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  1. #1
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    Apr 2014
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    Syracuse, UT
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    Default How to get course material for quilt box

    Wanted course ceder shavings instead of fine stuff so air could go throught it. I emptied the bags of shavings on the grass and raked them until only course stuff was left. Got rid of the dust in it too. Thought others might benefit from this idea.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: How to get course material for quilt box

    Thanks for the tips. Excessive water is not good for the bees but enough they will drink
    from it.
    This winter I'm trying something new that I've seen our European beekeepers used.
    I will use a water absorbing blanket inside a deep hive box over the bee hive. The blanket
    will be folded multiple times to fit inside the entire box. How many gallons of water do you think it will hold?
    The micro fleece blanket will capture the water inside so those are not good to use.
    Another idea is to use the roll of paper towels from the dollar store inside an empty deep box. Stack the
    rolls until the entire box is filled up. How many gallons of water you think this will hold over the winter months?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Landing, NJ, USA
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    530

    Default Re: How to get course material for quilt box

    It doesn't have to hold it all. If the top side of the quilt has ventilation the water will move through the quilt and evaporate from the top.
    Bill

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    N.E. KY
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    873

    Default Re: How to get course material for quilt box

    That's the idea, moisture will collect above the quilt and if there is not enough ventilation above it, the droplets fall on the quilt media. I suppose it would get saturated if not enough ventilation, but I did not see it last year. If moisture was collecting under top lid, I propped it up a bit. I did not try to give them any of that moisture for drinking and they were fine. I don't think they need it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
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    2,209

    Default Re: How to get course material for quilt box

    I think the idea of holding water handicaps thinking about what actually must occur; moisture transportation. From feeling my shavings quilt contents at various times through the season I doubt they ever hold more than a quart of water! The quilt contents should allow some air flow upwards as well as wicking moisture upwards to the vented evaporating surface exposed to free flowing outside air.

    Four gallons or so is the amount of water produced by an overwintering colony! Why would you try to hold it?
    Frank

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    2,464

    Default Re: How to get course material for quilt box

    I use the coarse grade of shavings from Tractor Supply, not cedar just plain pine material. I've never had any problem with using it straight out of the bale it comes in. (Though I do "fluff" it up when I fill the boxes.)

    I think that a good mix of shaving sizes is best in cold areas as you want to move the moisture, but not necessarily promote excess air-flow. A mixture of piece sizes will make for somewhat denser, more air-blocking, filling without harming the moisture transport quality.

    I agree with Frank on this: you do not want any more than transient moisture retention within the quilt box/colony. In cold climates there are sometimes periods when the moisture won't sublimate out immediately (certain temp and relative humidity conditions where this is impeded), but on the whole a QB is a moisture management tool more than anything. The idea of retaining all that inside which I sometimes see suggested, or implied in techniques and materials that are intended to absorb it, without any ventilation above seem like a problem in the making.

    The standard fabric-floored QB, filled with coarse pine shavings (at least 3 or 4" thick), with at least a 1" unblocked hole above works so well that I don't see the point of trying to re-invent it.

    Enj.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Miami, Manitoba, Canada
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    Default Re: How to get course material for quilt box

    Use the top quilt as insulation, and use the upper entrance to regulate the in hive humidity. A warm hood allows water vapour to condense as it escapes outside

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: How to get course material for quilt box

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Use the top quilt as insulation, and use the upper entrance to regulate the in hive humidity. A warm hood allows water vapour to condense as it escapes outside
    Ian that certain will work and probably air flow as you visualize it with moisture exiting the upper "entrance" with the quilt layer acting purely as insulation.

    My visualization (without any instrumentation that actually measures air flows and direction) is that fresh air necessary for bees enters via reduced bottom and top entrances and exits, moisture laden, up through the loose shavings where the moisture is absorbed and wicked away to be evaporated and or sublimed from the upper surface that is vented with rather large screened openings by free flowing air above the quilt. The quilt material then effectively controls the air exchange rather than the openings in the brood boxes below.

    I do know someone who put the shavings in a plastic garbage bag and got bad results. He claims now that the idea is a bunch of crap! The exact physics of how and why may not be exactly as I describe it but I dont think there are many gaping holes in it.
    Frank

  9. #9
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    Jan 2003
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    Default Re: How to get course material for quilt box

    long as that shavings quilt does not turn into a block of ice above the nest
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    Default Re: How to get course material for quilt box

    Underside of outer cover is going to get damp and there will be some mold.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: How to get course material for quilt box

    So in the local hardware store there are 3 types of landscape fabrics. Breathable grass guard to
    allow the air and moisture exchange while suppressing the grass from growing.
    One is the gray fuzzy fiber, the other is the smoother brown color and the last one
    is the smooth fabric made of opaque porous plastic film. Then you have the white row cover.
    It seems like the gray fuzzy one is the strongest. Or the row cover. But they all are rated lasting from 10 to 15 years.
    I will use one to stable under an empty hive box to put some fillings in.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  12. #12
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    May 2011
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    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: How to get course material for quilt box

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    long as that shavings quilt does not turn into a block of ice above the nest
    Nope the shaving stay loose though I have seen bits of hoar frost on just the upper surface of shavings. That seems to disappear off into thin air without wetting the shavings.
    Frank

  13. #13
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    Oct 2011
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    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    Default Re: How to get course material for quilt box

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Nope the shaving stay loose though I have seen bits of hoar frost on just the upper surface of shavings. That seems to disappear off into thin air without wetting the shavings.
    What is thickness of shavings in your quilt boxes? I have a fellow bee keeper asking if quilt box is enough for top insulation?
    Last edited by mgolden; 11-01-2015 at 02:22 PM.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: How to get course material for quilt box

    The quilt boxes are shallow supers, shavings full depth. I am using foam boards for tops but they are above the vents so functionally they only shed rain and snow. The shavings quiilts are all that is between the bees and outside air.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Frank

  15. #15
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    Jun 2013
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    Default Re: How to get course material for quilt box

    I agree with Frank, again, there is no block of ice, beyond the a light coating of hoar frost on the top (rough and jagged) edges of the shavings. The moisture is moving through and out even at temps down to minus 30 F.

    My QBs are re-purposed comb-honey depth boxes, so not quite as tall a present-day shallow, about 4 3/4 in deep and I slightly mound the shavings up into the ventilation rim space above that, which i think helps move the moisture out by being more surface area.

    I use a 1.5" slab of foam insulation tucked up into my teles to do three things: 1) raise the tele up so it doesn't block the wide-open 1" vent hole(s); 2) protect the under (wooden) surface of the tele from being exposed to the transient moisture underneath; and 3) for insulation.

    Note absence of any inner cover in this design.

    People who have actually tried fabric-floored, shavings-filled, vented-above QBs usually find they work exactly as advertised. Too many people seem to over-think the idea, without trying it, or get away from the active principal of the warmer, moisture laden air percolating up through the fabric (no condensation or dripping potential at all) into the QB where it meets the shavings which prevent massive heat loss, while managing the moisture constantly on its way out of the hive. Anything impermeable (plastic, wood, metal) used as a floor interrupts this. Too densely or too loosely packed, or too little shavings impairs the process, and having no wide-open vent simply makes for a sodden mess.

    Here's a rare picture of a QB at work. You can see the moisture leaving through the vent hole where it was condensing on the colder edge of the telecover. You usually don't see this at all. When I noticed it one evening late last winter I ran inside for my camera and luckily it was still visible when I got back.

    PKTMP002.jpg

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Delhi, New York, USA
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    635

    Default Re: How to get course material for quilt box

    I
    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    I agree with Frank, again, there is no block of ice, beyond the a light coating of hoar frost on the top (rough and jagged) edges of the shavings. The moisture is moving through and out even at temps down to minus 30 F.

    My QBs are re-purposed comb-honey depth boxes, so not quite as tall a present-day shallow, about 4 3/4 in deep and I slightly mound the shavings up into the ventilation rim space above that, which i think helps move the moisture out by being more surface area.

    I use a 1.5" slab of foam insulation tucked up into my teles to do three things: 1) raise the tele up so it doesn't block the wide-open 1" vent hole(s); 2) protect the under (wooden) surface of the tele from being exposed to the transient moisture underneath; and 3) for insulation.

    Note absence of any inner cover in this design.

    People who have actually tried fabric-floored, shavings-filled, vented-above QBs usually find they work exactly as advertised. Too many people seem to over-think the idea, without trying it, or get away from the active principal of the warmer, moisture laden air percolating up through the fabric (no condensation or dripping potential at all) into the QB where it meets the shavings which prevent massive heat loss, while managing the moisture constantly on its way out of the hive. Anything impermeable (plastic, wood, metal) used as a floor interrupts this. Too densely or too loosely packed, or too little shavings impairs the process, and having no wide-open vent simply makes for a sodden mess.

    Here's a rare picture of a QB at work. You can see the moisture leaving through the vent hole where it was condensing on the colder edge of the telecover. You usually don't see this at all. When I noticed it one evening late last winter I ran inside for my camera and luckily it was still visible when I got back.

    PKTMP002.jpg
    Thanks Nancy, you always have good info. Deb
    Bee Thankful Raw Honey
    Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

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