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Author Topic: top entries & insulation  (Read 4666 times)
bee-nuts
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« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2011, 07:13:13 PM »

I prefer a bottom entrance in summer and top in winter.  As winter settles in and it gets very cold my bees should be in the second deep box.  I put a Hive top sugar feeder on colonies.
http://youtu.be/RQ1Gebeo3uE


 I have my entrance drilled into this so I dont have to have holes in my boxes.  In the far north where it gets really cold insulation on top of hive is very important so condensation does not build up in mass and drip on the bees when a thaw come along.  Having an entrance up near the cluster allows the bees easy access to take a poo flight and if they make it back and into the entrance they are in warmest part of colony right near the cluster so they should be able to crawl back into the cluster if they are chilled.  Last season we got some serious snow storms that buried some of my colonies under snow.  Most of them were just sticking above the snow so the bees still had air flow and an exit.  The other were real easy to remove the snow away from entrance.  If I would have had to remove snow all the way to the bottom it would have been a chore and a never ending one when wind would just keep pilling snow around the hive.

I dont really have a strong opinion of which is best, bottom or top entrance.  I believe both have their pros and cons.  For me it has come down to the fact I use top feeders with an exit on them, and mice have been a serious problem in winter so Im going to cut the bottom entrance completely out of the equation this winter and hope I have 0 damaged combs come spring.
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annette
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« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2011, 11:15:54 PM »

I use the ventilated inner covers from Honey Run Apiaries.


http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/store/all-season-inner-cover-frame-p-232.html

I also keep the SBB open all winter although we get many nights into the 20's and 30's for about 2 months. Not as cold as most of you, but cold enough.

I keep the inner covers insulated (it comes with the insulation) and I do close off a small portion of the top side entrance. I think the entrance notch on the side is a bit too large for winter.

No moisture problems anymore.

Annette
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Stone
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« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2011, 09:21:47 AM »

I've been using a small ventilated super on top of an inner cover all summer - like Annette described, and pictured in her link. One hole is unscreened for a top entrance. Not used too often. I pulled out the slide out on the screened bottom board and left it open all summer. No bearding.

This winter I'm going to put pieces of ceiling tile - aka, Homosote - directly over the frames of the top medium - essentially acting as an inner cover.  Function is to absorb moisture.  Directly on top of this - surface to surface - goes some foam insulation - just like in Annette's link. A center oval hole matching an inner cover goes through all of these. Then goes the ventilated super with one hole opened for a top entrance. (Would the bees actually used this in a pinch??) Then the outer cover.

I'm thinking of notching the ceiling tile for a little upper entrance too.

What do you think?
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2011, 01:21:52 PM »

Wouldn't the material absorbing water detract from it's insulative ability?  The main reason for insulating the ceiling is to keep the humidity from condensing and dripping back down on the bees.  Dry air conducts heat less efficiently than moisture laden air.

Water vapor is lighter than plain air.  It's specific gravity is actually .62, meaning, roughly, it's 38% less dense than air and in a still environment would rise to the top of the pile.  You would want to provide a little hole for that vapor to escape, not too large so as to keep drafts down and provide a top entrance, and insulate the inner cover.
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Finski
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« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2011, 01:50:30 PM »


I've been using a small ventilated super on top of an inner cover all summer -


 like Annette described, and pictured in her link. One hole is unscreened for a top entrance. Not used too often. I pulled out the slide out on the screened bottom board and left it open all summer. No bearding.

This winter I'm going to put pieces of ceiling tile - aka, Homosote - directly over the frames of the top medium - essentially acting as an inner cover.  Function is to absorb moisture.  Directly on top of this - surface to surface - goes some foam insulation - just like in Annette's link. A center oval hole matching an inner cover goes through all of these. Then goes the ventilated super with one hole opened for a top entrance. (Would the bees actually used this in a pinch??) Then the outer cover.

I'm thinking of notching the ceiling tile for a little upper entrance too.

What do you think?

if the colony uses 30 kg winter food, it generates 20 litres water.
Bees use oxygen and they must get rid off carbondiokside.

That is ventilation.

 Ventilation happening needs no small supers on the hive. Make a 15 mm diameter hole into front wall, and it is there.

No material can catch 20 litre water. Crystall sugar on newspaperer works either.

DON'T LEAD THE RESPIRATION AIR ON THE TOP OF HIVE. It does nothing there.


The hole in the middle of inner cover is meant to be a feeding hole.
It is totally the worst place for ventilation.




 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2011, 09:45:12 PM »

Quote
No material can catch 20 litre water. Crystall sugar on newspaperer works either.
Actually there are materials you can buy that will absorb that much water.  They’re called water absorbing polymer crystals.  They’re used in disposable diapers and potting soil.  It is said that 1 pound of this stuff will hold 50 gallons of water!   http://science.howstuffworks.com/dictionary/geology-terms/question581.htm

However, who wants to store 50 gallons of water above their bees!  I would skip the water sponges and just vent the water vapor to the outside like Finski does.  Water is good for aquarium fishes, not bees.
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annette
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« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2011, 02:58:56 PM »

Hi Stone

Just thinking about those tiles you would be placing directly on top of the medium super. Wouldn't that compromise the bee space on that super??

Annette
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Finski
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« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2011, 04:39:37 PM »

Hi Stone

Just thinking about those tiles you would be placing directly on top of the medium super. Wouldn't that compromise the bee space on that super??

Annette

then remerber to say hokkuspokkus or simsalabim
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derekm
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« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2011, 05:59:10 PM »

 afro :-Here's a way to rthink about this. Bees have a power budget to use to heat or dehumidify the hive. A top vent commits 100% to dehumidify unless you do something very sophisticated.  A hole part way down commits less, but does it dehumidify effectively? Are there any alternatives to providing dehumidification with controlled heat budget. How about an insulated roof with a nail sealed into it? This creates a localized cold spot. Condensation forms in a controlled place and the heat budget can be calculated from the conductivity and diameter
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
yockey5
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« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2011, 06:51:24 PM »

afro :-Here's a way to rthink about this. Bees have a power budget to use to heat or dehumidify the hive. A top vent commits 100% to dehumidify unless you do something very sophisticated.  A hole part way down commits less, but does it dehumidify effectively? Are there any alternatives to providing dehumidification with controlled heat budget. How about an insulated roof with a nail sealed into it? This creates a localized cold spot. Condensation forms in a controlled place and the heat budget can be calculated from the conductivity and diameter


Huh?Huh?
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BlueBee
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« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2011, 12:54:09 AM »

There’s an outfit in New England (I believe) that has patented and is selling a bee hive condensation system kind of like Derekm is suggesting.  Somebody posted the link on here before but I can’t recall the website address.  

The premise for their invention seemed to be the old proverb that ‘cold doesn’t kill bees, but moisture does’.

Their solution to prevent moisture problems was a curved aluminum inner roof.  Kind of like a half dome built into a super body.  Aluminum being a very good conductor of heat was allowed to be chilled by the outside air.  When moisture rises from the bees, it hits the cold AL inner cover, condenses and rolls down the sides of the AL where it is funneled into tubes and exhausted outside the hive.

Their hives were not insulated.
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Finski
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« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2011, 01:12:23 AM »

afro :-Here's a way to rthink about this. Bees have a power budget to use to heat or dehumidify the hive. A top vent commits 100% to dehumidify unless you do something very sophisticated.  A hole part way down commits less, but does it dehumidify effectively? Are there any alternatives to providing dehumidification with controlled heat budget. How about an insulated roof with a nail sealed into it? This creates a localized cold spot. Condensation forms in a controlled place and the heat budget can be calculated from the conductivity and diameter

too fine to be true.

In practice bees survive over winter. It is not so sophisticated thing.

With solid bottom upper entrance is very usefull to lead moist air out.

- when weather is cold enough, moisture condensates on cold cold surfaces.

- in wooden hive part of moisture goes into the wall and move out though the wood.

- in plastic hives moisture condensates on walls and drills to the bottom. That is why a plastic hive needs better insulation than walls that condensation does not happen in upper cover.

- use slanting bottom or arrange hive to slanting position that water drills out of hive.

- in frost weather water freezes on bottom and melts when temp is several degrees  above freezing point. It means that under snow ice hardly melts.

- when temp is -20C, a lot of water vapour forms ice crystals like snow inside the hive. It melts and driples down when it becomes warm. Part of water goes into cells.

-when temp is -20C, ice crystalls stuck the upper entrance and condensation happens inside the hive.

 BEES STAND THIS SYSTEM. No need to ventilate more. When hive is insulated, it is warmer and dew point is perhaps outside the hive.

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derekm
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« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2011, 05:21:44 AM »

Bees generate enough heat to keep the entire colony and the cavity in a tree lined with rotten wood at 34c  with it at -20c outside. So why do you chill your bees finski? Is it because you think you know better than the bees. Too fine to be true or do you need more understanding of physics?
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
derekm
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« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2011, 05:35:08 AM »

There’s an outfit in New England (I believe) that has patented and is selling a bee hive condensation system kind of like Derekm is suggesting.  Somebody posted the link on here before but I can’t recall the website address.  

The premise for their invention seemed to be the old proverb that ‘cold doesn’t kill bees, but moisture does’.

Their solution to prevent moisture problems was a curved aluminum inner roof.  Kind of like a half dome built into a super body.  Aluminum being a very good conductor of heat was allowed to be chilled by the outside air.  When moisture rises from the bees, it hits the cold AL inner cover, condenses and rolls down the sides of the AL where it is funneled into tubes and exhausted outside the hive.

Their hives were not insul

wow patenting a bee chiller.  Thats a case of 100% dehumidification heat budge That's NOT what I'm suggesting AT ALL. To do controlled condensation you need a small slightly colder spot in a insulated hive
« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 06:04:30 AM by derekm » Logged

If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
Finski
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« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2011, 07:01:38 AM »

Bees generate enough heat to keep the entire colony and the cavity in a tree lined with rotten wood at 34c  with it at -20c outside. So why do you chill your bees finski? Is it because you think you know better than the bees. Too fine to be true or do you need more understanding of physics?

britain is a Great Country. 60 million people. 10 times more than were have. Thanks to geography distance to Britain from my soffa is1950 kilometres.

I am not afraid when I say that the British do not understand much heat economy of the beehives. I intended to say beekeeping but I did not say.

Heh heh. -20 C outside and the whole tree trunk +34C.  
I have heard that sometimes you get a snow rain in Britain and sometime ponds have 1 cm ice cover.


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T Beek
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« Reply #35 on: October 04, 2011, 07:15:27 AM »

And they're off grin  Pull 'em back up boys:-D

This months 'Bee Culture' has an article explaining top entry benefits I've not yet seen on this thread, along w/ an interesting take on how top entrances closely mirror a tree cavity.

thomas
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Finski
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« Reply #36 on: October 04, 2011, 07:19:53 AM »

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There is a rumour among beekeepers that bees consume more food during warm winter than cold winter.

It is easy to look from google, what are the facts. It has been done many laboratory researches how bee cluster acts in cold winter.

But two years ago our researcher had 4 colonies on balance and he followed the weight loss of hives.

It was strange that when frost rised more than -15 C, beehives stopped consumption. And when it became milder, weight loss start again. Some very experinced guys wrote that "so you see. Frost does not add food consumption". So it seemed.

One professional said to me that in during hard frost the water vapour freezes inside the hives. It is sometimes more and less full of snow generated from respiration.

So, that was the explanation. During hard frost vapour condensates inside the hive and there is not weight loss untill temp rises and snow melts.


.


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Finski
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« Reply #37 on: October 04, 2011, 07:26:44 AM »

And they're off grin  Pull 'em back up boys:-D

This months 'Bee Culture' has an article explaining top entry benefits I've not yet seen on this thread, along w/ an interesting take on how top entrances closely mirror a tree cavity.

thomas

i have used it 45 years and learned nothing. I suppose. But I learned in one moment long time ago when I lost several  hives which did not had upper entrances.

Some use it not at all, like my neighbour here. But he has feeding hole open and he conducts the moisture to the loft. Perhaps dad told him.

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« Reply #38 on: October 04, 2011, 08:00:14 AM »

Its little more than 'different strokes for different folks' Finski.  That's a good thing cool.  Its not all meant to be personal man.

thomas
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Finski
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« Reply #39 on: October 04, 2011, 09:57:50 AM »

.
One thing about upperentrance on my latitudes.......

Hives are undersnowand we cannot inspectthem before cleadsing flight.

Snow, ice inside and dead bees may stuck the main entrance during winter, but when upperentrance is open, no worry.

Cluster like to bee near the entrance and dead bees fall near the entrance. Later in Spring bees use the food in back corners of the hive. Often the cluster starts wintering so that they fill the front wall of first and second box.

When cluster get smaller,it moves to back corner of the hive where wind does not reach.
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