Due to two back surgeries, I am building two long combo hives - envision three medium 8-frame supers end-to-end. The hive will be stocked with medium lang frames (foundationless). I've also got 8-frame mediums to stack vertically, and they can be stacked three across if need be - or just stacked in one spot above the long hive. The long hive will be positioned a ways above ground so I don't need to bend too much - the whole point is to minimize bending, twisting, and lifting.
Two things I am concerned about are ventilation and rainwater, and I'd like to solicit recommendations for how to deal with these issues - although feel free to make any recommendations you see fit.
First, should a make a SBB for this hive? If I were going the standard route and just vertical, I would definitely go with an IPM SBB, but I'm concerned with this long hive because the area of the bottom is SO much larger. Thoughts? I live in western Oregon and we have a rainy season here, which could potentially make inside condensation a problem. I realize some inside condensation is fine, it's a water source for the bees in the winter. But what about when it rains for 30 or 40 days? The SBB is tough because there is evidence for using one and evidence against. Argh!!!!
Second, the simplest roofing structure is to just slap three migratory covers on the long hive, and then I can super any section I wish. But since part of the reason I am building this is to minimize lifting supers, I will not be supering over the brood - I'll super at the end of the hive opposite from the entrance. I can always put a telescoping cover on top of a super, but what about the rest of the long hive? With just migratory covers on, do I need to worry about rainwater getting into the hive, and build flashing joint covers or something? Again, my concern is our heavy rainy season and letting too much water into the hive.
I'm also curious about feeding a package. If feeding from an upside down jar, should this be located directly above the brood, or can it be located off to the side?
Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts and experiences.