We have just done our last inspection before the full onset of winter. I thought I should move the coreflute to the top slot so as to keep the hive warmer… However I really don’t like doing this: when you look under the hive you can see a vast multitude of bee feet sticking through the mesh perhaps as much as 2mm at times. When you slide the flute in it sits very tight up to the mesh- and I fear it acts like a guillotine lopping off millions of bee feet? For this reason I push it in as slow as I can- and also do not want to remove for inspection/cleaning it as often as I would if it was in the bottom slot.
So then today I started reading around about hive ventilation- and wintering hives and I found an interesting article about screened bottoms. The author recommends them -not necessarily with a core flute- just open so that whatever the bees push down- falls right out of the hive. The author also states that this open bottom is not a problem in terms of lost heat if the top of the hive is nicely sealed an insulated- and that hives with open bottoms do better than those without even in the Australian snow country…
here’s the article:
The article also recommends insulating the top cover.
We have relatively mild winters in South Australia- my plan now is to put the coreflute back into the bottom slot- reduce the hive entrance- and place some sort of insulating material on top of the inner cover- maybe an old blanket.
Insulating the inner covers seems to be a good idea to decrease condensation forming on the lid due to the inside/outside temperature differential…
What do you think? I’d love to know.