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Author Topic: Cheap Ventilation?  (Read 486 times)

Offline Xerox

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Cheap Ventilation?
« on: November 28, 2019, 06:27:44 pm »
I am testing different ways to ventilate without having to buy expensive equipment. The first test: nickles. I just went out in the chilly air and put nickles below the inner covers to open it up a little. I will see how this works in the next few days then im going to try some other things. Will nickles be enough?

Online van from Arkansas

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2019, 12:02:17 am »
Xerox, I have used pennies years past, but not at random.  When I can actually see condensation.  I tilt my hives, I use burlap and fondant on a 3 inch wither board on my best queens of desired genetics.  On warm days, say 65F, I will remove the top and check on condensation and stores.

There are time of extreme cold that my bees don?t like ventilation.  Determined by bee propolis to close off vents.  So, in short, condensation and food are the main concerns.  My bees can tolerate single digits but not water dripping in the cluster.

I believe your state, Washington, is much warmer than Arkansas: single digits, rarely below zero F.  Is this correct?

Blessings
Van
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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2019, 05:29:29 pm »
I am not sure how cold Arkansas gets, but we almost eliminated condensation by insulating our lids.
Our lid is just a 40mm rim/ frame that has 6mm ply on top, there are 2 x 20mm holes with mesh in each end.
A piece of foil board (20mm polystryrene with a layer of foil on each side), on top. Then a tin lid with 40mm turn downs to accommodate the foil board.
Our lids have 3 coats of paint before the foil board and lid are added.
They are not telescopic and just sit in the rim of the super.
I think the insulation keeps the warmth in the super and so no condensation.

Offline Xerox

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2019, 08:38:35 pm »
Xerox, I have used pennies years past, but not at random.  When I can actually see condensation.  I tilt my hives, I use burlap and fondant on a 3 inch wither board on my best queens of desired genetics.  On warm days, say 65F, I will remove the top and check on condensation and stores.

There are time of extreme cold that my bees don?t like ventilation.  Determined by bee propolis to close off vents.  So, in short, condensation and food are the main concerns.  My bees can tolerate single digits but not water dripping in the cluster.

I believe your state, Washington, is much warmer than Arkansas: single digits, rarely below zero F.  Is this correct?

Blessings
Van

Yes this is true. Only once in a decade we will get temps in the single digits and don't get much snow (Last year a exception). The nickles didn't quite work enough so I propped the edge on the outer cover on the inner cover to get a bit more ventilation. I need tips on feeding though. Should I use a empty shallow and put some dry sugar on some newspaper? I fear that this will create too much room for the bees to warm.

Online van from Arkansas

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2019, 11:23:32 pm »
If you have warm enough weather for the bees to fly, you can community feed syrup in a bucket with straw or styrofoam peanuts with sticks as I use.

I use a top winter board 3 inches in height with fondant for feed and burlap to absorb  moisture.  The winter board will be removed as soon as weather warms, like late Feb or early March.

Van
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Offline Xerox

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2019, 12:27:49 am »
If you have warm enough weather for the bees to fly, you can community feed syrup in a bucket with straw or styrofoam peanuts with sticks as I use.

I use a top winter board 3 inches in height with fondant for feed and burlap to absorb  moisture.  The winter board will be removed as soon as weather warms, like late Feb or early March.

Van

I think the dry sugar in all the hives would work better so theres less competition and yellow jackets. Also the sugar will help soak up excess moisture.

Offline Live Oak

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2019, 09:59:27 am »
I use an Immerie Shim that has a small entrance knotch cut in it under the inner cover.  This allow adequate ventilation when needed.  The small entrance knotch is small enough for the bees to propolize shut or partially shut allowing them to regulate air flow just how they like it. 

Offline incognito

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2019, 10:06:49 am »
Another recommendation to consider is a single dime on a corner between the top brood box and honey supers.
This leaves a place for some warmer air to remain trapped above the ventilation.
I have no experience with this set up, I am just passing it along.
Tom

Offline incognito

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2019, 10:07:16 am »
 oops
Tom

Offline Xerox

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2019, 10:36:38 am »
I use an Immerie Shim that has a small entrance knotch cut in it under the inner cover.  This allow adequate ventilation when needed.  The small entrance knotch is small enough for the bees to propolize shut or partially shut allowing them to regulate air flow just how they like it.

I don't have any shims but I'll have to see the price on them and maybe order some.

Offline Xerox

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2019, 10:44:14 am »
I use an Immerie Shim that has a small entrance knotch cut in it under the inner cover.  This allow adequate ventilation when needed.  The small entrance knotch is small enough for the bees to propolize shut or partially shut allowing them to regulate air flow just how they like it.

Just looked at some shims and they're about 4.50 each so I go to checkout and the shipping cost is upwards of $30  :cry:

Online van from Arkansas

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2019, 10:51:07 am »
If you have warm enough weather for the bees to fly, you can community feed syrup in a bucket with straw or styrofoam peanuts with sticks as I use.

I use a top winter board 3 inches in height with fondant for feed and burlap to absorb  moisture.  The winter board will be removed as soon as weather warms, like late Feb or early March.

Van

I think the dry sugar in all the hives would work better so theres less competition and yellow jackets. Also the sugar will help soak up excess moisture.

Dry sugar has worked for many a beek.  The only reason I use fondant is for the monomers, that is, already digested sugar or simple carbohydrates as some call it.  Sugar, complex carbohydrates also called the Mountain Camp method is very successful.

Only my Royal queens, that is the best, the breeders, receive fondant, as it is kinda expensive compared to sugar.

Van
« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 11:01:36 am by van from Arkansas »
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline Xerox

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2019, 12:43:50 pm »
If you have warm enough weather for the bees to fly, you can community feed syrup in a bucket with straw or styrofoam peanuts with sticks as I use.

I use a top winter board 3 inches in height with fondant for feed and burlap to absorb  moisture.  The winter board will be removed as soon as weather warms, like late Feb or early March.

Van

I think the dry sugar in all the hives would work better so theres less competition and yellow jackets. Also the sugar will help soak up excess moisture.

Dry sugar has worked for many a beek.  The only reason I use fondant is for the monomers, that is, already digested sugar or simple carbohydrates as some call it.  Sugar, complex carbohydrates also called the Mountain Camp method is very successful.

Only my Royal queens, that is the best, the breeders, receive fondant, as it is kinda expensive compared to sugar.

Van

Yeah I can't make fondant I don't have a candy thermometer. I'm still thinking of ways to feed them I saw some boxes that let you put pine shavings and feed them through a screen I might go out today and buy those.

Online van from Arkansas

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2019, 02:45:30 pm »
I use an Immerie Shim that has a small entrance knotch cut in it under the inner cover.  This allow adequate ventilation when needed.  The small entrance knotch is small enough for the bees to propolize shut or partially shut allowing them to regulate air flow just how they like it.

Just looked at some shims and they're about 4.50 each so I go to checkout and the shipping cost is upwards of $30  :cry:

I know that feeling.......WHAT??!??!!How Much for shipping.  I think we can all relate to that.
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2019, 03:01:33 pm »
Yeah I can't make fondant I don't have a candy thermometer. I'm still thinking of ways to feed them I saw some boxes that let you put pine shavings and feed them through a screen I might go out today and buy those.
Something I like to do is make sugar bricks for my bees.  You mix 12 parts sugar to 1 part water, stir it up really good until it's the consistency of wet sand, and then pack it into some sort of tray (I use those disposable aluminum foil ones).  Let it sit for 24-48 hrs. to dry out (I normally put them in the room with my wood stove so they really dry out), then pop it out and cut or break it into whatever sized chunks you want, stick them on the top bars, and done.     
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Xerox

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2019, 03:13:00 pm »
Yeah I can't make fondant I don't have a candy thermometer. I'm still thinking of ways to feed them I saw some boxes that let you put pine shavings and feed them through a screen I might go out today and buy those.
Something I like to do is make sugar bricks for my bees.  You mix 12 parts sugar to 1 part water, stir it up really good until it's the consistency of wet sand, and then pack it into some sort of tray (I use those disposable aluminum foil ones).  Let it sit for 24-48 hrs. to dry out (I normally put them in the room with my wood stove so they really dry out), then pop it out and cut or break it into whatever sized chunks you want, stick them on the top bars, and done.     

Thank you I might try this.

Online van from Arkansas

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2019, 11:20:39 pm »
Member, I have heard some beeks add a few drops of lemon juice to the sugar bricks.  The lemon breaks down the complex sugars to simple sugars.  Fructose and glucose are simple sugars that do not need any digestion, goes straight to the bees blood.  Bees have to digest complex sugar, table sugar and turn table sugar into fructose and glucose,,,,, same as you and I.  Digestion takes energy.  However, table sugar works just fine, use as you please.  Just explaining the science is all I am doing.

Nectar in flowers is glucose and Fructose and about 80% water.  Different amounts of the two sugars For a giving plant;  Tupelo is high in Fructose so it seldom crystallizes.  Canola is high in glucose so it will crystallize easily.

Blessings
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2019, 01:31:42 am »
Member, I have heard some beeks add a few drops of lemon juice to the sugar bricks.  The lemon breaks down the complex sugars to simple sugars.  Fructose and glucose are simple sugars that do not need any digestion, goes straight to the bees blood.  Bees have to digest complex sugar, table sugar and turn table sugar into fructose and glucose,,,,, same as you and I.  Digestion takes energy.  However, table sugar works just fine, use as you please.  Just explaining the science is all I am doing.

Nectar in flowers is glucose and Fructose and about 80% water.  Different amounts of the two sugars For a giving plant;  Tupelo is high in Fructose so it seldom crystallizes.  Canola is high in glucose so it will crystallize easily.

Blessings
Thank you for the info, Van. Very interesting and makes good sense. Maybe I?ll try that next time I need to make a batch of bricks.
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Xerox

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2019, 06:01:39 pm »
Member, I have heard some beeks add a few drops of lemon juice to the sugar bricks.  The lemon breaks down the complex sugars to simple sugars.  Fructose and glucose are simple sugars that do not need any digestion, goes straight to the bees blood.  Bees have to digest complex sugar, table sugar and turn table sugar into fructose and glucose,,,,, same as you and I.  Digestion takes energy.  However, table sugar works just fine, use as you please.  Just explaining the science is all I am doing.

Nectar in flowers is glucose and Fructose and about 80% water.  Different amounts of the two sugars For a giving plant;  Tupelo is high in Fructose so it seldom crystallizes.  Canola is high in glucose so it will crystallize easily.

Blessings

I wish I saw this before I made a fat batch  :cheesy: oh well next time.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2019, 08:27:32 am »
I think it is a mistake to assume increasing ventilation is a good thing.  Bees have to cool the hive in the summer and too much ventilation will prevent this.
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Offline Xerox

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2019, 11:57:37 am »
I think it is a mistake to assume increasing ventilation is a good thing.  Bees have to cool the hive in the summer and too much ventilation will prevent this.

There was water building up on the inside of the outer cover so I had to increase ventilation. The system I'm using now seems to be working. Also it is almost winter where I am

Offline Live Oak

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2019, 12:16:01 pm »
I use an Immerie Shim that has a small entrance knotch cut in it under the inner cover.  This allow adequate ventilation when needed.  The small entrance knotch is small enough for the bees to propolize shut or partially shut allowing them to regulate air flow just how they like it.

Just looked at some shims and they're about 4.50 each so I go to checkout and the shipping cost is upwards of $30  :cry:

Several places such as Mann Lake, Better Bee, and Perfect Bee sell Immerie and feeding shims that come unassembled as well as offer free shipping if you order more than a minimum amount. 

Dadant makes really nice Immerie shims that come assembled but offer free shipping if you order more than $100. 

Offline Xerox

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2019, 01:52:48 pm »
I use an Immerie Shim that has a small entrance knotch cut in it under the inner cover.  This allow adequate ventilation when needed.  The small entrance knotch is small enough for the bees to propolize shut or partially shut allowing them to regulate air flow just how they like it.

Just looked at some shims and they're about 4.50 each so I go to checkout and the shipping cost is upwards of $30  :cry:

Several places such as Mann Lake, Better Bee, and Perfect Bee sell Immerie and feeding shims that come unassembled as well as offer free shipping if you order more than a minimum amount. 

Dadant makes really nice Immerie shims that come assembled but offer free shipping if you order more than $100.

I've looked at places like these and I'm not looking forward to buying $100 worth of shims just to get free shipping  :cheesy:

Offline Acebird

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2019, 09:33:08 am »
The idea is to combine your order with other supplies, not to buy $100 worth of shims.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2019, 11:26:22 am »
You can buy some shingle shims at the local lumber yard and put them under either the telescopic or the inner covers to make an upper entrance.  Or notch the inner cover.  Two small saw cuts and a chisel...
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Offline incognito

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2019, 11:37:52 am »
Or notch the inner cover.  Two small saw cuts and a chisel...
How wide do you make the notch?
I made mine 7/8 of an inch, about the same size as the bottom entrance with the reducer on the smallest setting. I am going to close up the bottom entrance today.

The only way for air to get in will be whatever space is not sealed between the boxes and through the top entrance.
Tom

Offline Xerox

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2019, 01:02:45 pm »
The idea is to combine your order with other supplies, not to buy $100 worth of shims.

As I said before I am very cheap  :cheesy: I might get my dad to make some shims.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2019, 03:05:23 pm »
>How wide do you make the notch?

My only entrances are the top entrance and I make it about 2 1/2" wide.  If it's just for ventilation and you also have a bottom entrance 7/8" would probably work fine.
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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2019, 05:31:53 pm »
Ventilation vs Insulation
We run Paradise hive, polystyrene, the only ventilation is in the floor, the rest is invented, sealed polystyrene hive.
They do not condensate and winter better than our wooden hives with ventilated lids.
They also perform very well in summer where we can hit 40C often in summer, again only the floor vent.

Bee logic and human logic are miles apart, bees spend a lot of time fixing up what we think is good for them.

Offline incognito

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2019, 06:08:00 pm »
When would I know if I have a condensation problem?
We had between and inch or two of snow last night. Temperature today is in the mid 30s, 36 degrees right now. There was an inch of slush on the top of the hive cover.

I forgot that I had blocked off most of the bottom entrance with a brick last week. I have about 2 1/4 inches of foamboard between the top of the inner cover and the telescoping cover. I have a 7/8 inch notch on the underside of the inner cover for both ventilation and an entrance.

There is no condensation whatsoever on the foamboard above the half propolized vent hole in the inner cover. There is no condensation on the bottom side of the inner cover. There were 20 or so bees moving around in the top box below the inner cover.
I am thinking that I'm good to go for the winter. Or is it still not cold enough for condensation to be an issue?
Tom

Offline Xerox

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2019, 07:45:50 pm »
When would I know if I have a condensation problem?
We had between and inch or two of snow last night. Temperature today is in the mid 30s, 36 degrees right now. There was an inch of slush on the top of the hive cover.

I forgot that I had blocked off most of the bottom entrance with a brick last week. I have about 2 1/4 inches of foamboard between the top of the inner cover and the telescoping cover. I have a 7/8 inch notch on the underside of the inner cover for both ventilation and an entrance.

There is no condensation whatsoever on the foamboard above the half propolized vent hole in the inner cover. There is no condensation on the bottom side of the inner cover. There were 20 or so bees moving around in the top box below the inner cover.
I am thinking that I'm good to go for the winter. Or is it still not cold enough for condensation to be an issue?

I knew that condensation was an issue in my hive because I lifted the outer cover and there was a bunch of water dripping down. I think someone posted something on this thread where it said that below 30 is where ventilation is really needed. Dont quote me on it

Offline Acebird

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Re: Cheap Ventilation?
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2019, 09:07:08 am »
I have about 2 1/4 inches of foamboard between the top of the inner cover and the telescoping cover.
When you do that you lose the protection of the telescoping cover from wind blowing the cover off.  Put the insulation on top of the cover with a brick or rock.  Keep the telescoping cover on top of the inner cover with the side flanges locking it on.
Moisture problems show up when mold appears on the frames or you lose a hive because water dripped on the cluster.  These problems have all been solved locally.  One benefit for a local bee club.  Something as simple as tipping the hive solves the problem.
Brian Cardinal
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