Open mesh, Closed Bottom

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New Bee
Aug 24, 2022
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Hi, i am a new beekeeper this year and a bit confused leading into winter. I know there may be a variety of answers here, but generally what is the best way to overwinter national hives? Is it best to leave bottom open? and if so would it help to reduce the open floor by half etc? Or take front entrance off and add mouse guard to provide ventilation with a closed base? Also i have an empty super on top of the brood chamber using it to feed over a crown board….should i add insulation around the feeder? So many options i think i am baffled as to what to do???? 🥴
Lots of decisions, lots of options. All ours are on a mesh bottom which we leave open. Each of the four hives go into winter with a super of resource, some beekeepers leave them on just a brood, personal choice. We also insulate the hives. Mouse guards are used but not the full width of the entrances we leave blocks in so they are reduced. Im sure if you put a search on the forum there will be lots of valuable information from experienced beekeepers and then you can decide which is best for you.
Some of mine are on solid floors, the rest on omf with inspection trays 2 or 3 inches below left in. All with underfloor entrances.Some poly some wood. I feed with 2litre rapids in an empty super no insulation.
Mouseguard should have the entrance block out behind it.
50mm PIR insulation on the top over the crownboard is beneficial. Feeder holes closed.
The feeder should be off by late Autumn as they won't be interested so feed them late and be done with it.
Feeder off insulation on -no messing about.
The ventilation dispute will groan on forever largely dependant upon where in the world you are.
In the south it's more damp than cold so my hives have insulation on top of a solid crownboard and no tray in the omf
Like a hollow tree perhaps...
Works very well for me
The bees then get the choice or not to circulate the air rather than my choices imposed
Remember bees were overwintering themselves thousands of years before the crafty ape thought he knew best and put them into boxes and wicker baskets

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