With highs near 40, I decided to venture back for the first time to see how the ladies were doing. I had conjured up ideas of icicles hanging off of the top cover, but, other than some snow on the top, there was an absence of snow around the hive. That means either the awnings made from old Chick-fil-A signs of my solar wall was doing its work!
My goal for this opening was to see how wet the burlap was to identify if my moisture control was working. After cracking it open and sticking my hand in, water dropped down. I opened it all the way and saw this.
Wet and slightly moldy. This may seem like a bad thing, and it isn’t ideal, but this process is all about keeping moisture away from the bees. Their heat is supposed to move it’s way up through the burlap and head out of the holes of the Vivaldi board. If not, it should condense on the top insulation and drip down, not on the bees, but on the burlap. So the true test to whether or not it’s working is to see the lower levels of the burlap, near the bees, to see if the moisture is so much it’s dripping back down on the bees. Well…
Other than a couple little spots, the next layer was dry! And I have a feeling those spots were from when I opened the cover and the condensation pooled and fell. What I thought was interesting was, under that level of burlap the amount of bees in the upper box cage that I’d made.
I had assumed they’d be down in the hive huddling, but that wasn’t the case. My plan is to buy more burlap so I can periodically rotate the wet burlap for dry stuff. I hope the smaller hive is doing just as well!
Happy holidays and Merry Christmas!