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Thread: Mouldy hives

  1. #11


    You never know alan
    The hives might periodically relocate to new sites with better forage (dependent on wind direction )

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Exiled Scot, North of Stoke on Trent,


    Quote Originally Posted by Mellifera Crofter View Post
    Thank you, everybody. That's a help. Perhaps Greengumbo or I can have a wee chat with our chairman when we next see him.

    That's a nice apiary, Madasafish. I agree about deep roofs, but I haven't yet made any. In my head I make all kinds of plans for an ideal poly hive!
    Thanks MC: it's our back garden.. Fields/woods and National Trust gardens behind, plus a cemetery full of bodgers - sorry badgers - (live ones)..

    I close all my OMFs in winter, run with supers under the brood boxes and with hive cosies get no condensation..100mm of roof insulation minimum PLUS. 50mm walls immediatley below rood. The roof/crownboard joint MUST be a huge source of last energy.. rather like the sash windows in our house...

    (but then I trained as a physicist..)

  3. #13


    I made some insulated candy boards with three inches of polystyrene this year
    Does anyone have any experience of these?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #14
    Senior Member busybeephilip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Comber, N. Ireland
    Blog Entries


    interesting - just looked at the video, they seem to use a hard candy/fondant, what way did you make your boards and candy?

    I usually just put fondant on in the spring in a snall container on top of the feed hole, your way or the winter-bee-kind way means that bees away from the feed hole will have easy access to the food

  5. #15


    Re: Matchsticks under crownboards... it was standard advice in Aberdeen/shire when I started in 2011. I watched the bees, who lovingly propolised everything above their heads in the autumn, but left the OMFs completely clear of the sticky stuff. I read around a bit. And I decided to take a punt on sealed crownboard, OMF, and a super full of woollen blanket strips on top. (Has to be wool! - stays warm even if wet.)

    I've had a clear crownboard on at least one colony every winter, and I've watched out for condensation beneath the blankets. I've found touches of condensation sometimes right at the corners, especially with a smaller colony. If there's a dummy board, there can be plenty of condensation above the empty space beyond it. On a cold day, a mist of condensation starts forming as soon as I take the blankets back for a peek. I try to keep the blankets tucked down closely onto the whole surface of each board. Overall, with the help of those blankets, it's been amazing how even a small colony keeps most of the crownboard above their combs clear and dry.

    During the wet winter of 2012-13 I did have mould problems, especially on one wooden crownboard. Since then I've gradually become aware of old woodwork letting in water, badly-fitting crownboards letting in draughts, one 2014 shop-made box leaking at the joins (grrrrrrr!!!)... Ultra-deep roofs are now no.1 on my equipment wishlist, & I'm experimenting with making some. Onwards & upwards. Thanks everyone for all those Correx tips!

    So far (I hate saying it at this time of year) I've not yet lost a colony over winter, so my method and/or my bees are doing pretty well. Matchsticks: just barbaric.

  6. #16


    we can put all the redundant matches to good use
    Wonder is I could make a hive from them ?

  7. #17


    I have Lyson, Abelo and a Payne's Hives all have open mesh floors and are open all year round out of 38 hives only one did not come through the Winter and that was due to being too small a cluster going into Winter. Bottom ventilation is a good thing less moisture and a larger warm air mass in the hive. I have to say I did initially take a lot of convincing but it does work and on single Nucs too.

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Orkney (it’s usually cool and windy but somehow the bees survive!)


    Hello AJS, I hope you like using this forum although it can be rather quiet at times. Would you mind sharing your location because most areas are far more favourable for beekeeping than where Iím located.
    Although it will be at least three to four weeks before my first inspection of the year it is the one I dread the most for two reasons.
    1 The state of the bees and are they going to make it.
    2 The state of the bars and the inside of the hives.
    I over winter my Smith hives on a solid floor with mesh over the holes in the crownboard and an empty super between the roof. Every year a few of my hives will be damp and most will have mouldy outside bars (I work my poorest barís to the edge anyway for replacing in the Spring). I have tried open mesh floors in the past but found they made little difference. Last Autumn I sealed round the join between the crownboards and the brood chambers with Gorilla tape to reduce the water ingress and I hope it has been a success and it hasnít made things worse! I have my reasons for an empty super above the crownboards and the bees donít seal up the mesh, Winterís are long and damp here.
    Iíve over wintered poly nucs for the past few years and have found virtually no mould on the combs so they seem to be the way forward but Iím not wanting to switch over to poly hives because I have invested too much in my Smithís.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Norfolk East Anglia, South Scotland


    I've found a similar thing - and I have a few 5 frame wooden nucs with only a small ventillation hole in the bottom and they tend to get mouldy at the back of the hive. (Top is insulated in these).
    With Abelo on it's third version of poly hive and with Paynes too soft and bulky (I sold mine) and the design errors in the Paradise hives, I have largely stuck to wood with insulation on top.


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