>But Mike, it's an evaporative cooling system...not an air conditioner.
Certainly a colony requires air to run their "swamp coolers" but too much air and the air inside is the same temperature as the air outside... and once the air outside is more than 93 F that is not acceptable.
I would think that we don't want to open the hive up too much or we would lose the cavity environment, but without sufficient ventilation evaporative cooling would be an act of futility for the bees. I think the bees definitely need more ventilation in the summer than in the winter.
Consider the misting stations at amusement parks, or those people set up around their pools or patios or even the portable swamp coolers folks use under the sheds of their shops...these are mostly completely unenclosed but yet the evaporative action cools the immediate area. Here is a question,...Do external comb colonies that have exposed comb hanging from tree limbs cool their comb and brood by evaporative cooling?
Mike, I'm not trying to argue for the sake of arguing but am curious about this. I somewhat understand the basics of evaporative cooling and know that a good air flow is necessary. I agree that we don't want to pull the top off of the hives but if we can reduce the time and energy that the bees burn in cooling their hives then those two commodities can either be conserved for later use (in the case of stores) or used for other constructive projects like foraging, comb building, etc., (in the case of time).
But, I will remind myself (and anybody else reading this) that I am a newbee just trying to figure things out. I appreciate your comments as usual.