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Discussion Starter #1
I am making a couple of Warre style lids and quilt boxes for my langs and encountered a dilemma. Vents - are they really required or is this climate dependent?

Climate here is not very humid but hot in summer, never goes below freezing at night, and it can get windy. Quilt boxes work great as insulation from cold and extreme heat year round here.

I had quilt boxes before and they were ventilated, and shavings kept dry. However according to warre’s design there are no vents in the quilt box at all. Is there a good reason for this?
 

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The vents in a quilt box allow moisture to leave the structure. Excess moisture is one of hte largest dangers to the colony in cold weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Cheers Jim. I understand that and I have vents on my other quilt boxes for the reasons you mention. However my question is why Warre hive quilt boxes do not have vents? Is there any reason behind that?
 

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Sorry, I missed the Warre reference and I have less than zero knowledge of that setup.
 

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65 colonies +/- mostly Langstroth mediums, a few deeps for nuc production
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The upper vents allow warmer moist air to rise and either leave the hive or if the temp of condensation is reached have the moisture condense in the shavings instead of dripping down on the bees.
In a warre hive the vents are in the top cover above the quilt box instead of the box itself. They are still there.
 

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Are you making actual double layer Warre style lids with a vented gap, or are you making gabled hive tops with a quilt board?

Warre's hive top design consists of a gabled roof, an open gap, a ceiling that rested on the quilt box, and then long skirt boards.

Let's define some terms so that there is no confusion on what we are talking about. The hive top is the completed hive top. The roof is the top layer of the hive top, it is the sloped water shedding surface that keeps the rain and snow out. The gables are the ends that have the peaks so that the roof is sloped. The ceiling is the bottom layer of the hive top, the flat surface below the roof that rests on top of the quilt box. The ceiling is fastened between the gables. The skirt is the part that extends below the ceiling, consisting of gables on the end and skirt boards on the sides.

Warre's hive top ceiling, the part that rested on the top of the quilt box, was not made of plywood as most are now. It was made of several boards joined to the gables. They were not glued into a solid panel so that they would expand and contract with the seasons. The thin gaps between the wooden ceiling boards allowed ventilation from the top of the quilt into the attic space between the roof and the ceiling of the hive top. The sides of the attic space in the Warre hive top are wide open, they are not enclosed, and the moisture just blows away. If you have a Warre style hive top where the bottom layer is made of plywood or you have the traditional flat cover similar to a Langstrogh hive then vent holes are necessary.

Here is a picture of my Warre. https://www.beesource.com/attachments/6668fbdc-e9dd-41e2-b3f4-6d424c9108e2_zpstngtolmk-jpg.35543/ You can barely see it from this angle but if you look right below the white roof line you can see that there is an open gap that runs from full length of the side. In a traditional Warre moisture that wicks up to the top of the shavings escapes between the flat ceiling boards below into this gap. Since my Warre hive top has a plywood ceiling then I have screened vent holes (also when that particular picture was taken the top feeder was on the hive instead of the quilt.)

Warre's quilt box wrapped the burlap up the sides, wicking some of the moisture to the outside of the box instead of into the wood shavings. Warre's hive top had 12cm long skirt boards (~4-3/4") that extended down to completely cover the quilt box. The burlap overlapped to the outside wicked moisture into the gap between the quilt box and the hive top skirt boards where it could evaporate. Since the burlap was fully covered it would not get wet from rain or snow. Without the very long skirt then the burlap would have had the opposite effect and it would have wicked water into the hive.

Warre kept bees in an area of France that today is classified as Zone 8, his climate was costal and mild.
I've got four gabled Langstroth covers and I prefer flat covers because I can flip the cover over and stack boxes on it. So when I made quilt boxes for my Langstroths I added vents. I kept the vents up high so that the shallow skirt of my flat covers would cover the vent as a wind block.

A few seasons back I converted some of my quilt boards to Vivaldi boards. I liked the Vivaldi boards so much that I have now converted all of my quilts to Vivaldi boards. The conversion is easy. I removed the screen and cut a plywood insert to fit inside. Using pocket screws I secured the plywood in place, leaving 3/4" of an inch for sugar bricks if necessary. I drilled a 2" hole in the center of the plywood. I built reversible screen boxes that were 8x8 that go over the hole, screen down to keep the bees inside, screen up to allow them to come up. I can place the box screen up and pour dry sugar or fondant into the screened box without opening the hive. The screen is covered with 2 yards of folded burlap. The rest of the Vivaldi board interior is insulated with 2" XPS foam. The last Vivaldi board conversion I did I used clear perspex instead of plywood and wish I had done that on all of them. I can lift the XPS up and see how they are doing without opening the hive. Unlike the quilt, the Vivaldi boards are zero mess. I can also put a rapid feeder on top of the Vivaldi boards.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for that. I thought they must have a way to let the moist air out. The roofs I built are double layer exactly like Warre with open eaves, but without the deep skirt. The ceiling is pine, with no gaps. So as suspected I do need to have vents either in the ceiling, or on the sides of the quilt.

What I had before was more like a Vivaldi board actually because it was basically a 2 1/5" rim around a standard inner hive cover with vents. This allowed me to feed, or place a burlap sack full of shavings (no mess), and kept the hive well insulated year round. I found that the hole in the centre was not enough to get rid of excess moisture though it was a definite improvement over using nothing. So what I am building now and I am calling a "quilt box" is actually a hybrid of the two - a 3" deep box with it's floor being partly mesh and partly solid to allow for feeding, then place a burlap sack full of absorbent material. BTW, I tried shredded newspaper and it works far better than shavings.

I see the benefit of using flat lids as they are useful when flipped while inspecting. However I prefer gabled because of the extra cavity, and they don't need a metal top layer. Here in the sun metal gets really hot even when painted white. I once left an insulated migratory lid with metal top on a table in the sun and was surprised how hot it got under it.
 

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Are you making actual double layer Warre style lids with a vented gap, or are you making gabled hive tops with a quilt board?

Warre's hive top design consists of a gabled roof, an open gap, a ceiling that rested on the quilt box, and then long skirt boards.

Let's define some terms so that there is no confusion on what we are talking about. The hive top is the completed hive top. The roof is the top layer of the hive top, it is the sloped water shedding surface that keeps the rain and snow out. The gables are the ends that have the peaks so that the roof is sloped. The ceiling is the bottom layer of the hive top, the flat surface below the roof that rests on top of the quilt box. The ceiling is fastened between the gables. The skirt is the part that extends below the ceiling, consisting of gables on the end and skirt boards on the sides.

Warre's hive top ceiling, the part that rested on the top of the quilt box, was not made of plywood as most are now. It was made of several boards joined to the gables. They were not glued into a solid panel so that they would expand and contract with the seasons. The thin gaps between the wooden ceiling boards allowed ventilation from the top of the quilt into the attic space between the roof and the ceiling of the hive top. The sides of the attic space in the Warre hive top are wide open, they are not enclosed, and the moisture just blows away. If you have a Warre style hive top where the bottom layer is made of plywood or you have the traditional flat cover similar to a Langstrogh hive then vent holes are necessary.

Here is a picture of my Warre. https://www.beesource.com/attachments/6668fbdc-e9dd-41e2-b3f4-6d424c9108e2_zpstngtolmk-jpg.35543/ You can barely see it from this angle but if you look right below the white roof line you can see that there is an open gap that runs from full length of the side. In a traditional Warre moisture that wicks up to the top of the shavings escapes between the flat ceiling boards below into this gap. Since my Warre hive top has a plywood ceiling then I have screened vent holes (also when that particular picture was taken the top feeder was on the hive instead of the quilt.)

Warre's quilt box wrapped the burlap up the sides, wicking some of the moisture to the outside of the box instead of into the wood shavings. Warre's hive top had 12cm long skirt boards (~4-3/4") that extended down to completely cover the quilt box. The burlap overlapped to the outside wicked moisture into the gap between the quilt box and the hive top skirt boards where it could evaporate. Since the burlap was fully covered it would not get wet from rain or snow. Without the very long skirt then the burlap would have had the opposite effect and it would have wicked water into the hive.

Warre kept bees in an area of France that today is classified as Zone 8, his climate was costal and mild.
I've got four gabled Langstroth covers and I prefer flat covers because I can flip the cover over and stack boxes on it. So when I made quilt boxes for my Langstroths I added vents. I kept the vents up high so that the shallow skirt of my flat covers would cover the vent as a wind block.

A few seasons back I converted some of my quilt boards to Vivaldi boards. I liked the Vivaldi boards so much that I have now converted all of my quilts to Vivaldi boards. The conversion is easy. I removed the screen and cut a plywood insert to fit inside. Using pocket screws I secured the plywood in place, leaving 3/4" of an inch for sugar bricks if necessary. I drilled a 2" hole in the center of the plywood. I built reversible screen boxes that were 8x8 that go over the hole, screen down to keep the bees inside, screen up to allow them to come up. I can place the box screen up and pour dry sugar or fondant into the screened box without opening the hive. The screen is covered with 2 yards of folded burlap. The rest of the Vivaldi board interior is insulated with 2" XPS foam. The last Vivaldi board conversion I did I used clear perspex instead of plywood and wish I had done that on all of them. I can lift the XPS up and see how they are doing without opening the hive. Unlike the quilt, the Vivaldi boards are zero mess. I can also put a rapid feeder on top of the Vivaldi boards.
I think you just convinced me to switch to Vivaldi boards. Could you post a picture of your Vivaldi board?
 

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6a 3rd yr 5 production hives 1/ 2 q resource hive
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I think you just convinced me to switch to Vivaldi boards. Could you post a picture of your Vivaldi board?
BF17E8C3-4B87-45D4-BCF2-27FA3023EBBE.jpeg Pardon the interruption. Had picture of Vivaldi board handy so thought I would answer. Note the horizontal opening that runs the length of the box covered in hardware cloth and internal space for venting and feeding also covered in hardware cloth.
 

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My "quilt board" is a Med or Deep box, window screen stapled about an inch from the bottom inside, few layers of big burlap bags, Foam board(s), inner cover with same screen over the outer hole (Not the oval hole) then cover which is pulled back so the hole is not closed off.
 

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My "quilt board" is a Med or Deep box, window screen stapled about an inch from the bottom inside, few layers of big burlap bags, Foam board(s), inner cover with same screen over the outer hole (Not the oval hole) then cover which is pulled back so the hole is not closed off.
That sounds like a great functional quilt box. Well done.
 

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I think you just convinced me to switch to Vivaldi boards. Could you post a picture of your Vivaldi board?
They look just like what LAldredge posted. Except that I fill the space around the screened box with 2" XPS foam that comes up flush with the screened box. Then I put the folded burlap over the screened box. I'll try and take a couple of pictures and also show how the bottom is pocket screwed in place and see if I can figure out how to upload to this new forum format (n)(n)(n) from my phone.
 
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