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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This past fall for part of my over wintering plans I made some bee cozy’s for my hives..I also have used quilt boxes in the past and have had success with them..one hive in particular is having moisture problems.. it’s a single deep with the bee cozy wrapping the hive and quilt box...the wood shavings are soggy/frozen almost all the way down.. it has snowed quite a bit where they are .. I also use a top bar cloth too.. and that was a little moist as well..bees were really active though..four 3/4 holes were drilled out for the quilt box..towards the top of the quilt box. Any suggestions or ideas are greatly appreciated.its been either freezing or hovering close to that since thanksgiving and I anticipate it to be that way till February.
 

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6a 4th yr 7 colonies inc. resource hive
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This past fall for part of my over wintering plans I made some bee cozy’s for my hives..I also have used quilt boxes in the past and have had success with them..one hive in particular is having moisture problems.. it’s a single deep with the bee cozy wrapping the hive and quilt box...the wood shavings are soggy/frozen almost all the way down.. it has snowed quite a bit where they are .. I also use a top bar cloth too.. and that was a little moist as well..bees were really active though..four 3/4 holes were drilled out for the quilt box..towards the top of the quilt box. Any suggestions or ideas are greatly appreciated.its been either freezing or hovering close to that since thanksgiving and I anticipate it to be that way till February.
2nd year 6a. I’m using Bee Cozy’s and a quilt box as well. From the pictures you are also using twine to bind. That may be part of the problem if you’re not allowing moisture to escape through the vents. I also use a coroplast awning and 2 inches of foam under and over the tele cover. There have been times when I pull the cozy away from the box. There are some great Hvac people that can help you here. That’s my first take.
 

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Looks like quilt box side vent holes air movement is impeded/??blocked by outer cover lip and Cozy.

Quilt boxes work better when there is room for air to flow across the top of the shavings. Add a 3/4 inch by 3/4 by 20 inch long shim on two edges, of top side of quilt box that will raise up outer cover. Screen the open end to keep rodents out. Quilt boxes should be min of 4 inches thick so they will provide a good insulating layer of shavings.

The tight string around the Bee Cozy will make the plastic tight to the hive wall. It is better to have a small, air gap next the hive to allow any moisture to evaporate upwards or drain downwards and out.
 

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This past fall for part of my over wintering plans I made some bee cozy’s for my hives..I also have used quilt boxes in the past and have had success with them..one hive in particular is having moisture problems.. it’s a single deep with the bee cozy wrapping the hive and quilt box...the wood shavings are soggy/frozen almost all the way down.. it has snowed quite a bit where they are .. I also use a top bar cloth too.. and that was a little moist as well..bees were really active though..four 3/4 holes were drilled out for the quilt box..towards the top of the quilt box. Any suggestions or ideas are greatly appreciated.its been either freezing or hovering close to that since thanksgiving and I anticipate it to be that way till February.
MGolden beat me to it!

I think you need more air exposure to the top of your shavings. Look at the area of the four screened openings provided. 4 gallons or more moisture have to be evaporated from the top of the shavings over the course of the winter. Those are not my figures. I find that only the top inch or so of the shavings appear wet; actually frosty in really cold weather but warm and dry down towards the bees side of the shavings layer.

The screened openings in the picture below are hidden in shadow of the telescopic cover in the pic. but are open for the wind to blow thru.
 

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Frank, I tried one winter with no insulation on front side, just a black wrap on front side. Seemed to me that there was plenty false flights. When sun gets higher and warmed hive more in March, bees got active and flew when it was too cold to make it back.

This winter I am trying no top entrance and quilt boxes. Have two 1/2 by 3/8 openings in bottom entrance and a 5/8 inch hole just below hand hold in bottom brood. Bees have been pushing the dead out the bottom entrance and just a few bees that have nose dived into the surrounding snow. I also have 8 ibs of sugar on bottom side of inner cover. Inner cover has a 3 1/2 screened round hole and upper 3/8 rim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To fix my current situation I should let the quilt box breathe and change out the wood shavings.. and also let the bee cozy breathe.
 

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Front of my hives are covered with a layer of aluminized bubble wrap. I have read many of the reports of the benefit of solar gain on bare or tarpaper covered hives but I have reservations about the concept. I have literally lived a few years in tarpaper shacks! So far this winter I am seeing almost zero fly outs to dive in the snow. There sometimes may be a nosema connection to that perhaps.

My entrances setup sounds very similar to yours. I have a one inch hole below the upper hive body hand hole but I have covered most of it with duct tape and the bees have propolized some inside between frame endbars and around the hole. The top 3/8 by 1" hole in the feed lift ring they have closed to barely one bee width! If they close that entirely I will take a lesson from it.


I have a temperature probe on order that I will be able to insert into the shavings box just above its screened bottom. That should tell me if a colony is going down. Having a common sheet metal cover makes it hard to get in to eyeball things.
 

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To fix my current situation I should let the quilt box breathe and change out the wood shavings.. and also let the bee cozy breathe.
Yes, I think so. A fair bit of moisture is able to transfer through the wood of the hive body so loosening the cozy up a bit at the top, would let that escape. I think the main concern is to get more air flow across the top of your shavings.

I have seen some setups where the hive was virtually down on the ground. A lot of moisture gets pulled into the hive that way.
 

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I would bet that will solve it but if that doesn't do the trick, adjust the entrance smaller or bigger and re check. I had one hive configured just like my other hives (except it was at the west end of a row which might have had something to do with it) and it always had a moisture problem. I wound up opening the entrance wider and that did the trick. Go figure. J
 

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I have used burlap sack cloth on top of a screen to keep shaving bits from dropping down into the frames. Using something like woven poly grain bag might be too much of an impediment to air flow up through the shavings. This is only my opinion that fits my concept of a slow moisture flow upwards. Other systems appear to work by moisture exchange out the bottom of the hive so in that case the relative permeability of a top cloth would not be a concern to supporters of that concept.
 

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This past fall for part of my over wintering plans I made some bee cozy’s for my hives..I also have used quilt boxes in the past and have had success with them..one hive in particular is having moisture problems.. it’s a single deep with the bee cozy wrapping the hive and quilt box...the wood shavings are soggy/frozen almost all the way down.. it has snowed quite a bit where they are .. I also use a top bar cloth too.. and that was a little moist as well..bees were really active though..four 3/4 holes were drilled out for the quilt box..towards the top of the quilt box. Any suggestions or ideas are greatly appreciated.its been either freezing or hovering close to that since thanksgiving and I anticipate it to be that way till February.
Change the wood shavings out, with dry stuff. Lay the wet out in a box to dry as you may need it again. Sounds like some melting snow may be getting in, dripping , blowing etc.
the smaller hive really should not have more moisture that the larger ones.
GG
 

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I have used burlap sack cloth on top of a screen to keep shaving bits from dropping down into the frames. Using something like woven poly grain bag might be too much of an impediment to air flow up through the shavings. This is only my opinion that fits my concept of a slow moisture flow upwards. Other systems appear to work by moisture exchange out the bottom of the hive so in that case the relative permeability of a top cloth would not be a concern to supporters of that concept.
Frank, I use a grain sack doubled, so it is the white poly, 2 layers thick, the moisture gets thru fine. then a folded blanket over that in a empty Medium super.
Blanket can get quite wet.
GG
 
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