Ventilation question

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by hlhart2001, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    I have had an all season hive cover by Honey Run on one of my hives all summer. They are on a solid bottom board. I am thinking of just going back to a regular inner cover(but no notch..doesn't come with it and I don't know how to make one)..so I just want to make sure there is enough ventilation at the top during our very cold winters. Can I just put a little piece of popsicle stick on each of the four corners of the regular inner cover so the air gets out or would that be too drafty for them? Thanks, Halley
     
  2. Yote Shooter

    Yote Shooter New Member

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    Yes the sticks work very well. Gives enough ventilation but keeps most other pests out.
     

  3. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    You will cause a cross wind effect causing to much of a draft. You also want the notch to provide an upper entrance for the hive so the bees don't have to go to the bottom to take cleansing flights.
    on you inner cover use a saw (hand, jig, hack saw, serrated bread knife) and cut down to the plywood. Make 5 cuts 1/4" apart and break the 1/4" pieces out. Hives over winter best in our climate with insulation over the bees I place a piece of insulation over my inner covers. If one does not use inner covers or you do not want to cut notched in them place the Styrofoam directly on the colony with a small tapered notch 1" wide X 5/16" deep on one end the bees will chew on the foam but it should last a few years before they chew to much away.
    How far away from Orville are you? I have to go there to pick up some items I had shipped.
    Keith
     
  4. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    We live in Winthrop(actually my dtr will be in Oroville for a volleyball game tonight)..several hours from Oroville.
     
  5. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Wont make it there today as In also 2 Hr + boarder time which can be anywhere from 2 min to ? depending on how many are on shift, whats going on, ect. probably early next week.
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Just cut a small notch like Apis suggests, then place it notch side down, lay a 1 1/2" layer of insulation on the inner cover and it will clear the upper entrance and provide the ventilation you require.

    fondant patties 005.jpg fondant patties 006.jpg fondant patties 008.jpg
     
  7. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    Ok Tec Chime in on this one. :grin:
     
  8. cheezer32

    cheezer32 New Member

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    I would just leave the cover you have on now, on. My 5 frame nucs have 2 1" venues holes in the back and a 2 inch entrance in the front ad the bees do fenominal with this set up for some reason, I've been told and am now of the opinion that the cold doesn't bother the bees. I don't think I've ever had a hive "freeze", I have had hives cold starve, starve, and get wet then freeze, they got wet from no enough ventilation. Dry I have never had a problem.
     
  9. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    Are you using the all season ventilation hive...?
     
  10. cheezer32

    cheezer32 New Member

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    No, Most of my hives have a 1/2 inch osb board cut to fit the box on them. Some warped others arn't. They have plenty of ventilation from the warping and gaps.
     
  11. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Because of the weather inversion that happens in the valleys during the winter time that causes low lying clouds and fog, the moisture content in the air can be relatively high and the bees on some days have to deal with a lot of moist air that has entered the hive. Insulation on top so it stops this moisture from forming horror frost under the cover, that can drip back down on the cluster of bees. If or when we get the right combination of weather factors all happening in a row it will create problems that will overwelm the hive.
    We start with a few days low valley cloud and fog the temp a little below freezing. The moisture in the hive condenses on the bottom of the covers. The weather man on the news says it will be sunny and warm tomorrow. Tomorrow the sun comes out the temp warms up to a little above freezing, melting the accumulated frost on the bottom of the covers. This moisture drips down onto the cluster socking the bees. Up till this point the bees are still OK, but because we have lost the low lying warm moist air the night time temp will drop an extra 10 to 15 deg. The length of time the bees had to dispel the water that dripped on the cluster was not long enough for the bees to deal with it. Now this will cause bee stress in the least, and in a lot of cases death by freezing.
    Insulation over the cluster keeps this frost from forming over the cluster. The cost of piece of insulation over the cost of replacing the bees in a colony Is a small price in insurance.
     
  12. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    When you put the insulation over the inner cover...do you just cover the hole in it..do the bees try to eat it. The ventilated hive cover has insulation with a hole cut out(and then in the winter you put the cutout back in) but, there is wire over the hole so the bees can't chew on the foam...do you have to do that with regular inner covers and the insulation you put over it? Hope this question makes sense.
     
  13. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I just place a small piece of chloroplast (think those plastic real estate or election signs) over the inner cover hole.
     
  14. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I think you definitely need some air exchange to carry off the moisture. Conserving the the heat in the air is necessary to keep the condensation point up to a point where it wont drip back onto the bees. Some locales have a very high humidity so it takes more air exchange there to get rid of the bee produced moisture. An air tight insulation like styrofoam sheet will have to provide some holes through it or around it. I use a shavings quilt that both insulates and ventilates. It does get a bit soggy after a change in weather but no sign of dripping.

    It has been argued that it is not necessary to provide heat for the cluster but if you need them to get to emergency sugar or candy above the frames you have to insulate above or they cant move to the feed. Not hard to see why wrapping and insulating can be controversial when there are so many local variables.
     
  15. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "When you put the insulation over the inner cover...do you just cover the hole in it..do the bees try to eat it. The ventilated hive cover has insulation with a hole cut out(and then in the winter you put the cutout back in) but, there is wire over the hole so the bees can't chew on the foam...do you have to do that with regular inner covers and the insulation you put over it? Hope this question makes sense."

    halley, you have been given some great advice by apisbees (keith) and perry......about your inner cover, i think i understand what you are saying. if there is wire over the inner cover hole, leave it in place for winter months. i make my own covers similiar to tim's all season cover, with some changes and i use my own inner cover, so to answer your question with regular covers yes, cover the hole. all of my inner covers have widened notches for the bees to enter and exit, and for ventilation. in the winter, when i place the insulation in on top, i cover the inner cover hole with hardware cloth or screen, (so the bees don't chew on it, cuz they will) and tape it down on the edges with the metal duct tape. hope this made sense?
     
  16. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    The ridged blue or pink insulation is dense enough that I do not bother using a screen the bees will chew at the insulation but they wont take much of it. Remember that it is on the hive curing the time of year when the bees spend most of their time clustered. If you use the white course insulation that has only 1/2 the insulating value of the pink or blue, this the bees will tear apart quickly.
     
  17. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    i use the pink stuff apis, if i don't put the hardware cloth over it, they chew holes in it, yes minimal and the other reason i use hardware cloth over the inner cover hole is sometimes i will have bees go up there, and i will find a layer of bees between the insulation and the small gap between it and the inner cover. :grin:
     
  18. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Riverbee I do not care for screen over the inner cover hole for a number of reasons. 1 If the holes are not big enough for the bees to travel thru, the bees propolize them and close them off. 2 Have to keep removing and replacing the screen when placing a feed pail on top cause if the screen is not in direct contact with the feeder lid or to much area is plugged with propolis the bees will not be able to suck down the syrup. 3 In the 1st part of January on a day that the temp is about 35 Deg. I will remove the cover and Styrofoam and take a quick peek down the inner cover hole to see how far the cluster is down inside the box. If bees are up thru the inner cover hole chewing on the insulation this indicates that the bees have eaten the honey out of the middle frames and there is a risk that a cold snap could either split the cluster, or cause the cluster to shift to one side and the bees not be able to move over to the other side. Prompting the placement of a candy board on the colony. 4 If you do not staple the screen down and lay it over the hole the bees push it up and escape up under the screen and can not get back down. Once it is stapled, it is a pain to dig and pull the staples. For me it is just a lot less of a pain to not staple screen in the inner cover hole but to each their own. But I have found the amount of foam chewed out is minimal.
     
  19. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    some very good points apis. i use 1/8th " hardware cloth, and i don't use staples, i use the metal duct tape (the expensive stuff) that sticks to anything, to tack the screen in place. for myself, in the fall, the screen and insulation don't go on until after any syrup feeding, and in early spring when it comes time to feed syrup, the screen comes off and stays off. it is easily removed. i haven't used candy boards for sometime because the russian bees pack away enough stores until spring. i feed very little syrup with the russians, and also, if i have frames of honey which i often do, the bees get these. the screen of course, is not put in place or is removed. if i had to staple this in place, like you, it would not be worth the hassle, and would be a pain to deal with.
     
  20. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    Now it makes sense:))...about putting hardware cloth over the hole because I wouldn't want the bees chewing on foam or whatever is in there for the insulation. And using duct tape is a great idea. Thanks!