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Author Topic: What do you use for winter insulation?  (Read 595 times)

Offline FlexMedia.tv

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What do you use for winter insulation?
« on: October 09, 2017, 12:09:48 am »
Last year I wrapped one of my hives in tar paper but that may not have been enough. Anybody making their own winter wrap with tar paper and some type of insulation?

Thanks,
Art
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Offline Dabbler

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Re: What do you use for winter insulation?
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2017, 08:04:43 am »
Might be overkill, but I cut 2" foam boards to fit around my hive last winter. Used a quilt box on top with a 2 " foam board on top of that. The side insulation was just held in place with bungee cords.

I only have a sample size of 1 year, but they survived !
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Offline Acebird

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Re: What do you use for winter insulation?
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2017, 08:33:28 am »
We are all about the same latitude.  You don't need the insulation on the sides.  Many don't use insulation at all at our latitude.  Cold has to be extreme to kill a hive.
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Offline tjc1

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Re: What do you use for winter insulation?
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2017, 12:13:44 pm »
I have wrapped with fiberglass (covered with plastic sheeting), and with tar paper. In both cases hives have survived fine - of course, hard to say which the bees may have preferred!

In any case, I close the opening in the inner cover once it is in winter position,  and put an empty super above it in which I put a bat of 3 inch fiberglass. I am quite sure that this is worth doing - on the occasions that I have put my hand under that insulation in mid-winter, the inner cover is warm as toast. That keeps water from condensing on the inner cover and dripping down on the bees, and the opening in the inner cover allows moisture to escape. In early spring, I can open the inner cover hole and put in a feed bucket which I then wrap in insulation. The conserved heat keeps the syrup warm so that the bees will take it readily.

Offline cao

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Re: What do you use for winter insulation?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2017, 02:24:04 pm »
I am not as far north as you so I don't wrap my hives but I do have pieces of rigid foam(1 to 1 1/2 inch thick) that I put under the top cover.  It definitly helps stop the condensation from forming on the inner cover. 

Offline tjc1

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Re: What do you use for winter insulation?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2017, 08:03:53 pm »

In any case, I close the opening in the inner cover once it is in winter position.... That keeps water from condensing on the inner cover and dripping down on the bees, and the opening in the inner cover allows moisture to escape.

To clarify, I cover the inner central opening in the inner cover, but I leave the bee-exit opening at the edge of the inner cover open to let moisture escape.

Offline FlexMedia.tv

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Re: What do you use for winter insulation?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2017, 11:11:46 pm »
Thanks!
I have 3 hives this year. Maybe I'll experiment and try a few different things.

Art
See my blog and watch me bumble through starting hives:

http://beekeeper.flexmedia.tv/

Retired State Trooper. Part time Beekeeper. If you ever see me run, Run!

Offline FlexMedia.tv

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Re: What do you use for winter insulation?
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2017, 12:46:14 pm »
Is anybody using tar paper and no insulation?
See my blog and watch me bumble through starting hives:

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Offline Bruce

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Re: What do you use for winter insulation?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2017, 10:09:16 pm »
I have a few beeyards and one is in Vancouver where the winters are mild ( 25-40 F) and very few use insulation but a lot use tar paper to absorb the heat of the sun. Though insulation is needed in cold climates it also keeps the heat of the sun from penetrating and warming the hive. I believe it is a local decision.

Offline FlexMedia.tv

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Re: What do you use for winter insulation?
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2017, 07:27:35 pm »
I have a few beeyards and one is in Vancouver where the winters are mild ( 25-40 F) and very few use insulation but a lot use tar paper to absorb the heat of the sun. Though insulation is needed in cold climates it also keeps the heat of the sun from penetrating and warming the hive. I believe it is a local decision.

Some from our local club wrap and some don't. I wrapped last year and they all died from some other reason. These gals keep me guessing every year!
See my blog and watch me bumble through starting hives:

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Retired State Trooper. Part time Beekeeper. If you ever see me run, Run!

Offline splitrock

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Re: What do you use for winter insulation?
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2017, 08:23:47 am »
I wrap mine in tar paper mainly for the solar gain, as has been mentioned.

The only insulation I use is a piece of high density foam on top of the cover.