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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    363

    Default Icicles *inside* the hive!

    It's been incredibly cold here for a couple of weeks now (it was 4 degrees this morning). This afternoon I went out to look at the hive and, peering through the mouse guard, was shocked to see two icicles hanging off the bottom-front of two of the frames (right near the entrance)! They were small, one about as big around as a pencil, the other even thinner.

    I can still hear buzzing coming from inside the hive, and I see dead bees periodically, so they're still alive. Is this anything to worry about? Maybe increase ventilation?
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,768

    Default Re: Icicles *inside* the hive!

    Do you have a hole drilled in the front of the hive where maybe rain or melting snow is getting in and running down the inside wall? John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Icicles *inside* the hive!

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    Do you have a hole drilled in the front of the hive where maybe rain or melting snow is getting in and running down the inside wall? John
    No, the hive is (or should be) completely leakproof right now. The only thing I can think of is condensation.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,975

    Default Re: Icicles *inside* the hive!

    You need to provide some kind of top ventilation to allow the moist air to escape. The simplest may be to put a shim under the top, but alternatives include drilling a hole in a hive body.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Icicles *inside* the hive!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    You need to provide some kind of top ventilation to allow the moist air to escape. The simplest may be to put a shim under the top, but alternatives include drilling a hole in a hive body.
    The inner cover is shimmed at all four corners with Popsicle sticks and has a screened bee escape hole in the center. The telescoping cover is shimmed at one end with four Popsicle sticks (to slope it forward). The front of the TC, where the air should be escaping, was frosted shut, so I cleared that. Should the gap between the inner cover and the top of the hive be exposed to the air? My TC has rather long sides.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    617

    Default Re: Icicles *inside* the hive!

    Is the bottom board solid or screened??

    What size is the opening in the bottom entrance reducer??

    It would appear there is not enough ventilation and what is restricting it?

    Can you open a 1 3/4 slot in the lips of the inner cover? I open it and invert the cover to give a 3/8 by 1 3/4 on the under side that provides an upper entrance and exhaust port. I also have a 3/4 round hole in a feeder shim just above frames. Do get some frost build up on the upper entrance and round hole and I rim them out if much frost is building up.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,975

    Default Re: Icicles *inside* the hive!

    I think that bigger shims under the top cover might help to get more ventilation.

    Another modification to consider would be to add some foam insulation to the underside of the top cover. This does not solve the ventilation problem, but could help minimize actual condensation. The most basic version of that concept would be to just put foamboard on the outside of the top cover and hold it down with a weight. If you put the foam on the outside, it will likely get damaged by UV radiation from the sun over time.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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