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Moisture on lid


#1

Yesterday, it was 54° out and I went into the high just to make sure they had enough candy/sugar pollen block. Winter is about to hit here in Dallas and it will be a few weeks before I can go back in to the hive.

Only went in to take a peek and had a block ready just in case I felt they needed it.

My question:

When I took the lid off which is above this insulated cover. The lid had little moisture bubbles all over it. I was overly surprised at the moisture on the lid.

The Cedar slivers did not appear to have moisture in them. Just looking to understand is this normal or should there be something else I should do?

Is this a concern?


#2

I know I have seen some of the moisture boxes with vent holes in them too. If it is above the cedar shavings it may not be a bad idea to put some vent holes in so that the moisture can vent out of the hive. You could also put a shim on top of the moisture quilt frame so that there is a gap between it and the lid and see if that fixes the problem.


#3

Yes, I was surprised these did not come with small holes on the side of them like I’ve seen many other images from other people posting. I will put a slight wedge so that some moisture may escape.

Below the cedar, it is dry, the cedar is not wet at all


#4

How thick do you have the cedar shavings?


#5

it fills the box, so about 4" thick


#6

That might create a bit too much of a draft. I would consider drilling a 1" hole on 2 sides of the shavings box, and staple or tape some insect screen or #8 hardware cloth to the inside of the box to keep the shavings in and bugs out.

If you don’t want to do that, I wouldn’t shim the lid. Even if the condensation on the roof drips back down, it is going to fall onto the shavings, not onto the bees. You may get a little a mold, but that shouldn’t bother the bees.


#7

Dawn definitely brings up a good point with the bugs. That does leave an entrance into the hive. How low do the temps get in Texas where you are? Been below zero (-10 to -12/Montana) with windchill for the past five days.


#8

tomorrow morning will be the coldest in 2 years, According to the news. Tomorrow morning at my home is supposed to be in the low 20s high teens.

Yesterday when it was 54 – 55°, I ran home to make sure the girls had enough food and I have a small hive with an internal theater I wanted to add some additional food to before it really got cold. So I used blankets to make sure the girls were never totally exposed to the weather and was able to add food into the frame theater.

Prior to the cold temperature today and tomorrow, it has been overcast and rainy 5 days , high humidity and temperatures not more than 50°. Lucky for me the temperatures climbed a little above 50 and I was able to leave work to get food to the girls.

Yes I know I am babying them a lot they likely don’t need it but I’m a proud papa and want to see them fat and happy.


#9

I insulate the top cover with proper insulation. 50mm of that foil backed insulation you get in houses (PIR) There are no cold spots so no conensation


#10

If your talking FlowHive peaked top/lid, the only thing which stopped condensation in the top of my hive was to drill a 25mm (1") hole on the back side as close as I could safely put it to the ridge apex. I was prepared to put one in the front if necessary but just the one worked fine. I tried insulation of every kind to no avail. I have left the foil backed insulation in as it was the last tried, with some small vent holes in the apex.

When I covered the roof with aluminium sheet I left the wooden ridge capping off. This would also assist in ventilation.


#11

Marty,

Had a friend there in outer NE Dallas said you folks were expecting a chill (32 dgs F or lower). Didn’t check your local NOAA stats before starting to write here.

Here on the West side of Cascade Mtns SE of Seattle the temps hAve dropped to 35, 25, n 30 dgs F night time lows last 3 nights. Suppose to get little snow changing to rain overnight tonight.

I have a hive monitoring system in my flow-hive. Brood temp around 85 to 90 dgs. I’m currently having heavy brood dying off now the temps diving n winter here. My Humidity levels have held near 48 to 52% over this cold period. Here is a pick of my moisture quilt …

. I have three screened 11/2" holes each side of the quilt with three inches of loose white wood chips.

To make a large story short. I found some area on the underside of my crown board like you checking n adding additional winter patties. (Approx 8 x 10 or 12") only to one side of the screened inner hole. Some of the chips in contact with the crown board were damp but not very deep. So I’m guessing that dampness will or is evaporating some as the chips only had shallow wetness at this time. I’ll do a recheck in a week or two but not getting worked up yet on that. With the peaked roof it’s more difficult to properly insulate above that crown board much. I have a bit of insole board over it so maybe it won’t sweat under the peaked roof. (Pix of insulation board in roof)

I diffently know at this point my bees are NOT being soaked from condensation as my instruments would indicate the wetness. And my winter patties laying on the honey super frames were NOT wet with condensate like I found in a friends hives last winter replacing gooey old winter patties.

I’m just watching my hives data everyday n plan on having my brother come by with his Flir for a infra-pix ASAP this next week to see where all three colonies are exactly in the supers. I think you have one of those gadgets too bro, right ???

I’ll be posting occasional data graphs on here too as I get new helpful data that might be useful to others.

It’s a wonderful new learning curve…

I wouldn’t panic. I’m going to check again in couple weeks as I said … That way I can get an idea just what is normal for my hive with the quilt n crown board over it.

Cheers bro,
Gerald


#12

All my quilt boxs have screened vent holes. The quilt material stops it venting too quickly so that is not a problem.

Cheers
Rob.


#13

Wow, thank you

All the facts are good, but it’s the general conversation/extra dialogue where tidbits of information are provided such as your brood dying off. Never would have expected that but it makes sense I would have worried up a storm now this is a little tidbit of information stuck back in my head.

Yes this morning temperatures around my home are hovering around 22°F. In about 5 days, Wednesday is expected to reach 70 someone’s trying to give me a cold I hope the bees do well with temperature swings like that


#14

Yes, I will be putting a vent hole at the very top of my apex of my roof as soon as it’s warmer, likely Wednesday when it reaches 70 here. I’ll add some screen wire as well


#15

Marty,

Yip ! Seeing all those dead bees first time can be unnerving to say the least … But small bits like you say have popped back in my memories from my beekeeping yesterer year in the 1950’s n 60’s. This was all reaffirmed last winter helping a buddy before I got my own Spring Nuc’s.

This down sizing at times looks like a disaster or whip-out to new Beeks. I know it was to me ! :grinning:. To keep the lower entrance free I use a long stick every couple days n sweep them out. The bees seem to do a fair job but often get overwhelmed when this massive dying off of summer bees peaks. Each regions weather n individual hives are a bit diff but it does happen annually in cooler/colder climates.

Yah ! I’ve thot about adding one wired vent hole to my peak too. I’ll have to see … Because I needed height for my monitor panels for good sunlight I added another deep 8 frame n filled it half full of wood chips so it’s not dead cold space for heat loss.


Ta ta Bro,
Gerald


#16

I think the best idea is to keep beekeeping simple. Use a migratory lid like we use in Australia. Put a vinyl mat over the frames with a bee space all around it. If the bees block the vents, leave them be until such times as you want to move the hive of lock them in for a few days.

Paint the lid white for coolness.

One big advantage of a migratory lid set up like I describe is that the bees seal the lid to the super with propolis making it wind proof & the hive water proof.


#17

Hi Jeff,

Up here in the Cold/damp Pacific NW near Seattle were not too much concerned with over heating… Condensation n mites are our #1 issue n killer of bee colonies even thought overheating might be a problem during August only for us.

I’m in a moderate cold area on the upper west coast of the U.S. We’ve already had a chill down two 25, 27 n 29 dgs days with outdoor humidity 60 to 90% depending on wind direction. I have a monitor/instrument system in my 8 frame Flow-hive. My five hives are part of a local college research group trying different methods, materials n practices to raise the survival rate of our local hives here in Western Washington.

I’m trying a shallow 4" deep bottomed screen Moisture Quilt filled with wood chips to collect n dissipate the condensate. Only seen a little dampness once on my inner crown board. And my instruments are recording only 48 to 52% inside humidity. By winter-end we’ll know just how well or not my Quilts work …

Both our regions have unique challenges raising bee. Wish we had bigger n longer nectar crops n harvest time but like my mom use to Quoto, “beggars can’t be choosers !”

What you think Jeff !! You n your sweaty have a great new week ahead …

Cheers,

Gerald


#18

Hi & thank you Gerald, same to you & your sweaty:)

I think if you’re trialing different lids, it wouldn’t be at all silly to try out a lid like I described. We have a huge range of severe weather conditions down here. Remember the vinyl mat covering the frames is an integral part of my lid.

Just looking at your photos, I wonder how it would be if your entrance came up from beneath, or if you had no landing board so that snow or rain couldn’t sit on it?

I’m a fan of one entrance with no added ventilation. A hive with a strong worker population is able to maintain a constant brood temp with just the one entrance. As long as they have enough stores.


#19

Thank you for posting, this speaks volumes to me especially the bees dead outside the entrance I thought mine was unique I guess we all think were unique :slight_smile: this helps me relax a little bit

Again thank you for posting


#20

Gerald, your moisture quilt looks awesome! where did you get it?