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-   -   Insulating bee hives for winter (https://ecorenovator.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3259)

gspike 12-10-13 10:15 AM

Nice work, insulating can be a good strategy for a quick spring buildup.

Might need a hole or two in the bottom to keep airflow, and prevent condensation every clime is different
I lost some hives that way. Terraced a new hive stand into the side of a hill, and the blocks settled backwards to a negative slope. Fine through a dry fall but when winter rain and high humidity came the bottom boards got water inside and the poor cold wet bees ate through sixty pounds of honey in a month and starved.

I felt awful, but learned a few lessons, keep dry, keep feed out in winter, and check them as often as i can.

sunspot 12-10-13 10:34 AM

Thanks gspike.

I've got a partially choked screened bottom board in place to provide ventilation. Only a few season's experience will tell me how much is needed. Right now the bees are enjoying a bit of extra insulation courtesy of Mother Nature ;-)

http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z...ps9db2638c.jpg

gspike 12-10-13 11:21 AM

They are probably happy and warm then.. Nice snow, I'm jealous.

David 12-26-13 08:54 PM

Hello,
I am new to the forum.
My name is David .
I have kept bees for nearly 20 years now.
Whilst I have never had to worry about snow I have had severe frosts from time to time.
I thought I might ad a fact that I suppose many of you know and that is that in winter bee numbers fall considerably. Those that remain gather together in a football shape within the hive regardless of the presence of frames. The Queen is well within and all of the bees take turns on the outside and then return to the inner and warmer core and so the cycle continues.

Kind regards and
I hope you have a happy new year

David

gspike 12-29-13 09:40 AM

Yep, thats the natural life cycle.
But you can intervene, by keeping them warm and fed in winter, you can inspire them to keep eggs and brood going all winter(depending on clime). That leads to a fast spring buildup and a chance to get honey flows they normally miss.
It takes more management and a little more risk. Some places its not worth the effort and in others its the only way to bring in any surplus at all.

jbarb2903 10-25-14 03:38 AM

Those are some lucky bees!

greif 10-25-14 08:03 AM

Since we had 58 days last winter below zero with a bunch of those be -50, it was really hard on bees with lots of frezze outs around here. They are predicting an even worse winter this year (I hate winter). I am going to build a tempory enclosure around a hives this year to help protect and keep the wind off .... and lots of feed, I found this recipe I will try this year.
My recipe/method for sugar blocks


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