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Bees sealing air vents


#1

Hi everyone,
I am a beginner beekeeper from south east Queensland. Going through my first winter, so I am not 100% what is normal for bees.
I have noticed that my bees have sealed the air vents in one of my hives. Is this normal? I am just a little concerned it may get too hot in the hives, as we haven’t had a cold winter and the weather indicates it is going to get warmer next week (before it will get cold again).
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Should I be opening the hive up to check this?


#2

Hi Sam,
With the vent holes in the lid, with the vent mesh on the inside of the hole, the bees sometimes seal them, and sometimes they don’t. No one knows why, which is kinda cool I think. Apparently they wont seal them if the vent mesh is on the outside of the hole. Again, no one knows why - also cool! There is debate amongst beekeepers about ventilation. I personally don’t think it makes ventilation generally any better in the hive to have air vents, either at the top, or the bottom, because of the way the air might flow in the hive. A warning however, if you close the hive entrance so air can’t get in (say if you want to move the hive) then you will need to have some holes (or suitable bee proof gaps) for air to get in, otherwise the bees will probably die.


#3

Hi Dan
Thank you for the advice :smile:
Glad to hear it’s not anything concerning.


#4

The vents on 2 of my hives are external. Both these hives have built eyelid like cups at varying angles to occlude the vent hole. I think this suggests the likely reason they have done this, or alternatively, fill the holes is to control the air flow in the hive.


#5

Interesting @Kirsten_Redlich .
Do you have a hive mat or similar between the top of the frames and the lid? It would be interesting to see a photo of these cups at some stage… if you get a chance!


#6

Mine have just about closed the vents they can get to at present as its winter. During summer they seem to open some and not others. I would leave it to them to decide on their ventillation setup.

Cheers
Rob.


#7

They have hive mat, moisture quilt & insulated gable roof. It is starting to get a little warmer here & when I can I’ll take some photos, definitely, I’d like some for my hive journal too. In next couple of weeks, will do.
These 2 hives had issues with condensation (which I know is present in all hives, but there are degrees of…) & Chalk Brood, the moisture quilts are a response to those 2 factors. Definitely noticeable difference regarding condensation & hopefully a corresponding affect regarding Chalk Brood with better ventilation throughout hive.


#8

Anything the bees do is normal, for them.

The hive can get better air velocity with less holes everywhere.


#9

exactly…(the dots are for 20 characters, but not sure if that works, hence the explanation of the dots, now post is 20 characters!)