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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)

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I have been using this design (see LJ's drawing) for few winters now.
If any problems I have is - too much ventilation.
:)
DSCN6472_Mod.jpg
 

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"What is the driving force " - My answer: pressure differential caused by external aerodynamic flow characteristics - likely turbulent and unsteady. Also, question how much water do bes need in winter? Where do they get it from? Can the bees be dehydrated / desiccated ?

I run Langstroth hives, no top vents, 2-inch XPS insualtion sleeves, canvass inner cover, additional 2-inch added to top cover, restricted entrance holes but variable aperture for summer and winter - finally it, the insulation, is now staying on all year long.

Ask yourself this about summer conditions. Is a hive warmer or cooler in summer with insulation? Daytime and at night? What promotes honey capping rates? A lot to learn.
 

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LJ, Do you recall where you came up with your entrance (bottom) and exhaust (top) areas: 2x22mm DIA, 1x22mm DIA, respectively?
Sure - but it's probably the most unscientific answer you'll ever hear: one of the first hives I built on my return to beekeeping following retirement was a KTBH (Kenyan Top Bar Hive) - it was common practice with those to use 22mm holes for an entrance, which is the size of our common wine corks - and for no other reason.
Then, when I started making more conventional hives I stayed with this idea, and initially employed 5 holes for an entrance, corking-off several of these according to the season. But over the years I've gradually downsized the number and have pretty-much settled on two holes for full-sized hives and nuc-box stacks, and just the one for stand-alone nucs. I made the exit a single 22mm hole in case it was ever wanted as a top entrance, making provision to have it's size reduced in order to cut-down the airflow if necessary.

So in essence, I've determined an appropriate size of entrance simply by observing the bees over the years and what their needs have been at this location. Location is an important consideration as the nectar flow here is very modest indeed, and an almost non-existent honey crop normally results. (This year has been an exception)
I think larger holes, or several more smaller ones would certainly be needed in order to avoid traffic jams in honey-producing areas.
LJ
 

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I'm a little late to the ventilation party... very interesting reading. I have used horizontal top bar/frame hives in the past, for 3 winters. Entrance on the narrow side. 3 holes. Also 3 holes in the middle (bar/frame 15-18 or so), which were almost always closed. Like twice on a really big hive, I opened one of those. Or I used if I was making a "mating nuc" from the hive. THat was more of a pain than a blessing, btw.

So over winter, I made sure the bee-tight divider was up against the last drawn/filled comb. They more or less sorted where honey would be and where they would hang out; I just made sure the combs were all fully drawn out. They huddled inside - once I could see the cluster! There were partial combs in the front and full combs deeper in; I could see them gently sussurating around. It was neat! And they more or less occupied those combs for the majority of the winter, as in from Nov through Feb. They did not move through the combs at a regular pace like a typewriter.

I left ventilation up to them. If the incoming bees were ever blocked from entering by the exiting bees, or the ventilating bees, in the summer, this would definitely be a sign that the entrance was too small. I've seen that, with an entrance that was 3/8" tall and 4 in wide. That's too small.

3 wine cork holes are fine!

Oh bottoms had screen under the front 12 x 16" front/brood/entrance area of the hive, with a board in at all times. I don't try to ventilate for the bees, unless it's 90 for my langstroth type hives and they have 4 supers on...



Again, they had 3 holes in
 

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thunderboltfarm " Leave the moisture in the hive" -- what makes you think you have to anything besides insulate adequately and provide a bottom entrance. Just let the bees manage their own environment. You become a competing system and at times with cross purposes.

Comment about using silca gel - what's wrong with a pine box and pine frame?
 

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trishbookworm "I don't try to ventilate for the bees, unless it's 90 for my langstroth type hives and they have 4 supers on..."

When I took my insulation off in he middle of a heat wave, 90's and very sunny, my internal hive temperatures went up enough to make me ventilate the top. When I put he insualtion back on, after painting, the internal hive temperatures went back to "normal".
 
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