Bees clustering under crown board

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stramorebees 

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Hi all. I have a national hive with a perspex crown board & i had a look in today because the weather is a bit warmer now. A lot of the bees are clustered under the centre of the crown board. We had a few weeks of really low temperatures -15 degrees. I'm afraid that the bees will starve if they don't go back down onto the frames. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.
 

stramorebees 

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Yes, there is polystyrene just on top ot the crown board & heavy density insullation up in the roof space. I have added small cutouts in the corners to allow the air to ventilate.
 

stramorebees 

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Yes, it has OMF, but at our last bee meeting before winter, we were advised to seal the floor beause it allowed too much cold air in. I have high density insullation replacing the inspection tray. This has basically made the OMF air tight.
 

Poly Hive 

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Personally I would refute the advice you were given as ...... just wrong.

A colony on OMF floor should have that open to allow ventilation, and equally should have thick insulation over the crownboard, and said CB should be ply or wood but NOT glass or perspex as it will gather condensation as you are discovering.

Change it if you can, insulate it, and open your floor up.

PH
 

stramorebees 

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Ok, I'll open the floor up again & replace the inspection tray. Because the bees are all clustered directly under the crown board, will it be ok if i lift off the board to replace it? I'm expecting a lot of the bees to take to the air. Will the bees be ok to return to the hive in low temperatures. ( 3-5 degrees). Why do you think the bees have clustered above the frames? Thanks for your advive, Robert
 

oliver90owner 

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Personally I would refute the advice you were given as ...... just wrong.

I second that! Warm air rises and a lot of thermal energy is simply being lost. Cold air always sinks, so even with an OMF the lower cold air can never mix rapidlywitht he warmer upper areas.

I would not replace it (the perspex) now as it is too cold to open, but I would make sure no more heat is lost by closing all top ventilation and making sure the insulation is a good fit. Part open the floor and heft the hive. Feed fondant if light, or feed fondant through the feed hole anyway, as you are worried about them. There is little else you can do at the present time.

RAB
 

fatshark 

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I have four hives with perspex CB's covered with a 5cm block of insulation. No ventilation, OMF floor. None have any condensation problems. In three colonies the bees are clustered under the CB. The fourth is a smaller colony and the bees have now formed a tight cluster between the frames.

I don't think condensation should be a problem under a well insulated CB.

I also treated mine with OA today ... very few bees took off when I removed the CB. It was about 2oC.



Open up the floor properly, seal the top ventilation, feed them if needed and then leave well alone.

Happy New Year
 

drex 

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The weeks weather forecast last night predicted increased temps about Weds ( Predicted 8C here). Going to do my OA then. Looked like country wide higher temps but did not take note of Ireland.
 

Mike a 

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Fatshark

Nice picture.
 

Poly Hive 

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Fatshark is that colony on one and a half? More to the point is has it been hefted recently?

PH
 

MuswellMetro 

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well my veiw on what i see , is a colony that could have eaten their way to the top of the frames and has not skipped over to the other side of store frames, If they stay at the top they could easiy get trapped ,stranded and starve

but others may have different views


perhaps consider feeding 2kg of fondant in a plastic bag ON the frames tops
 

Dishmop 

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Might just be because its nice and warm next to the insulation and they do find it very easy to run about on a nice smooth surface like glass...

or they just wanted to say Merry Christmas...
 

Hivemaker. 

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If you read the post Fatshark made on the 12th december,they have plenty of food....which can also be seen on some of the frames in the picture, being sealed stores.

Hefting the hive suggests it has lots of stores left. Its neighbour has a block of fondant on (in an insulated eke) already as they wouldn't take enough syrup.
 

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Beekeeping does not go that way that you "push down" bees.

Look, that bees have around the cluster capped food. If it is, everything is allright. Let them be in peace.

You need not setup your hives all winter along.
 

Skyhook 

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Ok, I'll open the floor up again & replace the inspection tray.
When PH says open up the OMF he means completely. Remove the insulation, but don't put the board in. By being warm at the top and open at the bottom, excess moisture will condense at the OMF and drip out without wetting the hive. As heat rises, they will lose very little heat this way as long as they aren't in a windy site.
 

Finman 

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I have four hives
When I look this picture: glass above and plastic around. It must be a moist package. The wood will be soon rotten under that skin.

The heat of the bees keeps the glass warm and clean. it is not a sign of "no moisture". But if you have a mesh floor, it ventilates moisture out. Still I am afraid of wood rottening.
 
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Poly Hive 

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I think we need a theory of wintering thread as there is (it seems) some very dodgy teaching going on which has not quite (and never will) catch up with the current reality.

PH
 

Mike a 

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Am I losing some thing in translation when Finman says

When I look this picture: glass above and plastic around. It must be a moist package. The wood will be soon rotten under that skin. The heat of the bees keeps the glass warm and clean. it is not a sign of "no moisture". But if you have a mesh floor, it ventilates moisture out. Still I am afraid of wood rottening.
I'm sorry Finman this makes no sense to me

First can you please explain what you mean by moist package?

I bow to your superior knowledge on most things but I just can not understand how the colony can be moist yet the perspex cover shows no signs of any condensation when the warmth of the colony is creating a convection of air current and high levels of moisture would mist up the perspex cover very quickly as its exposed to the outside air temperatures to take the picture.
 

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