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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is a pic of my newly installed TBH. Bees have been in for less than 48 hours, already drawing comb (see right of pic). On the left of pic, you can see the condensation. By later in the day, there is no condensation at all. Since I am a newbie, I would like to be assured (or not) about whether this amount of early morning condensation is acceptable. In the middle picture, the false back is shown to the left of the window. I am at 4,500', dry, desert-like climate, night temps now in the low 40ies, days highs in the high 60ies or low 70ies. Soon to change for the warmer, though. Thank you for your advice and mentorship.

PS ... might you be able to tell me what kind of bees these are? It was a swarm caught a few days ago, and I am too new at bees to be able to recognize them ..

sylvia

bees 1.r.jpg

bees 2.r.jpg

bees 3.r.jpg
 

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Mine do as well. I seem to remember reading that a bit of condensation CAN be a good thing. It gives the girls a source of fresh water without them having to leave the hive (maybe the experienced beekeepers here can confirm this?).

That said, i'm worried about the wet winters of the Pacific Northwest. We shall see ...
 

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Estreya, For more beekeeping info in the Pacific NW there is a great forum you can check out. The link there is: http://wabeekeepersforum.proboards.com/. The forum does not have the traffic that you see here but it is local for your area and should be very helpful. Yes it is very wet here in the winters but it does not have to be too big of a problem. Most of the moisture problems can be solved with a top entrance in the winter.

And in keeping with this thread, I too get some moisture in the morning. All those bees do give off moisture like all living things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would consider placing a thin styrofoam plate on the outer side of the pane to keep it warmer.
In that way you can prevent the vapor condensation inside.
My mistake, sorry. I should have specified that the window has a wooden panel on top of it all the time, I only take off the panel to watch the inside of the hive and expose the glass, very briefly. In other words, that condensation appears to have collected overnight after they spent the night with wood paneling covering the window.

sylvia
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will check into that! Thank you for the helpful suggestions.

sylvia (please disregard pictures ... I messed up, they are for a different thread .... I am still learning to navigate the forum, sorry ...)
 

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Condensation happens as a results of a difference in temperature between the outside and the inside of the surface. Viewing windows are much more prone to condensation as they are no absorbant and thin.
like msscha says Ed Clark's book is quite a valuable read
http://www.biobees.com/library/gener...g_EdClarke.pdf.
Depending if you subscribe to the view (which I do) the hive functions as a condenser and heat reclaim unit. By the water condensing onto the sides of the hive heat is lost from the water and released back into the hive to help warm the brood. This works even better in a kenyan style top bar hive as the walls are sloped so:
a) There is greater surface area for condensing (compared to a straight sided of the same depth)
b) Condensing is slowed by the slope into a narrower space providing a greater time for condensing to occur.
c) the sloping sides means the heat lost from the heat rise into the comb rather than back up the sides of the hive. This puts the heat where it is needed and keeps are more consistent air current as it isn't raising into the cooling air.

With all this in mind ventilation is therefore inhibiting that effect.
The ecofloor idea put forward by Phil Chandler if perfect for this purpose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWB-pdlqeFQ

For my new hives and retro fitting to old hives the Ecofloor is definitely the way to go for me.
I like the ideas behind the flora and fauna balance in a hive BUT even if all that is rubbish (I withhold judgement on this :)) the advantages of this floor for increased temperature and moisture control within the hive are invaluable. It provides an outlet for excessive water when required, but will humidify the air when excessively dry. It provides insulation to the hive from extremes of external heat and cold. It would also works as a reservoir for heat, hive scent, and moisture releasing it back into the hive after you have let it out during a hive inspection. It is essentially a "buffer" resisting any change within the hive environment, thus once the bees have set that environment it will help it be maintained meaning the bees don't have to work so hard to regain it. Not sure how this will work for SHB etc but for me in the UK right now there isn't a better choice for any hive, not just kTBHs.
 

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i
With all this in mind ventilation is therefore inhibiting that effect.
The ecofloor idea put forward by Phil Chandler if perfect for this purpose.

.
I'm glad you shared that bit of info! I built an eco floor into my hive -- filled it with a mixture of leaves, pine bark mulch (not new) and mulchy-loamy stuff from the ground near the hive. I agree that it makes sense as a buffer for the interior -- but I also am finding that it attracts critters (ants, spiders). I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing, but it is of interest. Being the utter hive-building n00b that I am, I failed to use the correct sized hardware cloth on the bottom of the hive body, and the colony has just gotten big enough that the bees are actively exploring the eco floor debris, and somebodbee (very bad pun) managed to create yet another entrance through a gap between the eco floor and hive mesh floor! The spot is an attractive one b/c it's actually under the feeder station, and I'm thinking that sugar syrup drippings have been a big hit.

Sorry for the non sequitur, Sylvia! :eek:t::) -- I'd not seen mention of eco-floors here -- they do add another level of difficulty to hive building, and I'm just glad to see someone else incorporating them!
 

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Condensation on the window isn't a bad thing. The moisture is in the hive, and the window is the first cold thing in the hive for the moisture to condense on. The glass is probably the best place for the condensation.
 

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Sylvia, did you purchase your hive or build it? I'm looking for the hardware latch that keeps your window shutter closed and I can't find them on hardware sites. Does anyone know where I can buy the latch in the top left corner of the below picture?

View attachment 10851
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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I get condensation on my windows too. I consider it a good thing. I use real glass specifically to promote condensation.

- It's a water source 0 feet from the hive.
- I use front/bottom entrances so excessive condensation just runs out the front door.
- It provides a safe condensation point. In the winter time you won't have it condense on the ceiling and drip icy water killing bees.
- It might (quite speculative) even lower the overall humidity of the hive and help with drying out the nectar since the cool glass will condense and remove the water vapor from the air far faster than the wood.
 

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Frankly, my hives have no windows and no "fancy" floors, and I think that this combination is a whole lot more-similar to the barns and eaves and trees that honeybees are probably used to. If you are "seeing condensation," then it's probably a combination of the fact that you've created an unnatural situation in which condensation is more likely to occur, and the fact that you are actually seeing it. If you have put a (thin) glass panel in a (thicker) wooden wall, moisture is naturally going to build up on that glass panel. And, if you have "thoughtfully" put into the bottom of the space an opening that is open to the world, moisture of all kinds is naturally going to flow through that opening.

If it were me, then I would at this point recommend that you do nothing. Put a wooden shutter over those glass panels and keep that shutter closed while you strive to restrain your future curiosity. And, next season, consider closing-up that "eco-floor" (whatever it is) with simple wood.

After all, when a wild swarm of honeybees finds "a simple enclosed wooden box" ... eaves, a wall, a bait-hive ... they might move in. Therefore, it follows that "nothing more than this" is actually required to keep them.
 

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I too have read condensation on the window can be a good thing. For one the on site water source for the bees but also with the window acting like a condensation magnet it is good the moisture is on the window and not above the bees causing it to fall on the cluster.
 
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