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Flow Hive ventilation: wet enough to create mould


Two Flow Hives assembled successfully, with nucs added about mid Feb. I am in SE Qld on Sunshine Coast. One stormed away so super added within a few weeks. The other still has two untouched frames, so no super added. Between then and now, by looking through the windows condensation was visible. Roof lifted two days ago and the ply barrier under the roof with the circular hole has become damp enough to have black mould spots appearing at both ends, with an obvious difference in dry ares centrally to damp areas at each end. Small droplets visible in all end caps. Ventilation obviously a problem. No evidence of any activity by bees within the super although there was about 100 or so bees within the super.


You might want to consider removing the super for a bit if it is not being used more vigorously, or being ventilated properly.


I guess “ventilated properly” is my concern. Just wondering why it might have happened… I shall certainly remove it since there is nothing happening yet.

Another query is about the coreflute sheet at the bottom. It sags slightly creating a gap easily big enough for small hive beetle to enter. It is a space that the bees cannot access so cannot be sealed. What about replacement with a ply sheet instead?


Hi Pete, do you have an entrance reducer on the hive? this may limit ventilation inside the hive. Also, is the hive located in full sun for most of the day or shade?


Hello Rodderick, it has full entrance and sun for at least 50% of the day at this time of year. I am planning to relocate them this weekend to a better location ( I am away a couple of days at the moment).


Hi Pete, sounds like your not far away from me. I’d be inclined to do away with the screened bottom by fitting something inside the recess above the screen so that you finish up with a solid floor that continues from the entrance. Now it’s cooling down, it wouldn’t hurt to reduce the entrance to half. If you do decide to make a solid floor, make sure you put a couple of drain holes on the lower ends.

Face the entrance away from the southwest. Make sure when moving the hive, you do it in short steps, unless you take it about 10k’s away for a few weeks, before bringing it back to the new location.

I’m a bit confused about the flow super you put on after a few weeks. Did you say that there’s not much activity in that? There’s been lots of honey coming in around my way. Your probably best to remove it seeing as winter in not far away.


Hi Jeff, yes, it’s me, and you supplied the nucs to us. I intend removing the super and will do so come Sunday.


Hi Urban,

I built n assembled at least three full hive set up n kept outdoors n ready without bees. Not sure what made me lift a top n super off but it had started to mold slightly inside. I pull the bottom slider boards out n added one inch shims between each box n raised the inner crown board also. That free airflow stopped the condensate n mold immediate. I live in very damp rainy foothills SE of Seattle. So we know wet n moisture. So that’s how I kept my hive setup until two days before I got my three Nuc’s. Not had any additional condensate issues since.

I know this coming winter will begin the wet condensate problem as the bees give off moisture n the chilly weather returns. I have local plans n materials ready to deal with this condensate problem already for winter 2016-17. If we don’t deal with the condensate here in Puget Sound area moisture collects on the underside of each crown board then drops n rains inside chilling n killing off the colony because it can’t warm its self living in a Showeroom.

Just some food for thought,



Hi Pete, no worries. Feel free to give us a ring any time. Sounds like your hives need some attention in the brood one warm day. Cheers.


Where you are I would be running top ventillation all year. On my hives I have a shim above the inner cover a couple of inches high. It has a layer of fly wire then another shim about an inch high. In one end of the wider side I have a hole with gauze over it for ventillation. In summer the wide side is down and the top side full of hessian bag. This allows a slow movement of the hot, moist air to get out without a chimney effect. Think roof insulation. In winter I flip it so the hole is above the bag. This slows the air movement but allows the moisture to get out slowly but it still keeps the hive warm. Basically a modified Waree quilt.

As for the SBB, I am not a fan at all. In winter cold winds cool the hive causing the bees more work to maintain hive temperature but in summer the bees work hard to cool the hive. Cool air is denser and just falls out leaving the bees with a lot of work and no cooling.

As for the entrance, just restrict it so it is busy, not crowded, just busy.

My two bobs worth.


Here is one way to make exactly that concept for a Langstroth hive. Easy and cheap, and it sounds like Rusty found it very effective for her bees!

My flow give roof is letting water in
Moisture on lid
Winterizing The Hive. Cariboo, BC, Canada