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Caution - this may be a case of new beekeeper overthink.

I have two top bars which use a design developed by TJ Carr in New Mexico which has a telescoping flat roof so there is no attic space. The roof rests directly on top of the top bars. The only sources of ventilation are my two front side entrances and a vent hole in the very back end of the hive but that vent hole is separated from the colony by a follower board so I don't think it offers much in the way of winter moisture control.

My questions are:

1. Should I be concerned about ventilation and winter moisture control in a KTBH?

2. If so, how do I achieve it with my design?

One option I considered was to simply drill a vent hole in my end wall nearest the colony and right by the two entrances. Michael Bush seems to caution against the idea of putting in a second end wall vent when he says, "With cross ventilation (such as a front and back vent or entrance) the wind may blow through the hive and that may be a bad thing."

Another option that I have considered is to build a shim that would sit on top of my top bars and my flat telescoping roof would sit on it. The shim would have vent holes of some size drilled into all four sides covered by #8 hardware cloth. This begs the question, though, as to how the moisture from the colony will even rise above the roof formed by the top bars in the first place.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Kevin
 

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Caution - this may be a case of new beekeeper overthink.
............
Thoughts?

Thanks,
Kevin

Portland OR is listed in USDA zone 8b.
What is exactly your concern?
You live just about in subtropical climate, Kevin, to be concerned of the winter ventilation issues.
If unsure, research - what ARE the ventilation issues about?
 

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If your winter climate is similar to that of LJ's (that may be) - refer to LJ - http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/
I say just copy his ways.
Otherwise, I would not even worry about it - too mild.

Also, your "follower board" (whatever you mean by this) should be really a pass around/under implement - which would give you enough ventilation as is through the "vent hole in the very back end of the hive". There should be just enough draft to satisfy most all your needs.
 

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If this is your first winter, then one way of proceeding is not to make any structural alterations to your existing hives until you have some firm evidence that such alterations are justified. Having said that, I do think that a shim between the Top Bars and the roof would be a good idea in order to install a layer of some kind of insulation - that is, if you consider both the summer and winter conditions at your location warrant it - although as you say, this won't help in providing any ventilation.

I ran a KTBH for a couple of years in which I'd installed a full length mesh floor - ventilation didn't even appear on the radar. A non-issue. I ceased using that style of hive for other reasons.
'best
LJ
 

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Kevin, I am about 175 miles north of you and the weather is a bit cooler in winter and a lot rainier. My top bar hives only have entrances on the bottom on 1 side of the hive. Nothing else. My winter survival is very good and is comparable to my Langstroth hives. You should not have any worries about moisture control. One of the biggest issues with moisture control is in areas where it gets much colder than yours. The freezing weather causes the moisture that is a byproduct of the bees respiration to condense on the roof of the hive and drip down on the cluster. Your area, and mine, are not usually cold enough for this to be an issue. The bigger issue is controlling varroa.
 
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