In the Summer they need cooling above 95 degrees. In the Winter they need the moisture and humidity gone to prevent hypothermia. You should be fine otherwise in the Spring and Fall if the high 90s or frost are not present. The screened bottom board is enough for all but the hottest days or great nectar flows.
Mike, as others have said, it depends. Every climate is different. In my opinion the best way to go is to see what is the most successful in your area. Bees are adaptable and are able to regulate the air flow in their hives to some extent.
Those of us who live in climates with a wide range of temps tend to manipulate the hives temperature by insulating in the winter and allowing more air into the hive in the summer.
One prevalent theory is that hive congestion leads to swarming, and that allowing bigger entrances and more airflow lessons that; Another opinion I have read advocates more airflow to help the bees evaporate the nectar; Yet another opinion is that too much ventilation actually makes it harder, not easier to ventilate the hive. Whats a newbie to do?:scratch:
Back to my beginning point about localities. If you can join a club or visit the yard of a local beek who has been keeping bees successfully you'll pick up many tips which can save you making costly mistakes. Good luck this is a fascinating subject and like all things beekeeping you are going to see a wide range of solutions to the same problem, and a wide range of opinions as to whether it is even a problem. Adrian.
I live in the cold rainy North west Washington state I have SBB on an open year round. its up to you on what you think your bees needs are. if you have a lot of bearding might be a sign your hives need some air flow. Now remember Bees like warm dry Hives not warm damp hives. They also hate cold damp hives too. so look at it this way your bath room need ventalation to stop mold from forming right? your hives need ventalation to keep moisture from building up. my bees survived -20 degrees this past winter with the sbb open my fellow beek across town closed up his SBB and his bees froze from the moisture in the hive. But remember Beekeeping is all regional what works for me here may not work for you were you live. Ask your beeks what works for them.
think of it like a chimminey. if you close the top or the bottom without the other smoke will not draw. In this case the smoke is moisture. If you close the bottom and not the top theres no way to darw out the moisture and vice versa. Heat rises and that in its self will create the small draw needed to wick away the moisture
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