In Fall 2012 I built a pair of quilt boxes for my Langstroth honeybee hives. These are based on the design outlined at this page at honeybeesuite.com. Both boxes I believe did a good job of keeping moisture out of the hives. One hive however did not survive the winter and I noticed early on that the shavings in that box were not nearly as damp as the other. This may be an indicator of hive vitality and will be worth investigating next winter.
I started with a 5-inch-deep hive body. I drilled 2 holes in each long side. In one box I drilled 2″ holes and in another I drilled 1″. I did this to learn if the hole size makes any difference in the amount of moisture trapped in the box. Unfortunately since one of the hives died during the winter I can’t say for sure if the hole size makes a difference.
Much to my surprise the bees didn’t eat the canvas during the winter. Once it warmed up though they were trying to fill in the gap made by the spacer box. Timing the removal of this box is tricky in our wet Pacific Northwest springs.