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Author Topic: Condensation prevention  (Read 6049 times)
super dave
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« on: October 11, 2007, 05:22:57 PM »

Condensation prevention

Hi all
In the past people have talked about condensation in the hive over  the winter months – does any one have any methods for absorbing the build up of  humidity in the hive or does it go away on its own—maybe paper towels  on the top of the upper frames – what have all of you  tried
Thanks
dave
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2007, 07:45:20 PM »

a small top entrance works the best
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2007, 01:34:33 AM »

>>does any one have any methods for absorbing the build up of  humidity in the hive

You do not want to absord humdity/moisture build up in a hive, you want to avoid it. 
To that end top entrances and SBB do the best job of venting any possible condensation to the outside of the hive.
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super dave
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2007, 08:52:46 AM »

thanks for the info-- time to get back to the wood shop  to get crafty
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2007, 07:45:25 PM »

>a small top entrance works the best

That's the main thing.  If you really want to do more (which is probably not necessary) you can put a piece of Styrofoam on top of the hive and weight it down with a brick.
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Michael Bush
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UtahBees
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2007, 02:37:06 AM »

Follow-up question:

Does wrapping your hive effect the amount of possible condensation? I've read from a number of posts that some members have wrapped their hives in the winter. Will it cause any more possible condensation?

What to use to wrap?

Regards,

UtahBees
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Robo
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2007, 07:05:41 AM »

With proper upper ventilation, wrapping should not make a difference.  Without proper ventilation,  I suppose wrapping could make it worse.

Regular 15lb tar paper is what is commonly used.  It helps draw some of the suns heat into the hive and allows the bees to move to new stores.  Of course there is the more expensive wrap that the beekeeping suppliers sell.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2007, 12:04:39 PM »

>Does wrapping your hive effect the amount of possible condensation? I've read from a number of posts that some members have wrapped their hives in the winter. Will it cause any more possible condensation?

In my experience it didn't cause more condensation IN the hive but it caused it between the felt and the hive and that was very hard on the equipment, being wet all winter.
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Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2007, 12:36:33 PM »

I am really questioning this thing I hear about people wrapping their hives.  Wonder how many people really do this?

I would like to hear from some of our forum members that live in really really cold areas.  Who wraps their hives?

I know that bees can live in extremely cold climates, bees generally do not freeze, they die from wetness in their hives.  Dampness is their death.  If they are cold, they simply cluster more tightly.

Perhaps wrapping the hives will make it easier for the cluster to move around to get food stores.  I really would love to hear some responses about this issue of:

To wrap or not!!!!

I know in our climate, we do absolutely not wrap our hives.

Have a wonderful day, best of this excellent life.  Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2007, 10:24:04 PM »

I have never wrapped a hive in my life, I've never found it necessary.  For those that I've observed do it in my area, they've had a greater winter loss than those who didn't wrap.  I never took the time to really look into why that would be but I think it would have something to do with retained moisture--either in the hive or between tar paper and hive.
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2007, 04:31:54 PM »

Hey,

I think it really depends on your winter climate.

Here in Saskatchewan, Canada the winters are long, cold (av. -20°C) and very dry.

Before wrapping became in vogue keepers just restocked every spring but now w/the side effects of importing pests and diseases that aren't local as well as faster starts in the spring around here either the hives are kept indoors between -5°C to +5°C or wrapped.

The wrapping materials spans from tarpaper to insulation and plastic.

I am trying 2 techniques w/2hives. One insulated winter and summer w/1-1/2 in. styro lining the inside (all six sides) of the hive and just the bottom entrance w/a telescoping cover that has 1/4in play on all four sides and 1-1/2in. styro followers (TBH's). The other is 3/4 in wood const and insulated top and bottom w/1-1/2 in styro also bottom ent. and 1-1/2 in styro followers.

Let you know how it went

cheers

peter
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Robo
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2007, 09:45:52 PM »

I am really questioning this thing I hear about people wrapping their hives.  Wonder how many people really do this?

I would like to hear from some of our forum members that live in really really cold areas.  Who wraps their hives?


Cindi, 

For your reading pleasure, particularly check out the UPDATE section at the bottom.
http://www.beeworks.com/informationcentre/wintering.html

I use to wrap my hives in tar paper prior to using external heat.  I thought it helped as I did see stronger build up and earlier activity in wrapped hives.
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Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2007, 10:24:35 PM »

Robo, thank you, that was some nice reading.

The site you cited originates in Orillia, Ontario, which  is around the 45th parallel.  Quite cold.

My area is about the 49th parallel, much milder.

It sounds surely like the information that this fellow gives signifies that wrapping his hives has worked well for him.  That is wonderful. 

Do you heat all your colonies with the nite light?  (how many?).  I recall you saying that you use these for heat addition.  I do believe that additional heating for the colony would without a doubt bring about earlier brood rearing.  That is why I would be interested in learning more about heating, not wrapping.

I haven't ever seen of hives wrapped in our area.  We are so moist here that I think surely there would be extreme issues with wet hives.  Maybe not, but I think so.

These are all interesting thoughts.  Have a wonderful and beautiful day in our great world.  Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2007, 08:52:53 AM »

Do you heat all your colonies with the nite light?  (how many?).  I recall you saying that you use these for heat addition.  I do believe that additional heating for the colony would without a doubt bring about earlier brood rearing.  That is why I would be interested in learning more about heating, not wrapping.

Yes, I use two 7-watt night lights on the bottom board.  They are turned on when the temperature goes below 20F  and on full time starting February.  This year I'm instrumenting my hives with temperature sensors and will monitor the interior temps.  I've also switched to polystyrene hives, so that should make a big difference too.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2007, 05:09:40 PM »

I wrapped my hives once and was 2 for 2 that year.  The next year I didn't and lost the hive.  I don't blame the loss on not wrapping.  I blame it on a goofy warm winter.  Comparing the "wrapped"  year and the "unwrapped" year, I would have to say that I noticed more condensation in the wrapped hive.  BUT...that being said, we had more snow/rain during the wrapped year than the unwrapped year.

What did we learn from all of this?  Who the h3ll knows?   rolleyes
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Kev
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« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2007, 08:02:20 PM »

Yes, I use two 7-watt night lights on the bottom board.  They are turned on when the temperature goes below 20F  and on full time starting February.  This year I'm instrumenting my hives with temperature sensors and will monitor the interior temps.  I've also switched to polystyrene hives, so that should make a big difference too.

Anyone else out there heating their hives artificially? It seems I remember Michael Bush mentioning using aquarium heaters in his nuc boxes?

Kev
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« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2007, 08:08:51 PM »

I used the Terrarium heater under a queen bank and it worked nicely.  I've used a small space heater set to about 50 F down the back of nucs all lined up:

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/OverwinteringNucs1.jpg
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/OverwinteringNucs2.jpg

If my back wasn't out, I'd do something similar this year...
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Michael Bush
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Kev
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« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2007, 08:16:27 PM »

Maybe Robo can post some pics of his setup.

Michael, sorry to hear about your back. Back pain is the worst.

Kev
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« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2007, 08:25:31 PM »

Maybe Robo can post some pics of his setup.

I don't have any pictures handy,  but I'll try to take some this weekend if weather and time permit.

Rob...
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Finsky
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« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2007, 02:54:00 PM »

I use two 7-watt night lights on the bottom board. 

 I've also switched to polystyrene hives, so that should make a big difference too.

My experience is that 7 W is too much under the winterball in polystyrene hive.  I have used 3 W on side wall.

I ave used too 15 W terrarium heater cable which is 13 feet long and it goes over bottomboard giving to several hives  about 3 W .

You notice that  1 feet is about  1W .   You may put in store hives side by hive, and then put into hive 3 feet loop via entrance.
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