Summer Ventilation
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Monroe County, PA, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Summer Ventilation

    I am looking for some help with summer ventilation. I am in the north eastern part of PA and we are getting into our summer weather, averaging mid to upper 80s during the day, and lows at night being mid 60s. I have a 10 frame Lang and have a a second deep on that is probably going to be 80-90% full when I inspect on Sunday. I have a screened bottom board, but always leave the bottom sliding piece in. On top I have an inner cover (but no notch) and a telescoping cover. I plan on adding a deep super above the two bottom deeps and a queen excluder this Sunday and am wondering if I should add ventilation now. I was thinking about just starting with a few tongue depressors on the excluder, below the honey super.

    Being my first year I am a little confused when it comes to this topic. I installed my package on April 22. Any and all advise is welcome!

    Thank you, Paul

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: Summer Ventilation

    I would put a tounge depressor under each corner between the top box and the inner cover to start with. If you open up the hive and find mold or a wet inner cover I would add more ventilation. I have been chasing mold problems with my hives, but I think this is because they do not get enough sun light.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    674

    Default Re: Summer Ventilation

    I place a piece of stick about 1/4" x 2" long on the frame of the inner cover along the back, so just the top is raised. The seem to also make more honey after they get a little more air flow in the hive.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Summer Ventilation

    Quote Originally Posted by Repsag View Post
    I am looking for some help with summer ventilation. [..] I have a screened bottom board, but always leave the bottom sliding piece in.
    Hi Paul - you might want want to try removing the slide ? I find that an Open Mesh Floor (SBB) open all year round cures ventilation problems (usually seen as black mould on solid bottom boards), whilst retaining warmth within the hive itself. Location-dependent, of course.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,624

    Default Re: Summer Ventilation

    Hi Paul. I pulled my IPM boards out last month. Hives stay nice and dry even with the torrential downpours we have had. Lifting the top cover also helps like hootowl recommended.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,944

    Thumbs Up Re: Summer Ventilation

    A half inch kerff in one side of the end of an inner cover with a small opening at the entrance is good into the high 90's for me. I have one hive with two eight frame deeps and a medium. It has the small hole of the entrance reducer showing and a one inch hole in the front of the super above it and they are fine with temps up to 100F this week and last. I like a small upper entrance for ventilation and a small lower entrance to reduce robbong pressure. When it gets really hot, I use hardware cloth as an entrance reducer, leaving an opening of one or two inches for the bees to come and go. Rule of thumb: If they aren't bearding, they aren't hot.

    P.S. I don't use screened bottom boards. Sold all but one and you can have it if you stop by.
    ...We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are...

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,244

    Default Re: Summer Ventilation

    I use to do a lot to provide more ventilation. I am actually moving back the other way. Increased ventilation may help. Or, it may cause the bees wot work harder to close things up.

    Feral hives in you area will no extra ventilation.

    Tom

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Monroe County, PA, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Thank you to everyone for all the great advice!! This site is just awesome!

    And Happy Fathers Day to the dads out there
    Last edited by Repsag; 06-17-2018 at 03:21 PM.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Southeast Texas
    Posts
    1,792

    Default Re: Summer Ventilation

    I just slide the honey supers back about a 1\2 inch making a gap/upper entrance. I'm in SE Texas and here it's HOT.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Garden City S, NY
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Summer Ventilation

    Newbee here as well. Its finally hot here on Long Island and upon my third inspection yesterday i saw a decent amount of bees on the outside fanning. Not sure is they were fanning some nasimov for the returning foragers or just directing air into the hive. Either way it was warm so my questions are as follows:

    1. I have a screened bottom board with a plastic slide in board underneath, should i slide the catch out during hot weather to allow the cool ground air into the hive?

    2. I currently have 1 deep and just added a second deep on top. On the second deep i have an inner cover that has an oval cut out in the center. Is that enough for ventilation of should i get a screened inner cover?

    3. Lets say the inner cover i have is good, if i want to feed i'd be placing the feeding jar over the hole. Wouldn't that then prevent hot air from leaving the top of the hive? If so, how should i feed? Leave off the inner cover and just place the jar right on top of the frames surrounded by a frameless super with the top cover on top of that?

    Thanks all.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,548

    Default Re: Summer Ventilation

    Quote Originally Posted by sakhoney View Post
    .... I'm in SE Texas and here it's HOT.
    Indeed, TX is hot.
    PA, on the other hand...

    I don't worry much about ventilation in South WI.
    +1 to the above - if they are not bearding, this is not hot.

    To be sure - this is the exact and normal temperature they maintain inside the brood nest - "averaging mid to upper 80’s during the day".
    What is there to ventilate?
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Garden City S, NY
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Summer Ventilation

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Indeed, TX is hot.
    PA, on the other hand...

    I don't worry much about ventilation in South WI.
    +1 to the above - if they are not bearding, this is not hot.

    To be sure - this is the exact and normal temperature they maintain inside the brood nest - "averaging mid to upper 80’s during the day".
    What is there to ventilate?
    Temp was in the mid 80's but thats in the shade. At the time, the hive was in full sun so i'd have to think it would be much warmer in there which is why there were ventilating. Then again, i did see lots of nectar so perhaps it was an all hands on deck effort to remove moisture from the nectar.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,291

    Default

    I keep the inspection boards closed, entrances open. Usually prop up the outer cover with a 1/4" thick stick to allow some airflow thru the inner cover hole. Works fine for me. Any smaller hives I may reduce down the entrance a bit.

    If you put dimes or tongue depressors between inner cover and box there's a good chance they'll eventually fill the gap with propolis. A first year hive might not but a 2nd year hive in my area will. Hive beetles will hide in that crack and the bees can't fit and patrol it so it gets sealed up.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Garden City S, NY
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Summer Ventilation

    My hive is a 5 frame nuc that i moved to a 10 frame box on May 25th. They've drawn out 3.5 out of the 5 foundation frames i added so it seems to be growing well (I hope). I just added a second box on top to give them more space. Do i still need my entrance reducer on or should the whole bottom be openentrance.jpg? By reducer i dont mean the small hole, the large one. See image.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,624

    Default Re: Summer Ventilation

    I would leave it just the way it is. Are you feeding to get comb drawn? If not, you should. 3.5 frames in a month is just so so on comb production
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Garden City S, NY
    Posts
    91

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    I would leave it just the way it is. Are you feeding to get comb drawn? If not, you should. 3.5 frames in a month is just so so on comb production
    24 days to be exact but yes I have been feeding with one jar at a time. I now have three jars in there. Thanks for the replies all.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,234

    Default Re: Summer Ventilation

    Another way to raise the telescoping cover is to put a small wood screw in each corner. The wood screw head lifts the cover just enough to allow some ventilation but not enough to permit bees, wasps, moths, through. Screw spacers don't have to be re-positioned every time you remove the cover.
    Zone 6B

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Monroe County, PA, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Summer Ventilation

    JConnolly,

    Thank you for that tip. I just gave a quick look under the cover and all but one of the tongue depressors fell out. This weekend I will be putting in 4 screws!

    Thanks!!!

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lower Lake, California, USA
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Summer Ventilation

    It was 107 here in Lake county, CA today. We use two nickels on the back corners to allow flow-through ventilation on most hives.

    We have some hives (we call them our 'Super' hives), two deep brood boxes & three to five medium supers, that we place a 'Propolis screen' on top. We then prop the inner cover as much as 1/2 inch until bearding slows down, night time mostly.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Israel
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Summer Ventilation

    i think good ventilation is important not only for keeping normal temperature in the hive, but also for controlling humidity. During the nectar flow bees evaporate a lot of water and if it becomes too humid bees will need work harder to evaporate further and also may need more cells to temporarily store the raw nectar.
    so, even in areas with moderate temperatures, good ventilation still deserves attention, especially, in the regions with humid summer ( say, 60 % and higher ).
    just my opinion.

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