Moisture Box for Overwintering
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SW CT
    Posts
    84

    Default Moisture Box for Overwintering

    Normally, I run fondant with an inner cover and a piece of sound deadening material above it as my moisture board (normally is moldy come spring). It seems to have worked decently well the last few winters. However, I noticed Dadant has a moisture control box with ventilation and a sliding front drawer to add your winter feed. Looks like it would be less invasive and better than waiting for a 45 degree day to check what fondant is left, which always makes me nervous during long cold stretches. Has anyone tried this?

    https://www.dadant.com/catalog/hive-...ure-box-m60060
    Last edited by sr73087; 10-16-2019 at 10:17 AM. Reason: added link

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bonn, Germany
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Moisture Box for Overwintering

    Beekeepers in many parts of the world put an empty super underneath to give the bees better climate during overwintering.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,136

    Default Re: Moisture Box for Overwintering

    Wow, that's kind of expensive.

    I converted three of my quilt boxes to Vivaldi boards in 2018. I liked them so much that this summer I converted the rest of my quilt boxes to Vivaldi boards. I removed the screen and cut 1/2" plywood to fit inside the box. I drilled a 1-1/2" hole in the center of the plywood. I drilled pocket screw holes in the plywood. Set the box on a flat surface with 3/8" spacers to hold the plywood up 3/8" from the box bottom while I drove in pocket screws. I created an 8x8x1" high frame with #8 wire cloth on it. The frame goes over the hole in the plywood. I can lift just the frame and put a sugar brick under it or I can just pour dry sugar right through the screen onto the board around the hole. I did both methods in March/April of this year and the bees came up and and got it. 2" XPS covers the rest of the plywood, and a burlap cloth folded to 8 layers covers the screened frame.
    Zone 6B

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,868

    Default Re: Moisture Box for Overwintering

    JC;

    That looks like a good system. If a person wanted more space for top feed the 8x8" section could be built larger. The 8 layers of folded burlap should be enough resistance to keep the warm air from rushing out too quickly; also easily fine tunable.

    Were your original quilt boxes standard shallow or medium hive bodies? Seems like that would be a way of using standard equipment without having to create seasonal one use items.
    Frank

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    St. Charles, MO, USA
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: Moisture Box for Overwintering

    I have used them for several years now and I like them. I put a piece of old warn out knit blanket in it (to keep the cedar shaving from falling through) and then pour cedar shavings on top of that. The first winter I used one was because I had a big booming hive with absolutely no honey stored (it was a really messed up year) and wanted to see if I could get it through winter feeding liquid. So, I put a reservoir top feeder on filled with heavy syrup and put the moisture box on over that. It worked great and the bees came out of winter better than they went into it.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,176

    Default Re: Moisture Box for Overwintering

    I add a shim to the top hive box with a hole that serves as an upper entrance for winter and for ventilation. Above that, I set my quilt box which as a rim near the bottom onto which I place a framed screen of hardware cloth. The framed screen is held tight to the rim with a few finish nails. I have 2 eye screws in the frame to be able to grab the frame and remove it for adding sugar bricks or pollen sub. On the screen I have a small pillow case stuffed with cedar shavings. In the outer cover, I have foamboard. The quilt box has 3 holes on each side that are screened to allow for ventilation and prevent the bees from getting in there. So far this has ventilated well and allows me to check the hive and status of any sugar bricks I add. I can take a quick peek in the dead of winter without them losing much heat. J

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