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ok G3 I will try to explain.
you had this in post #27
The old sayings that I always here are "that is how I was show" or "have been doing it this way for the last 50 years"
Instead of saying those things, give some good reasoning behind why you do things the way you do them. I know that trying to imitate the big boys and get the same results will most of the time work out, but it is nice to know why it works.


you assumption is everyone CAN give the good reason.

I have mentored 6 or 7 people.
I explain "why" something works and their eyes glaze over.
I back up and simplify, and they still look like it is too complicated.
So at some point I show them how to do it, Most /many can "copy" the task or idea.
I have a couple folks who have been doing bees now for 6 or so years, they do the deed but do not know why.

so there is at least a chance some tactic passes from someone who knew why it worked and how it worked thru someone who lets say had less understanding of the bees.
now they run into someone brand new and all they have is this is how I was shown.

the, do, copy, comes way before the understand why, and for some they either do not need the why , like maybe they trust you, or the why is not something they are interested in. And a few,, sad to say lack the mental horsepower or drive to get to the why.
If some one tells me this is what I was shown /told, then I can engage in the why my self, or not.
Discounting it as the shown is not a "double peer reviewed paper" from a "smart person" IMO is a person who themselves cannot reverse engineer the why, and would not trust themselves to find the answer. IE they have been told to get everything from someone else, and feel they are not capable. Sad state of group think we have slid into.

IMO more has been lost /forgotten in beekeeping than has been recorded.
no barbs intended, just offering the why on some who cannot give the why.
Since 77 when I started the bee keeping I have figured out most of the whys my dad and grand dad have "shown" me.
I get it ,,I think, they did the show,, and the why will come ,if the pupil has the drive, to dawdle on the why, before the pupil is ready, is to miss many more showns.

GG
 

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I agree with the philosophy on different learning styles and capabilities. Different strokes for different folks. I have done a fair bit of instructing on a variety of topics. To get the most transfer of knowledge without leaving many behind it helps to recognize the human differences. Often it is contrary to the instructors own learning style. I can identify with this! With part of the population it will be mostly wasted effort to attempt to embed an understanding of why. Not right or wrong, just the way it is.

Personally I have a hard time remembering items or data that does not have a clear chain of connectedness. I need this chain stretching toward a stated destination or target then I have something to attach the tools or formulaes to; I have something to retain them with and bring them along.

I have a very strong disinclination to accept anything on faith and reluctant to accept that which is obviously being held on the basis of faith without understanding. Too many times the convictions of today become the fallacy of tomorrow.
 

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We have used a reflective insulating innercover for years on our nucs but you will still get condensation above the brood. We tilt the hives forward so that the moisture will roll to the front of the hive. But condensation isn't a bad thing, if not too much, the bees need the water to dilute the honey to consume it.
 

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I agree with the philosophy on different learning styles and capabilities. Different strokes for different folks. I have done a fair bit of instructing on a variety of topics. To get the most transfer of knowledge without leaving many behind it helps to recognize the human differences. Often it is contrary to the instructors own learning style. I can identify with this! With part of the population it will be mostly wasted effort to attempt to embed an understanding of why. Not right or wrong, just the way it is.

Personally I have a hard time remembering items or data that does not have a clear chain of connectedness. I need this chain stretching toward a stated destination or target then I have something to attach the tools or formulaes to; I have something to retain them with and bring them along.

I have a very strong disinclination to accept anything on faith and reluctant to accept that which is obviously being held on the basis of faith without understanding. Too many times the convictions of today become the fallacy of tomorrow.
Humans in general prefer ideas/methods/politics etc.... to be neatly tied up (often with a symbolic bow ;)) and compartmentalized. I believe it's so we can more easily move on to other subjects or actions of interest.

Unfortunately, that desire to compartmentalism often results in closing ourselves off to info useful to our ultimate goals.

I believe it was Plato who advised; "Certainty of thought narrows the mind" - Thus we should assume that 'doubt' will keep it open.
 

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I have a very strong disinclination to accept anything on faith and reluctant to accept that which is obviously being held on the basis of faith without understanding. Too many times the convictions of today become the fallacy of tomorrow.
On that topic, Roger Patterson has a new bee book "Challenge What You are Told". Although I did not read it I like the title. I am not dissing the valuable knowledge from seasoned beekeepers that is already out there, but in this day and age, with the ability to access beekeeping methods around the world, it is apparent that some of what is 'told' is because it works, but it is not necessarily the only method that works.
 

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Thomas Edison said it well:
"Thinking is by far the hardest work I know. Most people will dig with a shovel for eight hours to avoid 10 minutes of concentrated thought."

To which Daniel Kahneman adds the observation - there are two types of thinking. Type 1, which is fast, effortless, intuitive, and often wrong, and type two, which is slow, difficult, relies on evidence, and is more likely to be right, at least in some sense.

My observation is that all people mostly employ type 1 thinking, some people almost exclusively. Some people employ type 2 thinking more than others. Very few people enjoy type two thinking or can maintain it for more than a few minutes at a time, because it is exhausting to do so.

Most of the hollow trees in this part of the country result from lightning strikes. Lightning runs down one side of the tree, killing the bark and allowing decay to set in along the length of the tree. Over time, the tree grows around the scar on its side, mostly closing off the decaying portion, but leaving a gap or several for bees, squirrels, etc. to get in. So the trees with hollows have them along a large portion of their height, and in some cases, the hollows are connected, as the decay is extensive along the height of the tree. So i doubt very much that the hollows in trees are generally lacking a top entrance or ventilation. I suspect it varies a good deal from tree to tree. Bees (I speculate) are well able to adapt to whatever sort of hollow they find themselves in. It is hard to evaluate in a standing tree, and once the tree is cut down it is difficult to say how it was when it was standing.
 

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We have used a reflective insulating innercover for years on our nucs but you will still get condensation above the brood. We tilt the hives forward so that the moisture will roll to the front of the hive. But condensation isn't a bad thing, if not too much, the bees need the water to dilute the honey to consume it.
are these just the 5 frame or 5x5 NUCs?
So then you do not use the notched inner cover to allow condensation to escape?

GG
 

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We have about 20 five frame nucs this winter in northern Michigan. Also 4 10 frame mini mating nucs, we had the queens left so we combined our 5 frame minis together. Plus the production hives.
 

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@ A Novice; Thanks for the unexpected and pleasant quoting from Daniel Kahneman.....here on a beekeeping forum.....who knew?

His landmark book "Thinking, Fast and Slow" offers some very enlightening insights into the human mind. Anyone interested in how we think should pick it up imho.
 

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Issue with no upper vents is chalkbrood.

I had a nasty outbreak in one of my locations last year. It started in 1 colony, and then spread to 4 of them...

The only way I finally got rid of the chalkbrood was intense re-queening with resistant queens, combined with upper vents.

I learned that I had to either give them a full open bottom, or a bottom AND top vent. The problem with a full open bottom is robbing.
 

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What about in the winter? Winter's different since there's no brood.

Obviously the amount of energy saved by condensing is substantial, and it gives them available water.
 

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I will throw another consideration into the discussion of upper vs. lower vents. In a study done in Beaverloge Alberta they found that there were lower counts of nosema in those colonies with an upper vent. Fig.7

https://nybeewellness.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/wintering-alberta-pdf.pdf


This is the paper I finally used to do my winter set up and I put the hole just above the handle. Is it possible to kill two birds with one stone and put the upper vent hole a little lower. This would maintain a deeper upper area, where some condensation can happen and address the water needs of bees, decrease incidents of nosema and still have enough humidity vented.
 

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I will throw another consideration into the discussion of upper vs. lower vents. In a study done in Beaverloge Alberta they found that there were lower counts of nosema in those colonies with an upper vent. Fig.7

https://nybeewellness.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/wintering-alberta-pdf.pdf


This is the paper I finally used to do my winter set up and I put the hole just above the handle. Is it possible to kill two birds with one stone and put the upper vent hole a little lower. This would maintain a deeper upper area, where some condensation can happen and address the water needs of bees, decrease incidents of nosema and still have enough humidity vented.
Hi ursa
in the book
plans tab
look 25 pictures down at the
DOUBLE-DEEP HORIZONTAL HIVE
I made a couple with 2x4 insulated walls, 3 inch of foam board on top My entrances are mid way on the bottom frame, these seem to winter with out water issues too much or too little. I somewhat followed the plan so from the old world there may be empirical reasons on placement.
my entrance is 1/2 buy 14 but I shut it down to 5 inches seems to be plenty. have an entrance at each end for 2 colony's but have not done that yet. maybe next year.

be worth a try IMO, the placement of the hole would alter the effect, I get how "not on top" would help with moisture and heat loss and right on the bottom may allow too much condensation. seems the heat loss leads to over filled guts, which can lead to Nosema
Wood Grass Outdoor bench Grass family Outdoor furniture
 

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I will throw another consideration into the discussion of upper vs. lower vents. In a study done in Beaverloge Alberta they found that there were lower counts of nosema in those colonies with an upper vent. Fig.7

https://nybeewellness.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/wintering-alberta-pdf.pdf


This is the paper I finally used to do my winter set up and I put the hole just above the handle. Is it possible to kill two birds with one stone and put the upper vent hole a little lower. This would maintain a deeper upper area, where some condensation can happen and address the water needs of bees, decrease incidents of nosema and still have enough humidity vented.
Interesting question about the nosema connection. I had a look over the study linked to. I would want more details about it before I drew conclusions. There was no reference to the level of insulation on the hives in question or the size of the study. For certain colonies with very little in the way of insulation benefit from upper entrances to prevent too much condensation occurring on upper surfaces resulting in wet and disrupted bees.

Double or triple deep colonies have a long way to go down to a bottom entrance to go skat. Any level of nosema would likely be impacted by the difficulty of going for cleansing flights. Running single deeps might not be as affected by the distance to the exit.

Mid level ventilation might well be a sweet spot. On single deeps maybe serve well as both an entrance and ventilation; and on multiple boxes a bottom and a middle could be a good way to hedge your bets.
 

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Mid level vent is good, but I have a hard time drilling a hole in my boxes to be perfectly honest.

Then of course those boxes will never wind up in the middle in the fall, so I keep drilling holes in boxes until most of them have holes.

See what I mean?
 

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There was no reference to the level of insulation on the hives in question or the size of the study.
I agree, I did find the nosema issue interesting simply because even if no insulation was provided all that they seemed to changed in each hive was the entrance position.
 

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Mid level vent is good, but I have a hard time drilling a hole in my boxes to be perfectly honest.

Then of course those boxes will never wind up in the middle in the fall, so I keep drilling holes in boxes until most of them have holes.

See what I mean?

I get that :) but for me I drill away and just plug the 1" hole with a plastic entrance plug. If the middle hole is better for ventilation I don't much care what it looks like.

In my one Langstroth set up I made holes rather than a bottom board entrance, I like the round ones for no particular reason at all, I just do.
 

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On that topic, Roger Patterson has a new bee book "Challenge What You are Told". Although I did not read it I like the title. I am not dissing the valuable knowledge from seasoned beekeepers that is already out there, but in this day and age, with the ability to access beekeeping methods around the world, it is apparent that some of what is 'told' is because it works, but it is not necessarily the only method that works.
I bought a copy of this new book of his. He certainly doe not give high marks to the quality of info from popular media and pounces pretty hard on repeated advice that was not well based in the first place. He emphasises teaching to learn why; to read signs and try to undestand what the bees are doing. Quite a bit of it is slanted towards the native bee of the British Isles and you can tell he is not fond of what we would call the modern Italian or pollinator bees. He favors a less prolific bee condsidering them a better match for the weather and forage there. He questions much of the fooferah over the Buckfast bee and does not consider them a very stable line. It is interesting and some nuggets in it but I dont think a must have for a new beekeeper starting on this continent.
 

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@crofter Have you been able to get inside your hives yet? I was in the day before yesterday, a balmy -0C , no condensation on the upper plexiglass despite 4 weeks of -30C and lower. Granted, I have an upper entrance but it is lower than most, leaving a pocket of about 6" above the bees. With leaks in the glass covering my blankets were stuck to the outer walls of the quilt box with frost, but that was where the condensation was supposed to happen.
 
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