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General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #8919  by Liam
 19 Sep 2020, 13:30
I have a open mesh bottom floor with draw.

One of my hives, when removing the draw, its always wet and you can see small rivers of water among all the other rubbish. It’s not due to rain as we haven’t had any. This started about 3 weeks ago. All my other hives are dry and this hive in question is next to another hive that is also dry. Is it just condensation?, first year, so I’m not sure how normal this is and if I should be adding ventilation in the top box to avoid it happening over winter. Strange it’s only happening in this hive.
 #8920  by huntsman.
 19 Sep 2020, 14:27
Hello Liam.

By 'draw' I take it you mean a 'tray insert.'

So the interesting point is, why this one colony?

Logic should tells us something is different with this hive than your others.

Could it be that the others have timber crown boards and your wet one has a glass/ploy-carbonate one?

If glass or similar I would accept this as condensation which will not be absorbed by the glass. So I suggest you simply tilt this hive about 3 degrees so the drops don't fall on the bees but rather roll to the front.

I would not suggest top ventilation for the winter.

Good luck with your first winter. Don't forget some top insulation over the crown board. three sheets of heavy corrugated paper should do the job.
 #8921  by Steve 1972
 19 Sep 2020, 15:41
If the bees are reducing the moisture content of nectar or sugar syrup this can happen..i have several taking sugar syrup down and one colony has slight moistue on the inspection board..when i notice this on a colony i pull the inspection board out around 1/3 of the way.
 #8922  by Chrisbarlow
 19 Sep 2020, 18:36
Are you feeding syrup? is it a leaky feeder? Just a thought
 #8927  by AdamD
 19 Sep 2020, 19:26
If your colony is being fed syrup and the bees are evaporating it off, then there could be some extra water in the hive which is coming down onto the varroa inspection tray. During OSR this year I had a couple of nucs in hastily made plywood boxes with no open floor and the inside of the plywood was soaking wet. I adapted them with mesh floors soon after. Is the hive design different to the others?

(Steve, I only have the board in when monitoring varroa and not at any other time).
 #8928  by Steve 1972
 19 Sep 2020, 19:53
AdamD wrote:
19 Sep 2020, 19:26
(Steve, I only have the board in when monitoring varroa and not at any other time).
Similar here Adam.. ;) ..i have them all pulled out during the warm weather and when the flow is on..when it is feeding time and the need to monitor varroa drop i push them in and pull them all out 1/3rd of the way to allow a bit of airflow and also to get an idea of what mite load each colony has..however come winter on the brutal north east coast all inspection boards are fully pushed home until the back end of April..
 #8932  by AdamD
 20 Sep 2020, 09:51
Floors are made with different design ideas - the Thornes Bees on a Budget ones for example, have a flimsy piece of correx that I usually find in a hedge after a windy day (certainly wouldn't survive the NE for long!). And allows for a lot of ventilation as there is a large gap at the back. Others are a snug fit that scrape the varroa off when you take the draw out!
 #8933  by Alfred
 20 Sep 2020, 09:55
I had the same issue last year.
It was just after the solstice trickle and I had fondant on the topbars.
One of the maisemore timber hives was continually saturated whilst the other one, all the other wooden ones and the polynucs were dry.
All in good nick , on identical setups and no more than 2 m apart.
Was it that one particular colony behaving differently?
 #8935  by AndrewLD
 20 Sep 2020, 10:31
Interesting that it is just one hive but I often see moisture on the insert board during monitoring - and the nights have been getting very dew laden with high humidity. I take it as a sign not to leave the insert in too long.
 #8939  by Liam
 20 Sep 2020, 14:14
Thanks for the replies

*yes tray insert
*both hives are the same setup
*I use rapid feeders so no leaks
*This was happening before feeding
*thanks for tip on removing that varroa board while in season (I had left mine in all year)
*my varroa tray insert is a loose fit one with a gap at the back where a piece of wood blocks it off but still has gaps

The hive that is showing this moisture doesn’t have any moisture inside the hive from what I can see, only on the tray insert. This hive is my largest colony and maybe why it’s the only one with the moisture on floor?.