There is condensation in my observation hive and I'm looking for some guidance as to how much ventilation to provide.
This is a one-frame-wide hive and I'm not using foundation so the newly hived bees are hanging from a topbar and there is condensation on the glass where the bees are festooned. (There are enough bees to fill about 15% of the hive.) The entrance is a single 3/4" hole and the seal between the glass and frame isn't particularly tight. I've drilled about 40 1/8" holes in the outer frame which didn't seem to do much to reduce the condensation. Should I keep drilling more and/or bigger holes until the condensation goes away? Or is a little condensation OK?
(Here's a picture of the hive. It is about 18" square. http://www.z2a.org/photos.bees/tboh-med.jpg )
Reason for condensation moisture is the difference in temperature. Brood area is 32C and outside something. You need insulation against glass so glass is warm and hive is warm. If hive is too moist bees ventilate air with wings.
Perhaps hive needs a hole in bottom where bees get replacement air when they push old air out of door.
I should mention that the OH (observation hive) is outdoors so it is probably true that it is warmer inside the hive than outside. The bees aren't doing much ventilation with their wings -- perhaps because they are still getting organized. There is no brood yet because they are stil building comb so I think I've got a little time to figure this out.
here's a picture of the base of the one I built
those holes are 1-1/4" I think
the base is made of 2 1"x4" sandwiched together with #8 wire between to stop the bees
the top is similar
haven't populated it yet so don't know if this is to much
Mine had a bit of condensation when I first put it in. I think the bees took care of it because it is not a problem now. I've got a 1" by 15" slot in the bottom of mine covered by screen. It allows the junk to fall out and air to get in. Also has 1" holes on the top for air. Picture is on my picture site.
Bruce--My O. Hive gets condensation several times a year, the bottom half gets condensation when the girls are evaporating nectar, spring and fall.
I have a one inch hole at each end of the frames (four medium frame hive) screened with #8 hardware cloth and three holes on the top also. Bees have propolised most of the screens shut--thats what they want I guess.
>There is condensation in my observation hive and I'm looking for some guidance as to how much ventilation to provide.
When I get condensation I think it needs more ventilation. If they have trouble rearing brood they usually have too much. But mine is in the house. I'm not sure you can prevent it outside.
If you put a bigger hole, cover it with #7 hardware cloth. If you get much over 1/8" you're going to have bees escaping. Bees can get through a 3/16 hole. Barely.