit into the upper slot with the trap on.
I am beekeeping just for 2 months now, so surely not an authority. Just trying to make sense out of everything I have been reading and the hands on of 2 months with just one hive. And a half day hands on workshop with NTBees, which was excellent. Thanks Graham!


#19

Thanks @eurekawoman. Heard there is somewhere in Bangalow with beekeeping supplies. Must go and check it out. Do you know how much the apithor traps were and what other bee goodies they have?


#20

Hey Webclan

I have opted to take out my oil tray in the bottom of my flow hive at the moment (which replaces for me the corflute sheet with a fabric trap) especially on hotter days like today and tomorrow. My hive is in full sun, as advised by Graham at the course we did to help with controlling SHB. I haven’t as yet seen anything but a few tiny beetles occasionally though in my trap, so perhaps SHB are not as big a problem for me where I am in the Greenbank area? I’m certainly keeping a close eye on things and putting tray back in every chance I get. This seems to have helped them (little to no bearding now). As a newbee can only hope this is a good choice. Have wondered if putting twigs between brood box and super might also be a good idea to increase ventilation (something I heard experienced beekeepers do?)

Happy to be learning…