Glass crown boards

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

rowbow 

House Bee
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
125
Reaction score
0
Location
Leicestershire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
This is more of a question to find other peoples thoughts on glass or ply crown boards.
The reason I use glass is you just lift the roof and insulation of and you can see the girls with out disturbing there daily tasks, when the apiguard was on you can see if its all gone a piece of glass over the feed hole keeps the fumes in. in the summer months I put gauze over the hole but 9 times out of 10 times they block the holes, the BB is on OMF open all year round the board goes in to check varoa drop or to close off for apiguard treatment.
Do you think with a OMF the crown board should be covered all the time with a piece of glass or ply,( if they were were in a hollow tree there is no top vent ).
In the winter the glass crown board with the vent covered has condensation on this is used by the bee's when they cant get out for water yo can see them collecting it.
What are your thoughts please.
excuse the grammar never was my strong subject.
Regards
John bee-smillie
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,819
Reaction score
229
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
Mine are on top bee space. Coverboards are simply 9mm ply sheets, now.

They will be dry with insulation over. Older ones have feed holes but I rarely feed and can change them easily enough, should I need to. The feed holes are mostly covered.

I think you answered your own question when you said: if they were were in a hollow tree there is no top vent

And when earlier you said nine times out of ten......

Given available ventilation the bees will control their hive environment quite adequately. It is only with a solid floor, no ventilation at all and a hive in full sunshine that they may find it hard work.....or a chimney effect where all the much needed warmth goes out the roof vents.

I don't find it really necessary to keep spying on the colonies; necessary inspections are invasive enough. I just let them get on with producing a surplus (hopefully) of honey.

Presumably you do not cover your crownboard with insulation? I am surprised you have condensation if you do. Not a good thing if water drips on the cluster, I would have thought.

Regards, RAB
 

MuswellMetro 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
6,528
Reaction score
27
Location
London N10
Hive Type
14x12
to me, they are only feed or clearing holes not ventilation holes and i keep them closed, my crown boards do not have porter escape holes but just a circular feed holes covered with a bit of ply

for clearing i use a rhombus escape board as i can never adjust ported escape in marigold gloves :party:
 

Russel 

Field Bee
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
962
Reaction score
0
Location
Panteg, Gwent
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
7 + 3 nuc
Any warm moist air in the hive will rise and condensate on the cold glass barrier , even with insulation it's still a moisture trap.
 

birchdale 

House Bee
Joined
Jun 14, 2009
Messages
171
Reaction score
0
Location
wiltshire
Hive Type
none
I bought one glass quilt several years ago to see what it was like. I used it for a week and the ladies adorned it with freakin wax - looks like a French cafe curtain on a Sunday morning!
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
26,100
Reaction score
506
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
Any warm moist air in the hive will rise and condensate on the cold glass barrier , even with insulation it's still a moisture trap.
it is like russel says.

It is difficult to find worse material for this than glass. - too see girls. Hey.. They are just bee bugs.
Nude but not girls.
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,819
Reaction score
229
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
Russel,

Some simple Physics here. There will be a temperature gradient between the hotter (warmer) and colder (cooler) sides. The temperature of the inner leaf will be closer to the inside air temperature if the insulation is effective. Under good conditions (no heat lost horizontally and thick, close fitting - as in sealed - insulation) the inner leaf will approximate to the inside air temperature. Condensation requires two things - saturated water vapour pressure at the surface temperature and a differential temperature from the air to the surface.

So, theoretically, there should be little or no condensation on the glass, it preferentially condensing on the cooler parts of the hive - ie the walls. Only works if the job is done properly, though.

Regards, RAB
 

richardbees 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
2,798
Reaction score
0
Location
South London
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
I wouldn't do without my glass cover board with a feeder hole in the middle - normally kept covered with a bit of wood and as soon as condensation starts I put a matchstick under each corner which solves that problem.
In the winter I keep it covered with a sheet of loft insulation and find it useful for monitoring the movement of the cluster - the rest of the year it's great to show ad hoc visitors 'inside the beehive' without all the protective gear.
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,819
Reaction score
229
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
richardbees

Ahh, the 'fabled' matchsticks under the crownboard. Would likely be better under the brood chamber.

That is about thirty to forty square centimetres more than I leave. Are you on a solid floor or OMF?

Regards, RAB
 

trapperman 

House Bee
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
135
Reaction score
0
Location
oxfordshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4 national 3 tbh
i got a glass crown with my hive and it is good for having a quick look and this is my first year so i do like to keep having the odd peek in, but a few weeks ago it did occur to me that glass might not be good for the winter due to condensation so i have now brought a ply one to go on for the winter but i will use the glass one through the summer.
 

richardbees 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
2,798
Reaction score
0
Location
South London
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
Oliver

- yes there is now a mesh floor....but I've had a glass cover board since my first hive in 1988 before varroa and the matchsticks worked equally well then!

On a warm sunny day in December it's enourmously satisfying to lift the roof off, remove the insulation and let visiting children see the bees scurrying around on top of the frames - safe in their home! I use this to show the the difference between hibernation and 'over wintering'

Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by 40 square centimetres?

Richard
 

Skyhook 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
3,054
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
5
There was quite a big debate about this a while back. Feeling was that the ideal set-up is a well-insulated crown-board and an OMF. You then get a convection current rising from the cluster and falling at the sides. Moisture condenses out on the walls or at the OMF as they are colder, and in either case is well away from the cluster. This is a lot easier for the bees to keep warm than with top ventilation which gives a chimney effect.
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,819
Reaction score
229
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by 40 square centimetres?

OK. That would be about 6 square inches.

RAB
 

fatshark 

Field Bee
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
985
Reaction score
0
Location
Fife & Ardnamurchan
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10
I think the Thornes catalogue suggests (or perhaps even states) that perspex quilts are less prone to condensation than glass ones. I can only comment on perspex - which I built myself this year. With OMF and no top ventilation I've had no condensation problems. They are now topped with a small eke packed with insulation. Like birchdale the only issue I've had is with wax ... but only on one hive, the other three and various nucs have been fine. I can confirm that a hive tool is NOT the way to remove wax from a perspex quilt ... :(

I find these are most useful on nucs. You can easily and quickly tell how they are developing, including checking syrup level in a framefeeder.
 

Skyhook 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
3,054
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
5
Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by 40 square centimetres?

OK. That would be about 6 square inches.

RAB
Or to put it another way, that's the area of the gap left around the rim by propping the crown board on matchsticks.
 

Rosti 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
1,752
Reaction score
1
Location
North Yorks, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
I find these are most useful on nucs. You can easily and quickly tell how they are developing, including checking syrup level in a framefeeder.
Fully agree, I have persex crown boards with top bee space on my nucs, which I also run with OMFs, very useful for build up assessment with minimal colony disruption.

On full size colonies 6mm ply with edge lips ('cause those are on btm bs). Central feeding holes on main hives with fitted ply inserts that can be removed when needed. No top ventilation.
 

drstitson 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 4, 2010
Messages
7,658
Reaction score
0
Location
surrey, lincolnshire etc.
Hive Type
dadant
Number of Hives
14
glass in winter

presume a closed off glass crownboard would be ok 1) if covered by decent layer of insulation under roof and 2) was framed so no short path for heat loss from inside to outside via edges of glass.

Just to update the panel - having been abhored by the recommendation of the insulation plus matchstick gap method by the grande dame of our BBK branch i've been looking into ways to combine the block of insulation in roof with decent circulation whilst avoiding "chimney" effect.

Having set up an excel sheet to optimise vent dimensions i yesterday set about building a mock hive out of cardboard with my new crownboard design in place. A source of heat with source of smoke above it revealed that i achieved good circulation of smoke as desired, which will allow decent convection of warm moist away from the bees and preventing condensation dripping down on the cluster.

Have pics of the prototype but unfortunately couldn't get video of the smoke plume in action. Oh and the cats (and a chicken) love the new home i obviously built just for them!!!!
 

drstitson 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 4, 2010
Messages
7,658
Reaction score
0
Location
surrey, lincolnshire etc.
Hive Type
dadant
Number of Hives
14
Airflow

Have just calculated (roughly) that convective airflow from a winter cluster will be of the order of 50-125 ml/min (assuming 10-15cm diameter, cluster core temperature of 20C and ambient range of -10 to +10C) ie one can work on 100ml/min.

Maybe someone could design a chimneyed crown board with a little wind turbine in it (perhaps using a part from an old flame effect electric fire) - the low power generated could perhaps run small halogen bulb below the brood to replace lost heat?
 

Rosti 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
1,752
Reaction score
1
Location
North Yorks, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
Maybe someone could design a chimneyed crown board with a little wind turbine in it (perhaps using a part from an old flame effect electric fire) - the low power generated could perhaps run small halogen bulb below the brood to replace lost heat?
... along with the solar panel mounted on the black painted roof, angled at 30 degrees to the horizontal to the south east and the pole end wind turbine mounted on the hive stand, all linked up to make the plastic insulated metal mesh floor glow ever so gently on those cold winter nights :reddevil:
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
26,100
Reaction score
506
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
... so gently on those cold winter nights :reddevil:
yoy have so bad insulation in uk that your "winter" feels cold.

We have in houses an in bee cluster temp 23 the whole winter. We have now 3 glasses in windows.
Perhaps e windos on you hive help. By the way, close that mesh floor.

We have a proverb: shut the door, the heat is byed
 
Top