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Thread: Condensation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    59

    Post

    I'm having some condensation issues with my 2 hives this winter. The hives have more bees than last season going into winter and I'm wondering if this is contributing to the problem. After a below freezing night and then with the sun shining on them in the morning water was dripping out of the entrance and a small puddle (really just a wet spot) was observed below the drip. The hive with the most bees (and the most dripping) has a top entrance at the rear (that the bees created) between a gap in the bars as well as the bottom front entrance. I thought this would help with ventilation so I allowed it to remain.

    What is the solution? How do Langstroth hives address this? Are my hives at risk because of it? I'm in NW Lower MI on the 45th parallel where winters are long and harsh.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Nevada County, CA
    Posts
    1,083

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    It sounds like the top enterance is doing what the bees want it to do, providing an exit outside the hive for the water from condensation. I suspect much less condensation is occuring inside the hive since the warm moist air is moving to the opening, hitting the cold air, and largely condensing outside where it can drain.
    doug

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

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    I have a top entrance and I put foam on the cover so the top won't be cold to cause condensation.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    59

    Post

    My hive tops are peaked which leaves an attic with air space above the bars, I'll try insulating that space. Thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

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    Rich

    Try making a hole in the peak of your roof, cover it with 1/8" hardware cloth, above the insulation. THat should vent out your moisture.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

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    I made two special top bars that are each end of the hive. They have multiple holes drilled into them and then covered with screen. The end they built first with comb are pretty much plugged, but the other end allows moisture to escape. With these bars, you can arrange them as needed, away from the cluster.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    59

    Post

    I'll try the attic vent idea too, thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    597

    Post

    .
    Condensated water on bottom board is very normal. When you put hive slanting forwards, water runs out from hive. That bottom board water is not harmfull for bees. It comes when bees' warm respiration air condensates onto cold surfaces.

    Roof should have better insulation than walls, so vapour condensates onto walls and not on surface of inner cover. When my fried told me that, I noticed that inner cover was 1/3 thinner than walls in styrofoam hives.

    When I look during winter into my hive entrance, I se ice stick hanging from frames and ice on bottom. However finger size topentrance is very essential in front wall. If that does not exist, hive will get bad nosema.

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