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I love to do experiments in my bee yard. Even if the experiment doesn't turn out the way I thought it would I always learn something.

So this last year I experimented with shade. I put 2 rows of hives in full sun, 1 row in partial shade, and 1 row in all day shade. Each row had 10 hives.

The 2 rows that were in full sun had no shb. They also had fewer issues all the way around. The row that was in full shade got invaded by hive beetles almost immediately. Something interesting to note is that several of these hives ended up being super strong, so my theory of strong hives keeping out beetles was wrong. The advantage of a strong hive in this situation is that they can keep the adults herded into corners and have enough population to keep the combs well covered and remove any larvae.

The row in partial shade had varying degrees of shb problems. The hives that were closer to the limbs of the large tree they were near had many more shb than the hives at the other end of the row. Not sure if the difference was proximity to the tree or that they received more shade.

2 weeks ago I moved all hives into full sun. A few of these had bad infestations. I checked these hives yesterday and saw virtually no shb.

All of my hives are treatment free. I did try the shb traps for a few weeks this summer but didn't find them to make much of a difference.
 

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Interesting. Hmmm...I wonder how it would work if you put all the hives in full sun away from trees but put a small roof over them to keep the direct sun off the hives?

I think if I had put my TBH in the full summer sun they would have melted! This is Texas...:cowboy:
 

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I did have some very soft comb issues this summer. Especially since I go foundationless that can be a big issue until they have it anchored all the way around.

Hmmm, I believe I will try your proposal and see how it turns out. I'm going to be widely distributing my hives on my property to see if I can get better queen return rates. At least nature will have to work a bit harder to nab my mating queens....I hope! Any suggestions on how to provide the shade without breaking the bank?
 
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Any suggestions on how to provide the shade without breaking the bank?

I built shade over my garden using some discarded PVC conduit to erect a frame, and bought a camo netting for dappled shade. The camo was expensive, I should have used a shower curtain or old bed sheet.

I just put mine over some pounded rebar, instead of sinking my conduit... Kinda floppy, but withstood a couple storms OK. Hubster ended up putting a couple cross braces on mine.

Four corner posts, and a canopy of four up top for the "roof."
 

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I had mine under trees but they got some afternoon sun from the west. I got some 1/4 inch plywood, cut it to overlap on all sides by a foot to make a roof, screwed bits of wood on the bottom, one for each corner of the top of the hive so that I could get air flow underneath. Put it on top and put a brick on it to hold it down. I wish I had a picture. I worked to keep the sun and rain off the hive. You could also use those insulation boards instead of the plywood. That would work even better to reflect the heat away from the hive.

Oh, and I was thinking of getting these when I get langstroth hives.
http://www.beetlebaffle.com/how-it-works/product-info/
 

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Discussion Starter #7
After reading your post I did some research on this product. I simply cannot see it being worth $20. Reviews are mixed....except about everyone agreeing that it is overpriced. If you decide to get some and it works well let us know!

I have a page on my webpage about what I recommend on dealing with shb. I have 1 hive that still has them. Predictably it is one of my few hives that has honey stores(long story on why my bees have no honey) and it is one of the hives that was located in deep shade. Now that it is in full sun the number of beetles has gone down tremendously but a few still persist. The next warm day I am going to disassemble the hive and freeze honey frames.

One caution about the hive beetle traps that go between frames. This creates a place that the bees can't patrol and ironically makes a great haven for shb! This one hive that still has shb is the only one that had the traps in it and that is where they were hiding! I even found larvae in the comb where the traps hung down between the frames. I think that the traps are why this one hive didn't end up clear of beetles!
 

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I did have some very soft comb issues this summer. Especially since I go foundationless that can be a big issue until they have it anchored all the way around.

Hmmm, I believe I will try your proposal and see how it turns out. I'm going to be widely distributing my hives on my property to see if I can get better queen return rates. At least nature will have to work a bit harder to nab my mating queens....I hope! Any suggestions on how to provide the shade without breaking the bank?
I'm no beekeeper (except in my heart), but I'm a gardenfool...and saw this in one of my seed catalogs last year...SHADECLOTH. It may be just the ticket you are looking for. http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-8450-knitted-shade-cloth-50-shade-10-x-100.aspx#

This one at Johnny's is rated at 50% (sunblocking). I think maybe other garden stores may have varying degrees of shadecloth?

Hope this helps!







.
 
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If you crosswire the frames you will have much straighter and stronger foundationless comb. They will draw over the wires as if they aren't even there.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That is my understanding. You can also use fishing string.

I may do that some this year. Due to EVERYONE asking me for honey I am planning to dedicate a few hives just for making honey and that would be good to do in the honey supers. Going to be hard to resist borrowing brood though.
 
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