Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
535 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is a question for all you folks who have observation windows. I don't have any windows on my top bar hives. My observation is that every time I see a picture of a top bar with a window, I notice condensation on the inside of the window. I feel like the window would be a magnet for water to condense, in winter this could be a bad thing. It also seems like once the bees get the bars fully drawn out, you can't see much action anyway. Am I wrong? Do you all who have observation windows notice this? If you had to do it over would you include a window?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
11,312 Posts
I have a couple of TBHs with plexiglass windows built into the sides. Those TBHs also have a top entrance at one end - full width. I have never seen condensation on my plexi windows. The windows do have a wood cover that fits in the sidewall cavity where the plexi is, so I don't think temperature extremes make any difference.

One benefit to the windows that I see is it is very easy to check to see that my bees are still alive in winter when there is no flight activity. If I had to take the top off, and pull bars - I probably wouldn't do it in the cold.

As to whether I would put windows in a TBH again, I don't see any downside other than the construction effort. However, in the long run, I am expanding my Lang hive counts, but not the TBH count.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I have plexiglass windows in my tbh's. They do tend to get messy with beeswax, which I am attempting to correct with a design change this year, and mine do collect a decent amount of condensation in the winter time. Here is the kicker, though. I have been told that this property could actually be a good thing. They act as a moisture sink removing water from the air and reducing the likelihood that dangerous condensation would then form above the cluster somewhere. As the window is already on a side sloping down it is very unlikely that any condensate would actually get on a bee from that position.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
Did you put the window showing the frame ends or the frame sides? i was thinking side would show a bit more, especially foundationless
We put 2 circular windows on the front..frame end side. We then cut circles of styrofoam to fit and circular shutters that swing over that. Works great...has made me want a garden view outdoor observation hive. I wish I had the viewing ports in all my boxes!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
I have plexiglas inner covers on three Langs. Good tool in winter for hive inspection without heat disturbance. Some condensation, increased venting fixed that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,944 Posts
I've only noticed condensation on my window when I was feeding 1:1 syrup. Apart from not being able to see the bees, I don't think it causes a problem for them. Someone on here has even said that it gives them access to water inside the hive. If you have a division board, you might try opening up a slot in the "ceiling" behind it so the moisture can travel up through that as a vent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
I had some condensation on the windows after feeding syrup really quick in the fall and at the start of winter I saw some frost. I also noticed my bees would avoid it in the winter (cluster on the far side of the hive on ones with windows but in the center on the ones without). I put some insulation between the window and cover and it seemed to alleviate both issues.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
I use real glass windows on my TBH specifically for condensation.

Moisture exists in hives, in the air it can get circulated out, it gets absorbed by something or it condenses somewhere. It only becomes bad when it condenses over a cluster and drips cold water into the cluster chilling it.

The glass windows give it a safe condensation point. I use an end entrance along the bottom board and put the hive at a slight angle, just enough for water to run out the front. Worst case the water condenses on the window, runs down the side wall and then out the front of the hive.

This year one of my hives had it's roof split under the weight of the snow (I'm an awful wood-worker) and I got a fair bit of snow melt though the crack and into the far back of the hive. The back combs got a little moldy, but colony is fine since the water just ran out the front and the excess moisture condensed on the window instead of above the cluster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
I have TBHs with plexiglass viewing windows and the glass gets a little dingy from the bees walking all over it but I've never had a problem with condensation. Also, because of the reflection it's really hard to get a decent picture through the glass.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top