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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Dover, NH
    Posts
    52

    Default Ventilation recomendations

    Hello All,

    I have a top bar hive with a peaked roof. (it is the gold star honey bees hive http://www.goldstarhoneybees.com/pro...glander-Model/ ). My roof isn't black though, it is wood colored (cedar). And my entrance holes are on the left, not in the middle.

    If I had known about top entrances when I made the hive, I might have gone with that instead of the peaked roof. I like the way it looks, and I want to keep it with the roof. I have been trying to think of ways to help with ventilation for the moisture in the winter.

    For the last few weeks it has been 75-85 during the day, and 65 or so at night. There has been some minor bearding almost every night (maybe 100 or so), they are still there in the morning. The last few days it has been 95 during the day and 75-80 at night, and humid. I swear yesterday the entire hive was out there bearding

    I have a screened bottom board, but I have it closed up and from what I have read, I think I would like to keep it that way. But at the same time I think that they could use a little more ventilation.
    Right before it got very hot they were given another empty bar, along with the bar they just started, and the bar they are about half done with. They also have plenty of room in the back of the hive, so I think it is the ventilation, not lack of space.

    I think I am going to put some screened ventilation holes in the ends of the attic to vent hot air during the day to keep the top bars cool.

    My ideas for ventilation are either to make a small top bar with holes covered with screen or burlap to vent into attic (which will then vent outside through the attic vents) which I think would be similar to a top entrance.

    My second option is to drill some small holes in the long sides of the hive and screen over it. I would probably put them in the middle or end of the hive opposite the entrance holes, near the top. I am thinking this could also help with moisture in the winter if they are near the top.

    Has anyone done either of these ideas, or have any suggestions? How well did it work?

    Thank you for your feedback

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Ventilation recomendations

    I've a Goldstar hive too, plus my second hive is modeled after it (need to finish it ASAP!). I repainted my roof a Terracotta color (It gets hot here for black but white gets dirty fast - and I like it).

    Last year I dropped the bottom board for ventilation but due to a struggle with pests I put some weathersealing around it and only take it off if I think I need to clean it. I also moved my entrances but the old bottom center holes are still there, I just had them closed with corks. Last year with the board down and a weak hive they barely bearded despite record high temps. This year with the board up and a strong hive they are bearding heavy enough I just pulled one of the center corks to give them more ventilation.

    My roof has sides bigger than the bars so it just vents there but I did take the corks out of a few extra entrance holes at the other end and put window screen over them for ventilation when I saw some condensation this spring. That seemed to do the trick but kept them from having to protect more openings than they could handle. I no longer can use these for ventilation because I had to split a nuc off the hive recently and it was the only place I had to put them. (I have an open nuc but it is shallower and the swarm cells were on the part I would have had to cut off.) That is why I resorted to opening the center hole.

    For winter I put wool above the bars for insulation and covered that with spare shingles (I would have used tar paper but didn't have it on hand). The Carniolan bees reduced their one uncorked entrance to a third of it's size with propolis. Those were my only preparations. I didn't have any problems with condensation but they went into winter without enough stores, too small of clusters, and didn't make it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Dover, NH
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Ventilation recomendations

    Thank you for your response, I think I will add a side vent and see if it helps. It has been very humid and hot lately. It has been humid enough (90-95%) that they are bearding even when it is cooler out

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Rogue River, OR
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Ventilation recomendations

    It's 95+ here this week. We dropped the bottom board to expose the screened bottom. When they beard, they tend to go fly out and land on this and sort of buzz around the bottom of the hive. No pests so far.

    We also cut two small holes on each side of the pitched roof ends and screened inside and out. We have three middle entrance holes on one side of the hive. We're not going to cut anymore holes; less holes the better methinks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Dover, NH
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Ventilation recomendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Colleen O. View Post
    Last year I dropped the bottom board for ventilation but due to a struggle with pests I put some weathersealing around it and only take it off if I think I need to clean it.
    What kind of pests did you have a problem with? I am going to try dropping the bottom board because of the constant heavy bearding, the humidity has been over 90 here for over a week, and temps in the 90s. I would like to know what to look out for.

    thank you

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Ventilation recomendations

    I bought a nuc at the end of August and I believe it came with wax worms and small hive beetles. I didn't really have problems with my smaller hive that had window screen on the bottom (I had to make it quick so I used what I had) but the hive I chop n cropped the nuc into had number 8 mesh on the bottom. I think the young beetles could get in through the mesh. I couldn't get them out of the hive until I sealed the board. I took the board off, scraped and then hit it with a torch several times until I stopped finding wax worm and SHB larvae on it.

    Everyone says the solution is a strong hive but I had to get rid of the problem to get it there. They were low on pollen and every time I put a little pollen patty in it would be infested in no time while I did the same in the other hive and didn't have any problems. They went into winter weak and with too small a cluster and didn't make it.

    I am not sure if many others have seen the same problem with the number 8 mesh but after that experience I decided solid works better for me. I do usually have a couple extra entrance holes that I have doubled-up window screen covering for some extra ventilation.

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