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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    145

    Default Insulated cover w/ passive ventilation.

    I built a prototype yesterday. Thought I'd share my design and see what people thought. Think of it as a shallow super full of insulation, metal on top, and a 3/16th bee space on the bottom like an inner cover.

    I believe in insulation on top in the winter. When a colony is trying to control the temperature inside the hive it seems insulation would make this job easier (In the summer and the winter). Feel free to discuss that if you want but I'd rather talk about the upper entrance...

    The idea is a tunnel making it easy for bees to control the air flow in and out, but air would not move on it's own.
    This entrance goes straight up then back down and out of the hive, meaning warm air shouldn't simply rise up and out without the bees' help.


    I'm still trying to figure out if simply putting a rock on top is sufficient or if I should find some other mechanism for holding it down.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    662

    Default Re: Insulated cover w/ passive ventilation.

    When bees go into a cluster, they will no longer be regulating air flow in the hive.

    They need fresh oxygen for sure and some flow for ventilation to remove excess moisture.

    Need a natural convection with volume related to relative humidty. The lower the relative humidity, the smaller the bottom entrance can be - 5/8 to 1 inch total.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Insulated cover w/ passive ventilation.

    I was thinking of making the board outside (under the metal flap) removable for that reason.

    Right now the tunnel is 2" x 3/8". That could be reduced in the winter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    662

    Default Re: Insulated cover w/ passive ventilation.

    My thinking is that the ventilation can most readily be controlled by bottom entrance size and the top entrance needs to be as larger or larger so that air can exhaust. I suggest you not use the front board and inhibit ventilation.

    Warm air rises and cold air enters through the bottom.

    Also do you have a 5/8 or 3/4 inch round hole in top super or feeder rim as an emergency air inlet when snow may block the bottom entrance.

    I use a 3 inch feeder rim(super) and have a 3/4 inch hole in the front. Above that is the inner cover with 1-1/2 by 3/8 notch open and on the under side.

    With the feeder rim, I can add blocks of sugar candy on top of frames or paper covering half the frame length and pour in sugar for emergency feed later in the winter.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Insulated cover w/ passive ventilation.

    Quote Originally Posted by mgolden View Post
    I suggest you not use the front board and inhibit ventilation.

    Warm air rises and cold air enters through the bottom.
    In the winter I think I won't use the front board since the bees can't get up to regulate the air flow.

    In the fall and spring that is exactly why I like this design, warm air doesn't rise and escape, that's inefficient and might be why the bees propolize shut upper entrances at this time.

    Even in the summer when it's very hot and humid (in Minnesota) I think it is contradictory to let that hot air flow into the hive when they are trying to keep it cool, like opening windows with the air conditioner on.

    This design is meant to let the bees decide when it's not too cold for them to move.


    In the past I've used a notch in the inner cover and no holes in my hive bodies.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    winnipeg,Manitoba,Canada
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Insulated cover w/ passive ventilation.

    We use the same basic design in our operation,the only difference is the front entrance ( 2" opening) is controlled by a metal bracket that we had fabricated. Ventilation in the winter months is a must as humidity builds on the inside cover and the bees will not winter very well.The opening is open during the winter months and when the colony is small and we are trying to build it up.This is in my climate , we get - 35 fahrenheit and i winter outdoors.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,069

    Default Re: Insulated cover w/ passive ventilation.

    Seems like it aught to hold itself down, especially once the bees propolize it and the snow falls.

    Have you thought about what to do when or if the bees propolize the hole?

    Looks like a good design. What do u think it costs you to build it? What are the dimensions?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    winnipeg,Manitoba,Canada
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Insulated cover w/ passive ventilation.

    The lids are heavy enough that they have never blown off, I have been using this design for 6 years now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Insulated cover w/ passive ventilation.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Have you thought about what to do when or if the bees propolize the hole?
    My theory is that bees don't like a chimney effect that is hard to control. If they propolize this entrance shut it is one data point that could mean a few things:
    1. This entrance still isn't easy to control.
    2. They don't like top entrances (when given a bottom entrance)
    3. Many other things.

    I could try again to make a top entrance that works for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Looks like a good design. What do u think it costs you to build it? What are the dimensions?
    Dimensions are a standard Langstroth rectangle. 3.5" high. I used value wood from Menards and bargain insulation (short leftover pieces. 50 cents to build two) Super cheap for me as a backyard beekeeper. Not an economical experiment for a bigger outfit.

    -Joe

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