i question the wisdom of "popping the lid" in winter. you break the seal on the hive and then get cold and wet weather again, you have done them no favors.
moisture issues should be dealt with before winter comes. once winter is here, they should be left alone.
I agree Kathy.
My best yards every year are those I stopped visiting probably in July or August.
I'm not convinced that bees have moisture problems from eating honey. From beekeepers feeding syrup...yes. Bees eating honey....no.
And I'm not convinced bees die from moisture alone. Yes, perhaps a dwindling colony who for whatever reason, is too small to deal with the dynamics of ventilation and lack the power to provide adequate heat. But moisture was a result from a cluster to small or sick to deal with it. A healthy cluster handles not being provided upper ventilation just fine.
As for the ambient temps and all the comments of years past from 50 year old guru's and local bee experts, I heard much that we now know to be wrong. Prophylactic treatments, cutting out queen cells to stop swarming,.....the list is endless.
At one time, it was openly commented that bees do not heat the hive. And while that may be true, it does not mean acceptance of being ignorant of the dynamics of what happens in the hive. Bees eat themselves to the top of the hive through the first part of winter, where they are programmed to raise brood in the coldest part of winter, allowing them to benefit from the trapped heat in the upper chambers of the cavity. Thermal imaging has shown that heat is trapped and is significantly higher in the upper chamber as compared to the box below the cluster.
While taking away this benefit from having upper entrances may not result in colony loss, it does drastically reduce the hives ability to build up in late winter early spring. Of course, I'm convinced most beekeepers do not really even know what a 60,000 strong colony actually looks like..... :roll: