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Discussion Starter #1
Popped the telescoping top off of one of the hives today (57 degrees out!) and sitting on top of the inner cover what did I see?
7 slugs, 12 sowbugs, and 3 earthworms. Weird.
There was a water condensing on the bottom side of the telescoping top and dripping down to pool up on the top of the inner cover. Both my inner cover AND telescoping top are propped up on each of their 4 corners with popsicle sticks.
What gives?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
MB,
You are correct.. I have not cut a notch in the inner cover (I think that is what you are talking about?) nor in the front of the hive box.
 

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It could be location too. I set up one yard too close to a creek with too much winter shade and too much wind protection. I did all the recomended things to improve ventilation, strong hives, screened bottom board, lids propped open enough to make top enterances, and everything got buggy and mouldy by spring. Moved the hives to a location with more sun, further from the stream, and open enough for some breeze. The next winter they stayed dry.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Sierra (no pun intended),
This particular hive is in direct sun (such as we get this time of year) with lids propped, has a SBB, and is off the ground.
I think it's just rainy Oregon?
 

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Aren't slugs the official state mollusk of OR? Seriously, I'm from WA state and I would find slugs anywhere that was dark, wet or not. On the plus side, earthworms mean that you have healthy soil. I've been trying to get earthworms into my sandy sterile soil here for three years! Theresa.
 

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I see a good amount of roaches around here. Big brown 1/2 inch types. There have been some discussions about the secondary transfer and possibilities of viral transfer and immune impacts of roaches and other insects.

I know one beekeeper who swears he can tell which hives will crash by the roach population. They seem to hang out on the inner cover. This has been brought to the attention of research types, but nothing has really been looked at, up to this time.

Can you imagine if something like a roach, or some other insect, was transferring deseases or impacting immune systems, and we just never realized it?
 

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Ants, flys, palmetto bettles, snakes, roaches, pill bugs. Maybe I should keep a list.
 

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First, is your top cover leaking?

"Water condensing on the bottom side of the telescoping top and dripping down to pool up on the top of the inner cover" sounds like a lot water entering the hive.

How are you using Popsicle sticks to "prop up all 4 corners"?

If your IC had a rim notch (or hole in top chamber), you could insulated BETWEEN covers w/ a pc of foam board to stop condensation from forming, but moisture inside must be able to escape.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
HI Dave,
I don't believe the top cover is leaking. Honestly I think it has much to do with our high humidity level this time of year (currently 87%).
broke popsicle sticks up into sections.. put a piece in each of 4 corners so that the IC is propped up off of the hive body by ~ 1/16th of an inch. Propped the top off the IC the same way.
Maybe I should change brands of popsicle?
In any case it is good to read that I am not the only one who has a small menagerie of oddities on top the hive.
 

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I place a plastic hanger (about 1 beespace of thickness) on the front top of the flat side of my reversible inner cover (entrance notch down/front). The bottom on the hanger is almost exactly the width of the hive's front. It works very well but I do get quite a few small spiders and the occasional squash bug or stink bug.
 

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longarm . . .

If your IC has an oblong hole in the center (to fit Porter bee escape), you could increase the distance between the covers w/ thicker (3/4"?) "sticks".

My IC has both an oblong hole and a rim notch of about 1-1/2". I have spacers (screw heads) in each corner of the TC that allows air to excape from both hole and notch.

We often have 100% humidity and I havent seen ANY moisture on IC or TC.
 

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Unless you have dirt on the inner cover, I don't see any reason that slugs would be up there, much less earthworms. Do you have some serious rot on your covers? I can't imagine earthworms doing a vertical surface almost 2 feet off the ground presumably on the outside of the hive unless there was soil the whole way.

I get rafts of earwigs up there. Nasty smelly evil creatures.

-rick

[ January 09, 2007, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: ScadsOBees ]
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Both IC and top are new this season and in great shape. The earthworm thing is definitely weird.. but they DO crawl around. Sometimes even on top of the picnic table.
Dave - I'll take your lead and get screws for the IC.
 

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I have also seen many of these insects on top of inner covers. (No earthworms) Have seen lizards.
I Was reading an article in 1978 ABJ "Beekeeping in South Africa" by Joan Olstrom. Article about Len Peagam of South Africa. At the time he used the Langstroth hive, with an abestos top, but his inner cover had a two inch rim for greater air space to help with heat control. (90-100) deg. I wonder if the greater airspace would help with humidity.
 

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Hi Longarm
'round these parts we're insulating with homosote board. (pressed paper particles). Comes in a sheet like sheetrock. Cut to dimensions of inner cover and router a groove in it that leads from the middle (where hole in inner cover is) to the front - groove about 3/8" wide and 1/4" deep. Then prop the telescoping cover up with a piece of wood or whatnot just enough that you can see the groove in the homosote board. This lets moist air vent through the groove to outside the hive. Homosote also absorbs moisture and keeps from "raining down" on bees.
Home Depot sells homosote around here (Lowes here does not) also a "real" lumberyard should have homosote.
You can easily install the homosote insulator in any weather because you are only lifting the telescoping cover. Should cut down significantly on the moisture and hopefully the unwanteds.
PM me if you'd like more detail.
I'm assuming all was well with the bees when you checked?
-E.
 
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