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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am happy to see that both of my hives have survived the harsh Wisconsin winter, so far. A recent hive inspection showed me a build up of moisture in the upper super. I created a small gap above the inner cover to help ventilation and wanted to open up the wooden entrance reducer to help the cause as well. The entrance reducer was stuck in place (frozen, propolised shut, or due to weight of boxes above) and I was unable to remove it. It is too cold to lift the boxes in order to remove it, do you know of any tricks?
 

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Where was the moisture you are referring to in the super? On the inside walls or all over everything? I wouldn't mess with the entrance reducer, just provide better ventilation at the top as you did. You could also put some foamboard on top of the outer cover if you didn't already.
 

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Where was the moisture you are referring to in the super? On the inside walls or all over everything? I wouldn't mess with the entrance reducer, just provide better ventilation at the top as you did. You could also put some foamboard on top of the outer cover if you didn't already.
I agree with jmgi with regard to messing with the entrance reducer now.

After this winter I am a believer in quilt boxes. Mine is made with 1X4's; I put #8 wire screen on the bottom of the frame, and fill with cedar chips that I bought at Walmart in the pet dept. I put about 2 inches into the frame. I place this frame on top of the inner cover, and below the outer cover, then shim the outer cover to allow moisture that leaks through the chips to exhaust out of the hive, reducing condensation on the outer cover.

Hope this helps.

Phil
 

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Grumpybeeman told me to do the following. Take an empty super. Put the empty super on top of the inner cover. Fill the empty super with straw. Place the outer cover on top of the empty super. Do not lift the inner cover because you may disturb the cluster and it is still very cold. Have the notch for the inner cover facing down and now you have an upper entrance.
I used duct tape and/or aluminum flashing to secure the super to the inner cover and the inner cover to the hive body.
 

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Grumpybeeman told me to do the following. Take an empty super. Put the empty super on top of the inner cover. Fill the empty super with straw. Place the outer cover on top of the empty super. Do not lift the inner cover because you may disturb the cluster and it is still very cold. Have the notch for the inner cover facing down and now you have an upper entrance.
I used duct tape and/or aluminum flashing to secure the super to the inner cover and the inner cover to the hive body.
I like it! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Jmgi- their was some frost on the inside walls of the super. I also observed some wet, dead bees against the front wall.

Linn & Philip.devos- This is my first winter with bees and have recently learned of quilt boxes. I certainly plan on using them moving forward. One simple/easy idea that I stumbled across was simply filling an old pillowcase with straw/bedding/chips and sticking it in an empty super above the inner cover and below the outer cover. The keeper that shared this idea said the cloth was strong enough to hold the absorbent material while allowing the moisture to collect inside. This also allowed for easy refilling/cleanup moving forward. Any reason this would not be a good solution? Would I need to make sure the hole within the inner cover is opened or would it be better if the pillow covered it?

I have a silly question about the moisture problem. I understand condensation occurs where the warm air (from the bees) meets the cold air from winter. If done correctly, why does this occur in the dead space between covers instead of the underside of the inner cover?

Thanks all!
 

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Hi Wisc beek,
I find the straw is dry next to the bees and the straw is only slightly moist at the top. I put some extra cooked candy around the central opening of the inner cover. The set-up is brood supers, cooked candy board facing down with central hole, inner cover with central hole, straw and weighted outer cover. I do not think the bees will travel far through the straw. The upper entrance is through the inner cover notch face down.
P.S. I am a hobbyist.
 
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