Tom OHern wrote:
Marty, if you want to build a hive that avoids maintenance and chemicals, you would be hard pressed to make a better hive than the Perone Hive. Perone spend years researching bees and various hives and using his hives as a starting point would be a great thing I think.
David Livingston wrote:Marty
Firstly I would check out the work of professor Seeley
He is the chap to go to on bees in many ways I am sure there is a lecture on you tube he gave about honey bee democracy
Secondly I think bees would prefer real wood its from a tree after all , you don't need any plastic stuff
Tom OHern wrote:Both Warre and Perone hives have bottom entrances. I stopped using top entrances on my top bar hives becasue I found that the bees can't clear out the crap that falls to the bottom of the hive effectively, and then come winter, it collects condensation and grows mold. It is fine to have a top entrance as a secondary, but make sure the bottom entrance is the main one. Your desire to eliminate the need for them to walk through the detritus will actually promote unhygienic behavior. Also, bees do not require a landing board as you have drawn. People have added those becasue we think they should have a nice flat area to land on. The bees don't care. Plus it gives mice a better leverage spot for pushing them selves into the entrance.
A side note on preventing mice... Mice can fit through any hole that their skull can fit through. The smallest dimension of a mouse skull is about 10mm. An entrance of 9mm high, as on the Perone hives, keeps mice out of the hive while allowing ample room for the bees. I've modified my top bar and Warre hives to have similar sized entrances after having mouse problems and this fixed it.
Personally, I dislike viewing windows. They create a lot of condensation and that leads to mold. As far as exterior rigid insulation, I tried it once. That hive had a lot of moisture issues and I assumed it was becasue the insulation doesn't let the wood evaporate moisture normally. This is also why I don't paint my hives.
Thicker wood is a good idea, but with 2" walls with a 12"x12" exterior dimension only leaves an 8"x8" cavity. That is not big enough. Plus, you are going to have a hard time finding wood with a finished thickness of 2". In the US atleast, standard lumber is actually 1/2" less than it says it is. So if you were planning on using 2x12's, they are actually 1.5"x11.5". You'd have to get 4x12's which are actually 3.5" thick and very expensive. But if you wanted to take your wall thicknesses down to 1.5" you would probably have more than ample wall thickness for your needs. But on a 12x12 foot print, that still only leaves a 9x9 cavity, which is still to small.
To be honest, when I first saw your drawings, I said to my self, why doesn't he just build a Warre hive? In my opinion, none of the changes you've made over the standard Warre hive, beside the thicker wood, really will provide much benefit.
Tom OHern wrote:As far as cracked/scratched wood: Bees will just seal any interior cracks up with propolis and any on the outside will just lead to early rot. Think of the hive as a single organism similar to your body. You don't want edge effect inside your body, and the bees don't either. On the otherh and, placing a beehive on the edge of an ecosystem is a great idea, but not inside the hive. Bees are very clean. Per your drawings, any organisms/items you put in the hive will be covered in propolis or wax to prevent any chance of contamination. Really... Just don't do that.
tel jetson wrote:
I most certainly do want edge effect inside my body. what, after all, are intestinal villi for? and alveoli? and capillaries? &c?
I do like to leave the inside of my hives rough. at the very least, it makes for more effective attachment of combs to walls. this is more important in warm and humid seasons when comb collapse can be a problem. and maybe it provides habitat for some beneficial cohabitants. I'm inclined to believe it does.
and are bees very clean? I guess it depends on your definition. they'll remove dead bees, certainly, and potentially harmful foreign objects that end up in the hive. and they do groom themselves and each other with apparently obsessive-compulsive zeal. but is decomposing litter at the bottom of a hive necessarily harmful? do they refuse to share their hive with other creatures? and how clean is a critter that relies on fungus to ferment its food after mixing it with a bit of honey and saliva? clean enough for me, but it's really a matter of perspective. having observed the inside of a couple of thriving tree hives, I can say that decomposing wood and litter from the bees at the bottom of the hive and all the accompanying macro- and microorganisms that one would expect to be present in same don't seem to be a problem for the colony. there was certainly propolis elsewhere in these hives, but not at the bottom. and I've seen quite a few small flying critters (outwardly similar to fruit flies) and crawlers (little wormy things and small-ish beatle-y things) wander in and out of my own hives without the slightest objection from the bees. let a hornet try that, though, and it will be harassed until it gives up or is killed.
I think they know their friends from their foes from their indifferent acquaintances.
Tom OHern wrote:Also, bees do not require a landing board as you have drawn.
Tom OHern wrote:
As far as breeding, after I stopped buying package bees, I bought a few nucs of Varroa Sensitive Hygiene Bees from a local breeder. Since then, I've only added hives by either making splits or catching swarms with bait hives. The only active part I take in the breeding process is culling hives that are having issues to make sure that they aren't putting out drones that have less than acceptable genetics.
tel jetson wrote:some folks have had issues with honey-binding, but it's not common. to my knowledge it's been limited to areas with brief, but intense nectar flows. long and intense is fine, because they've got time to build comb to keep up with the nectar. when all that nectar shows up out of the blue, though, the bees don't leave room for brood and the population eventually plumets.
there's a chap who posts on David Heaf's list who has some Warré hives in Alberta in a region full of oil-seed rape farms. he prevents honey binding by supering, which isn't usually practiced by more orthodox Warré beeks.
unless you're near a great expanse of monoculture that blooms all at once, honey-binding isn't likely to be an issue for you in a Warré hive, supposing you cycle empty boxes underneath periodically. even if you don't, they'll probably swarm when they run out of room, which is another way honey-binding can be alleviated or prevented.
David Livingston wrote:Very nice !
did he use half frames or just topbars ?
Marty Mitchell wrote:My question is does anyone know the tree type... and fungi types that are good?