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Author Topic: Wrapping Hives  (Read 3575 times)
kirk
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« on: November 01, 2010, 09:01:03 PM »

I am new to Beekeeping and wintering hives.  I plan on putting an insulated cover on top with an entrance for ventilation.  I am going to wrap the hives in house wrap vapour barrier to help the hives "breath" and then install 2" of foam insulation around the hives.  I live in an area where winters can be very extreme.  Please let me know if this will work and if you have any other suggestions.
Thanks
Ken
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2010, 09:05:08 PM »

I don't think the vapor barrier will do you any good if you put the foam around the barrier on the outside.  The foam on the lid may do you most good.  Where are you located?
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kirk
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2010, 09:22:06 PM »

I live in Manitoba Canada. 
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cam
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2010, 05:26:15 AM »

I would go to this site and read everything I could. this link takes you to winter wrapping. An excellent site, especially since he's in your neck of the woods.

http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/articles/MakingWinterWraps.pdf
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gaucho10
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2010, 07:29:27 AM »

Try this site...

http://www.beesbatsandbeyond.com/Overwintering_Hives.html
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Finski
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2010, 10:47:47 AM »

.
You insulating plans sounds ok. But do not make upper hole into inner cover. Do  it in front wall.

Keep the hive 30 cm above ground.

Use material where mice cannot do nest.


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Hethen57
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2010, 01:40:37 PM »

X2 on what Finski said.  I tried it both ways last year and wrapping worked so long as you insulate over the inner cover and have some bottom ventilation, but not an upper hole....otherwise you get cold air meeting warm air and lots of condensation.  I actually took the wraps off and just went with top insulation, because they were trapping too much moisture against the outside of my hive bodies.  It may vary with how much moisture you have in the air, but we have alot during the winter.  In any event, check it at some point during the winter to make sure it is not a moldy mess on top of the frames and make an adjustment if necessary. 
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mathew
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2010, 05:17:12 PM »

Hey Kirk,

I recommend a insulating foam piece in between the inner cover and outer lid. If you have a screened bottom board, you should place the board back to cover the bottom. For insulation around the hive, i will recommend checking out NOD Apiary products, they sell this amazing hive jacket. Its made of black plastic with thermal polyester. This co. is based in Ontario. Not sure if the BEE MAID co-op in Manitoba would sell it.
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kirk
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2010, 08:55:45 PM »

Thanks for all the tips!!
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Finski
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2010, 10:55:23 AM »

.
You live in British Columbia. Try Polystyrene hives. They need not wrapping. Only wind cover in front of entrance  that winds do no blow directly in.
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saskbeeman
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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2010, 02:12:58 AM »

Kirk, the wrap I'm going to recommend is similar to the honeybeeworld design, however built more durable. http://www.inlandplastics.com/farmtarps/misc/ . Beemaid may even carry them. I've used them for over 10 years and they stand up quite well with minimal mouse damage (They chew the tarp, won't touch the insulation) and water drains out without harming the insulation. 
Wintering bees on the Canadian prairies is a unique experience that has been improved tremendously since the border closure to mainland US bees.  One big difference up here is you must have a good top entrance (3/8" x 1 1/2") (preferably on the lid) and bottom entrance of at least the same area.  Due to our extended period of below freezing temperatures, multiple months of moisture from the cluster will form as ice in the top brood box if this ventilation is not provided.  If the colony is fortunate enough to have enough resources below the ice build up, the water will 'rain' down on the bees as the ice melts in early spring, making it difficult for the colony to maintain cluster temperature.  The colony will likely die from starvation, or complications from getting wet in early spring.  One operation here lost  half of their colonies a few years back when a crew member closed the top entrances on half of the colonies. 
Another good item for you would be the book "Beekeeping in Western Canada".  Beemaid should carry it, and it has a wonderful section outlining both indoor and outdoor wintering, as well as many other relevant aspects, however it's disease section is dated.  Good luck!
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saskbeeman
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2010, 02:19:31 AM »

Just to add, if you've got the 2" foam insulation (pink or blue extruded, not compressed pellets) on already that will be plenty for the sides, however 4 to 6" would be good for the top.  In the past, the trend was to use this configuration, and then to wrap the whole unit with tar paper, with holes cut for the entrances.
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Cary
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2010, 10:23:27 AM »


Try Polystyrene hives. They need not wrapping.

Could you confirm your statement?
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 10:57:02 AM by Cary » Logged
Cary
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2010, 10:38:49 AM »


Use material where mice cannot do nest.


"One thing we have now noticed is that the hives with high mite loads are all in polystyrene hives."
Dick Allen
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Cindi
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2010, 11:10:06 AM »

I am looking into readying my two colonies now with wrap, I have the Beescene magazine and will see if there are suppliers in B.C.  Otherwise, gonna check out Beemaid in Alberta for surely.  The Beekeeping in Western Canada is an awesome read.  That is the book that we were given to study when I firstly took the two levels of beekeeping courses some years ago.  I still refer to this manual/book, as it is just so good for beekeeping in our climates up here.  Have that wonderful and awesome of days, with love, friendship, health and peace, Cindi
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2010, 11:54:13 AM »

Cary, i think the confirmation is that Finski keeps bees successfully in Finland  grin
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Finski
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2010, 05:18:25 PM »


Try Polystyrene hives. They need not wrapping.

Could you confirm your statement?

how? My oldest polyboxes are 23 years old. They have labels in the wall.
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Finski
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2010, 05:24:14 PM »


"One thing we have now noticed is that the hives with high mite loads are all in polystyrene hives."
Dick Allen


if it is so, it means that polyhive has longer brood season, but i doubt it. Brooding is better in insulated boxes in north.

Varroa must be handled so that in winter number of mites must be hit down with oxalic trickling.
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Cary
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« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2010, 06:11:12 PM »


Try Polystyrene hives. They need not wrapping.

Could you confirm your statement?

how? ...

Scientifically,  for example R-value comparison,  in-hive temperature comparison and so on.
In addition, your second recommendation: “Use material where mice cannot do nest. “
is against your first recommendation : “Try Polystyrene hives. They need not wrapping. “
But mice can gain entry inside of polystyrene hives very readily.
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gaucho10
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« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2010, 06:25:43 PM »

Cary,

Your statement..."Could you confirm your statement?"

On this website many people have been keeping bees for MANY years.  Each has experienced various ways too keep their bees healthy one way or another.  THOSE ARE the confirmations.  If you need a scientific document you might have to go someplace else.  Most people here with many years of experience might have information that has not been scientifically proven or experimented with.  It is like a "pot-luck-sale".  You might get a good "grab" or you might not.  Usually, those with many years of beekeeping experience have something that has worked for them.

Rich Holub

31 yrs. beekeeping, no chemicals, no sugar syrup, no medication, no lost hives since 2008.
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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