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Bee Hut (stacking function ideas)

 
pollinator
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I'd like some ideas on other uses for a Bee Hut. The first thing that comes to mind is a place store mushroom logs [bolts].

I can't think of anything else. Maybe use it as a trellis.

The hut will be very close to the house as the crow flies because it'll be on an island in our pond. I suppose it'll be a zone 4 structure with a Peronne hive I visit a few times per year.

Thoughts?
 
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On an island is a wrinkle. What else do you want to store on the island?

Maybe duck nesting boxes.
 
Cj Sloane
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No ducks yet & my focus this year is bees. Or, I should say, no domesticated ducks. The ice is finally off the pond & I've seen a wood duck & merganzers.

The thought has occurred to me, to get ducks and/or use the bee hut in conjunction but not yet.
 
Cj Sloane
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So I was looking at Tel's video All About Honey Bees:

and I'm wondering what those cut out squares are for on the floor of the hut?
 
steward
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Cj Verde wrote:So I was looking at Tel's video All About Honey Bees:
and I'm wondering what those cut out squares are for on the floor of the hut?



it was an experiment with floor-less hives. instead of a bottom board, I just set the hive bodies over those square holes. at the time, I thought mites would be a much bigger deal than they have turned out to be, and I figured that having no bottom at all would allow mites to drop to the ground where they would get eaten up.

it worked find, but I started using bottom boards mostly for observation purposes: it's a lot easier to see which bees are going where, if they've got any pollen on them, what their coloration is, et cetera.
 
Cj Sloane
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R Scott wrote:On an island is a wrinkle.



OK, pretend it's not on an island.

What else can you use a Bee Hut for?
 
R Scott
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Garden tool storage
Firewood storage
Goat or lamb shelter
Seed starting shed or nursery
Pumphouse
Water storage
 
steward
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Hide valuables in the rafters. Not too many thieves are going to mess around near beehives.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Ann Torrence wrote:Hide valuables in the rafters. Not too many thieves are going to mess around near beehives.



I do like this idea but I heard a lecture on beekeeping in Ukraine and it turns out that the beeks that travel around with their hives for pollination have to sleep in a caravan near them or the hives themselves would get stolen!
 
pollinator
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Not only the Ukraine . I know of cases of bee rustling in the UK.
How about taking this idea a bit further ...
I know of traditional farm buildings in the North East of England where they have stone pig stys with poultry above . The chickens benifit from heat from the pigs and it is supposed to discourage Mr Fox and his ilk . Pigs get to watch the antics of the chickens Chickens eat insects bothering the pigs. It also takes up less space
So how about a three story building , each story about 2m high , pigs poultry bees

David
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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The bee hut is done and as mentioned above, it's on a heavily forested island in our pond:


Surprisingly, chickens have actually followed me over there so maybe chickens will be part of the mix.

These hives are not likely to get rustled! The Perone is just way to big but besides that, you'd have to drive a mile up my sketchy driveway, get past my LGDs and flock of chickens, ignore the loud turkeys & mooing cows, avoid the free ranging sheep, and then brave my bridge to get to the hives:


It's actually sturdier than it looks. Just a little bouncy.
 
Cj Sloane
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Cj Verde wrote:The bee hut is done and as mentioned above, it's on a heavily forested island in our pond:



Someone just offered my husband some mallards. I could screen the bottom off for them but they'd be hard to get to for checking eggs. Unless I checked from the outside... Guess I've got a little research to do.
 
pollinator
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Yes, get ducks! It'sa little after the fact but could you make a trap door in the floor of the hut to help with access?
 
Cj Sloane
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My only pause is that the guy started out with 2 ducks he bought on a whim at Tractor Supply and a year later he's got 35!!!

I don't think he eats the eggs and he hasn't put any in the freezer. Yet.
 
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It's a bee castle!

You have a moat, a draw bridge and guards posted. All you need are some battlements.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Kind of funny considering our first chicken coop was a chicken fortress. It had a poured cement foundation, 3 layers of concrete blocks, then cob & wood. My husband joked about making turrets and arming the chickens with AK47s. It did stop a bear who was trying to get in to get the chicken food.

Just think, now we don't even lock up our chickens at night!
 
Nick Kitchener
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Yeah with that great white wooky stalking your property I'm not surprised
 
Cj Sloane
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2 white wookies! The one that's 137 lbs would really prefer to be a lap dog. She's also the most likely to kill a predator!
 
steward
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I know this might be a dumb question but, what is the actual purpose of the bee hut? I have heard Paul talking about theirs and I guess I just really don't understand the point of them.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Keeps the rain/snow off and gives them some shade in the summer.

If the floor is 30" or more off the ground that's another plus.
 
Nick Kitchener
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The emphasis is to create a low stress environment for the bees so they require less energy to maintain the hive. Somewhere dry, not to warm, not too cold...
The hive can be made from all untreated and natural materials because of the shelter from the weather.
The hive is easily protected from predators.
If you have warre hives, then it is easy to install a hive lift.
The bee hut is usually accompanied by planting bee forage nearby so the bees don't need to travel far for food.

The whole concept comes from the theory that things like CCD, and diseases / parasites are a result of a multitude of environmental stresses all piling up until is just becomes too much for the bees to cope with.
 
Cj Sloane
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Cj Verde wrote:Someone just offered my husband some mallards. I could screen the bottom off for them but they'd be hard to get to for checking eggs. Unless I checked from the outside... Guess I've got a little research to do.



3 months later... I think the ducks are coming this week! I'm going to try to use the Bee Hut as a duck shelter though I have some doubts about going there every day to feed during the winter. Will ducks come if I shake some food in a bucket?

If this works out, it'll be a great example of stacking functions.
The Bee Hut will house my Perone hive.
Shelter ducks.
House some mushroom bolts (logs).
I can use the roof to collect water to shock the bolts and use it for drinking water for the ducks.
The ducks can eat slugs that are trying to eat my mushrooms!

Can't think of any direct bee/duck interactions yet... Or direct bee/mushroom connections ...but maybe indirect connections are OK too.
 
Cj Sloane
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If anyone is interested, here's a good report from someone who got a SARE grant to integrate ducks with shiitakes.
 
pollinator
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Cj : Bat houses (Google for traditional pictures) a near perfect location over water to help further reduce mosquitos, and close enough to the house
to help reduce field mice problems too! remember these are mostly Nite hunters ! Big AL !
 
Cj Sloane
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allen lumley wrote:Bat houses



That's a good thought. There were lots of mosquitoes on the island this summer. The problem is the lack of bats! We used to have a ton of bats around but they got hit with an illness (white nose?). I think the population crashed 90%. How about by you?
 
allen lumley
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Cj : incredably interesting Geology in the old riverbed of the Black river as it flows through Watertown N.Y., Up stream of the village the dams run wide open
at spring run off and down stream the dams get only 80% as much water !

The Water disappears into these interlocking caves in the banks of the river and no one knows where it goes, and where ARE the Bats (that winter-over)

And whole hectares of land in the vacinity have no visible way to drain, they are always wet but NEVER flooded !

And some years the white nose is bad and some years its none existent ? F' kif I know ! Big AL
 
steward
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Using scythed wheat straw to make a skep and stripped blackberry cane to tie the bundles with :

 
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