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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Im ny previous posts I mentioned that my 2 hives are standing east-west and facing north, and said that the hive on east side getting moist and collecting steamed water at the top entrance, which is under telescopic cover and top entrance is on inner cover.

About 2 weeks ago, I put sugar books on top of the hives as an emergency food and I read in many places that block is going to absorb moisture too.
It was feeding last night (26-27F) and going to get cooler in coming weeks, and usually whenever it was below freezing temperature, I was seeing steamed water at the top entrance only on East hive.

This morning, after freezing night, I saw something like syrup at the front and back of the hive, about table spoon at front-right corner and a teaspoon at back-right corner (diagonal to each other).

What is the best to do in this case?

I am not going to open hives today, since it is cold and windy, and same weather is going to continue, but I am going to try to find a time to put another sugar block.
 

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I cant give any advice on this. But last year I had sugar blocks on a couple of my hives and they became so moist they ran down over the cluster and killed them. More ventilation? I would assume would help. Before you have the same problems I did last year.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree it's a ventilation problem and, probably, insulation as well.
Someone suggested to put 1" insulation on the top.
My hives go: Screened bottom board (which I closed not to let cold air get in), 2 deeps, shim for sugar block, inner cover and telescopic cover.

Where should I put 1" insulation and how can I increase ventilation?
 

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Without opening the hive you could put insulation on top of your outer cover. You could also tilt the hive so the condensation rolls to the front of the hive. I would try 1/4 to 1/2" so the upper entrance is lower than the back of the hive. I hope your bees are okay. I don't open my hives except to add sugar bricks on top of frames. I like it to be at least 40 degrees to do open one. If the sugar brick was gone, I would open.
Another more drastic approach is to drill holes in the upper level of feeding shim. Maybe three 3/8 holes on both of the long side and quickly stable screening over the holes. I do believe this would greatly upset your bees.
If you could make extra shim with vent holes and screening on inside, and quickly swap shims the bees may not break cluster to protect their hive. You will lose their propolis seal on the feeding shim. But there is always duct tape. :)
Good luck,

Mary
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Mary,

I have another sugar bricks ready to put on. I am not sure how much did bees consumed from 1st brick, I put it there as an emergency feed and moisture control, but didn't expect that much moisture (it's my 1st winter as a beekeeper, so unexperienced :( ).

I just researched a little more - it looks people are putting it between inner cover and telescopic cover.
Coming days are going to be a bit warmer, so I'll get to my hives not today, but soon.

Would someone recommend to put some 1/4" spacers to create cracks for extra ventilation?
 

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Thanks Mary,

I have another sugar bricks ready to put on. I am not sure how much did bees consumed from 1st brick, I put it there as an emergency feed and moisture control, but didn't expect that much moisture (it's my 1st winter as a beekeeper, so unexperienced :( ).

I just researched a little more - it looks people are putting it between inner cover and telescopic cover.
Coming days are going to be a bit warmer, so I'll get to my hives not today, but soon.
I take out my inner cover, but I have a type of quilt box and bees are kept in hive with screening. I put 1 1/2 inches of foam insultation on top of "quilt box" and then put on outer cover.

Mary
 

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Artur, does your quit box have screened holes to vent the moisture? You need to have a system in place to vent the moisture.

Otherwise it will collect and drop back down onto the cluster (without knowing about your sugar blocks, how they were made) - it sounds like the moisture is dripping down onto the sugar blocks (dissolving them) and they're dripping down onto the bees.

TP
 

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Discussion Starter #10
TP,

I don't have a quilt box :(
I agree with moisture condensation - now since I don't have a quilt box, I need quick solution against moisture.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just checked my both hives:

The one on east side, which had dried syrup - bees are all over the sugar brick pieces.
The one on west side - calm, bees are crawling on frames, absolutely ignoring the sugar block.

I put about 3/16" spacers to tilt telescopic cover over the inner cover.

What experienced beekeepers opinions would be about this?

Thanks.
 

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Artur, you need to make yourself some quilt boxes. One for each hive, even the hive thar seems ok.
Start with a super, or make a simple box, from three to five inches high, same dimensions as your hives.
Staple mesh Screen or canvas on the bottom, so that air can pass through , but not the bees.
Two inches of cedar or pine shavings on top of that, available in the pet section at your grocery store.
Four holes drilled into the sides, about one inch diameter , covered with screen mesh, so that insects don't come in.
It will solve your moisture problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Staple mesh Screen or canvas on the bottom, so that air can pass through , but not the bees.
Two inches of cedar or pine shavings on top of that, available in the pet section at your grocery store.
Four holes drilled into the sides, about one inch diameter , covered with screen mesh, so that insects don't come in.
It will solve your moisture problem.
I asked Mnichael's store, they don't have a canvas :( Will window screen work? Someone showed me that he built one with window screen and bees propolized it.
 

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I asked Mnichael's store, they don't have a canvas :( Will window screen work? Someone showed me that he built one with window screen and bees propolized it.
The only thing it does is keep the "stuffing" from falling down. I've seen them with window screen and plenty of other cloth besides canvas.


*I have not made one myself just looked into it and decided I didn't think it was necessary for me.
 

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Quilt boxes: any box comb-honey, shallow or medium height.

I use organic cotton twill from Fabric.com stapled VERY tightly across the bottom. (I use plastic greenhouse batten tape to make a smooth knife-edge, but it's not necessary.) Fabric is much better than screening IMO

You need at least four or five inches of coarse pine shavings (I get mine at Tractor Supply. One package fills 6 or 7 QBS.)

Above that you need a shim with at least one wide-open,1" diameter, bee screened hole.

Insulation inside the outer cover 1.5 inches works well.

If your QB fabric isn't smooth, smooth, along the dges of the box, add 5/16th inch sticky-on foam window insulation all around the perimeter of the shim below to make a nice tight seal.

There's no worry about adding a QB this late in the season. I put them on all my own hives today in 26F weather.

QB's fix the moisture problem immediately.

Enj.
 

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The landscape fabric (or weed guard) with the gray fibers should be strong enough to hold in the
wood shavings. You can put 2 parallel sticks to hold things in if it is a concern of the
shavings falling down. The sugar bricks will not hold the moisture when the hive is that
strong. Someone mentioned 40 lbs of water from the moisture that evaporated. If you have
the dry sugar still inside the 4 lb bag then put some inside the deep box. For emergency situation I
would put many 4 lb bags of dry sugar in to absorb the hive moisture. This will give you some time to
make your quilt box. Put a piece of window screen under the sugar bags will do. Make sure the hive boxes
are racket tied so that they will not flip over just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Jo-Ann's in the Church Lane Shopping Center in ****eysville or another fabric store should have it.
I asked at a Jo-Ann store. They didn't have what I would call "canvas", but they had "outdoor canvas". It did not look as a strong enough material to me, though.

I got duck-cloth instead. Does anyone know if this will work to build a quilt box?
Thanks.
 

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In my experience, syrup laden sugar blocks have been a result of using too much liquid while mixing the sugar with water (or whatever you use for hydration). One cup to ten pounds of sugar will work well, at most 1.5 cups...just keep stirring. HTH :)
 
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