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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I taped the seams of some of my hives a few weeks ago to keep robbing pressure down. It works. Didn’t think twice about it when I put my Bee Cozys on during a cold snap. Noticed yesterday my big hive had some condensation buildup. Removed the Bee Cozy and the tape and sure enough there is a little mold growing and its moist underneath. Another hive had not been taped and no mold with the Bee Cozy.

The big hive is getting aired out with no Cozy until maybe tonight. All have Vivaldi boards and the tops are dry so I think I caught it in time. Wanted to warn others as we move into winter prep. Not set on winter config until I know its working right.
 

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6a 4th yr 7 colonies inc. resource hive
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes I have upper entrances and 2 inch foam board over my top cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
PS plus a vivaldi board and burlap.
 

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I am not sure that tape alone would cause the problem you describe. Of course, that is easy for me to say, not having seen it, and sitting a few hundred miles away.
 

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It depends on your climate, but here I don't cover until after it freezes at night (mid-late November). I'm more worried about keeping the wind out than freezing temps. If they are too warm, they don't cut down and will eat themselves out of house and home. Big colonies produce more water than small colonies, which is why you have condensation on your big colony.
 

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I am not sure that tape alone would cause the problem you describe. Of course, that is easy for me to say, not having seen it, and sitting a few hundred miles away.
I agree. I re-read your post and think you really don't have an issue. If it rains, water will get between the cozy and the hive. I use insulation boards instead of bee cozys and there is typically moisture between the board and the hive. If you have a good sealant on the wood, the moisture won't bleed through to the interior.
I agree also that the insulation needs to be on top of the inner cover as suggested by MP.
 

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Put the foam on the inner cover, not the outer cover
I do both. Inner cover is the one that gets it done, outer because I have some spare foam lying around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Will do. Have some ready for just that purpose. So cool that you responded to my post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Epilogue- Done. Had some extra foam board and cut that to size and put inside the telescopic cover. Also left the outside foam- outside. Unless MP think that having both will cause a problem I don't mind the overkill. Also since removing the tape the hive is venting properly now (not feeling wet around the seams). Also fussed over it by taking it off and using some vinegar/water to kill the mold. Then sanded it down and dried it with a blow drier. Honestly I don't even care how dumb this sounds. I just want my bees alive in the spring.
 

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Something you may want to try, is a 1 inch hole in the center of the foam, that is on top of the inner cover and place the Vivaldi box filled with burlap above that. Screen the hole in the inner cover so bees can't chew on the foam. The 1 inch hole acts as a "chimney" for moisture. It gets collected by the burlap and vented to exterior by Vivaldi box.

A member of our bee club has used this for past two years after having moisture problems and says it works very well.
 

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Excess moisture is trouble and made especially deadly if it condenses above the winter cluster. Some venting at seams might be better than having it deposit on a cold top.

Ventilation must work hand in hand with insulation to prevent a drippy ceiling.

Here is my setup in progress for this winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone for your input. I read through all of them. If I notice excess moisture again I have more ideas to fall back on. Taking the tape off and putting foam on the inside and outside are working. Its that balance between venting and insulation that we’re going for.
 

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A hive will produce a surprising amount of moisture. Right now they are probably still curing and dehydrating the honey. When bees eat honey that honey is converted to water and carbon dioxide in the bees cells to make energy. They exhale the carbon dioxide and the water as water vapor. For every pound or kilogram of honey they eat they will exhale .67 pounds or kilograms of water vapor. A colony that consumes a full deep of honey over winter will exhale enough water vapor that if condensed it would be almost six gallons of water.

I converted all my quilt boxes to Vivaldi boards, but my Vivaldi boards have XPS insulation except for an 8x8 framed area around the vent hole. The burlap cover, folded to make 8 layers, goes over that. In the early spring I can insert a sugar brick in that spot without disturbing the bees very much.

Converting a quilt to a Vivalid board is really easy with a piece of plywood and pocket screws.
 

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I doubt the tape is the issue. Bees seal my hives air tight with propolis and I don't have a mold issue with proper ventilation. If I mess with the boxes late in the season, I seal them with painter's tape and it has not been an issue. Maybe the Cozy is the issue due to lack of ventilation. Yes, two hives right next to each other can be totally different. J
 

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Its that balance between venting and insulation that we’re going for.
By ventilation a lot of energy is lost, so the key word is condensation, and for condensation cold surfaces are needed. One setup is; all upper surfaces are isolated and cold surface for condensation is screened bottom side. For top side condensation see description of Vivaldi board.
 
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