Yesterday the winter mortality insurance adjuster stopped by to count hives and used a Thermal Image gun to prove live bees in my boxes. Not to my surprise the gun proved large heat patches in all my boxes. Today I rented a Thermal Image Gun from RiteWay Rental out of Winkler to see if I could accurately assess hive strength using this gun. I did not get much of a chance today to play around with it but tomorrow I’m dedicating the afternoon to winter shed work. I need to remove all the entrances, sweep the floor and set up the humidifier. I’m also going to calibrate the Thermal Image gun to see if I can read these heat signatures consistently enough to assess strengths.
This cold weather has reduced my air flows down to idle speed. The shed’s air flow is about what a table fan would blow on medium. The honey house is well insulated with 15 inches ceiling blown in fiberglass, 6 inch bat wall insulation, and 2 inch foam board under the concrete slab. The hives are maintaining the shed temp at 4 degrees without any supplemental heat. If I needed to I could turn on my floor heat but so far supplemental heat to the wintering room has not been needed. Many beekeepers have been asking me what I use to regulate the air flows in the shed. My set up is extremely simple as my philosophy is simpler is better. The top temperature control unit runs one ventilation fan, is set on 4 degrees C and has a pre set idle speed. The lower temperature unit with the digital display is set at 10 degreees which turns on and off as needed. To the right is my ceiling fan control which I have the fans set on medium and will ramp the fans to high late in winter to create a windy environment in the shed to help keep the bees calm and in their boxes. So basically my shed follows the three basics, well insulated, well ventilated and well circulated.
Our farm’s fall time cattle showing continues as Andre and Katie take a string of the herd’s eight elite animals to the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina Saskatchewan. Two of our top end female’s will be sold at the Canadian Western Agribition Charolais Sale. Auction starts Thursday Nov 27 at 3:30. Watch the sale live through a live internet feed provided by Cattle in Motion.