As hives are sealed up for the winter, the temperature difference between the warm inside of the hive and the cold outside can cause moisture buildup at the interface of the warmer and colder air. Respiration from bees and evaporation from honey are other influences on moisture within the hive. Ventilation helps in deterring this dangerous threat from building at the interface, condense and rain down onto the bees and brood below.
- Place an empty medium or shallow super above the Inner Cover and fill with crumbled newspaper or hay. They help absorb excess moisture as it rises through the center hole in the inner cover. You will need to check the newspaper often to make sure it doesn’t get too saturated. If it does then just replace it with fresh newspaper. If you are worried about the bees getting up with the newspaper, then all you need to do is cover the center hole with a small piece of 8-mesh or 5-mesh hardware cloth.
- Replace the inner cover with a Wintering Inner Cover or a Vivaldi Board. Both can be used year round and can be manipulated to control moisture.
- Replace your hive top with an Ultimate Hive Cover (available for 10 frame hives only). It has been designed to provide ventilation via the air space built into the walls. It does not require painting but you may need to place something heavy like a brick or rock on it to keep it from coming off in bad weather.