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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    2,000

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    squarepeg, you got a picture of your inner cover with the notches? I'd like to see the arrangement. Seems the ones that I have either have no notch or it's on the top in the rim. Thanks, Ed

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,526

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    sorry ed, i don't have any pictures or a good camera to take some, but...

    what i do is saw out a notch in the front and back of the rim of the inner cover. i make these notches the same width as the escape hole in the center of the innercover, and in line with it. i then take wood glue and run a bead around the joint (top and bottom) of the rim and the plywood, and set in on an empty box to make sure it drys square. after the glue drys, i then take window screen, and run it from the top, over the front (or back) and around to the bottom, and secure it with staples.

    when i put the outer cover on, i space it evenly front and back so that the air can escape front and back. but like i mentioned, some of the hives have propilized one or both of the screens, but i think i have noticed where they have opened one back up again. maybe they are adjustable for the bees?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,000

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    Ok, in my mind I'm seeing a notch cut into the edge of the inner cover roughly 1-1/4" deep. Window screen is tacked down over it on the top side, wrapped over the edge, and then stapled down again on the bottom side. I take it the slight thickness of the screen doesn't affect sealing of the inner cover to the super (bees probably seal it up good).

    I'm of the "prop the top cover up with a stick" group. I used little pieces of 1/4" molding (same stuff I used for the runners on my oil trays) to prop my top cover up on one end this summer. I'm probably going to reduce that down with popsicle sticks for the winter. Just enough to give it a slight movement of air. With the new colony from the cutout I've got four hives now which is 3-1/2 more than I had last winter so I'll be watching for condensation issues, if I run into to them I'll snag some 1/2" insulation. Thanks for the feedback!

    Ed

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,526

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    cutting the notch is really more just removing that small section of the rim, you don't have to cut into the plywood. removing those two sections of the rim makes the unit come apart easily because the plywood is loose in the slot. that's why you have to glue it.

    right, the screen is so thin it's not an issue.

    i started with popsicle sticks on all of mine, but i caught the hive beetles squeezing through even that small crack. i'm closed up tight now except for the bottom entrance, and the screened notches.

    they work just like the attic vents underneath your soffit.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,000

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    Are your inner covers flush on one side or does both sides have a "rim"?

    I wanted to stop the beetles and moth but still wanted to prop the top some for ventilation...full sun all day down here in the flat(ter) lands....so I stapled window screen over the escape/feed holes in the inner cover. I feed through the screen, too.

    Ed

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,526

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    both sides have a rim. my kelley one's have a deeper and a shallower side, the mann lake one's are the same depth on both sides.

    not sure the screens are really doing that much if you have the prop sticks in.

    i'm a little north of you, but we still get 100+ with the heat index here. i was able to stop bearding by taking the reducers out, and having the bottom board tall side up, wide open. i then put a 'screen' about half way across the entrance so that i had air flow all the way across, but only half was open for the bees, beetles, and moths, (the brave ones anyway).
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,000

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    Ok, this explains my confusion. I use mostly Rossmans equipment and the inner covers are completely flat on the bottom (no rim) while the upper side has a rim.

    There's no way beetles or moth can enter the hive through the top due to the sticks propping the top cover up. The screen completely blocks entry through the escape/feed holes in the inner cover. ???

    Screen works very well as an entrance reducer. I can't remember, are you using solid bottom boards?

    Ed

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,526

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    ok, i gotcha. that sounds like a real good set up. yeah, solid bottoms.

    i got the 'screens' for the entrance from kelley's. they are thick metal strips with holes in them. i cut them to length. they also work really good for closing up a hive if you have to move one. i just use push pins to secure them.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Mateo, Ca, USA
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    the bees like the dirty water. I find mine drinking the water going down the curb of the road towards the sewer. I have other cleaner and closer sources, but they don't seem interested in that.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Condensation: Curse or water source?

    Condensation is only a problem when cold water drips on the bees. Water droplets will be consumed by the bees as needed water for diluting honey etc. when it's where they can reach it and stay dry.

    My brother and I both have quit using Kelley plastic covers, and I'll be building a bunch for a friend of mine as well -- they are slightly convex, but still drip water all over the place since they do not absorb any and are fairly transparent to heat. Damp air comes up through the escape hole and condenses on the cold cover, then rolls down and drips off the first bit of texture on the cover. My brother always had wet inner covers, usually with water standing on them, and it leaked through the joints between the slats and onto his bees. Lost a big healthy hive last winter (might have had mite problems too, although we didn't see any symptoms).

    We've switched to wooden outer covers made with either 1/2" or 3/8" plywood and newspaper padding under a hand bent aluminum cover. This provides adequate insulation and the moisture rarely forms on the wood and drips, the inner covers stay dry, and the bees appear to be happier.

    Those plastic covers also degrade badly, at least the ones we have that are about 8 years old or so. The plastic cracks and water leaks THROUGH onto the bees, and eventually they shatter if dropped. Newer ones might be better, but I think wood is well proven and since it's unlikely to drip water is much better.

    We have variable winters here -- last year it barely froze, but we had lots of damp, rainy days just above freezing when condensation would be the worst -- high humidity, fairly warm clusters, and no breeze to speak of. However, we have to be prepared for the occasional winter where we get significant snow, bitter cold, and howiing winds. Might have to build a wind break, my neighbor got rid of the big pile of oak firewood without telling me so my hives are somewhat more exposed that before. Easy enough, I'll get with the new neighbors and see what we can do with the fence, or maybe just put a woodpile of my own on my side on the north of the hive (neighbors, sadly, are moving).

    Peter

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