Winter hive venting

by Nelu
(Portland Oregon)

These winter I experiment three top venting systems. All hives have open wire mesh bottom and after half winter I found a big difference. During last cold snap the better top insulated hive had less dead bees on the bottom screen. The late nook formed in September with best top insulation was doing the best, immediately I increased the top insulation to other hives and the result was a drop in dead bees to a quarter of daily number. As the temperature went lower other hives increased the number of daily deceased bees. As protection I increased the insulation on those hives also. Next day the number of deceased bees was drastic reduced.

My new winter standard top venting is three layers of cardboard with a cut chanel in the center to let humid air out. I can easily add new layer of cardboard on top but I like the hive temperature to be at the point of lowest daily mortality. I am not using telescoping tops anymore.

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