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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    edmonds, WA, USA
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    348

    Default overwintering with empty deep over innercover

    Water condensation tends to be extreme in the damp puget sound area. I hope to keep the hives drier this winter by using an empty deep box over the inner cover. This also makes it convenient to feed pollen substitute and syrup. I thought the deeps would reduce moisture in the hive, but Allready I have noticed that the lid is still very wet and dripping onto the inner cover. I dont really want to drill a bunch of holes in my deeps but that seems neccessary. I am thinking of drilling one 3/4" hole (just the size for a wine cork) close to the top of each side and stapling screen over the holes. Anyone tried this? Thanks for any comments. , Paul.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Clinton, Wisconsin
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    67

    Default

    It is my understanding that the if they can get above cover they will burr comb up there and not just leave the empty space empty. A piece of 1" styrofoam under cover will curtail the condensation. Good luck!
    WD9BB, Chuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    Default

    Try placing the inner cover on top of the empty box.

    To help regulate moisture and keep condensate off of the cluster, try granular sugar on paper on the top bars.

    http://www.mountaincampfarm.com/wst_page5.php

    The granular sugar forces the warm moist air toward the walls of the boxes and up.

    Any condensate that forms on the walls will be used by the cluster or roll down the sides and out the bottom. Any condensate that forms on the top will fall on the sugar and be absorbed.

    The cluster will also use the sugar as feed.

    With the inner cover below the box, any condensate that forms falls back into the hive. The vertical air flow is restricted to the center hole.

    The cluster will not build burr comb in the box or on top of the frames till the spring when things get movong again.
    Last edited by MountainCamp; 10-10-2007 at 08:24 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Seattle, Washington State
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    4,398

    Default

    Mountain:

    Do you have a pound rate of sugar that you put on each hive? And do you feed liquid sugar all year around?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Seattle, Washington State
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    Default

    oh.. one more question. when do you decide to put the granulated sugar in the hive?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    I feed light syrup from about now to the end of November / beginning of December.
    I place granular sugar on in the fall and keep it on till spring and foraging weather has returned. I many times have syrup, granular sugar, and pollen substitute in a hive all at the same time.
    I place about 5# to 10# on the paper to start, depending on how much the hive is working it.
    I start feeding syrup again toward the end of February till about the end of April / beginning of May, when foraging weather returns.
    I do my spring splits toward the end of April for queen mating about the time of swarming.
    Last edited by MountainCamp; 10-10-2007 at 08:36 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Seattle, Washington State
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    Default

    is there usually left over sugar when you make your splits and if so, what do you do with it? You all get snow, eh?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    Yes, I either use it to make syrup, or bag it for the fall.

    If a mouse has gotten to it, I dump it.

    A bag or two of granular sugar is cheap compared to a package.

    We get on average around 150" of snow in a season.
    Last edited by MountainCamp; 10-10-2007 at 09:07 PM.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2004
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    Seattle, Washington State
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    Default

    Does the sugar syrup freeze on you?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    I have found that light syrup on the top bars does not freeze until the temperatures drop well into the low teens.I wrap the hive with black felt paper for wind protection and solar gain. Colonies will use feeder jars with daytime temperatures in the mid 20's and higher on sunny days. The weak sunshine of December and January do not add much solar gain here, but by the end of February and March with the sun gaining strength it does make a difference.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Seattle, Washington State
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    Default

    some say that feeders leak at lower temps which can be harmful to the cluster. Have you seen this happen?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kirkland, WA, USA
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    1,020

    Default

    I noticed the same thing a few days ago on a few of my hives - serious condensation, even with a 1/8 spacer for ventilation. I'll be giving the sugar a try.
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Seattle, Washington State
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    One beekeeper, when I used to live in Eugene, Or placed a hove body on top of the inner cover and used straw and it worked nicely.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Boone County, West Virginia, USA
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    908

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by allrawpaul View Post
    This also makes it convenient to feed pollen substitute and syrup. I thought the deeps would reduce moisture in the hive, but Allready I have noticed that the lid is still very wet and dripping onto the inner cover.
    yes it does make it convenient for feeding if you need to feed. if you don't need to feed and don't want to use the empty deep, try putting a shim or something between the inner and outer covers to open it up just a little to help out with the ventilation. you can cover the ventilation hole with screen to keep out moths and shim it up more if you need more ventilation to keep it dry. those plastic telescoping outer covers are built so they sit off of the inner lid to allow for ventilation unlike the wood ones. i leave mine propped up for ventilation year round.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleB View Post
    It is my understanding that the if they can get above cover they will burr comb up there and not just leave the empty space empty
    i wouldn't worry about them building any comb in the empty deep over the winter.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    Inverted Jars and Pails, create a vacuum seal to keep the syrup from running out.
    The daily thermal cycling that a hive under goes, can change the internal air volume of the vacuum seal. A 10f change in the internal air temperature would change the volume by about 2%.
    So when the cooling takes place, the internal air volume decreases and draws additional air in. When the internal air heats it increases in volume and forces some syrup out.
    The larger the air volume, the greater the effect.
    That said, if there is significant leakage, it is usually associated with a bad seal, or holes too large, some factor other than the thermal cycling.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Nevada County, CA
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    1,083

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    <I dont really want to drill a bunch of holes in my deeps but that seems neccessary. I am thinking of drilling one 3/4" hole (just the size for a wine cork) close to the top of each side and stapling screen over the holes. Anyone tried this? Thanks for any comments. , Paul.>

    I use a small hole in most of my boxes as a combination upper entrance and ventilation, no need to screen it unless you are feeding and robbing occurs. If you don't want to drill the boxes, try placing a wedge on each side between the inner cover and the telescoping lid.
    doug

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lk Stevens, WA
    Posts
    166

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    If you have screened bottom boards, pull the tray out and leave it open all winter. Also put a 3/4 inch shim at the back of the bottom board. If you get any excess moiture it will run forward on the inner cover and then down and out the front enterence. I live in the convergence zone and get a bit more rain than you do in Edmonds. I have been using this setup and find that I have little to no moisture on the inner cover. On the migratory covers I tend to have a little more moisture though. I am experimenting with the extra deep and putting a 25 lb bag of sugar in this winter on some of my hives. One nice thing about the 25 lb bag is it fits almost perfect.
    Last edited by Scott J.; 10-12-2007 at 02:54 PM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Seattle, Washington State
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    Scott:

    I will also be trying the granulated sugar idea this year. I did buy a bag of driverts sugar from Puratos in Seattle. We will see how that works out. Should be a good side by side comparason.

  19. #19
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    Jul 2004
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    Seattle, Washington State
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    Mountain:

    Why not feed with sugar syrup all through december and Jan? Why light syrup versus 2:1?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    South Kingstown, RI
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    134

    Default

    I live in Rhode Island near the coast and we have a lot of fog and moisture throughout the winter. Last year I used a medium body above the inner cover, I filled that with crumpled newspaper and then layed a piece of burlap across the body and hung it out the sides putting the outer cover over it. The newspaper helps to absorb the moisture and the burlap wicks it out. I put fondant on the inner cover which they could get to on the warmer days. I didnt lose any colonies last winter. BTW this is not my idea I copied it from someone one here who deserves the credit. Cant remember who but I owe them my thanks as I will this every year.

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