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Okay - first question.

How much ventilation do I need in my hives through the winter?

They are on OMF's with a narrow (depth) opening, full hive width. I made some dummy boards to fill up any unused space, made them out of polystyrene and plywood and each hive has two in. On top of the brood nest is an adapted crown board (I adapted them for an apiguard tray) and then on top of that I have a block of polystyrene. I feel they need a hole somewhere, but not on top of the bee escape hole. Any thoughts please?

Frisbee
 

Bcrazy 

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With open mesh floors I would not advocate using any ventilation through the hive. As long as the air has access to the body of the hive then I would not worry about it. I have OMF on my Langstroths and every year they have come through no problems. I am hoping others will have different thoughts about this so to get a broad view of member opinion.

Regards;
 

tony350i 

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Hello Frisbee ,

i have BN hives, when i first started keeping bees i made
my first couple of hive with vents in the roof and then i swooped over to omf and the bees seem to do well with just omf as ventilation.

the only thing that i would say is try to keep the hives in mostly full sun and protect the best as you can from the chilling winds and they should be fine.
 

Lincsbee 

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i have omf on all my hives with no added ventilation and heavily insulated roofs all year round. the bees are more than capable of controlling the hive temperature, and cold damp through drafts are the last thing they need.
 

trinderinc 

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I agree with all above. With an OMF any holes in the crown board/roof causes a chimney effect and pulls cold air up through the cluster - not good.
Mike
 
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Okay - thanks for that, I'll leave them as they are then.

They sit in a field with a big hedge at the back of them and they get the sun for most of the day (when it's high enough that is). Anyplace more sheltered would also be out of the sun. I'm not sure which way the prevailing wind comes from as it's deflected by houses and trees closeish by.
 

Poly Hive 

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They do NOT need ventilation above thanks .

Experiment for you.

Give a hive a screen on top in the summer instead of a Crown board and see how fast they propolise it up. Bees do NOT like their atmosphere going up.

However there are many beekeepers who ignore the beee's wishes and lift roofs and so on.

Listen to the bees, they (usually) know best.

PH
 

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