It’s Not the Cold That Kills the Bees, It’s the Moisture

A wet mouldy frame of uncapped syrup and/or honey. (April 16th, 2022.)

I’ve had to deal with a few hives in a wet condition this spring and I think I know why.

The furnace tape I used to seal in the cracks between supers was a mistake. I’ve used duct tape for years with no issues, but I’ve found more moisture beneath this tape than anything I’ve seen before. It was so wet under some of the taped up supers that the wood was beginning rot. So I’m thinking tape made of cold-conducting metal wasn’t a good idea?

I may have fed sugar syrup too late last fall, leaving the bees with uncapped syrup in the hive all winter. I haven’t had major mould issues from open syrup before, but this year it’s definitely a problem.

I also lowered the top entrances in some of my hives by about 6 inches to hold in ambient heat better, and that didn’t work at all. Every hive with a lowered top entrance is in a bad shape now, lethargic bees and poop caking the entrance. Don’t ask me why. I’m just reporting what I found.

I wrapped several of my hives with silver bubble wrap for the first time, but the wrap didn’t tuck in under the top cover. Even though the wrap was tight and sealed up top with silver tape for the most part, it may have held in moisture and broke the propolis seal between some of the supers, another source of mouldy moisture.

Yup, I could have done better.

00:00 — Intro.

04:45 — Plan to reduce the hive.

01:25 — Moving top box to new bottom board.

02:10 — Pulling damp frames. Discussions (with myself).

04:30 — Leftover dry sugar.

05:30 — The mess of the Mountain Camp method.

06:30 — Trying to explain what happened.

08:10 — Chatting about my other hives.

Check out this video to see what really wet hive looks like.