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cstroud 

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I have used winter quilts since i started beekeeping, and these have been modified cushion covers with a piece of thin foam inside. I noticed this morning that one of the quilts has patches of mildew on the upper side. I plan to buy some quilts from a beekeeping supplier, as they look to be made of a material which will not hold the damp.

anyone had similar experience?

cheers
Chris
 

m100 

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A closed cell foam used for insulating homes won't absorb moisture and is a fraction of the price of anything from a beekeeping supplier especially if you buy an 8x4 sheet and cut it down. 25-30mm foil covered celotex or kingspan fits on top of the crownboard and if sized to drop in the recess in the roof it doesn't increase the height of the hive nor reduces the overlap of the roof.

The thin 'quilts' made of metallised bubble or multifoil are close to useless insulators, the latter in particular being only effective in the vacuum of space...where bees have rarely been.
 
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MuswellMetro 

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As a surveyor, i think the quilt /insulation should be on the outside of the wood/hive, this means the hive can breath and the water vapour can pass through the wood( warm) and condense on the outer surface of the hive

early modern british Timber framed/brick faced homes rotted as the condesation/dew point was within the timber wall due to problems with vapour barriers and position of the internal insulation

i know it does not look nice, but i just put a sheet of expanded polystrene on the roof and sides and gaffer tape it to the hive,, with a brick to weight the roof down in bad weather...and i do not trust the vapours given off by some of the plastic insualtion panels
 

m100 

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As a surveyor, i think the quilt /insulation should be on the outside of the wood/hive, this means the hive can breath and the water vapour can pass through the wood( warm) and condense on the outer surface of the hive
The amount of water vapour that can pass through the hive wall due to the temperature gradient and the vapour pressure is so miniscule so as not to be of any significance. Wood does breathe to some limited extent, but it takes significant levels of differential pressure to get it to move through it, you barely see it on very deep displacement hulls in boats. Cold spots and incorrectly positioned vapour barriers and insulation in a timber framed house are in no way representative of a bee hive.

A wooden hive is a cold spot all over, and needs to be to ensure a tight cluster and minimal stores consumption over winter. Any water running down the internal walls from respiration and metabolising stores will fall out the bottom if you have an OMF. The insulation is just to stop water over the top of the cluster falling onto it, which might, or might not be a good thing.
 

MuswellMetro 

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The amount of water vapour that can pass through the hive wall due to the temperature gradient and the vapour pressure is so miniscule so as not to be of any significance.
having worked at the biulding reserch station at Garston Hertfordshire in the 1970's on condensation in timber framed biuldings contructed without vapour barriers by HC janes of luton ( taken overr by B*rr*TT Homes) , i think you would be suprised how quickly modern kiln cured timber can rot due to condensation within the wood

yes little vapour passes through most wood in normal circumstances, but if temperature graqdiant allows the dew point to be inside the timber, you get breakdown and rot as FINMAN suggests

i also do not understand your comment on timber boats, my 14ft GP clinker dingy in water , surely the internal side of the clinker boards are always evapouration water, which its why the always appear cold to the touch even though wood has quite a high u value

But i do agree with you about the need for a cold brood..i only insulate the roof normaly ( polystyrene slab and a brick..unless it is minus 7)

this seems to be a usual beekeeper discussion ,get two bee keepers talking and you have three different answer
 
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cstroud 

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Thanks for the replies, that helpful. I am considering trying some polystyrene hives, so that may mean I won't need quilts on those hives at all. I had read that roofs should have a thin sheet of polystyrene between the tin roof and the wooden lid, to help heat from penetrating through?

cheers:cheers2:
Chris
 

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