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Tired of shimming; an alternative

2605 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  WBVC
I've got supers filled with uncapped honey and I've been shimming the boxes and covers to help vent and cure the honey; it's a nuisance since I always drop the shims into the hives. Now I've put screws around the bottom edges of the top inner covers that creates a 1/8" vent all around the top of the hives. In the fall the screws will come out.

Any negatives that this vent method might have?
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Do your bees not fill the crack with propolis? I usually just slide the supers to the rear about 1/4 inch and the bees will fan at this entrance to vent the hive of the hot air and any moisture it may contain.
I just snap off a nearby twig and put under one corner of the migratory top. The bees will propolize it down in the fall, but I leave it and they always leave some top ventilation.
Do your bees not fill the crack with propolis? I usually just slide the supers to the rear about 1/4 inch and the bees will fan at this entrance to vent the hive of the hot air and any moisture it may contain.
Yup-what AR said. If you are using an inner cover it should have a notch in one end and you can prop the outer cover so one end is sitting on top of the inner cover and exposes this small notch for bee use. The sides will also be open to a large degree between the outer and inner cover as the outer cover slants toward the other end IYKWIM. Watch out for robbing with a larger or additional opening(s). I've personally never had this issue about unripe honey. Sometimes
the bees forage on flowers that produce honey that doesn't get capped. If the honey is unripe they will cap it eventually unless it is the type mentioned earlier. I doubt there is much you can do do speed it up unless your equipment is severely inhibiting air exchange which is doubtful. The bees know what they are doing with curing honey. They are not on the same schedule as we are many times so give them time. If you can shake a frame of wet honey and it is loose enough to come dripping out it is still too high in water content. If you try this just shake it over a super and the bees will obviously reconsume and process it. This will also potentially cause a robbing situation BTW.
Good luck.
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I like that screw idea. Right now I do offset boxes, or twigs or cedar window shims or whatever I have. I have made some 3/8” shims for a top or middle entrance that have really worked out well. They are just 3/8” on 3 sides that stick out over the front and I glue a piece across the front like a landing board. I reduce the entrance to about 3”. I use this above the excluder or anyplace in the stack.
Results are in. I'll be using screws on the bottom of the inner cover from now on. There was no propolizing and the gap is too narrow to allow bee traffic. After six days of this vent method, the lowest medium super went from fully uncapped to fully capped. The super above it (which was only installed ten days ago) is now 95% full and now half capped. A third super was just added today. For me as a new beek these are great results.

Come cool weather and the screws come out.
Pete - that was fast. Not sure if it was because of the ventilation, but I have several medium supers as well that just barely have any honey capped and it has been that way for a while. Will be stirring the ladies up again and placing some screws or nails between super and lid to see if it helps.
>In the fall the screws will come out.

In the winter is when you need them the most...
Pete, what size screws and how many did u put in the cover?
Does opening the supers a bit hasten capping? If the crack is bigger than a bee space is robbing an issue?
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