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fiat500bee 

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That's interesting, we were told if there is little ventilation the condensation from the heat that the bees produce can wet the bees which can kill them
There won't be any condensation of significance above the bees as long as you have insulated above them; inside the top of the hive it will be like a sauna. But as soon as the warm, moist air hits the cold air from venting or the areas of the roof or crownboard which have been cooled by ventilation, physics...not beekeeping rules, will cause condensation.
 

Erichalfbee 

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That's interesting, we were told if there is little ventilation the condensation from the heat that the bees produce can wet the bees which can kill them
Only if the top is cold because moisture condenses on the coldest part. If the top has more insulation than the sides it’s warmer.
 

fiat500bee 

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same thing - the roof doesn't need venting - same as that photo in the BBKA magazine - go to the effort of insulating a roof then put two vents in directly to the crownboard!!
If they really must have venting then pointless as is would be, they could put the insulation directly above the crownboard and vent the space above it. That loses the slight insulative value of the roof itself but would actually be beneficial to the timber that it's made of....no benefit to the bees but no harm either. ;)
 

Erichalfbee 

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same thing - the roof doesn't need venting - same as that photo in the BBKA magazine - go to the effort of insulating a roof then put two vents in directly to the crownboard!!
It’s still in its wrapper. I’ll digest it over breakfast. 😃
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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That's interesting, we were told if there is little ventilation the condensation from the heat that the bees produce can wet the bees which can kill them
Unfortunately that was a wild theory which was rubbished years ago.
A cold crownboard means water will condense on it and drip onto the bees, Insulate the crownboard and water will condense on the walls and will run down the sides of the hive and either exit through the OMF or track along the floor and out the entrance (a solid floor should be raised slightly at the back in winter to aid this)
also, vents in the roof will encourage mould on the top side of the crownboard.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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That loses the slight insulative value of the roof itself but would actually be beneficial to the timber that it's made of
Nope - cold and damp - encourage the roof to rot.
I've just stripped down a load of roofs this summer (Ply sides had delaminated so I replaced with pine) absolutely no ventilation, celotex glued to the whole of the roof area, the timber above the insulation was as good as the day I made the roof - no rot, no mould
 

fiat500bee 

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Nope - cold and damp - encourage the roof to rot.
I've just stripped down a load of roofs this summer (Ply sides had delaminated so I replaced with pine) absolutely no ventilation, celotex glued to the whole of the roof area, the timber above the insulation was as good as the day I made the roof - no rot, no mould
Having insulation fully in contact with the underside of the roof is different from what I describe and filling the entire void would definitely be the best way to go, as your roofs prove. In the olden days I'm sure that beehive roofs were mouldy on the underside with warm, moist air condensing above the crownboard and under the roof. But if you insulate the crownboard and this leaves a space of above the insulation but below the roof, that space will probably get natural ventilation in any case, given the slight oversize on a National roof.; so a bit extra won't hurt. It's in the building regs. for human habitation so as to avoid mould on the roof decking.
 
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That's interesting, we were told if there is little ventilation the condensation from the heat that the bees produce can wet the bees which can kill them
That's a complete myth ... discussed here many times and totally debunked... more insulation not ventilation solves any excess condensation issues ...
 
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beekeepershens 

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A few years ago I had the tiniest wee est colony to go into winter, we get very strong winds that suck the heat out of everything, although rarely now and little frost, (recently) so I put kingspan round the outside of the hive ... it was not as sophisticated as the above picture. To my surprise the colony came through the winter, So although 'they say' its the damp that kills bees not the cold, I think it just means that the bees do not have to work quite so hard to keep warm, particularly if you have these cold heat sucking winds ..the OMF gives them ventilation ... we do not have varroa but find the bees do better on OMF than on solid floors. ( I also put a fleece (sheep, not manmade fibre) ontop of the hive but then I have lots of wool! )
 

Erichalfbee 

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Can I ask if you need to feed later on do you put the fondant straight on the frames?
I make sure I have 50mm of Kingspan with a cut out on top of the crownboard. That gives me the option to put a plastic bag of fondant over the feeder hole or to roll it out thinly to put on the top bars. I run top space so flipping the crownboard gives me a decent gap.
 

Nannysbees 

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Thank you, as a new beekeeper and wet behind the ears so many decisions, to make sure we are doing the right thing, gained so much knowledge since June with the help of experienced beekeepers like yourself, but still so much to learn. Thank you for your patience and sharing your knowledge
 

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