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Bees sealing CB hole.

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Liam C Ryan 

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In one of my hives the bees have sealed up the hole in the crownboard. I thought this hole helped with the ventilation of the hive.
Liam C
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Arfermo 

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Bees know best and if they find the draught too much to bear, why be surprised. In fact, as most experienced beeks will tell you, if you have OMHs that is by and large ventilation enough right through the winter without any further insulation, so cover the holes yourself before winter really sets in. Common sense really that they are as averse to draughts as us humans.:chillpill::hurray:
 

Bryanthebee 

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I found early this year that my bee`s also closed the vent in the crown board but later when the weather was hot opened it slightly, they seem to know what they want.
 

drstitson 

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Not so holey CB

You'll be closing this off anyway so doesn't matter - as many people have said on here before - the holes are really intended for feeding and clearing only - ventilation is an afterthought. bees know best and must be feeling the autumnal cold snap!
 

Skyhook 

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In one of my hives the bees have sealed up the hole in the crownboard. I thought this hole helped with the ventilation of the hive.
Liam C
Tipperary
Crown boards and porter (clearer) boards used to be 2 different things, now we use one for both. Winter ventilation is best at the bottom of the hive.
 

Bryanthebee 

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Hi Sky why is winter ventilation better at the bottom of the hive, sorry for being so direct but im new to bee keeping and this is our first winter.

thanks for any input.
 

drstitson 

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bryan

"why is winter ventilation better at the bottom of the hive?"

what you don't want is a chimney effect with hot air venting up and out and hence drawing loads of cold air up into the brood. In natural situation bees in trees have a brood in middle of a chamber - moist air convects around without drips of condensation and fresh air is drawn in through entrance. we want our hives to do similar with convection within the hive and exchange with outside through entrance or OMF.
 

Hivemaker. 

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what you don't want is a chimney effect

Not so good for the bee's that decide to make there home in a chimney then,seems that lots do.
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Bryan,

it all depends...

I have always used open mesh floors; therefore it makes sense to me to insulate the roof to stop condensation developing. This keeps the hive reasonably comfortable as heat rises so the bees will cluster near the top of the hive, no draughts and the stale air will be exchanged at the bottom.

Before open floors there were various methods of overwintering hives - one which is still used is to put matchsticks under the corners of the crown board in November so the bees cannot propolise up the gaps. This would allow air to flow through the entrance and out of the top.

Interestingly Brother Adam did tests comparing WBC's and single walled hives many years ago and concluded that bees in WBC's overwintered WORSE than in a single walled hive. Recent studies indicate, I recall, that colder winter bees work better in the Spring than ones that have been mollycoddled over winter. (Not sure if the cold bees live longer of if they have more get-up-and-go generally). Someone might be able to remember ..
 

drstitson 

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chimneys

"Not so good for the bee's that decide to make there home in a chimney then,seems that lots do."

Yes but chimneys are drawing their fresh "cool" air from a relatively warm internal room NOT cold damp outside air like our hives are sat in.


anyone actually know where on the frame/hive the bees cluster - top, above middle, middle?
 

Liam C Ryan 

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Thanks for information lads but l do intend to leave the varroa board in place over the winter. Dose this change things.
 

Repwoc 

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put matchsticks under the corners of the crown board in November so the bees cannot propolise up the gaps
Sounds to me like the Bs don't want top ventilation if they try to block it up.
 

MJBee 

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Hi Liam,
I overwinter mine with a solid crown board with insulation on top and an OMF with no varroa board in. If the temperature is forecast to be sub zero all day for any length of time - yes we do get a few days of sub zero in February over here - I put the varroa tray in.
 

richardbees 

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"Before open floors there were various methods of overwintering hives"

.... I've got a varroa floor but as it incorporates a closed tray underneath I still carry on with my old custom of putting matchsticks (or 3" nails) under the cover board....but I provide a sheet of loft insulation on top so there is no condensation and a gentle flow of air through the colony!
 

Poly Hive 

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Shudder.

Matchsticks... nails.... flow of air up and away with the cluster heat...

Location location and location comes to mind here.

A methodology that in cooler areas will kill the colony.

Everything I was taught, and have since proven to myself says this is a damn bad idea. It may well work, and work well for the chosen few: but for the many it is death to the bees.

PH
 

Skyhook 

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"Before open floors there were various methods of overwintering hives"

.... I've got a varroa floor but as it incorporates a closed tray underneath I still carry on with my old custom of putting matchsticks (or 3" nails) under the cover board....but I provide a sheet of loft insulation on top so there is no condensation and a gentle flow of air through the colony!
A matchstick is about 2.5mm. On a national a 2.5mm gap all round equates to 4600mm, or near as dammit a hole 2" x 4" in the crownboard. I've just closed the trickle ventilators on my upstairs windows as they were making the house cold in the evenings with about the same area, and I give off a lot more heat than a cluster of bees.
 

drstitson 

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matchticks a no-no

A matchstick is about 2.5mm. On a national a 2.5mm gap all round equates to 4600mm, or near as dammit a hole 2" x 4" in the crownboard. I've just closed the trickle ventilators on my upstairs windows as they were making the house cold in the evenings with about the same area, and I give off a lot more heat than a cluster of bees.
:iagree: completely (hence my designs discussed in other threads)
 

richardbees 

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Be that as it may, those little spacers are the only solution for avoiding beads of condensation forming on the glass cover board......and I believe that if it was a problem for them, they'd propolise the gap.
 

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