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teignbee 

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I know there are a lot of threads concerning OMFs,but if some beekeepers still have solid floors,what would be the advice about over wintering? I know the first thing many of you will say is,get OMFs,but,seriously,what would be the best methods to use?
 

FenBee 

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The bees in hives with OMFs will need to consume more stores due to the cold air that can enter the hive more easily. However, one of the arguments for using OMFs is that the hive should be drier.

While I have OMFs, I am leaving the sliding inspection floor in place as water will be able to find its way out around the gaps. But, cold air will not be able to freely enter. I have also placed my frames so the hive is the "warm way".

This is a compromise between using a solid floor and a completely open mesh.
 

Heather 

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Oops, warm way - I havent done that yet - is there a time limit when it can be done- does it upset the equilibrium of the colony. They are still flying and bringing in pollen
 

bobandbec 

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Mine are all left with open entrance and mouseguard on and frames are front to back. This is the same for OMF or solid floors.
Providing they are strong with winter bees and have ample stores the cold shouldn't be a threat, it's the damp that can do damage.

Peter
 

tonybloke 

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so what do you do to avoid the damp, if you have solid floors? do you insulate? and if so, how, and with what? what do you do for ventilation?
 

Finman 

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Some people like to put a super on under the brood box and raise the crown board up a bit by placing match sticks under the corners.
So they do if they do not understand what they are doing.
Ideas are many and mostly they are not relevant.

But if you have got a good style, keep it.
 

oliver90owner 

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Has anyone noticed how much top ventilation the bees leave if you put a gauze over a feeder hole; how much ventilation around the edges of the crownboard, etc? With OMFs, I leave just that amount of top ventilation.

Anyone noticed how much of the floor is propolised by the bees? I leave that amount of bottom ventilation. Well not quite; I close up some/most of the OMF during the coldest spells.

Think about your domestic hot water tank; where most heat is lost from it. It is not downwards through the uninsulated bottom of the tank. Fluids always rise when warmed as the density decreases (OK, water is one of the exceptions - between zero and 4 degrees Celsius)

That is why I insulate heavily on the top (and sides on some hives) and leave plenty of ventilation, but avoiding draughts, underneath. A super below the OMF is probably a good idea, but not necessary for most of us. The bees should not be in trouble until they have eaten their way right up to the roof - unless they have been driven ever higher and left stores behind lower down.

Think about the way the frames are; the ends open to the hive walls are the coldest as the other walls will invariably have frame comb between them and the bees as extra insulation. Can't do anything about the design, but one can insulate the recessed panels on a National quite easily.

The entrance is effectively the lowest part of your hive as far as air circulation and temperature is concerned (air at that point will be the same as outside the hive.

So argument by Fenbee does not really hold water. Top ventilation may lose far more heat than bottom ventilation; it is the draughts which are important as still air is a superb insulant and heat can only be lost downwards by conduction - as long as there is little actual air flow.

Regards,RAB
 

Rosti 

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I hadn't clocked the postive impact that the outer comb would have from an insulation perspective and the opportunity to preferentially insulate the recess areas on the brood box, thanks RAB.

I think it worth considering the positive impact a stand has on cutting down drafts and improving moisture migration from the hive. The stand itself becomes part of the hive construction (mine has 110mm deep cross timber that the hive sits on) and reduces drafts through an OMF, couple that with a board placed verically against the stand on the windward side and you reduce draft whilst maintaining full ventilation more effectively than inserting the inspection board.
 

Finman 

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I hadn't clocked the postive impact that the outer comb would have from an insulation perspective and the opportunity to preferentially insulate the recess areas on the brood box, thanks RAB.

I.
Pure nonsence. Sorry all vain lovers.
The warm air from cluster rised up and spread via frame gaps to the hive box.
The heat escapes through the constructions according their heat conductivity.
Wet wood is not good to resist heat escaping. Wet becomes from condensation and from rain.
 
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tonybloke 

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still no answers to the questions, does anyone insulate the roof of a hive if they have solid floors? and if so, how, and with what, and what about ventilation?
how did everyone cope before the use of OMF's??
 

Finman 

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does anyone insulate the roof of a hive if they have solid floors? and if so, how, and with what, and what about ventilation?
how did everyone cope before the use of OMF's??

OF COURSE!

I have 10 mm thick wood inner cover and 70 mm thick foam plastic matress piece as insulation. Then between insulation and rain cover must be a ventilated gap that moisture, which comes through the inner cover, ventilates away.

I use in winter upper ventilation hole = upper entrance. It is about 10 mm wide.
Lower entrance is about 1 cm x 20 cm wide. I take a bit from entrance redurcer's heads that water may come out from edges.

in the back corners of bottom I have one inch ventilation holes. It keeps dry back part of bottom.

********

I tried 6 mesh floors, but t consumed so much winter food that gived up tem at once. One hive died and 2 were very near. It is wind which blows inside hive via mesh floor.

.
 
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So they do if they do not understand what they are doing.
Ideas are many and mostly they are not relevant.

But if you have got a good style, keep it.
Time will tell. I'll let you know how the colony is at the first inspection next year.

It is true you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
 
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It is wind which blows inside hive via mesh floor.

.
Which is why I place a super between the brood and floor. Also my hive stand has sides at about 150mm deep. The frames in the super are 10 Manleys and 11 DN4's + 1 dummy in the brood chamber meaning any draughts will be minimal due to the frames not being directly above each other. I can't see there being a problem with 'Vain Space' as the space is mostly filled with frames and wax. Further more heat rises so the warmest part will be at the top of the brood chamber and won't disappear too quickly through a sealed crown board and insulation in the roof space.
 
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victor meldrew 

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Last winter 2 of our branch apiary colonies had solid floors ,the remainder omf , this Spring the 2 on solid floors were away noticeably quicker than the rest :).
This Winter again 2 colonies have been left on solid floors (not the same 2 ).
Next Spring we will evaluate the difference .
The colonies on solid floors carried no more varroa than the omf Wintered colonies . Winter is supposed to be the time of year for the open mesh floor to comes into it's own as the likely hood is that the mite drop should increase as the brood nest shrinks and the mites are carried on the adult bees and more vulnerable to being dislodged .

John Wilkinson
 

Finman 

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As far as I remember, Hivemaker has solid floors.

In my country there is a huge debat about floors and they are many.
Some use a mesh floor in winter and solid floors in summer. Some use either or. But floor does not bring honey.


My idea is to use only one floor year around.
 

Onge 

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I think i makes a big difference where you come from.

Finland = Very cold and long winters -35 c or colder

Yorkshire= Very mild and short in comparison
 

tonybloke 

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Last winter 2 of our branch apiary colonies had solid floors ,the remainder omf , this Spring the 2 on solid floors were away noticeably quicker than the rest :).
This Winter again 2 colonies have been left on solid floors (not the same 2 ).
Next Spring we will evaluate the difference .
The colonies on solid floors carried no more varroa than the omf Wintered colonies . Winter is supposed to be the time of year for the open mesh floor to comes into it's own as the likely hood is that the mite drop should increase as the brood nest shrinks and the mites are carried on the adult bees and more vulnerable to being dislodged .

John Wilkinson
how did / do they insulate them, john? do they leave the central hole in the crown-board open? or partially open?
if you place a slab of 'kingspan' or 'xtratherm' board on top of crown board, does this not block ventilation?
can you tell it's my first winter with bees? LOL
 

victor meldrew 

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how did / do they insulate them, john? do they leave the central hole in the crown-board open? or partially open?
if you place a slab of 'kingspan' or 'xtratherm' board on top of crown board, does this not block ventilation?
can you tell it's my first winter with bees? LOL
Hi,
they use the match stick under the corners of the crown board method plus insulation :).

John Wilkinson
 

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