Quote Originally Posted by libhart View Post
Not trying to hijack the OP's thread, but I've seen this written so many times, and I have to to respectfully disagree. Put a bee in your freezer for a couple hours and then tell me if its still alive because it was just cold, not wet.
The idea is not that a single bee is freeze-proof, the idea is that a healthy cluster of bees can regulate temperature in harsh winters. A healthy cluster can not regulate moisture, and if they're getting dripped on during freezing conditions they WILL SURELY DIE!!

-I use a screened bottom board and I place tongue depressors along the rim of my inner cover to create a small gap between it and the top cover. Another trick I've adopted is to place a few pennies on the inner cover during late fall. During my first inspection of the season (late winter/early spring) I take note of whether or not the copper on the pennies has oxidized (green color). If the pennies have oxidized heavily then the moisture content of that hive was high during the winter. A monitoring technique that will only cost you a few cents!! Can't beat that...