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Hi, I'm a newbie keeper and have a question. How much forward tilt should a hive have to allow drainage of condensation? I've got them tilted some but still have some moisture inside the top cover. We'll be terribly hot and humid here in Alabama in a few weeks and I just wanted to make sure I've got it right. Thanks!
 

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Welcome to Beesource!

I think the answer to condensation within the hive is to improve airflow. Some beeks do this with top vents (assuming maintaining a bottom entrance). My hives have permanent top entrances.
 

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Tilt your hives at least 1 inch lower in the front. It is for condensation mainly in the winter when the hive is all wrapped up. However in early spring when the hives still cluster and the entrance is still reduced till the hive has gotten brooded up good it can still make the diff between a good thriving hive and a dead one. There will always be some moisture in the hive as the bees pack in nectar and dry it though. This can be helped as Rader S has mentioned, a top entrance or a vented top cover in some method. Myself I use a top feeder and it allows the moisture up. it has a screened hole on the back side so that the bees cannot enter it and allows the moisture to be fanned from below up through the hive and out. Effective yet non disruptive to the hives.
 

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I raise the back edge 1/4-1/2" and never have any problem with a wet bottom board.

Ventilation is the only way i know of to prevent condensation at the top of a hive, and is one of the reasons I often use a top entrance.
 

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All my hives have Screened bottom boards which I make myself, they have a deeper than normal lip below them and a slot for the tray to slide in, the slot is cut at about a 12 degree forward angle so when the tray is in, it is about 3/8" lower in the front. when the tray is in this allows moisture that falls to pass through the screen and run out of the bottom board. when the tray is out the moisture would naturally fall to the ground. I normally use lower entrances, but usually have a top entrance also. Helps with ventilation, and allows foragers easy access to super.
It is insignificant but many years ago I have a hive topple over in early autumn because I had it leaned forward a bit too much and had 5 supers on it. So I came up with this configuration, and have used it since.
 

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just a few degrees of pitch is enough. If you're running solid bottoms top ventilation is essential to remove the condensation produced crom drying nectar. Even with a screened bottom a heavy flow will produce large amounts of moisture inside the hive.
 

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moisture inside the top cover
From the other responses you probably have picked up on the notion that you probably have a ventilation issue more than a tilt issue. Particularly over a top feeder, the inside cover can get pretty wet and moldy unless you have a to vent. If you don't have a top entrance, a common remedy is to prop the top cover up just a bit. Lay a couple of popsicle sticks on the front edge of the inner cover before placing the outer cover and this will create a narrow gap for air to flow. You can also use bottle caps. I prefer the slightly thinner caps that come off the wirehoods (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muselet) from some of the craft beers ... mostly because the beer I have to go through to get the cap is usually much better. ;-)
 

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i prop my lid up with some rocks when it is really wet out, it rains a lot where i am from so moisture is far worse for me than most, we have 100% humidity 90% of the winter.
all hives have top entrances and bottom is left open no reducer unless it is unusually cold for a while.
 

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I have found since going to screened bottom boards that tilting for moisture issues to be much less of a problem. I leave ventilation at the top and that seems to take care of it.
 
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