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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    254

    Lightbulb Keeping Winter Bees Dry

    I stumbled across these two links yesterday...great ideas and that gabled roof in the second link could be fitted with a landscape cloth bottom then filled with wood chips:

    http://strathconabeekeepers.blogspot...ive-cover.html

    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/the-bes...#comment-26668

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,581

    Default Re: Keeping Winter Bees Dry

    Is some moisture a bad thing? I would think the bees would like a chance to sip a bit of water during the winter.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,906

    Default Re: Keeping Winter Bees Dry

    Ya I think it is very important to have some moisture available. But wet bees are not good either
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lycoming New York
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Keeping Winter Bees Dry

    Dry is better. We get cold here, wet is dead. Tony

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Keeping Winter Bees Dry

    Condensation dripping on bees is deadly. Condensation on hive parts or outer walls is a water supply.

    A "garden hive" roof is fine, filled with wood chips (not fine sawdust) is fine. Plastic covers that drip water on the inner cover is NOT fine.

    Peter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default Re: Keeping Winter Bees Dry

    The bees do benefit from some condensation in the hive although, as mentioned, not the kind that rains down on them. Keeping a hive very dry with significant ventilation has not worked out for me. In fact, when I go into the fall with a lot of air movement (meaning a wide open bottom entrance and a gaping hole for a top entrance), the bees start to propolis the top entrance smaller and, in some cases, close it completely. I'm only guessing that they're doing that for a reason and the only one I can think of is to reduce the amount of airflow through the colony in the cold weather.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pierce/Thurson County, Wa
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Keeping Winter Bees Dry

    I think the location/climate of the original poster should be taken into consideration. It does not get that cold there because of the proximity of the ocean. Tsawwassen is on a peninsula, surrounded by salt water. Rain forest is the concept that most people understand (if they are not in the rain shadow of Vancouver Island).

    Keeping the bees dry would be the biggest issue.
    If you think anything organic is good for you, go drink some organic solvents.
    geek, learning how to be a beek

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    797

    Default Re: Keeping Winter Bees Dry

    I just read a article yesterday that states that adding a top ventilation hole is one of the two best winterization options for increased changes of winter survival.
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    243

    Default Re: Keeping Winter Bees Dry

    I made up some of these last winter. Provides insulation and top vent/entrance. I tape down #8 hardware cloth to keep the bees out of the top box. Leave them on all year round. Good venting/air circulation in the summer. Plug the side vent holes in the winter, add some wool/chips/whatever in the winter ... I have also removed the harware cloth and placed yogurt container feeders inside the hive as needed.

    http://www.beebehavior.com/THSC_Unit.php

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