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Old 10-12-13, 03:13 PM   #1
sunspot
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Default Insulating bee hives for winter

I decided it was time to wrap some insulation around the beehives in preparation for colder weather.

Cut some styrofoam.



Duct taped the edges for durability.



Tape "hinges" hold the sides together.





Weatherproofed the styrofoam with repurposed lumber tarp.



Ready for installation



Repurposed bicycle inner tubes hold things in place. A roof to match. And that's a wrap ;-0


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Old 10-12-13, 07:15 PM   #2
hikerjohnson
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Loks like top-notch craftsmanship there, but you may not want to insulate your hive...

Check out a forum like beesource - I have had my hives for awhile now, and my limited experience, and the general beek's consensus seems to be that insulating the hive helps to cause condensation inside, to the detriment of the bees. Also, it will keep them colder longer when you start to see warmer days.

No disrespect meant, just throwing in my two cents.
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Old 10-12-13, 08:38 PM   #3
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I now have to search the benefits to keeping bees. Other than honey...lol
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Old 10-13-13, 08:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hikerjohnson View Post
consensus seems to be that insulating the hive helps to cause condensation inside
I think insulation is the unfortunate scapegoat for poor ventilation. Condensation occurs on relatively colder surfaces. Want to reduce condensation on the inside of that quonset hut, boat hull, cargo van? Insulate. Double pane vs single pane windows - the difference is insulation. Most of us have seen frost on the inside of an SUV windshield but not so many on the headliner. Don't want a wet ring on your table? Slip that cold beverage in a foam sleeve.

But wrapping a hive, or any other living, respirating thing (insulated or not), in plastic - vapour barrier - without ventilation is sure to lead to humidity issues I agree. I've been using a top entrance exclusively on my hives and, while reduced to roughly 25% in area for the winter, I'm hoping that supplies the necessary venting. The screened bottom board, again choked for winter, should let some fresh air in.

Time will tell I guess. I'll post the results of this little experiment in the spring when I remove the foam.

Thanks for replying Hikerjohnson. It's good to know there are other beekeepers on this board. And the site you referenced, Beesource, has been invaluable to me thus far.

Cheers, Greg
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Old 10-13-13, 10:24 PM   #5
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How cold does it get on the island? I would think it would get cold enough to wrap

visited there about 14 years ago beautiful place
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Old 10-14-13, 08:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
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How cold does it get on the island? I would think it would get cold enough to wrap

visited there about 14 years ago beautiful place
It's a mild climate. Ten below (celcius) is rare. Much of the winter is just around freezing with wet snow and rain. It can feel much colder than it is.

Greg
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Old 10-14-13, 08:07 PM   #7
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That is too warm to wrap them, if they stay to warm they will eat up a bunch of the honey stores and may run out...... I know because I did that when we had a mild winter 2 years ago
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Old 10-14-13, 08:15 PM   #8
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We'll see. Some folks here insulate them for winter some don't . Others move them into a barn or similar, I'm ok with them eating the honey. That's what they collect it for.

Cheers, Greg
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Old 11-06-13, 12:26 PM   #9
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If you place a few holes near the top of the wall you will give some room for moisture to leave but still hold most of the heat in. I think that blocking the wind would do a lot to help keep the temp up even if the top is open.
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Old 11-06-13, 01:48 PM   #10
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If you place a few holes near the top of the wall you will give some room for moisture to leave but still hold most of the heat in. I think that blocking the wind would do a lot to help keep the temp up even if the top is open.
The hive have top entrances. No need for more holes.

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