National Crown Board Design

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Which type of airflow do you think provides the optimum environment for honeybees?

  • Traditional Bottom to Top

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • Convection Airflow

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • NO Airflow

    Votes: 21 80.8%

  • Total voters
    26
  • Poll closed .

Walter 

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Another cold day today and, whilst I was watching the bees with a morning drink I was pondering ...

I know some of you 'experienced' beeks will tell me you've had your bees since Apes started walking upright and never feed them (tongue in cheek) but, taking that aside, I've seen national crown-boards with 1 hole and others with 2 holes.

Now my thinking is, taking traditional airflows through the hive, the single hole in the crown-board provides for top ventilation and allows the hive to draw in cool fresh air from the bottom ... until you add a contact feeder.

I may be overthinking this but when you add a contact feeder to a crown-board with only a single hole then you disrupt the standard airflow thereby creating a convection airflow instead.

View attachment 25858

This could allow for a build up of moisture in the hive which in turn can provide a warm moist environment for mould to grow. This is just 1 example of how blocking the the single hole changes the dynamics within a hive.

For those who've already fallen asleep, bear with me!

It would appear that there's 2 schools of thought when it comes to hives and airflow, some preferring traditional bottom to top, and others swearing that convection is better suited.

So, my question is, what are peoples views/opinions on crown boards design? 1 hole or 2? Are crown-boards with 1 hole as substandard as they would appear or deliberately designed like this?
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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The two holes in the crown board are only there because they were designed during wartime austerity to be multi purpose, the holes had/have two purposes
1) for the crown board to act as a clearer board with two porter escapes inserted (two, because Porter escapes are damned ineffective and guaranteed at least one would block)
2) with the side hole covered, the middle one is perfectly placed to take a four pint rapid feeder.
The holes in the crown board whether single or double should not afford any ventilation as they should be closed unless there is a feeder bunged on it or a porter escape (some people still use the damned things)#Nowadays I would class the two hole crown board to be the substandard one
Not having a gaping hole on top creating a roaring gale through the hive does not cause dampness or mould growth.
I think you need to rethink your question :)
 

Erichalfbee 

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When the weather is fine try this.....
Close the bottom of the hive with an inspection tray ( make sure all holes in the top are closed)
Take out the entrance block.
Take a couple of light feathers or two bits of tissue paper ...... anything that wafts in a drought.
Position one at each side of the side open entrance and watch what happens

PS crownboards have no holes.
Feeder boards can have one or two
 

Walter 

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Not having a gaping hole on top creating a roaring gale through the hive does not cause dampness or mould growth.
I think you need to rethink your question :)
Interesting points on the reasons why they have 1 or two holes.

Perhaps re-read, I didn't suggest that the holes 'causes dampness or mould growth' I simply suggested disrupting any airflow could provide a warm moist environment which, in fact, is ideal for mould growth :)

I'll likely be stoned for even daring to mention such heresy but old beeks used to use matchsticks to ventilate the tops of hives and there are those who believe that this is to prevent or reduce condensation (aka moisture) so, in this case, it would appear top ventilation does have some use.

Perhaps the question isn't specific enough, and for that I take your point, but (for instance) a feral colony living in a tree wouldn't normally have a commercially manufactured crown-board with any holes (or match sticks either) and so the scope of my question is different :)
 
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Erichalfbee 

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Bees like a humid atmosphere.
What they don’t like is water dripping on them from condensation on their roof. The way to avoid that is to make the top of the hive warmer than the sides by adding insulation.
There is no use for top ventilation
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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old beeks used to use matchsticks to ventilate the tops of hives and there are those who believe that this is to prevent or reduce condensation (aka moisture) so, in this case, it would appear top ventilation does have some use.
Not really - that fashion only started during WWII and it was down to a mixture of ignorance and being misled.
 

elainemary 

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As an experiment this winter & spring I’ve kept my varroa board in, of course intermittently removing to clean. Kept crownboard holes closed as normal. Had no detrimental effect, yet from everything you read and are taught about open mesh floors I was expecting to have to abandon the idea. I’ve learnt lots about what has been going on inside the hive. Not just varroa drops. When brood has been uncapped and how much; when stores have been used or not. When drone brood is being uncapped. When pollen is being brought in, in abundance. Have not seen any excessive moisture on the trays. All 12 colonies came through winter and despite the poor spring are doing fine. Will remove when weather warms up and will repeat next year.
 

Walter 

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Removed - Pointless Debate
 

Erichalfbee 

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As an experiment this winter & spring I’ve kept my varroa board in, of course intermittently removing to clean. Kept crownboard holes closed as normal. Had no detrimental effect, yet from everything you read and are taught about open mesh floors I was expecting to have to abandon the idea. I’ve learnt lots about what has been going on inside the hive. Not just varroa drops. When brood has been uncapped and how much; when stores have been used or not. When drone brood is being uncapped. When pollen is being brought in, in abundance. Have not seen any excessive moisture on the trays. All 12 colonies came through winter and despite the poor spring are doing fine. Will remove when weather warms up and will repeat next year.
I have done the same but my inspection boards are a good 5cm below the omf so there is a good gap at the back.
I am trying two solid floors with UFE this year.
 

Beebe 

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As an experiment this winter & spring I’ve kept my varroa board in, of course intermittently removing to clean. Kept crownboard holes closed as normal. Had no detrimental effect, yet from everything you read and are taught about open mesh floors I was expecting to have to abandon the idea.
It's a relief to hear someone else saying that. I ignored everyone and left the boards in all winter, although checking them several times a week. Next winter I'm planning to add to the insulated jacket with a separate insulated baseboard. I'll have a removable section at the back so that I can access the inspection board.
I really think this "leave the inspection board out" mantra will go the way of matchsticks.
 

Swarm 

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People do what people do, it makes them feel better, I doubt the bees worry too much.
 

Boston Bees 

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As an experiment this winter & spring I’ve kept my varroa board in, of course intermittently removing to clean. Kept crownboard holes closed as normal. Had no detrimental effect, yet from everything you read and are taught about open mesh floors I was expecting to have to abandon the idea. I’ve learnt lots about what has been going on inside the hive. Not just varroa drops. When brood has been uncapped and how much; when stores have been used or not. When drone brood is being uncapped. When pollen is being brought in, in abundance. Have not seen any excessive moisture on the trays. All 12 colonies came through winter and despite the poor spring are doing fine. Will remove when weather warms up and will repeat next year.
I have several poly hives and nucs with a sheet of correx screwed on top of the mesh, effectively making a poly solid floor. Will see how they do this year. They seem fine so far.
 

Hachi 

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Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
Been on solid floors for a number of years now. I rate them and have had no problems
 

Curly green finger's 

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It's a relief to hear someone else saying that. I ignored everyone and left the boards in all winter, although checking them several times a week. Next winter I'm planning to add to the insulated jacket with a separate insulated baseboard. I'll have a removable section at the back so that I can access the inspection board.
I really think this "leave the inspection board out" mantra will go the way of matchsticks.
I like to leave my boards in over winter and inspect regularly as elainemary said you can learn alot through out winter what is happening..
 

oliver90owner 

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Yesterday at 9:29 PM

Removed - Pointless Debate


My advice. Grow up and think a bit. Would you leave a gaping hole to your roof space through the winter months? Thought not.

Do what the bees require, not what you think they should endure. Place a piece of gauze over an otherwise open ‘draught hole’ and simply observe what the bees do with it. On second thoughts, don’t bother. The bees will very quickly propolise the gauze mesh completely shut.

JBM is a beekeeper, not just a keeper of bees, like many on the forum. He knows how to house bees and he knows why crown boards were made that way. Beekeeping needs people to think for themselves or to do some research before expounding false hypetheses as theories, etc.

I simply use a plain sheet of plywood over the boxes of my hives. I only exchange it for a sheet with a hole if feeding via the top is required. Actually, some crown boards do have a hole - but covered with something that is secured by propolis.

No need, even, for feathers (as Dani suggests). Simply placing your hand at each end of the entrance will likely be sufficient for even the average person to recognise a temperature difference. Those who think about that will realise that warmed air is leaving the hive and that an in-going flow must be occurring elsewhere!

Frankly, the debate was never needed. It just needed some joined-up thinking before starting the thread.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Yesterday at 9:29 PM

Removed - Pointless Debate


My advice. Grow up and think a bit. Would you leave a gaping hole to your roof space through the winter months? Thought not.

Do what the bees require, not what you think they should endure. Place a piece of gauze over an otherwise open ‘draught hole’ and simply observe what the bees do with it. On second thoughts, don’t bother. The bees will very quickly propolise the gauze mesh completely shut.

JBM is a beekeeper, not just a keeper of bees, like many on the forum. He knows how to house bees and he knows why crown boards were made that way. Beekeeping needs people to think for themselves or to do some research before expounding false hypetheses as theories, etc.

I simply use a plain sheet of plywood over the boxes of my hives. I only exchange it for a sheet with a hole if feeding via the top is required. Actually, some crown boards do have a hole - but covered with something that is secured by propolis.

No need, even, for feathers (as Dani suggests). Simply placing your hand at each end of the entrance will likely be sufficient for even the average person to recognise a temperature difference. Those who think about that will realise that warmed air is leaving the hive and that an in-going flow must be occurring elsewhere!

Frankly, the debate was never needed. It just needed some joined-up thinking before starting the thread.
OP asked to be removed from the forum and has moved on.
As you say it was a non starter.
 
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