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Discussion Starter #1
I have lost my hives this winter except 1
Yesterday I remove just the bottom deep because I saw some moisture
I couldn’t do top inspection because was little cold and very windy but I take all hive apart I clean the bottom board and I remove the bottom deep because was empty everything was soaking wet even some Mold
I used ¾ entrance on bottom and I have inner cover whit ¾ notch for ventilation also I used the Polstyrene outer cover
I’m thinking about not enough ventilation or what else?
Anybody can give me some ideas how to eliminate this kind problem in future
 

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May I suggest that next winter you try using a wood-shavings filled quilt box above your uppermost box, with a wide open vent above that? I am in northern NY (a similarly cold climate like yours) and I used them this winter and despite the awful cold, the QB kept my hives extremely dry because it allows the moisture to pass through it and leave the hive without making it too cold. I also had an addtional 1.5" of foam insulation tucked up inside my outer cover, but the space below it (and above the quilt box) had TWO 1.5" diameter circles completely open.

I intended this arrangement to help with moisture, but I also found that it kept the air at the top of my hives much warmer than I expected, which didn't hurt, either. Particularly because I was also feeding sugar bricks on top of the top bars so many of my bees spent a lot of time in that feeding area; nice and warm and dry and on a sugar high.

There are several designs for quilt boxes. Later in the Spring I plan to ask BS people to post descriptions of theirs and I will organize them all into a format that makes it easy to understand what works well. It's basically an empty shallow box (anywhere from 3-6" high) with (in my case) a fabric floor stapled to the bottom. (Some people use wire mesh, but that tends to put a lot of debris in the hive.) Then the box is filled full of wood shavings (I got mine at Tractor Supply and one $4.00 bag would make enough filling to fill 5- 7 boxes.) Moisture from the hive rises up and into the shavings without condensing on the inside of the hive. Then through the openings above the QB, it leaves the hive. The shavings provide a cozy insulation so the bees aren't exposed to the cold air. One of the best things about the QB is that they are easy and cheap to make, and can be added quite late in the fall on any day you can quickly pull off the lid and pop it on.

I think the original idea came from the Warre hive designs, but many people, like me, use it with regular Lang boxes.

There are other things that can cause dead-outs, but excess moisture is one thing that's simple to fix.

Hope you have better luck next winter!

Enj.
 

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I just attended our regional bee meeting this evening and head that most of the bigger guys have something around 75% losses and the hobbyists are around 50%+ for losses. There were some that indicated mite load, some that indicated starving, and some simply frose out, but more common than not, was the moisture problem.

I lost two hives, one to a poorly aligned migratory cover which allowed water in, and the otehr one, well, they just died out. there was a very small cluster wedged in the cells and many dead bees, so i think they may have perished from early death via mite load, and then the remainder died of cold. The otehr 4 of mine survived, so I'm at 33% losses, which is better than average.

I use a telescoping cover, then a 3" (well a 1x6" ripped in half, so a bit less) quilt box that has a window screen bottom. the sides of the quilt box are outfitted with 10 1" holes. i drilled them with a hole saw. three on the long sides, and 2 on the short sides. These holes have window sceeen secured to them to keep critters out. Below this, i have another 3" shim box with hardware cloth staped to the bottom of it. this is filled with a layer of newspaper and then 25# of sugar (dampened enough to make it somewhat castable, but it hardens like a rock). I used a 1X3" strip while molding the candy board to allow the bees access to the 1/2" hole i drilled in the candy board. this allows the candy board to prived both feed, some moisture control, and an upper entrance. I'm not saying its the best way to winter, but it worked well enough for me that I'll be doing the same next winter. Oh, I also wrapped them in tar paper, but I think I'll skip that part next year and just wrap the seams with duct tape.
 

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May I suggest that next winter you try using a wood-shavings filled quilt box above your uppermost box, with a wide open vent above that? I am in northern NY (a similarly cold climate like yours) and I used them this winter and despite the awful cold, the QB kept my hives extremely dry because it allows the moisture to pass through it and leave the hive without making it too cold. I also had an addtional 1.5" of foam insulation tucked up inside my outer cover, but the space below it (and above the quilt box) had TWO 1.5" diameter circles completely open.

I intended this arrangement to help with moisture, but I also found that it kept the air at the top of my hives much warmer than I expected, which didn't hurt, either. Particularly because I was also feeding sugar bricks on top of the top bars so many of my bees spent a lot of time in that feeding area; nice and warm and dry and on a sugar high.
Ditto, kept hives dry and warmer than I thought possible. I highly recommend you try a quilt box. Did it this year after talking to a local beekeeper who claimed 100% survival of 15 colonies.

P1010293.jpg

Simply a 2 3/4 rim with screen and a piece of burlap to hold the shavings, and 2 x 1 inch screened holes per side.

Also need to address mites. A candy board or feed rim provides insurance of food and bees not getting stranded from honey. I'd also recommend styrofoam insulation above the shavings.
 

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u need a better ventilation system. the best system we have found that we use every year is mountain cap wintering. we add a 3" box on top(under lid ofcourse) with all 4 sides having 1" holes with screen. lay down newspaper on the top bars and add a bag of DRY sugar. it absorbs the moisture and adds emergency feed. when spring hits u can use the leftover sugar for spring syrup feed.

we will never try a different method again. it works with high moisture climates and low moisture climates.

i know u had a notch on ur inner cover but, i beleieve it wasnt enough ventilation . by ur description. cold doesnt matter....moisture does !
 

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I used ¾ entrance on bottom and I have inner cover whit ¾ notch for ventilation also I used the Polstyrene outer cover
Where was the notch? above the inner cover or below? did you wrap the hive too tight?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i don't wrap the hive whit anything
and the notch I used it below in summer and above in winter Pls correct me if I'm wrong
We have hard winter here but I think the problem is the ventilation for moisture I don't think the cold
This hive survive the cold but everything inside was soaking
I was lucky I guess couse i had 2 deeps and allot of moisture was on the bottom and the cluster on top
 

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the notch I used it below in summer and above in winter Pls correct me if I'm wrong
It should be the opposite or just leave it below all the time like I do. The bees can take care of moisture in the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What’s the experience to winter up here in north whit screen bottom open????
I heard some people winter whit the bottom open
I made some screen bottom and I add ¼ plywood so I can close it in the winter keep it open in summer
 
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