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Bee Huts

 
pollinator
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How about a thread dedicated to bee huts?

My husband is building this for me (and the bees, of course):


It's not quite finished but he's wondering if it needs a knee-high wall. He's concerned about snow. I think it doesn't need a wall because the hives will be sitting directly on the floor which is 30" off the ground. If there is a wall it'd be harder for me to observe the bees coming and going, I think.
 
Cj Sloane
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The bee hut is pretty close to the house but on an island in the pond. My husband was using a fallen down pine tree as a bridge but I admit I wasn't comfortable using it so this was my first project with my brand new cordless electric chainsaw:


Dennis totally thought it would not work but it really does the job. It's a bit bouncy but really it bends less than an inch. An amazing feat of (no) engineering! Cost less than $30 to build it.
 
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Hi. Beautiful photos. Have you thought about posting an update?
 
Cj Sloane
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Here's the finished hut with a baited Warre hive and a Peronne that I put a NUC in a week ago:


I do wonder if we should have had the opening facing East. Right now it's facing South but lots of trees are blocking the sun and they aren't very active till 11am. I will be cutting down some of the trees on the south side. Either way, no danger of melting wax!
 
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Cj Verde wrote:I do wonder if we should have had the opening facing East. Right now it's facing South but lots of trees are blocking the sun and they aren't very active till 11am. I will be cutting down some of the trees on the south side. Either way, no danger of melting wax!



looks like they're deciduous trees, though, so they might be a net benefit. shade in the winter wouldn't do them any favors, but being in cool shade this summer isn't likely to cause much trouble.
 
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Location: Missoula, MT USDA Zone 4a
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any problem w/ bears or other critters?

if so, you might get an electric fence
 
Cj Sloane
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We have 3 dogs, 2 are large LGDs. Their job is to convince predators to look elsewhere for an easy meal. They have kept bears away for sure.
 
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Here is the one my son and I built about ten years ago:




Here is one that Tony and Emily built on the lab a month ago or so:




And here is Jacqueline's:

 
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Hi,

wondering why folks are not putting any walls up on their bee huts?

When the time is right this winter I plan to build a living willow bee hut, and it will certainly have "walls" on three sides due to to foliage. Guess I am wondering about whether the no-walls is a design feature that I am missing? Is there something important about maximizing airflow or something?

the huts look great, looking forward to giving our hives a nice shelter and bee garden.
 
tel jetson
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Andrew Schreiber wrote:
wondering why folks are not putting any walls up on their bee huts?



I've been intending to build some hazel hurdles to use for removable winter walls for several years now, but just haven't gotten around to it. they would be loose enough that bees could still find their way through for cleansing flights, but tight enough to provide some wind break.

I think whether they would be an advantage really depends on the climate and the material readily available. keep in mind that a small improvement in conditions for the bees might not make sense if it comes at a large expense in material or time or energy.
 
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We put ours on the east end of the house, where we have the world's largest eave overhang. They are no problem there. They have a pasture adjacent for their flight paths. They stay dry and I hope the house mass helps moderate temp fluctuations.
image.jpg
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More pics of Tony and Emily's bee hut. I thought the borer patterns were especially cool.
20140526_160037.jpg
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20140526_160043.jpg
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Bee hut in the eave of the little shop at the entryway of the Krameterhof.

 
Cj Sloane
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I've been reading The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore by Hilda M. Ransome published in 1937. It was $3.79 on the Kindle. I wouldn't be surprised if it was available online free somewhere. All sorts of interesting bee trivia. This caught my eye:

In one book [of the Talmud] a bee-house is spoken of as big as a room; the hives were placed one above another, flight holes pierced on two or four sides, and they were protected from the sun by a straw roof.



Bee huts mentioned in the Talmud. Pretty cool.
 
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Two questions about bee huts:

1. how far apart do the hives need to be? i guess that doesn't necessarily have to do with the bee hut, but I'm short on materials would like to figure out how many hives I can fit in my future hut.

2. is there a sketchup or plans for a bee hut somewhere?
 
tel jetson
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Cory Collins wrote:1. how far apart do the hives need to be? i guess that doesn't necessarily have to do with the bee hut, but I'm short on materials would like to figure out how many hives I can fit in my future hut.



hard to say for sure, as there are at least a couple of factors that are really working against each other: stacking hives close togehter can reduce the energy needed to control the hive climate, but it will also increase each colony's exposure to pathogens and parasites through population drift. so on the one hand, stacking them right next to each other would maximize the advantage, but on the other hand, leaving each hive a kilometer from any other would be best.

I would say that in the context of a bee hut and thinking about drift and nasties, any hives in the hut are effectively in the same place, so you may as well put them as close together as is practical for you. I do think that it's wise to limit the number of colonies in your hut, though.
 
paul wheaton
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