Re: Insecure re: moisture build-up prevention for winter
I see all the advice, while good, is coming from areas that are much farther north than eastern NC. Keep this in mind. We just had this discussion last night at the Ashland (VA) Beekeepers Assn meeting. Winter prep here is making sure the hive is healthy and has adequate stores. This means treating for varroa and weighing the hives to make sure there is enough honey for them. Hives that are light, less than 60 lbs for a double 10 frame deep, should be fed heavily with 2:1 syrup. After that, make sure the hives are sheltered from wind. Temporary fences, stacked bales of straw, etc. Mouse guards to keep rodents out. We have voles here and they make a mess. Some of the experienced bks use a small rock to lift the top off the inner cover about 1/2" for improved ventilation. I will be using a shim as the rock idea seems just a bit too country for me.
Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.