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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello everybody. im new here and also a newbee in beekeeping. We have our hives indoor for winter and i noticed that some hives have moisture dripping from the roof of the top, directly onto the cluster. they are so wet that mould has started to form on the top of the frames. some hives are totally dry. the humidity is between 50-60%. the temperature is usually around 4-5 C. never higher than 8C. we have a ceiling fan going, not at idle, a little faster. out of 40 hives, 7 are dead already, and im scared that we will loose more.
any advice on what can be done, or why its like that. thank you
 

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Google "hive quilt box". You have to stop the condensation ASAP! Sheets of newspaper between the top box and roof that extend past the sides would be a quick fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the quick replies. I'll tilt them a bit. And I'll check out the hive quilt box thing. I'll put newspaper in there ASAP.
Anything I can do about the mildew?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That is really easy to make, those quilt tops. Thank you very much.
Can I put the newspaper directly on the bees? They are right up top and some are clinging to the top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes we are in Manitoba, and Ian is actually the guy who really helped us out a lot already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Big joe, I was actually planning on feeding them sugar this week yet. Some hives feel really light, and we got quite a ways to go yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Rader sidetrack, we have out thermostat set at 5C when it gets 1 degree above 5 the exhaust fan kicks in and pushes out the warm air and in the process sucks in fresh air through an inlet, but I'm starting to think, that might not be enough.
 

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If your indoor humidity is 50-60% you need a larger volume of air exchange to lower that humidity. In my opinion, the driving factor should be humidity, not temperature. Bees can survive being cold, but cold and wet is a problem.

I have never wintered bees indoors, though. :)
 

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When in fall did you feed your bees?

Sometimes feeding to late in fall doesn't give the bees enough time to dry the syrup and condensation is the result.

If you fed late, high air exchange is probably the easiest solution, especially as we move into the spring season when air is moister.
 

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It got up to 1 degreeC here today, my fans ramped up the air flows, kept the shed temp at 6 degrees. My RH is 45%, exactly where I want it.

Willy I think more air exchange is the key to your solving your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Weird thing is, the colder we make it, the more humid it gets. I could probably let the shed get as cold as it wants. I'm guessing they will go through feed a lot faster tho.
We fed them in September, I would have to go through my diary to get the exact dates.
Yes, more airflow is what I think too. I will see what I can do.
Also, some of our hives have no ventilation through the top. Is it ok if I removed the plugs for the feeding holes to get more airflow through the hive itself?
 

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September feeding should not give you problems. I used to have condensation problems when I feed in late September and early October.

Keeping the shed a little warmer (about 6 or 7 C) will reduce condensation as well.

As Ian said, up the airflow, even it means you need to heat some to keep the temperatures up.
 

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Glad to meet you Willy...
There's only 2 ways to reduce the relative humidity, and thats to either, raise the air temp with
the same amount of water load in the air, or reduce the water content of the air (not as easy
as heating the air) plus if the hive walls fall below freezing the condensation is either frost or
ice..not good...as far as how to increase air flow through the hives I'm not sure, but in time
they will equalize....Good luck...

==McBee7==
 

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A couple of things, Willy. First, temperature, the amount of moisture in the air and the amount of condensation are intimately related. That's why it's called RELATIVE humidity - it is temperature dependent. Hence, if you lower the temperature with the same amount of moisture in the air, the relative humidity goes up, the dew point goes down and you will get more condensation. The scheme would be to pump out enough air that you also exhaust the excessive moisture.

Second thing - how does the moisture get out of your hives if there is no top ventilation? Are you trying to pump moisture laden air out of the bee house that cannot get out of the hives? I would get the hives ventilating and see what that does to the humidity inside the hives. I find it strange that you would have humidity problems in Manitoba in Winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow what a difference a few degrees can make. I uped the temperature to 8-9C last night. And today at 5 pm, the humidity had dropped from 70% down to 50%. I also opened the top caps and hope to see some improvement in the hives, regarding moisture.
Thanks for all the advice, I appreciate it
 
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