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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    499

    Default Condensation: Curse or water source?

    My developing understanding informs me that winter condensation is undesireable, and to that end, I've planned to build a warre-quilt for my lang.

    Today, however, I read an analysis that suggests that condensation is a necessary winter water source for bees:

    It can be read at: http://beenatural.wordpress.com/natu.../condensation/

    If I understand the article right, by building a "breathing" roof for my bees, I may be condemning them to a winter of thirst.


    I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on condensation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Concrete, WA, USA
    Posts
    761

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    a lot of condensation is bad if you have a freeze and thaw winter

    what i do is have a shim above the inner cover about 1 inch and pour sugar on top the inner cover - the dry sugar soaks up the exess water and the bees store and or use the sugar water

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Swalwell, AB
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    It seems that both methods work. A lot depends on where you live. Some regions are very moist and the ambient moisture when combined with the water given off by the bees can drive the humidity in the hive higher than the bees find comfortable. In other areas, like Dennis' and mine, lack of moisture can be a problem for bees trying to liquefy hard honey or dilute it for feeding larvae.

    In my experience, good bees can do just fine in a dry hive or one with condensation, as long as the water does not drip.

    Many northern Europeans do not use top entrances and they winter quite well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    When I had bees in the Panhandle of Nebraska, I didn't have any condensation issues (dry climate). When I moved to Southeastern Nebraska (moderately humid climate) I had to put in top entrances or the condensation would drip on the bees. It depends on your climate.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Girard, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    mrspock,
    Thank you for the link....The article was very interesting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    875

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    I'm thinking a slightly pitched inner lid would do the trick to divert the drip flow enough to allow the excess water to run down the side. Besides, doesn't the honey they consume have some amount of moisture ? And doesn't the warmth of the cluster give off enough heat to keep the inside above freezing ?
    Honey is the best thing ever discovered ! www.greenanything.net/honey-bees.php

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    When I had bees in the Panhandle of Nebraska, I didn't have any condensation issues (dry climate). When I moved to Southeastern Nebraska (moderately humid climate) I had to put in top entrances or the condensation would drip on the bees. It depends on your climate.
    Alberta is an odd place, climate wise. The climate is dry all year, and cold in the winter. In southern Alberta, our winters consist of a yo-yo between -30c and +5c from Oct to May, due to a regional phenomenon known as a "chinook".

    Right now it's +10c outside. In two weeks, it will probably bliizard and drop to -20c.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    http://beenaturalguy.com/observations/condensation/

    Here is one experienced Beek who works bees in cold climate. Very interesting, he has photos to show how condensation works.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Parker, CO
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    I saw that article before.

    He's in Wyoming where it's really dry. I'm in Colorado where it is also dry.

    I'm not really sure what to do about it other than stand pat with a standard inner cover and telescoping outer cover.

    I've provided a barrel of water that refills on my drip system every week and I've only seen a single bee in it one time...not sure where they get their water but it's not here (neighbors have complained a bit :-)

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