I noticed quite a bit of condensation inside the roof of my flow hive when i did an inspection yesterday. i am using a top feeder and yesterday the temperature outside was 37c/81f. should i be venting the top somehow to let the condensation out?
Hi @Tom_Glaspie and welcome - I’ve seen some condensation inside my Flow roof as well as the standard outer covers in my area during spring and summer months too, plus mildewing on the bare wood inside and in the sugar syrup as a result. This year I’m trying these:
Hoping they will provide the extra ventilation my hives seem to need! So far I’m very happy with how easy they make it to quickly check & add feed when the weather is bad - I put them on top of the inner covers just under the outer ones, so all I have to do is tilt the lid up
The other thing to consider is whether you need to keep feed on as it warms up. I’m feeding my two hives because they’re very small and both are requeening at the moment, plus we’ve had a lot of rain in these last few weeks. Low numbers plus bad weather have me concerned they won’t be able to forage enough during this otherwise peak nectar flow for our area!
Type in ventillation" in the search box… there is heaps of good reading.
Thank you for the tip i appreciate it!
Hi Tom, and welcome to the forum. I am 100k’s north of Brisbane in a sub-tropical climate where we often get rain and high humidity periods, I have made my own migratory lids with a metal vent at each end which has fixed that problem in my hives. I was told the bees would propalise the vents so I was wasting my time but after more than a year all the vents are still open. the added ait flow through the hive will also cut down the risk of mold and mildew.
I love your idea of the bath drain and plug. Being in Adelaide’s mid Northern suburb’s I guess you cop the extremes of climates there. Bees cope better in a cold hive than having moisture as well; so nice to see you have covered both possible issues.
Am I molly coddling so much so they have become fatted and haven’t given me any hone for nearly a year an a half.
Molly coddling won’t slow down honey production unless you are opening the hive up having a look for no reason too often. I used to a lift of the lid on both my flow hives and Langstroth’s weekly when the weather was warm enough till I recalled my mentor, a commercial bee keeper, telling me that just removing the hive lid for a few minutes for a quick check would disrupt the colony for at least the next four hours. I now, weather depending, only do full inspections every three weeks and an apiary ‘walk around’ weekly. Obviously I see something odd then I will check that one hive. You can develop a sense for anything out of the normal.
That said, everyone across Australia has reported the worst Summer for honey production in memory, the longest and hottest Summer everywhere in Australia. So that will account to some extent for your lack of honey.
For me the late Spring and Summer wet season simply didn’t happen, the natural bush around me flowered but there was no nectar being produced so from mid November to mid March all of my colonies lived off the honey stores in the hives. When I got late rain the honey has built up again but a lot of the bush is now flowering out of season.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you had similar conditions. It may be worth looking in your Flow Super to check that there is enough honey for the bees, or feed them if needed. When the weather warms enough I would assess the brood and hive strength, if the pattern is patchy then spring is the right time to re-queen the hive.
I notice there is only a bath plug and drain set up on one end of the hive, for a better air flow you might benefit from doing the back of the roof as well to give a cross draft to cut down on the moisture under the roof.
Can you also consider a second hive, it will pay you in many ways and the time needed to maintain a second hive is minimal as you will be already suited up and have the smoker going well.