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Thread: Ventilation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Pendleton, Indiana
    Posts
    12

    Default Ventilation

    I have read you should use Popsicle sticks under the inner cover during the winter to help ventilation and cut down on moisture, I hope I got that correct but my question is if that's the case why can't I use the sticks 365? If moisture is a bad problem durning the winter can a person use a towel between the inner and outer cover to help collect the water?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,096

    Default Re: Ventilation

    > why can't I use the sticks 365?

    You could, and you could even -gasp- switch to top entrances:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Ventilation

    Moisture is more of a problem in winter because it will condense on a cold surface (like the inner cover) and drip back down on the bees.

    A towel may be a good idea, but I would place it under the inner cover for the reason stated above.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Ventilation

    In answer to the original question, Popsicle sticks are approximately 1/16" thick. Bees will readily propolize such a gap.

    I find Mr. Bush's top entrances to be more than adequate, cheap, and easy to make. I have only made one so far though. The rest of my hives use a perimeter shim style upper entrance. Pictures galore on my blog and website.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Grays Harbor County, Washington, USA
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Ventilation

    I use moisture quilts in the winter and screened inner covers in summer. The moisture quilts work kind of like a towel and are easy to make. The screened inner covers let the air move through without letting in moths and robbing bees.

    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-...ngstroth-hive/

    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-...d-inner-cover/
    Rusty
    http://www.honeybeesuite.com "A Better Way to Bee"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cupertino, CA, USA
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Ventilation

    I prop up the telescoping cover using a length of insulated wire about 1/8 inch diameter and bent into the shape of an L, placed on the inner cover. The gap I was shooting for is the largest gap that bees couldn't enter. I have the traditional bottom entrance. We don't have snow and our winters are mild, so this seems to help with ventilation all year long.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Ventilation

    I used a regular inner cover with a notch this year, with the telescoping cover shoved close to it to keep things out but allow some airflow. I use wooden covers, we have had bad experiences with plastic ones.

    Some locations have serious moisture problems, others have none, it's one of those "all beekeeping is local" things. If you don't have evidence of moisture in your hives (damp wood, mold on the frames, etc) you don't need more ventilation. If your hives are wet in the spring, you need more, but you also need to avoid a hurricane howling through the hive in the deep winter (if you have deep winter). The more tightly sealed the hive is, the more important good ventilation is, of course, same as your house. Around here, a screened bottom board with the sticky shoved in and a partially closed top entrance slot in the inner cover is prefectly adequate. In the fog zone on the west coast, this would probably result in soggy hives.

    Whatever you do, I strongly recommend wooden covers that are un-finished on the inside (no paint, stain, or sealer of any kind), and if you have severe condensation problems, a condenser (a shallow with a screened bottom filled with coarse sawdust, chopped leaves, or something similar) on top of the cluster. Plastic outer covers, painted surfaces, or metal exposed to the elements will condense water that will collect on the surface and drip. Wood will absorb quite a bit, and it will move through the wood and exit the hive rather than collect and drip. Dripping cold water kills bees!

    Peter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    LaGrange; Oldham County; Kentucky
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Ventilation

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    In answer to the original question, Popsicle sticks are approximately 1/16" thick. Bees will readily propolize such a gap.

    I find Mr. Bush's top entrances to be more than adequate, cheap, and easy to make. I have only made one so far though. The rest of my hives use a perimeter shim style upper entrance. Pictures galore on my blog and website.
    Solomon, how did you make such increase, if you don't mind my asking? I just checked out your blog, nice!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Ventilation

    Melanie, the simple answer is that I grafted, used a queenright cell builder, used queen castles as mating nucs, and let the bees do the rest. It's about efficiency and resources. Had I not sold nucs and queens, I would have gone from 10 to 30 in one season and still made the same amount of honey. Impossible with normal splits.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Washingon CO, AR, USA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Ventilation

    I used the screened/ventilated inner cover from Brushy Mountain last year during the incredible heat we had in Arkansas. The bees were visibly happier and did much less bearding than those with regular inner covers propped up a bit. (Here are the covers: http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...oductinfo/210/ )

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    LaGrange; Oldham County; Kentucky
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Ventilation

    Looks like I need to frequent your blog on a regular basis! This was my first winter, just have one hive and I'd like to have six and not have to buy packages.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Washingon CO, AR, USA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Ventilation

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    ...I grafted, used a queenright cell builder, used queen castles as mating nucs, and let the bees do the rest....Impossible with normal splits.
    Could you explain how this works (vs a normal split)?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,376

    Default Re: Ventilation

    My migratory tops are propped up 365. The ones with holes rotted through seem to do the best for some reason.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Ventilation

    I keep a piece of window screen taped over my inner cover with the top propped up with popsicle sticks or whatever. In late spring I switch to a full ventilated screen but staple window screen on this. The purpose is to keep hive beetles from entering through the top which I would watch them do until I started using the screen. They do propolize the screen but I just replace it after a while or take a small nail & poke a few holes in it during winter to keep the ventilation open.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,096

    Default Re: Ventilation

    Quote Originally Posted by OzarkBee View Post
    Could you explain how this works (vs a normal split)?
    Did you look at Solomon's blog? (link at the bottom of all his posts) Here's a relevant page:
    http://parkerfarms.blogspot.com/sear...Queen%20Castle
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Ventilation

    Here's the full description. http://parkerfarms.biz/queenrearing.html

    If you have any questions after that, I'll be happy to answer them. I only wrote that page earlier this year, and it may need refinement. Tell me if I missed something or if something is not clear with my narrative. I know it needs pictures. I have some, but not a complete set yet.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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