Bees on crown board - silly ?

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Howsoonisnow 

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Poly hive - play the ball, not the man.

I'd have thought bees prefer warmth within the hive.

The winter cluster and internal heat generation keeps winter bees warm; they insulate themselves.

The control of movement of air during the season is as much about venting moisture as much as warmth.
 
T

Tom Bick 

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Yes the bees like and need to keep the hive at the correct temperature

Yes the bees generate heat and that takes energy and stores to do this, insulation in the roof helps them in my opinion big time with this as the insulation in your loft helps you keep your house warm.

A midday sun beating down on the hive roof can only heat up the hive and more bees needed to fan the hive again insulation in the roof will insulate from excessive external heat.

The bees will do it all without insulation but if they have it it’s a big help in my opinion.
 

Howsoonisnow 

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Warmth is obviously v important. Insulation blocks the movement of air through a hive with the beekeeper thinking that there's enough from the mesh floor.

Bees need oxygen and to remove carbon dioxide and water as well as keep the brood warm.
 
T

Tom Bick 

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Ok how does the insulation block the movement of air through the hive?
 

Poly Hive 

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I rather thought I gave the ball a good kick actually. I made no mention of a nick, just the point that there is considerable information regarding over wintering.

Further I stated and re-state that top insulation is very useful to bees. Think the tree cavity which is the natural home. How much insulation do they have above them? Feet of solid wood which has a quite considerable insulation value.

PH
 

madasafish 

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Hmm.. the the French keeper (Delon) of over 1,000 insulated hives in the Alps was wrong to insulate them.

He must have been lucky they survived over 30 years.. and he made a living..
 

Howsoonisnow 

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You only kicked the ball away in anger when you saw the yellow card being brandished! :eek:)

Warmth is essential (obviously) and even more critical in the Alps (and we can learn from our Scandinavian friends here too). There are other factors though.
 

Alabamaeee 

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As a new beek with a mentor that does not use OMF's I am in two minds about which to use, as mine are on solid floors at present.

I know OMF are recommended and the modern thinking for hives, but I can't help thinking that in a windy area in winter there must be a lot of heat lost with the OMF?

I am keen to try them but that is my only worry as the Apiary is an elevated site albeit sheltered to the sides and rear by trees and vegetation.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Alabamaeee,
Mine are on a hillside and it can get windy though I feel they are quite sheltered. Are your boxes on a hive stand or on blocks on the floor?
If the latter then there is no wind issue,surely? If on the former then you can put an empty super under the floor in winter time thus reducing any eddies.
Heat rises so as long as you have decent top ventilation (I use 50mm kingspan over the crownboard) you should be OK.
I put the inspection trays in mine on the days the temperature dropped below
-10˚ but I was probably just fussing :)
 

Alabamaeee 

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EricA,

Thanks for the reply.

Mine are commercial brood boxes on a stand around 15 inches off the ground. They have the standard crown board and Th***es 6" roof which has two small vents in the side.

Do you add extra insulation in the form of the spanboard as well as the roof material?
 

Erichalfbee 

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Yes, cut your piece of insulation to fit over the battens in the roof. That way the vents are still working to keep the inside of the roof mould-free.
It does lift the roof quite high off the box underneath (If I knew this I would have gone for 6" roofs) but nothing that two bricks won't sort out.
PS Kingspan is not the cheapest (just google polystyrene roof insulation) I got it as I use it to dummy down inside the brood box if needed. You can tape off the raw edges with aluminium tape and it's bee-proof.
You can also cut a plastic take away carton sized hole in it approximating the crown board hole. Replace the cut out when the bees go to bed in the autumn and substitute it with a carton full of fondant when needed.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Alabamaeee,

Heat rises so as long as you have decent top ventilation (I use 50mm kingspan over the crownboard) you should be OK.
Errrrrr that should be insulation
 

oliver90owner 

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Alabamaeee,

Use the 'John Harding' type of open floor if you are really worried. I simply part-close them (you could arrange a 'baffle' so the air flow is attenuated when directed under the floor) in particularly inclement winter conditions. Closed is apparently better when spring build up begins in earnest, btw.

I would also like to know how much 'top' ventilation there is through several feet of solid timber (as in tree trunk).

The Harding type simply, to me, demonstrates that nowhere near all the bottom area is required.

If I were to over-winter on a solid floor I would raise the brood by a mtchstick width - not the crownboard - and, yes, I have done it and the brood remains dry. When I left top ventilation (my firrst two or three seasons, the bees were either with damp frames in spring or most likely too cold, because one can never tell the optimum ventilation requirement for all times.

(I have often used Wedmore as a reference book. It is certainly not tainted by some of these ideas and states the facts, as obvious in those days, and provides information that can be applied today just as well as back in the 1930/40s. It gives all the sensible options along with the pros and cons. An interesting read for some.)

I do know they are going to use a little more stores over the winter but that is far better than losing a colony or severely hampering it in the spring.

You will not be disappointed after trying an OMF.

Regards, RAB
 

Erichalfbee 

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Alabamaeee,



I would also like to know how much 'top' ventilation there is through several feet of solid timber (as in tree trunk).



Regards, RAB
I did correct myself in the post above yours.
I will go look up John Harding's floor.....................................
..............................................................................................
I've found a few posts about a "Debri (sic?) Floor
RAB, is it in his book?
 

russw 

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It seems like the same old thing here, ask 4 beekeepers a question and you'll get 6 answers. Saying that, I do agree with Rab, because if you put mesh over the hole in the cb, the bees will propolis it up (that speaks volumes to me)...
 

Bryanthebee 

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my bee`s sealed up the crown board last year, i also left the sliding draw in on my omf and the enterance was reducted, bottom line is they will fan if air needs replacing in the hive.

i read in one of my books that a hive was found in a 45 gallon drum in full sun light and the bee`s managed that fine, the only enterance for that was the cap hole.

i beleave that a crown board is there to be able to manage the hive, or the bee`s may as well have a full run of the mill and just take it away. i would hate to think what state the roof space would be in if allowed to continue.

but dont get me wrong they still should have space to develope which would be identified when inspections are carried out.
 
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oliver90owner 

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Thanks, russw and Bryanthebee. Some good thoughts and the 'drum' hive is very surprising.

EricA, my comment was in addition to PH's post, I think.

Can't see all the posts easily at the mo, without 'going round the houses'. Sorry, but not faulting any of the sensible responses and yours are all OK I think.

Regards, RAB
 

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