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Damp & mould in Nationals

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ldwgs 

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Hi bit of help please,

Have kept Bees in Nationals for 10 years and yesterday for the first time found mould & damp! We have 4 hives in a chalk wildflower meadow in S London, 1 the roof was covered in damp & mould, in another there was damp and mould gathering across the super frames. Any suggestions for reason and solutions please
 

Apple 

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Need for a bit of ventilation... OMF.. get the hives off the ground?

Matchsticks NO !

Chons da
 

Erichalfbee 

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Hi bit of help please,

Have kept Bees in Nationals for 10 years and yesterday for the first time found mould & damp! We have 4 hives in a chalk wildflower meadow in S London, 1 the roof was covered in damp & mould, in another there was damp and mould gathering across the super frames. Any suggestions for reason and solutions please
Make sure hives are well off the ground, the floors are mesh, the roofs are intact and there is a good slab of insulation on the crownboard.
Stands to reason that you make sure the boxes are weatherproof
In the other hand there may be too few bees inside. Have you checked?
 

madasafish 

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Too late to do much now.
Stick a 50mm thick slab of insulation in each roof. Make sure there are no exit holes in CBs and ensure they are fitted properly.
The hive with mould in top of frames sound like it has a roof leak, Check and repair..urgently.

If the hives are mounted on the ground, raise at least 30cms - an old pallet will do ,,or a plastic milk crate...

It has been raining heavily here for months -twice average rainfall and I have never heard of mould on frame tops. Are there any bees left at all?
 

beeno 

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Yes I agree, too much unoccupied space. That's why I overwinter on one brood box.
 

ldwgs 

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We do use mesh floors and all are on hive stands, not had that much rain this year, but due to Covid issues did have supers on too long So thanks everyone, was surprised that issue had developed so quickly.
 
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Rich with hindsight but next year cram them down into the minimum possible space. I get most colonies into a 6-frame poly nuc. If they are bursting with bees they erupt in spring.
 

Michael Palmer 

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If I didn't have crown board insulation, and some kind of upper entrance to relieve the excess moisture that collects in the winter, my bees would be a soggy dripping mess come spring. Yes, I do understand the difference in our climates. I do understand your objections to upper ventilation. What about crown board insulation? When we weigh hives in preparation for autumn feeding...no upper entrance at this point...about mid-September, some hives have a soaking wet crown board on the underside. All caused by colony respiration rising against a cold crown board...cold?? Only at 45˚F. Still cold enough to condense enough moisture to make it dripping wet. So try adding a piece of what I think you call Kingspan? Cut to the size of the crown board. Cheap enough experiment.

Funny thing...I'm just now reading Wedmore's Ventilation of Bee Hives
 

Erichalfbee 

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If I didn't have crown board insulation, and some kind of upper entrance to relieve the excess moisture that collects in the winter, my bees would be a soggy dripping mess come spring. Yes, I do understand the difference in our climates. I do understand your objections to upper ventilation. What about crown board insulation? When we weigh hives in preparation for autumn feeding...no upper entrance at this point...about mid-September, some hives have a soaking wet crown board on the underside. All caused by colony respiration rising against a cold crown board...cold?? Only at 45˚F. Still cold enough to condense enough moisture to make it dripping wet. So try adding a piece of what I think you call Kingspan? Cut to the size of the crown board. Cheap enough experiment.

Funny thing...I'm just now reading Wedmore's Ventilation of Bee Hives
I presume the bottom entrance is intact and open through the winter?
I have a box of "wild" bees at the bottom of the garden. There are two entrances, one top right of the box and one in the middle at the bottom. The bees use both entrances in the summer and propolise the bottom one entirely in the winter. I have had two separate colonies in there (first died out) and they have both done that.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
I do understand the difference in our climates. I do understand your objections to upper ventilation. What about crown board insulation?
I think a great many thinking beekeepers here use Kingspan insulation above the crownboard nowadays, many of us fix it into the roofs permanently

Funny thing...I'm just now reading Wedmore's Ventilation of Bee Hives
A bit of fiction to read over the winter months is always nice - but for something a little less tedious and more worthwhile - have you tried Ulysses by James Joyce?
Or maybe war and peace in the original Russian?
 

beeno 

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Rich with hindsight but next year cram them down into the minimum possible space. I get most colonies into a 6-frame poly nuc. If they are bursting with bees they erupt in spring.
Yes, welcome back. Bit surprised that you get them into a six frame nuc? Have you had a lot of swarms this year?
 

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