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Discussion Starter #1
i was doing some thinking today and i like idea of using a quilt box. so in my personal quest to keep bees in a lang compleatly as natural as possiable i decided to build a quilt box for my lang. the quilt box will be filled with shredded dried corn husk that will absorb moisture and wick it away simulating the roof in a tree cavity. is very simple. i only used a hand saw and a drill and hammer,nails,glue.
here it is
http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/11x11x/hive plans/100_3129.jpg
http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/11x11x/hive plans/100_3130.jpg
http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/11x11x/hive plans/100_3131.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
it can be used any time but i proably wont use it until fall/winter. it will go in place of the inner cover
 

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If your screen isn't the metal type I think you will find the bees will chew through it.
 

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Never heard it called a quilt box. Many people around here use a similar set up for the winter. I would suggest cedar shavings over the corn husk, that how it is done around here.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
the bee trees i have seen have a porus roof surface that would soak up condensation and keep it from driping back down on the bees in the winter. a inner cover wont absorb squat and if not done right the condensation runs back down in the hive. i figure that if i put the quiltbox on in the fall/winter it will act as a porus material to absorb condensation and wick it away. i used a inner cover last year and wintered bees. but i did see some condensation. i think the quilt box wil make it a little more fool proof to keep the cluster dry.
 

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That makes a lot of sense. oh, no...beat me, flog me, make me go back to the woodshop!

Seriously tho, I'm wondering what else might be used to draw off the moisture. We had a really bad winter this year as well.

And what about using hardware cloth instead of actual cloth? would accomplish the same thing but bees couldn't destroy it.
 

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I wouldn't want something big enough for SHB or other undesirables to pass through. I assume they make some very tight patterned hardware cloth.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
saw dust would work as well as cedar chips or anything with alot of surface area. i had a bale of dried schredded corn shuks laying in the shed from when i used to keep chickens so it is what i used. thay make metal screen to be used in screen doors.
 

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I use 1in foam board under the TEL. top and ventilation {top and bottom entrances} never had a condensation problem.
 

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I would make less holes, none on the sides of incoming rain, and slant the holes for water runoff. The center board could be horizontal with a feeder jar hole plugged with a jar lid. A rim on the bottom would allow for pollen patty feeding. Now you need deep telescoping covers or a Warre covers to cover it.
 

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I made mine like odfrank describes. 1" between screen and bottom to allow for sugar/patty feeding, and horizontal 1x6 at the bottom plugged with a wide-mouth lid to allow for syrup feeding from 1/2 gallon jars. Very versatile, though I do see some burr comb in the extra space.

Mark
 

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I made some modeled after this design ...

http://www.beebehavior.com/THSC_Unit.php

I have two holes per side covered with 1/8 hardware cloth. I plug them from the outside with wine corks for the winter. The front hole stays open year round. I also put 1/8 hardware cloth on the top of the upper board to keep the bees down, but still allow moisture/air to flow up through. In the winter I use old wool, etc for the quilt, I put a couple thin pieces of foam on top of that.

In the summer, I leave them on, just remove the corks and quilt. The hardware cloth keeps the bees out of the top box, it is just there as a vent box.

Just another idea.

The hives stay well vented and the moisture has a place to escape.
 

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I made some modeled after this design ...

http://www.beebehavior.com/THSC_Unit.php

I have two holes per side covered with 1/8 hardware cloth. I plug them from the outside with wine corks for the winter. The front hole stays open year round. I also put 1/8 hardware cloth on the top of the upper board to keep the bees down, but still allow moisture/air to flow up through. In the winter I use old wool, etc for the quilt, I put a couple thin pieces of foam on top of that.

In the summer, I leave them on, just remove the corks and quilt. The hardware cloth keeps the bees out of the top box, it is just there as a vent box.

Just another idea.

The hives stay well vented and the moisture has a place to escape.

I made the same as you got the idea from behavior, they work great. I like to make sugar cakes and place them under a pillowcase filled with wood chips and when the bees use up the sugar cake I pull back the pillowcase and add another. Some hives stay up top all winter and do just fine.
 

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I been using something similar for several years. Used burlap first but ditched that when the bees wanted to remove it lint piece by lint piece. Put luan board with five 2 holes covered with double screen for ventilation and to keep the bees from trying to remove the saw dust/wood chips. I used the cedar bedding chips that can be purchased at pet smart. It's just convenient. Most of the hives end up propolizing the screens except one small hole on one screen usually in the center but some have been on the corners. It still has the insulation properties and vents so I'm ok with it. I have some ant issues and they love to nest in that material. Cedar does not bother them. It does not seem to affect the bees that I can see, but a potential problem. Some of the nests are fair sized. Some cinnamon helps but temporary. Wood roaches like the box too but they are just creepy bugs. I plan to eliminate the side hole vents for future ones. The bees can't get to the inner top to seal it and IMO it will vent well enough. Perhaps this is why they seal the screen that are to the inside of the hive. Too much ventilation. My future ones will not be as deep as the pics shown. If the hive top skirts cover the quilt box, they are less likely to get knocked off by a clumsy beek such as myself. When you work your hives, and a good stiff breeze, comes along, you will need to re fill the box with chips LOL :) My plan is to staple window screen across the top to prevent that and I believe it will solve the ant and roach problem. Will see.
Anyway,,,,my thoughts :)
Rick
 

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I have been using these on my hives for 2 years and love the results. I only use them during winter to give the moisture some place to go. Come spring time I take it off and put the inner cover back onI use pine shavings I buy at Tractor Supply for 5$ a bag. No moisture problems over winter in my hives.
 
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