Recently, I wrote about something called a “honey bee sauna” which received government grants and crowd-source cash to produce a $1700 gadget to cook mites. A different device, described in a new post by The Prospect of Bees’ blog, is likely much cheaper. It would be nice to know if anyone has had real success from these, or if they are just fundraising gimmicks. Meanwhile, I’ve re-blogged this piece on the thermo-solar hive.
The fundraising effort for this new hive technology is not flooding the internet as the FlowHive did, perhaps because there is no dramatic visual like the infamous pancake video. Just claims of dead varroa and live bees without chemicals. Or perhaps the internet does not wish to rouse those grouchy, skeptical beekeepers again?
The hive is basically an insulated version of the familiar vertical hive of stacking, frame-holding boxes with solar heating built in. When treatment is required, the beekeeper removes the outer cover exposing a “thermosolar ceiling” to the sun. When the built-in thermometer indicates 117F(47C) the cover is restored and this elevated temperature is maintained, causing mites to fall off and die while not harming bees or brood. Such is the claim anyway. What is our take?
It is true that bees tolerate elevated temperatures much better than varroa mites and so hive heating treatments…
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