Monday, January 18, 2010

Condensation: Insulating the Vent Box & Dry Sugar

As you might recall from the last post condensation is puddling in Mary. Not certain how or why so I posted the questing at the Beemaster forum (here's the link plus some more good info). What I learned is that condensation is a part of the Winter hive and can be good & bad. It may be necessary since it can be a source of water for the bees. Yet, it can kill the colony if it drips down on the bees. Controlling it seems to bee the task at hand.
  • Vent the hive properly so there's not too much. Some type of top vent...(Check)
  • Tilt the hives to promote drainage away from the bees. Down the sides rather than on the bees...(Check)
  • Control which surfaces cause condensation by the use of insulation. Such as insulating the top of the Vent Box...(Check, see below)
Mary, sans her T-cover

I'm using 3/4" styrofoam as insulation. This should keep condensation out of the top part of the hive. I left open two vent holes; to the South & East to let the humidity out. I thought about opening the bottom of the SBB a crack but did not. Too easy for a critter to work it's way in and set up shop. The condensation should be less now. I'll monitor of course.

Now this insulated area above the IC provides a good location for Dry sugar to be dumped. As mentioned on the forum dry sugar can help mitigate moisture in the hive by absorbing it. That's good incentive. Plus, Mary's a small colony with half her reserves gone now. I have more honey & pollen frames I'll put in this week but first...
Diner time

I only had a pound of sugar left and gave it all to Mary. I'll pick up a 25# bag tomorrow. The gap between the IC and insulation is 2". I'll see how much sugar I can put in there between refills.
aun Aprendo


immwia said...

Glad to hear the weather has warmed up a bit and allowed you time to do a bit of housekeeping on the hives.

Thanks for sharing the journey!

Polar said...

Hey you. We are very happy about the better weather. I don't remember when snow ever stayed on the ground for a month before. A big bee season lays ahead for us starting in February. April should be crazy with hive splits & honey flow.
Take care.