Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been seeing a lot of references to insulated top covers. Logic would tell me that the insulation would keep the inside of the top cover closer to internal hive temp, thus reducing the likelyhood that moisture would condense on the inside of said cover and drip on my bees. Does this theory hold up in practice? If so, does anyone have a link to plans?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,291 Posts
yes, very important imo. Im not so sure about "dripping", I have not observed, although wood wear will become wet/damp and mold. Condensation is a game of temperature differentials and relative humidity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My inner cover is made of 1x2 lumber with a recess routed into it for 1/4" plywood to set in. If i understand correctly I would cut it the dimensions of that plywood, not the outside dimensions of the inner cover.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,540 Posts
I have 1.5" inches of foam insulation tucked up into the top of my telescoping cover.

Directly below the tele cover, I have a shim (2" high) with two large round holes in that are open to the air.

I do not use an inner cover during the winter.

Below the shim I have a quilt box (about 5" high, it's a former comb-honey super) filled with pine shavings. It has a fabric floor to hold the shavings inside the box.

Below that I have a feeding rim (about 1.75" high) which has one ventilation hole/ top entrance about 1/2" in diameter.

Below that is the top bars of the upper super (or deep) depending on the hive.

This arrangement keeps the area inside the feeding shim quite warm: as high as 90 F when there are tons of bees up there, but rarely below 60F even when the bees have withdrawn down into a lower level. I have opened the hive to add sugar bricks several times over the course of this long bitterly cold winter. There are no signs of condensation within the hive (mold, blackness, dampness, or even any waterstains on the fabric). The shavings above have been changed out once when they seemed slightly damp. After I did that I opened the second hole in the upper vent shim and have not had any perceptible dampness in the shavings since. Ocasionally there will be a small amount of condensation on the undersurface of the foam in the tele cover, so I know moisture from the hive has passed through the shavings and is condensing when it hits the vent chamber which is open to the air. I am in northern NY, where it has been severely cold this winter.

I am (after this, my first year in beekeeping) happy with the quilt boxes and would continue using them. Also keep in mind that my hives are otherwise quite well insulated, inside and out, and also covered with blankets and plastic tarp (to protect the blankets from precip.) so I should be having more condensation problems that I would otherwise have. I am not promoting covering your hives with blankets and may not repeat that, but quilt boxes seem to work very well. They are easy to make, inexpensive, reversible (can be used for other purposes at other seasons if you dump out the shavings), so they get my thumbs up.

Enj.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
I use polystyrene colourbond sandwich as lids ; as in cool room material. mine has all been scrap and cost very little.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
I use a quilt box. It is basically a shallow box (2-4 inches). The bottom is covered with screen or hardware cloth. A layer of cloth is laid inside the box to keep fine dust from sifting through, then the box is filled with clean wood shavings. Some people drill holes in the sides of the box for ventilation. Moisture goes up through the box and out the top. It also provides insulation to the hive. The telescoping cover goes on top of this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
I use a quilt box. It is basically a shallow box (2-4 inches). The bottom is covered with screen or hardware cloth. A layer of cloth is laid inside the box to keep fine dust from sifting through, then the box is filled with clean wood shavings. Some people drill holes in the sides of the box for ventilation. Moisture goes up through the box and out the top. It also provides insulation to the hive. The telescoping cover goes on top of this.
with dry sugar over newspaper under a 3-4" ventilation box (mountain camp method) you dont use screen because it is emergency food for them to gain easy access to. sugar is a great moisture absorber and when it absorbs the moisture it is very easy for the bees to eat and process/digest. leftover becomes early spring syrup. the best method i know of for overwintering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
I just cut my 1" rigid insulation board the same dimension as the inner edge of the inner cover then set my telescopic cover on.
And yes... it does work.
Ditto on that. It works great. All my production hives have this and my nucs mostly have 2" foam.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
813 Posts
I made a shim with 1" rigid insulation and homasote fitted within the frame..... Vented with a 3/4 drilled hole in the front below the two... Leaves me enough space for some sugar blocks if I need to feed....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Is the insulation on the top cover alone enough to combat moisture or is some sort of moisture quilt also required?
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top