keep or remove entrance reducer
Thank you Michael! I replaced the entrance reducer several hours after having taken it off, and there was a noticeable reduction in the condensation by the time I did so as viewed through my window in the hive. Having posted my dilemma on organicbeekeepers as well, though, I have a question raised by a response there. Dee Lusby suggests keeping the entrance reducer off and cleaning the dead bees off the bottom of the hive. For those on this list who do not also read Dee's, may I also ask here, is it ok to leave the entrance reducer off? Here in CT it gets into the 20's at night, sometimes the teens. My hive is situated such that it is unlikely a rodent could get in (the hive is tied to a platform which is mounted on a post which is sunk into the ground and is about 2 feet off the ground).
Should I take the entrance reducer off in the day time when it is warmer and replace it at night? It's in my back yard so it's not a problem to do so.
Thank you very much for your sage advice!
hive temperature as a factor in varroa control
I'm not so sure about letting the air out at the top. There is evidence that hive temperature may be an important factor in varroa reproduction - see http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=247
If there is condensation, that says to me that the inner walls of the hive are too cool, which means that, for whatever reason, the bees were unable to maintain a sufficiently high temperature in the cluster.
There could be several reasons for this, including:
- the volume of air inside the hive is too great for residual bee heat to keep it warm
- there were insufficient bees in the cluster to maintain adequate heat
- there was insufficient insulation on the top of the hive to keep the heat in
Since I started using two follower boards to enclose the colony within the central part of the TBH, together with low entrances and no top ventilation, I have had no condensation problems at all and so far, no losses, in a notoriously damp region of England.
This is not to say that other solutions may work as well, but clearly there is some reason for your hive being damp inside.
Re: Mold and condensation
I have mold on the back wall of my TBHs, and on some of the yet unused bars. I live in Southern California, and it's usually very dry during the day but we're having foggy nights and mornings right now (our June Gloom.) I made the TBHs from old toy chests I bought and the lids do not fit tightly, allowing for some top ventilation. The entrances are three 1" holes I drilled in the front toward the bottom of the space. The bottom of the hives are sealed. I do not use follower boards.
So, too much ventilation or not enough?? What's the best way to reduce this condensation/dampness in our very dry climate??
Re: Mold and condensation
I too experienced mould in the hive. This is what iv noticed amd did;