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Here’s an easy question (I believe, knowing nothing about this subject.)

SMALL WEATHER-PROOF SOLAR FAN
A 3 in. diameter fan, powered by a solar panel. It will be mounted horizontally, face up, over a hole in the roof of my beehives. When the sun shines, the fan blows air out of the hive.

WHY?
I believe that by venting hot air out of their hives, bees will produce more honey.

(When honeybees forage on flowers, the nectar they bring back to the hive is about 30-80% water. They store the nectar in frames of wax comb at the top of the hive. It takes several weeks of the bees fanning their wings over the nectar until it is dehydrated down to about 17% water. When their honey is finally Ripe, as they say, the bees seal it into the comb with wax.)

OK, BUT WHY USE AN EXHAUST FAN IF THE BEES ALREADY GET THE JOB DONE?
To make more honey. If my local eucalyptus trees only flower for 5 weeks, for example, I would potentially get a larger honey harvest if the solar fan helped them dry out the nectar.

BUDGET: This item needs to be made as cheaply as possible - but no cheaper. It need to work and keep working, even if it rains.

Would someone kindly give me some pointers on sourcing parts and production and potential pitfalls? I tried searching for parts on Temu, then remembered I don’t know what I’m doing.

Thanks, David

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  • $\begingroup$ Great question, Dave $\endgroup$ Aug 19, 2023 at 23:59
  • $\begingroup$ So, ... someone using the ID BEES-A-MILLION signs off his own question with the name David & then posts a comment to that question, stating "Great question, Dave", ... mmm. Interesting! $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Aug 20, 2023 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ You need a lot more pv panels to drive the same fan when it is raining. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 20, 2023 at 5:34
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, so buy one. I have had one on my boat for 25 years. defender.com/en_us/… $\endgroup$
    – Phil Sweet
    Aug 20, 2023 at 12:09

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The brood (baby bees) need to be 95 degrees. What you want to do will bring cold air into the hive and kill them. Not a good idea at all. Other people do this already and do it well. This method will kill the hive.

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  • $\begingroup$ It's very hot in the Summer here in southern California. This device would only be used during the hottest months. $\endgroup$ Oct 9, 2023 at 19:31
  • $\begingroup$ In hot dry climates it's more about humidity than temperature. At 80% humidity evaporative cooling no longer works. But in dry climates bringing hot dry air into the hive constantly will dry out the brood and kill the hive. Just blowing air into the hive without regard to the temperature or humidity in the hive isn't going to help them. Hive Temperature should be between 90 & 95 degrees and humidity between 50 and 60 degrees. The brood area humidity temperature and humidity towards the high end of the range. Just blowing air into the hive is a potential disaster for a hive. $\endgroup$ Oct 19, 2023 at 13:13
  • $\begingroup$ In hot dry climates it's more about humidity than temperature. At 80% humidity evaporative cooling no longer works. But in dry climates bringing hot dry air into the hive constantly will dry out the brood and kill the hive. Just blowing air into the hive without regard to the temperature or humidity in the hive isn't going to help them. Hive Temperature should be between 90 & 95 degrees and humidity between 50 and 60 degrees. The brood area humidity temperature and humidity towards the high end of the range. Just blowing air into the hive is a potential disaster for a hive. $\endgroup$ Oct 19, 2023 at 14:11

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