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Author Topic: Can too little humidity in a hive over winter be bad???  (Read 1502 times)

Offline Matz

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Can too little humidity in a hive over winter be bad???
« on: September 18, 2005, 03:51:03 AM »
Up here in Canada our winter's average between -25C and -30C.  I realize that too much humidity in a hive over the winter can kill your bees, but can too little humidity also kill your hive?  I have built my own inner cover and was advised by my local bee equipement store to place a ceiling tile (wood fiber) on the underside of the inner cover to soak up the moisture that the bees will give off over the winter.  It would still have a hole in the center so that the bees could access the still take their cleansing flight and for air circulation.  One of my friends with over 2000 colonies has told me that too little moisture can also kill your hive and that he himself doesn't use anything to take the moisture out of the air, just proper ventalation.  Anyone have any ideas as to which method would be the best? Thanks...

Offline Jerrymac

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Can too little humidity in a hive over winter be bad???
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2005, 09:37:50 AM »
Bees need water even in winter. If the temps outside are too cold for bees to fly then they need to/ probably get their water from condinsation inside the hive.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Can too little humidity in a hive over winter be bad???
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2005, 10:07:44 AM »
David Eyre has been keeping bees in Ontario for a very long time and came up with a ventilation system that is very well planned and seems to provide the correct amount of ventilation for me (in Nebraska).  Yes you can have too much, but it's doubtful you'll get too much unless you get very carried away.

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Offline Matz

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Can too little humidity in a hive over winter be bad???
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2005, 03:03:16 PM »
Thanks for the info guys.

Offline Finsky

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Re: Can too little humidity in a hive over winter be bad???
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2005, 09:31:39 AM »
Quote from: Matz
Up here in Canada our winter's average between -25C and -30C.  ...


In Southern Finland we have  -15 C - 20C . In few days it may be -30C.

500 km to inland and to north we have perhaps those numbers.

Cold air is dry. Air moisture may be out  90% but when it is warmed upp tp +20C , the room moisture may be 20-40%.

Never heard that hive are too dry. During  hard frost ice crystals are inside the hive on cool wals. Bees keep their own tempetature in their ball.  

I have heard from two professional beekepers that if you give dry sugar to bees on winter, they may die lack of water. When I have feede pollen patty at spring to bees and if they do not get water outside larvas will be destroyed and chalk brood burst out. I am goin to drink bees next spring.

Moisture to the hive comes from the respiration of bees when they consume sugar. When it is -20C, the upper ventilaition entrance is stucked with snow crystals.

But if you keep them in too moisture, they will get  a nosema.

Offline Apis629

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Can too little humidity in a hive over winter be bad???
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2005, 08:10:42 PM »
I saw a small study that a beekeeper in northern Utah did that sugested that humidity could be a good thing.  By placing plexiglass as a hive cover he showed that if the colony is large and healthy enough their heat will prevent the cold water from dripping onto them.  And with regards to humidity, the bees will create that simply as a byproduct from consuming honey.

Offline Michael Bush

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Can too little humidity in a hive over winter be bad???
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2005, 08:22:55 PM »
>I saw a small study that a beekeeper in northern Utah did that sugested that humidity could be a good thing. By placing plexiglass as a hive cover he showed that if the colony is large and healthy enough their heat will prevent the cold water from dripping onto them. And with regards to humidity, the bees will create that simply as a byproduct from consuming honey.

I'm guessing that was this:

http://bwrangler.bravehost.com/bee/gwin.htm

and Wyoming instead of Utah.

But I've had bees in Western Nebraska and Eastern Wyoming.  There is no humidity there.  I never saw chaulbrood there.  I never saw frozen icicles on the inner cover there.  I have see a lot of condensation here in Eastern Nebraska where there is more humidity.

I think this is very much related to climate.
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