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Author Topic: Polystyrene hive tops  (Read 684 times)

Offline Tyro

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Polystyrene hive tops
« on: April 02, 2010, 06:54:32 PM »
Does anyone know if upper ventilation is needed with polystyrene hives?  Specifically, does moisture pass through the telescoping cover or is it better to configure them as traditional hives for overwintering, with an upper entrance/upper ventilation?

Thanks,

Mike

Offline fermentedhiker

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Re: Polystyrene hive tops
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2010, 07:04:39 PM »
Not a question you can answer with a simple yes/no I think.  Polystyrene is water/moisture proof and so would act as a vapor barrier.  I'm not sure how much moisture is absorbed/transported through the wood in a normal telescoping cover or if it's even measureable.  The polystyrene is a much better insulated and so would be much less likely to have condensation for on it above the cluster.  So i guess the answer is if you need or think you need ventilation with your current setup, a polystyrene top won't change that.  I hope that helps.  I do use them and like them on my ten frame setups.
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Offline slaphead

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Re: Polystyrene hive tops
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2010, 12:40:35 AM »
I've found they're best used like a normal top or the moisture builds up.

SH
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Offline Finski

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Re: Polystyrene hive tops
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2010, 04:05:01 PM »
Does anyone know if upper ventilation is needed with polystyrene hives?  Specifically, does moisture pass through the telescoping cover or is it better to configure them as traditional hives for overwintering, with an upper entrance/upper ventilation?


I have used polyhives 22 years. Its water problem is different because in wooden hives the water goes into wood.

However:

If you have a mesh floor, no upper entrance open in winter.


I have solid floors and upper entrance is very essential.  Very good is if the bottomboard has 2 inch holes in back corners.

I use inner cover which must have a ventilation gap where wind can blow trough.
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Offline Sparky

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Re: Polystyrene hive tops
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2010, 11:03:14 PM »
This has been a ongoing topic of discussion every so offten. I am inclined to believe that depending where you are located in the country and taking into consideration the types of winters you are subject to that the use can different. I did a experiment this winter with two hives, with SBB installed on both, with 1" foil side in, insulation with notches cut out of the sides and back to let small amounts of air to pass through. Both were equipted with made, ventilated inner covers with saw cuts on the sides and in the front that were up high enough under the Polystyrene tops so air did not blow directly into the hives. One of the inner covers had 1/2" foilside down insulation with notches cut out of the sides with absorbant material under the foil sided insulation and set on some frame, wedge boards, on the screen of the inner cover. The other had the same type of inner cover with only the absorbant over the wedge boards, on the screens of the inner cover. At no time during the bad weather did I notice any condensation issues. Both of the hives come through the winter strong and no noticeable differences in the colonies due to the slight variations in hive make up.