Need Your Opinions on Ventilation Please

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by jim314, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    I have gotten confused on how much ventilation is needed during the winter months. I live close to the OK border in Texas. It can get down to 10 degrees a few times during the year, but can be back into the 50's in the next couple of days. So there are a lot of temp variations during the month or even the week. I made these vented shims after the temps went over 100 and stayed there for months this past summer. Should these stay on, or should I remove them? My telescoping cover has popsicle sticks glued to the bottom to raise it a little off the inner cover if needed. The hives sit on a modified SBB that can be closed up. I have been feeding inside an empty super over the inner cover all summer, and still am.

    Hope this is enough information for your opinion. If not ask and I'll supply more.

    Here are pictures of the vented shims:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    And on a different subject, here is a video I took yesterday of the bees bring in pollen:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEd_WNErPn4

    Thanks,
    Jim
     
  2. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    The slot in the innercover shown in your pitcher is all i have on the bottom of my top feeders, i leave them on year round with sbb. They have worked fine for 10 years now and it can get to -10f here in the winter. Like they say ask 10 beekeepers. :roll: Jack
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Ask 1000 beeks that have had less than 5 years experience and all will tell you to give them more ventilation than I think you need. To me, ventilation is the most over hyped subject in beekeeping.
     
  4. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Inner cover slot is plenty particularly for winter, bees as a living organism will exhale and genetate substancial amounts of condensation inside the hive, this isn't a good thing, more of a issue in summer, with nectar condensation anbd hot humid air circulating
     
  5. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    Thanks for the responses guys. Looks like I will be taking the shims off once it gets cold.
    Jim
     
  6. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Ventilation has been an issue since L. L. Langstroth designed the first hive. Temperatures that fluctuate above and below freezing are the worst for bees. Condensation will freeze in the upper area, melt, and dump on your bees. Hypothermia is much worse than what little draft may develop in the hive. Clustering is a radiant heat with little effect of convection as the cluster is nearly solid for temperature regulation. Still it is not good to have too much, though bees have survived in northern states on occasions when the cover blows completely off in a Winter storm.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Iddee writes:
    To me, ventilation is the most over hyped subject in beekeeping.

    tecumseh:
    I really think this question is a matter of local. In most of the eastern US where I started keeping bees ventilation (beyond controlling the front entrance seasonally) was never an issue. In Texas failure to provide ventilation at the top of the stack during the summer almost always creates melt downs. Sometimes these are minor with only the loss of one or two frames but on occasion I have seen entire top supers melt down. The resulting flood of sweet sticky syrup and robbing and fire ants invariable means these hives perish fairly quickly.

    In most all of Texas (the panhandle may be a small exception???) there is typically never enough prolonged winter freezing weather that ventilation at the top of the stack is necessary. I have small slots built into my top covers (modified migratory covers) much like that in your picture of what I assume is an inner cover. 'the girls' will almost always plug these as winter approaches anyway.
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    "I really think this question is a matter of local."

    :goodpost: DOUBLE GOOD POST.

    That says it all.
     
  9. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    in previous posts, I mentioned about creating additional entrances by placing wedges between the supers, not for ventilation, but for the field force need not pass through the already congested brood chamber, but to go directly to nectar storage bypassing all the brood nest( another way to control swarming.
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Yep, Barry, that works well, but should come with a warning label.

    Try it in a dearth, and the hive is dead from robbing, so keep an eye on the flow when doing this.
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Iddee writes:
    Yep, Barry, that works well, but should come with a warning label.

    tecumseh:
    EVERY bee keeper manipulation should have one? Sometimes more than one?
     
  12. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    I noticed this summer, and much much more that last couple of weeks, that bees that I'm assuming are trying to rob are probing the holes in the shim trying to get into the hive. I've also watched a lot of yellow jackets and red wasps doing the same thing during the summer. The vent holes seem to attract the unwanted guest and keep them away from the entrance. The holes are all covered by screen on the inside so they can't get in.