Solar-powered beehive coolers increase yields
Solar-powered beehive coolers double honey yield at the Oregon Garden.
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How the coolers work
The cooler is a separate vented chamber that fits between the top of the hive and a standard top cover. The fan is powered by a solar panel mounted on one side of the chamber. A built-in thermostat turns the fan on when the temperature of the hive exceeds 90 degrees F. (32 C), drawing the air up through hive and out through the built-in vents, literally taking the heat off the bees and helping them to be more productive.Skip to next paragraph
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If you go:
The Oregon Garden is located 45 miles southeast of Portland. The bees are now in winter hibernation mode, and will become active once the weather warms and spring flowers are in bloom. The hives are kept in the Oregon Garden’s Oak Grove and oriented with maximum exposure to sunrise and sunset to help the bees orient themselves. The location affords visitors a good view of the hives without disturbing bees or people and gives Thompson easy access.
Interpretive signs inform visitors about the lives of honeybees, as well as colony collapse disorder, which has adversely affected bees worldwide. Binoculars are available for better viewing.
On-site lodging is available at the Oregon Garden Resort.
Lois J. de Vries, a popular speaker at regional flower shows and garden clubs, writes from her home in rural northwestern New Jersey. To read her other posts at Diggin' It, click here. She's a field editor for Better Homes and Gardens and Country Gardens magazines and has been a contributing editor for other national publications. She was awarded the Jefferson Presidential Award for public service in environmental work. Click here and here to read about her garden design and environmental ideas and her holistic approach to gardening.You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook