Saturday, January 19, 2013


bee, bee cozy, beekeeping, condensation, Styrofoam, ventilation,
bee, bee cozy, beekeeping, condensation, Styrofoam, ventilation,
Today's 31°F dawn temperature condenses warm moist bee respiration on the outside of the hive. Ages ago, I inserted a 1" slab of Styrofoam insulation beneath the outer cover to prevent condensation inside the hive.  On cold mornings, it's not unusual to discover condensation near the top vent, but wetness near the hive entrance is less common. Only one hive has condensation at the entrance - in warm weather, this is the hive that flies more vigorously than my two other hives.


Julie said...

I've been searching bee blogs to see how the bees have wintered over this year. I have a first year hive and I don't think my bees made it. I know it's weird, but I'd been going out and checking the hive every couple of weeks all winter and until just a couple of weeks ago my northern IN hive was doing well. I could lay my ear on the hive and hear them inside busily buzzing away. Now...nothing but silence. I haven't been finding any dead bees in the entrance and am just waiting for the temps to get high enough to crack the hive open and check it out. I don't think it's possible that they starved, they had two 10 frame deep supers full of brood pollen and honey and another honey super on top. I fed them twice with the heavier winter syrup in the fall, but I'm very sad to say I think they're gone. Of course I'll start over this year with another nuc, but I am feeling a little discouraged. I was really trying to do everything exactly right.

George Andl said...

Sorry to hear about the bees. In the beginning, I spent several years and with no success overwintering bees. Perhaps you will discover the bees became separated from their honey stores. Are you entering winter with the maximum number of frames in each box and no queen excluder?

As you can see, I use a bee cozy. Adding the bee cozy correlates with my first successful overwintering of bees. So, I am unlikely to change my bee cozy habits.