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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
im having a question about putting my bees in all day sun...its HOT here in florida...3 weeks now of plus 90 deg...humidity is high...i have them now so they get morning sun but shade the rest of the day...they seem to be doing just fine...i hear beeks talken bout better brood activity an SHB control from all day sun...what are the pros n cons of this...i have SHB but the bees seem to be handling the problem on their own...no matter where i put them its gonna be hot so what affect would direct sun have on the brood if they cant see it.
 

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If the SHB are under control, the shade is fine. If the SHB become a problem, move them to more sun. The hive can survive in total sun or total shade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
what is the effect that the sun has on the hive beatles...i find most of them on my top cover and hive cover...does the heat drive them down into the brood box where the bees handle them ???
 

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In my short experience (2nd yr beekeeping), it seems to be a direct temperature effect. I have 4 hives and they all have a few SHB, some less than others depending a bit on bee numbers and how much sun they get (all are in part shade). When temps here in Texas climbed to 100 in the last 2 weeks, I saw a drop in SHB in all the hives. The SHB congregate on the underside of the outer cover and the corner cracks of the inner covers where they can dodge the bees trying to chase them off. My guess is the outer and inner covers get quite a bit hotter in direct sun. Occasionally, I'll see one on the comb, but it's rare, where the number of bees are able to fend them off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
its about the same with me here...i dont see many on the combs...the carnys are a pretty strong hive so they dont have a real hard time with them it seems...the ferals...mostly the big hive...does away with them some how...i wonder if they arent an older strain of feral mixed with africans and whatever else...they are smaller bees...italian colored...the man i bought my carnys from said they were the small stock old feral type bees....what ever those are...if they have learned to adapt in some way to combat natural pests...like SHB...well then im a step ahead of the game...maybe their small size lets them get under the beatles...i read the african bees adapted to varroa by hatching their brood a day or so earlier which doesnt give varroa time to mature...disrupting varroas natural life cycle...im keeping this strain of ferral going...they are very gental to boot.
 

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I suspect two things are working to keep the shb in check in full sunlight. one like all organisms the small hive beetle needs water and they prefer cool and dark to hot and dry. secondly part of the life cycle of the shb is in the ground. this (I suspect) means a certain amount of organic matter (litter) and water are necessary for them to prosper.

although we do need water here one of the blessing of our extremely dry year is that we have almost no shb here this year. even the baby nucs have had almost no shb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thats probly a better explanation for whats happening with the ferals then...this is my first year as a beek...i wouldnt know what is good or bad other than what i see in my hives...i need to do a varroa count test...its been explained to me...but i've never done it so im not exactly sure how its done...there must be more to it than a peanut butter jar an powdered sugar...i missed the state best management class which was last weekend...i should post this question...hmmmmm
 

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2kooldad said:
thats probly a better explanation for whats happening with the ferals then...this is my first year as a beek...i wouldnt know what is good or bad other than what i see in my hives...i need to do a varroa count test...its been explained to me...but i've never done it so im not exactly sure how its done...there must be more to it than a peanut butter jar an powdered sugar...i missed the state best management class which was last weekend...i should post this question...hmmmmm

2Kooldad you may consider attending this workshop held once a month,it's about an hours drive for you,but worth the trip and it's only once a month and costs $10 per class.


viewtopic.php?f=37&t=3622
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yep...ive discussed it with ABK an got a schedual an directions to it...i cant wait to go....this will be fun and answer alot of queastions i have.
 

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As long as it's in the open, maybe you will have it to feed. Too much shade and you won't have anything to feed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i made a mistake...it was the USF bee coarse in tampa (did i get that right this time...lol)...not the state one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
well everybody keeps saying whats good about sunshine...whats wrong with shade ??? (remember im asking cause i dont know)...its sooo hot and humid here in central florida...to me shade seems to be a good thing...i have 2 of my hives under a big magnolia...its trimmed for pleanty of head room and there is no shortage of air...pasture around it...one hive is under a big redbud tree so its shady but open and the others are in semi sun under the hickory trees...also i havent been keeping bees for a long time so i havent had anything real bad happen yet...what is bad about shade ???
 

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just a hunch here 2kooldad... but I would guess that if one was careful to remove the litter from all around a hive in partial shade you would see little difference in the shb population in the hive. full or total shade might be another matter. just guessing of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i rake it around the hives...i also use the large magnolia leaves in my smoker...i live on 30 acres thats mostly pasture with very large old growth trees, magnolias and hickorys and oaks...i have bout 8 acres of cypress head and a large pond...its also in the withlacoochee river basin about 1/4 mile from the river...i have a good location...i kept my hives with good air flow...i would think (an i am just guessing) that the least work the bees have to do to keep the hive at optimal temp would be a good thing...frees em up for other duties....am i wrong in this line of thought ???
 

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2kool writes:
i would think (an i am just guessing) that the least work the bees have to do to keep the hive at optimal temp would be a good thing

tecumseh:
they have done a fairly good job of doing this without man's assistance for a few million years. optimal temperature is about 95 degrees and anything you can do to insulate a hive against the extremes (highs and lows) is likely helpful.
 

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It has little to do with what is on the ground, except maybe black landscaping fabric. We had a hive in partial shade at USF, actually 3 hives. The other 40 are in full sun. Every time we put a hive in partial shade the SHB numbers go way up. I left the covers black last year and the SHB all but dissappeared. They are light gray this year but still few beetles and no overheating problem black or light gray.
 
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