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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Millstadt, IL
    Posts
    25

    Default Moisture in Warre

    Last week I noticed wet bees that were crawling out of the Hive. I moved the board off of the plexiglass viewing window and saw water running down the glass inside the hive. I have a screen bottom with a board underneath for winter and I removed the board a few weeks ago when our weather in the St. Louis area started heating up. We had a drop in temp in the 30's with strong winds last week so I put the board back under the screen. We've also had a lot of rain-clear and in the 60's the next few days.
    After seeing the moisture I pulled the board from beneath the screen on Friday and the hive dried out fine. I also put new wood chips in my quilt-I vacuumed out the fine sawdust thinking that also could block ventilation. The wet bees did crawl out and die but they were going strong all weekend. These bees were hived from a large swarm last May and did great all winter and spring. I have not removed any honey and seldom open the hive.
    They were fine Sunday and looked ok last evening when I looked in through the window. This morning wet bees again and water running down the inside. I took the roof off and offset the quilt so it could ventilate today-luckily it is sunny and no rain predicted. I left the roof off with the quilt slightly offset and when I get home from work I plan on replacing the fabric on the quilt since it is the original one from last year.
    I caught a swarm last night about 30 feet from the hive so think they are bailing - can't say I blame them! I'm pretty sure the swarm is from that hive although we have Langs as well on our property. This Warre is 4 high-it was 2 high all winter and I added 2 more on March 30th - weather then in the 70's.
    I will appreciate advice and suggestions. This is such a nice gentle hive I hate to lose them!
    Thanks in advance. Bonnie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Moisture in Warre

    Hello Bonnie. I've got 3 Warre hives here in Houston, no windows. Solid bottom boards. At times I've seen water dripping out of the entrance during late winter/early spring when the hive picks up in activity. The water you are seeing is nothing unusual. I just checked the weather for central Illinois and I see you have highs in the mid 60's, low's in the lower 40's. The hive is bringing in a lot of pollen and nectar I'd imagine. New brood is being raised, therefore a lot of moisture being released from all of the activity inside the hive. That moisture will condense on the hive sidewalls and run down to the bottom. The bees will actually use that condensed water for purposes inside the hive.
    As long as the roof stays on, the quilt remains dry, the bees will regulate the temprature and moisture level inside the hive just fine.
    Houstonbees,
    Gunther

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Millstadt, IL
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Moisture in Warre

    Gunther,
    That's good to know. This is my first spring with an overwintered Warre so all is new. There are a lot of dead bees also-at least 100-hard to say how many. I was afraid all that moisture was killing them. Hopefully they are just cleaning house! How often do you replace the cloth on the quilt? Thanks so much for your information.
    Bonnie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Moisture in Warre

    Well, I've got one of my hives that is 2 years old and never have replaced the insulation material in the quilt, nor the cloth used for the bottom of the quilt. I'm using burlap for the material, cedar shavings for the insulation ( the type you buy at pet stores for hamster cage bedding? ). Keeps the bugs out, they don't like the cedar. The bees seem to be ok with it. Sandwiched between the top of the top bars and under the burlap is window screening to prevent the girls from chewing through the burlap and to prevent them from propolizeing the bottom of the quilt to the top bars. Makes it MUCH EASIER to separate and remove the quilt from the top of the hive if you need to.
    Regards,
    Gunther

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Moisture in Warre

    One more thing. The 100 or so dead bees you've seen are most likely the bees that made it through the winter and are dying off. If you've got pollen going in brood is being raised that will replace the old maids that got the hive this far.
    Regards,
    Gunther

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Millstadt, IL
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Moisture in Warre

    Gunther ,
    They looked fine this evening so that's probably what happened. I've got a screen on my quilt too and it is really easy to pop off. The swarm I caught last night is doing ok today.
    Thanks for the info.
    Bonnie

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