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Rain in the Hive!


Hi, I was wondering if rain gets into the hive through the entrance or vents… Will it affect the bees? How can the bees get rid of any rain left lying on the bottom board? We’ve had pretty heavy rain here in Brissy and when I went out to check on my hives when the rain had stopped, there was a lot of water in the entrance. I tilited the back of my hive and a little water came out of the entrance. Will this create any mold or is this something I shouldn’t be concerned about?




Hi Olie, Do you have a solid bottom board and not the base the flow hive comes with?
The flow base tilts the hive back slightly so that the honey can run out at harvest. That guides the rain out back. There is a screen built into the base with the coreflute sheet underneath, so it’s impossible to collect water. The landing board is slightly pointing down with quite a step into the hive. Never had water in there.
The conventional langstroth hive has a solid bottom board and sure can collect water. To prevent that, I tilt my Langs forward so the water can run out the entrance, with a board under the back of the hive.
I believe the bees will cope ok with water on the bottom, they are good at fanning and will likely use up the water for their needs. In rain season with rain for weeks or even months, I strap a roofing sheet over some rows of hives to assist them a bit. Some of my hives are under a roof structure permanently.
Your honey will be thinner due to the higher water content.


Hi Webclan, thanks for that info. I have a traditional Langstroth hive, I might prop the back of the hive up permanently like you suggested. Thanks!


My Langstroth hives are permanently raised about 6mm at the back, any water that is blown in will drain back out of the entrance, the few drops that remain will probably be taken up by the bees for their needs and it won’t be an issue. Mold will grow from the humidity in the air and it is something to look for in your inspections regardless of the weather…


Will having the hive not level end to end cause any drawn out comb to be not level?? I thought the hive had to be dead level🤔




It has to be left to right level, but within reason (5 to 10 degrees max), back to front tilting doesn’t bother the bees at all. :blush:

It is all to do with the way they build comb. Young bees hang down in necklace type formations from the tops of frames (called festooning), using gravity to build the comb downwards. If the hive is tilted front to back, that doesn’t affect the building. If it is tilted left to right, they will make connections between frames, bridge comb, islands and all sorts of other creative and unwanted stuff. Just try to think like a bee, and everything will be all right in your hives. :wink:


Thanks @Dawn_SD👌🏼 I might prop the back up😁


Sounds like a plan! :wink:


The hive must be level from side to side (no tilt to the side) The reason for that is that the building of wax frames is dependant on the frame hanging vertically in that axis, bees build comb by their sense of gravity. If there is a sideways tilt the bees will build wonky comb. This does not happen in a front to back tilt as the frame is still in the vertical.


You can use these specialized hive-back raising devices. They will effectively and permanently raise the rear of the hive bottom so water runs out of the hive.

The only draw-back to these devices is if you get a honey leak, it too will run out of the front of the hive.


that’s kind of a good thing, no? Better than having it pool up in the bottom of the hive?

amazing technology BTW :wink:


Depends on if it’s robbing season or not.


When you look at a flow hive bottom board it has an angled piece of timber atttached to it where the brood box attaches. This gives the angle to the flow frames but the bottom board can be level. We make 2 of those angled pieces plus a higher front piece and attach to the bottom board before placing any standard brood box on top. If you then cut a couple slots in the bottom board 1 front 1 back to let any water should it get in, out. If you want to go further you can attach small plastic trays with wire above them to catch small hive beetles as well. All available from the local supplier.
Good luck.