Another Winterizing Question

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by srvfantexasflood, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    I attended a bee club meeting last night. After leaving, I was trying to remember what was said about how to place the inner cover for winter. Do you place it with the deep side up or the shallow side up. My cover has a printed stamp on it that says "THIS SIDE UP". I assumed it was supposed to be placed that way all the time. Details, details.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I place mine with the deep side up when I have commercially made ones. When I make my own, I have two deep sides. With the shallow side up, ants and other critters can get between the inner and outer, but the bees can't get to them to run then away.
    With the deep side up, they can keep the rowdies at bay.
     

  3. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I ignore the "this side up" lettering and put the notch in the edge on the bottom side, giving the bees an upper entrance immediately adjacent to the comb. I also put blocks on the (now) top of the inner cover so that there is additional ventilation through the center hole and around the periphery of the inner/telescoping cover interface.

    Hope this makes sense. Harder to write than to point at.
     
  4. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Deep side up....and no notch for me.... ;)
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Hobie, heat rises. It sounds like you are creating a chimney effect, where the heat goes out the top and the cold in drawn in on the brood near the bottom.

    What is the purpose of that? The OP is referring to a winter situation, not summer.
     
  6. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I have read that providing some roof ventilation will prevent the warm air from accumulating up against the frigid cold top lids and thus causing condensation and cold moisture from dripping down onto the cluster. Sort of like how you want to have peak vents in your attic in cold winter areas, otherwise moisture condenses and ice collects on the attic ceiling, then melts and drips down inside the attic.
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    That is correct, Omie, but there is insulation below those vents to prevent heat loss.
    Think of the draft in a fireplace chimney. You can actually hear the hot air going up the chimney. If I were to use upper ventilation, I would put insulation under it.
     
  8. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Okay, I may be totally off base, wouldn't be the first time. I still have time to tape a few holes shut before the snow flies, so I'm just looking for some education, here.

    Could someone please explain to me how I get ventilation without an opening at the top to allow moisture to escape? I have no more insulation than the inner cover.

    What about top-entrance hives? (Bjorn...???) I assume the leakage around a shut-off SBB is small enough to avoid the chimney effect?
     
  9. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    you could maybe leave the sbb open just a little? It might make a difference how much moisture you get in the winter where you are.
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If I lived in that area, I would put some kind of absorbent material in the top of the hive, even if it were white sugar for emergency feed.
     
  11. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    So... Leave bottom entrance reducer as-is, tape shut the "top entrance" notch on underside of inner cover, leave ventilation/emergency exit gaps on upper side of inner cover, and add dry sugar on top of inner cover?

    I can do that. With minimal disruption to the little ladies at this late date.

    If I didn't learn something new darn near daily, I'd be bored.
     
  12. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    The hive I was given had not really had anything done to it for two winters here in cold central NY.
    I was surprized that it had a completely open screen bottom board and was simply perched on two cement blocks...the screened bottom was completely open to the elements. No hive wrap or insulation at all. The top inner lid had/has a front notch entrance that was always open, and the main lower entrance was always left completely open with no reducers at all, even through winter. It was sitting in a field with some sumac bushes in back of it. It had a totally empty med. super and a deep full of half-empty frames on top of its two mostly full active deeps, and that's how it had been for the past 1 1/2 years mostly unattended.
    It did fine, and had no mice either. Go figure!
    So I hesitate to try to seal it up too much now that it's at my house.

    We consolidated it down to two deeps of full active frames...removed the empty super and the mostly empty 3rd (upper) deep. Those may have provided some insulation on top of the cluster...but then again folks advise against unnecessary empty spaces over winter that the bees will have to heat, right?

    I did put a tray and a solid bottom board under the new screen board, so that closes up 3/4 of the open airspace on the bottom now, but leaves some small fresh air channels around the tray.