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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Getting ready for my first ten nucs, I am strongly inclined to go with top entrances. All hives will be in a bee house.

My first bottom boards are combination ones - flip one way for solid bottom board and flip the other way for screened bottom board. I suspect that I will end up preferring screened bottom boards for warm weather and the solid ones for Winter. Air entering the hive will be drawn from inside the bee house.

My question - for top entrance hives with solid bottom boards, what arrangements need to be made, if any, to provide for fresh air entry to the bottom of the hive?
 

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My top entrance hives do not have any bottom ventilation.

I did build my own equipment, and the bottom boards I built do have traditional bottom entrances built into them - just in case. But so far those entrances are blocked, and they may remain so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here are some pics. Don't look to closely at joints as this box is just fit together - gluing and screwing remains as does a door on the end with screened openings and the bottom board screen itself.
Centre Hastings-20140309-00130.jpg Centre Hastings-20140309-00131.jpg Centre Hastings-20140309-00132.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Would the humidity during the nectar flow be a variable in choosing whether or not to provide bottom ventilation? Humidity can get very high here in Summer although, given the amount of ice coverage on the Great Lakes this Winter, this Summer may not be too bad.

What about Winter ventilation? My bee house will have supplemental heat to maintain temperatures through Winter in the 35F - 40F range.
 

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Would the humidity during the nectar flow be a variable in choosing whether or not to provide bottom ventilation? Humidity can get very high here in Summer although, given the amount of ice coverage on the Great Lakes this Winter, this Summer may not be too bad.

What about Winter ventilation? My bee house will have supplemental heat to maintain temperatures through Winter in the 35F - 40F range.
Yes. In south Louisiana we have very high Humidity. I found the hives with top and bottom entrance do better than just a bottom entrance.
Last year was an extra wet and humid year and my hives with just a bottom entrance took them 3 weeks longer than hives with top and bottom entrances to cap honey and the honey averged 19 to 20 % moisture. The hives with both entrances averaged 17 % moisture in the honey.
The extra top and bottom entrances definitely work better in a humid climate.
 

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I use upper entrances on all of my hives, and they all have screened bottom boards. In the summer, during periods of high humidity and heat, the trays are out to allow for increased air circulation. In the winter I slide the trays in, but still leave enough open space for a small amount of air circulation from the bottom. That seems to help cut down on moisture in the hive during the winter.
 
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