Moisture Control
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  1. #1
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    Default Moisture Control

    I have hives made according to these plans:.

    http://horizontalhive.com/how-to-bui...th-plans.shtml

    Last winter was the first with horizontal hives. I had moisture control issues/some mold growth that I never experienced with vertical Langs in the several years prior. I have holes bored with screen covering to allow for moisture release in several of the top boards. However, the bees do an excellent job of propolizing the screens shut. I have been trying to think of alternate methods...any ideas?

    On of my ideas was to remove the top boards, cover the frames with old 100% wool blankets, then foam board above the blankets. Yes? No?

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  3. #2
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Moisture Control

    Quote Originally Posted by Kassafrass View Post
    I have hives made according to these plans:.

    http://horizontalhive.com/how-to-bui...th-plans.shtml

    Last winter was the first with horizontal hives. I had moisture control issues/some mold growth that I never experienced with vertical Langs in the several years prior. I have holes bored with screen covering to allow for moisture release in several of the top boards. However, the bees do an excellent job of propolizing the screens shut. I have been trying to think of alternate methods...any ideas?

    On of my ideas was to remove the top boards, cover the frames with old 100% wool blankets, then foam board above the blankets. Yes? No?
    Don't follow the horizontalhive.com instructions to the letter.
    Especially if your climate is colder than in Ozarks, MO.

    Just do this - hive-inside-hive using follower boards.
    It works as far as moisture removal goes.
    The most important part - the ventilation pockets (at least one).
    It works TOO well as for me (need to make the follower boards more snug than I have).
    NucWintering.jpg
    20171029_162018.jpg
    20171029_162036.jpg
    20171029_162125.jpg
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #3
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    Greencastle, IN
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    Default

    This looks like a really good design. Thank you! on my follower boards, I have the bee space at the bottom. It seems like for this design, it would be better to have bee space at the tops because the moisture wood be released easier. Do you find that that matters?

    My climate is definitely colder than the Ozarks. I don't think I can implement this 100% this year, but I will definitely get as close to it as possible. I was very dismayed to see the amount of moisture problem that I had after getting in there in the spring. Thank you again, you always help out a ton!

  5. #4
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    Aug 2014
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    England, UK
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    Default Re: Moisture Control

    Yes - bees will certainly propolise upper vents - so - with this in mind it might be worth considering venting from below. This is how I've been achieving bottom ventilation with Long Hives for some time, and it works well at my location:



    The Open Mesh doesn't need to be one continuous strip of course - it could consist of several 2-3" holes suitable covered in mesh. Add some kind of closure and you could then regulate the amount of ventilation. The advantage of placing the mesh at the side rather than centrally is that if the hive is tilted (say) 5 or 10 degrees in Winter, then condensed moisture can exit via the mesh, rather than pooling on the floor.

    Could be a reasonable 'fix' for an existing hive. But - for any future hive builds, especially in those locations where hostile weather can be expected - then Greg's idea as shown above would take some beating ...
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Moisture Control

    Quote Originally Posted by Kassafrass View Post
    This looks like a really good design. Thank you! on my follower boards, I have the bee space at the bottom. It seems like for this design, it would be better to have bee space at the tops because the moisture wood be released easier. Do you find that that matters?

    My climate is definitely colder than the Ozarks. I don't think I can implement this 100% this year, but I will definitely get as close to it as possible. I was very dismayed to see the amount of moisture problem that I had after getting in there in the spring. Thank you again, you always help out a ton!
    Unsure what you mean by:
    It seems like for this design, it would be better to have bee space at the tops because the moisture wood be released easier.
    Hence I may not have an appropriate answer.

    For sure, I by design have a spacious "attic" - large enough to accommodate a single honey super above the main horizontal frame row.
    I find this extra space a great asset in many ways - again, unlike the Sharaskin's design; I do not recommend his design for few reasons - insulation/ventilation space, feeding space, extra honey super volume (at a trivial extra cost in material). This year the best horizontal colony I had actually filled the super with a good crop. I am pleased with those bees and the design (it finally worked with the proper bees; previously the bees ignored the super).

    This is my second and a minor gripe at the horizontalhive.design - a very shallow lid, but easy to fix retro (the main and the first gripe being the frame size itself - hard or impossible to fix retro).
    The demo of what I said (if I understood the question):
    20190819_194813.jpg

    Even then, the original Layens book (sold by Sharashkin himself clearly demonstrates the ventilation attempt - the ventilation pocket):
    layens-horizontal-hive-356.jpg
    Last edited by GregV; 10-07-2019 at 10:53 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #6
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    Dec 2017
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    Default Re: Moisture Control

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Yes - bees will certainly propolise upper vents....LJ
    LJ, indeed they will.

    UNLESS, you implement a couple of things:
    - do use a burlap (or other compatible material) over the frames - then they will propolise the burlap layer and more likely to leave those vents alone since the vents will be considered as-if the "outside" and will be left alone (the burlap will be the nest demarcation surface then and IT will be propolised to control the microclimate); the planks are still fine for micro-climate improvement and handy to have for bee control - but not required;
    - place the vents at the very ends of the hive, NOT just above the nest - the farther from the proper nest the vents are, the less incentive to propolize them; especially if the follower boards are used - the vents best are placed beyond those boards.
    Not a guaranty (the usual clause), but the issue minimization.

    In general I observe that in Eastern Euro, the beeks are drifting away from the inner covers implemented as the boards (with or without the vents).
    The favor now days is for all sorts of soft inner covers - burlap, plastics, see-through carbon materials (including hard carbon tiles), silicon, etc, etc - the choices are many (unlike the old times when the planks were just about only an option and the burlap was more valued for other uses).

    Blindly copying the old techology is not exactly good (be it "natural" to the extreme) - the best way is integration of the best ideas and materials available in time and space.
    Reasonable evaluation is needed per the current context.

    RE: the bottom ventilation - in my location I would not use screen bottoms.
    the winters being unpredictable and brutal (as in 2018/2019) and in general dry season here - the bottom ventilation only becomes another energy drain that bees need to compensate and use stores and body resources;
    the bees already are sticking to the upper parts of the frames/hives where it is the warmest - this is with minimally ventilated floors;
    the 2-3 inch air buffer under the Layens/Ukrainian already tall frames (~400mm+) is plenty sufficient in my experience;
    I am yet to observe "condensation on the floor" in any of my long hives - I don't know what people are talking about..

    I did observe one case last winter in a square hive - the bees died in the end due to excessive moisture, indeed.
    Even dry sugar was turned into mush when I found the dead-out - an unseen case prior to me;
    The 300mmx300mm square hive design has very little spaces for any ventilation pockets - a consideration there for vertical arrangements needed.
    Last edited by GregV; 10-07-2019 at 10:51 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  8. #7
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    Mar 2017
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    Greencastle, IN
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    Default

    Thank you both very much...I'll do some thinking, and we'll see what happens this winter....

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Moisture Control

    Quote Originally Posted by Kassafrass View Post
    Thank you both very much...I'll do some thinking, and we'll see what happens this winter....
    I also recommend a good English-audio vid with Sam Comfort (of all people!!!) to look at the real Ukrainian hives.
    Just posted on the YouTube.
    Observe how the classic Ukrainian hives have both lower and upper entrances - THAT is also a way to ventilate and to mitigate IF the solid planks are used above.
    Jump to 17:00 and observe the real deal (and see all unforced disasters self-created by the bee owner - gosh..... hahaha).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umImMqE5IA8&t=3280s

    So, for those Northern folks - the classic, north-oriented Ukrainian hive is real deal, NOT the classic south-oriented Layens hive (Spain/France).
    That's what I do - the Ukrainian hives with mixed entrance configuration and pass-through top bars.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Moisture Control

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    I also recommend a good English-audio vid with Sam Comfort (of all people!!!) to look at the real Ukrainian hives.
    Just posted on the YouTube.
    Observe how the classic Ukrainian hives have both lower and upper entrances - THAT is also a way to ventilate and to mitigate IF the solid planks are used above.
    Jump to 17:00 and observe the real deal (and see all unforced disasters self-created by the bee owner - gosh..... hahaha).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umImMqE5IA8&t=3280s

    So, for those Northern folks - the classic, north-oriented Ukrainian hive is real deal, NOT the classic south-oriented Layens hive (Spain/France).
    That's what I do - the Ukrainian hives with mixed entrance configuration and pass-through top bars.
    This video shows EXACTLY why you want to be compatible to the Langs and avoid self-made messes.
    No one told this lady to simple turn the frames 90 degrees and just stand them into her hives properly aligned (there is no federal law requiring the frames be hanging).
    Trivial stuff to do, ........ end yet all the mess self-made with how the nuc was installed.
    Anyways, makes for a fun video - subject being what NOT to do.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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