Condensation inside the Warre hive

Hi

I have noticed that there seems to be a fair amount of condensation on the viewing window within the top box,  in which the hive is current building their comb. The bees have been in place for about 3-4 weeks now. There is also condensation within the second box (on the viewing window), although the bees have not commenced comb building within this box.

The quilt is dry, therefore I don’t believe that there are any leaks in the roof. The bees seem to be staying away from this more moist area. Has anyone else noted this within their Warre hive’s and is this normal?

Thanks

Andrew P

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This entry was posted in Bee Hive Condensation, Natural Beekeeping, Observation windows, Warre Hives. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Condensation inside the Warre hive

  1. Yes, I’ve noticed this in my top and middle box as well. To try to remedy it I drilled some 3mm holes in the mouseboard to aid ventilation. I think it helped, but there is still some there.
    Graham

  2. hazelmb says:

    Yes I also noticed this in the top box soon after the swarm settled in. I haven’t done anything about it . I’m not sure how I could drill any holes if the box was still occupied! Presumably we can only notice this situation because of the viewing windows, so I wonder a) is it due to the presence of the window or b) does it happen anyway and without a window it goes unnoticed. Any advice or comments would be welcome.
    Hazel

  3. simplebees says:

    I too have notice considerable condensation on the windows of some Warre hives that contain swarms but not others. It is quite clear that swarms produce a lot of water vapour when building comb. Presumably this does not show on the wooden surfaces as it is absorbed by the wood.

    Whether the design of the window itself is a factor, I’m not sure, but there is a difference in design between the windows in my Warres that show condensation and those that don’t. I’m thinking of adding a box of the design that does not show condensation to the bottom of a hive that does show condensation to see what happens. I’ll report back.

    Gareth

    • andrewprz says:

      I noticed that during the very warm weather a few weeks ago, that no condensation was present, presumably owing to higher rates of evaporation.
      The condensation seems to be restricted to the edges of the viewing window and corners of the boxes. This is where the Warre boxes have been joined and the insulation is perhaps least. The windows also have slight gaps for the cover to slide into, and again this is likely to lower the insulation. Given the recent colder weather, the condensation may be a result of the hive warmth interacting with these cooler regions, causing the water vapour to condense? I’m going to try adding some additional insulation to these areas (to the outside of the boxes across the windows), especially before the cooler weather later in the year.

      Could the condensation cause mould to grow on the comb?

  4. FollowMeChaps says:

    Andrew
    You will get condensation from time to time, especially with a window, though this is not an issue and I would not encourage you to drill any extra holes in it.
    Whilst many beek’s suggest that condensation is an issue, it is probably a benefit. Read the book by Ed Clark – http://archive.org/details/cu31924003100306 – A lot of moisture is produced in a hive especially when evaporating nectar.
    Mould does form over winter when the cluster is unable to deal with it but the bees clean it up each spring so, again, it’s not an issue for them.
    See also http://beenaturalguy.com/observations/condensation/
    As I tend to say ‘trust your bees’ they know what they are doing.

    Robin

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