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  • Crownboard open or closed for winter?

  • General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #8991  by huntsman.
 23 Sep 2020, 12:30
I overwinter by covering the porter holes with pieces of slate. In fact, I always keep them covered unless as you say, for feeding.

All my hives are on open mesh floors with tray inset in, which I have found gives adequate winter ventilation.
 #8992  by Steve 1972
 23 Sep 2020, 12:48
I make all my own clear see through crown boards..i have a 50mm hole in the middle to allow the bees access to the rapid feeder above the hole..when syrup feeding is finished i have a disc bolted to the crown board that i simply spin around and permanently close the crown board for winter..however with using Abelo deep poly roofs i could leave it open as these roofs do not have those silly ventilation holes that the ceder hive roofs possess..
 #8995  by Patrick
 23 Sep 2020, 13:59
When I started I left them open without obvious issues. However, once I had open mesh floors on all my hives, I started to close them off in winter with small pieces of scrap plywood as I believe with OMF's ventilation concerns become a non issue and often bee clusters move up to the feedhole and act as a physical blocking off anyway, so I don't think they particularly like them open.

I don't insert the varroa trays in winter, but get doing it if you prefer to. There seems some observed improvement in early spring build up on solid floors (which can be a good thing or not, depending on your weather that year and the nectar flows you can expect).
 #9001  by AdamD
 24 Sep 2020, 10:22
Bees usually seal up the porter bee escapes themselves; (Which tells us that bees don't like ventilation above them). I either leave them in or cover up with a piece of plywood depending on availability. But that's not all I do for winter,

Steve mentioned roofs. Mine generally don't vent and have insulation built into them now, or I have a slab of insulation above the crown-board to reduce heat-loss.
 #9002  by NigelP
 24 Sep 2020, 11:42
Definitely closed with insulation above. Stop the bees losing heat from the hive as much as you can.
I use Abelo poly crown boards with all inserts nailed in place and poly roofs.
If I need to add fondant it's placed over the frames with a poly eke that has a see through lid and then place crown board and roof back on top of these. It's great fun seeing the bees working the fondant mid-winter snug as bugs in a rug.
You notice how the bees are all over it, whereas if you place it over a crown-board hole they only have limited access to a the small area where the hole is.....and if it's a difficult winter with low temps the cluster often won't move to the food. Not been the case in the recent mild winters where you could "get away" with placing fondant anywhere.