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.
Picture from thermosolarhive.com
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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Like yourself I am really interested in new ideas for keeping bees. I wrote about the Thermosolar Hive and the inventor’s easy swarm control method.
What do you think?
Talking With Bees
Thanks for your note. I feel like there’s a real dichotomy in bee equipment. I like wood and wax best and I’m always impressed when someone maintains equipment for generations. I saw a photo of a frame in a 1902 bee journal – it was a deep Langstroth, identical to what we use today. Yet, technology changes – sometimes in good ways. Safe, food-grade plastic is tough and durable and saves trees from being cut into little pieces. A lot of new tech ideas are great (hive tracking devices, the comb equipment that my company manufactures) while other stuff is eventually destined for the junk heap (perhaps the Flow(TM)Hive).