I'm building my first hive for locally-sourced bees that will be available in April. The weather here is usually great, and I see (wild?) bees in my yard almost every day of the year. I understand that in the years with a winter I will need to close the bottom of the hive and limit ventilation to a small amount at the top to prevent condensation inside the hive.
In July 2011 the weather was 105-110F for several hours a day, every day, for two weeks. This isn't normal, but it happened and could happen again. Obviously the bees need a good source of water close to the hive in these conditions, but should the ventilation be restricted to keep the heat out? If so, at what temperature should I close the hive bottom?
The hive will be a horizontal langstroth raised about two feet above the ground to stay out of reach of the skunk. The bees are from Bee Weaver and should not have problems with the varroa mite.