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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
alright, please try to follow me on this.......

everyone talks about ventilation being so important. tell me if this was a smart idea or a bad one....

i took a shallow super and drilled three 7/8" holes on both long sides at an angle to keep rain out and put some screen inside so to not act as an upper entrance. i put this on top of my inner cover after i drilled four 7/8" holes along each side about an inch or so away from the outside edge.

i put the inner cover on top of the honey super, the "attic vent" on top of the inner cover, then the telescoping cover on top of that. am i on the right track, or not? if i am, then what do i do during my ohio winters?

please give any thoughts or suggestions!!
 

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I noticed a moisture problem on my hive last winter, and built a similar box. I also filled it with a little straw. It worked great.
 

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Check out the Warre' hive design. He pretty much did what you are. A Warre' quilt might be a shallow box with burlap on the bottom, maybe some window screen too to prevent propolis, filled with coarse sawdust and a roof---provide lots of venting under the roof like the holes you drilled, to keep rain off the sawdust. This keeps the scent and heat of the hive in but lets the moisture through.

This a lot of messing around for a multi=hive operation but us small timers like it.
 

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I do that with my hives. They can be filled with insulation for the winter but I usually take them off and replace them with a homasote board, then an inner cover before topping it back off.
 

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"then what do i do during my ohio winters?"

How about rubber basin stoppers. You could even drill a small hole in one to allow a little ventilation.
 

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My understanding was that winter was a time when good ventilation was even more important.. Lots of moisture in the air I guess, and all the bees home and heating the place. I noticed in winter I was getting condensation dripping back down onto the hive. This hadn't been an issue during the spring / summer / fall..
 

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Sounds great, only you didn't mention that you had to screen the inner cover opening. If you didn't depending on the season, the bees will use that "attic" space to build comb and store honey. For Massachusetts winters, I use 2 1/2" of styrofoam insulation laid on top of my telescoping cover. I lift up the inner cover, after the bees have already propolised it down, turning the front to the rear, this forms ridges all the way around the top edges of the top super with the inner cover because of the hardened propolis. I then put a small carpet tack or twig to raise the front right side of the inner cover about 1/4" + or - (enough for a bee to go through) The hive is wrapped in felt paper and a small opening in the felt paper is made about where the inner cover opening is located. Rarely have dead outs in the spring. You should get rid of the weak hives in the fall not during the winter. OMTCW
 

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Our bee Inspector sujected last year drilling 2 1/2 holes in the top box at a upper a angle. For mosture. Work great till I used that box on a swram removeal Had bees all over the truck for a few days.
David
 

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I have a deep ventilation box on both my hives. I also put my feeders inside it. They have been there all summer.The girls seem to like hanging out in it. They have not propolized or built anycomb in it.
Meridith
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ya, pugs, thats it. except i don't have that much $$ in it!! i can knock them out real cheap just out of scrap wood in my shop.

the bees do hang out in it, but i have never had the first drop of comb, yet, be built in it.
 

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We just put a medium or shallow on top of the inner cover and fill it with leaves. We prop the cover up pretty high, so there's a lot of room for air movement.

In this way the leaves insulate the back of the inner cover, thus reducing condensation. The leaves also absorb and hold some moisture, kind of acting like a quilt. I believe the leaves tend to attenuate moisture levels in the hive. They absorb or release moisture keeping the level of moisture fairly even, compared to hives simply running an inner cover and outter cover and/or some foam insulation.

The large airspace within the box, and the presence of leaves acts as a plenum which slows the flow of air, but allows it to move. This reduces, somewhat, the "stack effect" and keeps the air from circulating too quickly while still allowing movement. I like the idea the leaves are a natural part of the bees environment too.

I think most schemes involved in wintering should be aimed at slowing the rate of change between hot/cold humid/dry and variation between warm and cold spaces within the hive. What I try and achieve is a stable environment that has little variation across it.

None of this costs anything either. Here in the northeast we have lots of leaves in the fall (just when we need them!) and since I am not drilling holes in anything the supers are still useful as supers come spring.

Hope this helps.
 
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