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Author Topic: Making insulated hives and supers  (Read 573 times)

Offline Rowcat

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Making insulated hives and supers
« on: January 05, 2014, 05:22:53 PM »
Here in north Florida, we are expecting 2 nights of hard freeze, down to the mid 20's .  My buddy, who got me into bees and I, just finished making a bunch of insulated hive bodies and supers.  We took our normal empty hives and supers and attached with pin nails and glue, 2 inch closed cell foam, with something like a T-111 siding.  This product can be special ordered from Home Depot or Lowes. 


This product comes with the foam already attached to the siding. We cut the siding and foam on a table saw.  I think it was kind of like cutting crown molding, as we had to get the corners right.  I plan on using these in the upcoming season , year round, to keep the girls cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

My 2 hives both swarmed and left in late July. My buddy still has all 11 of his, no swarms.  He thought of the idea and tried it out about a month ago on just some of his hives.  They are all side by side, and he said that the insulated hives are by far the most active and healthy.  In anticipation of the upcoming freeze and since today was in the 70's, he changed out the rest of his hives for the new insulated bodies.  He just took the frames out and transferred them to the new insulated bodies.

I don't know why I don't see more info on insulated hives. I see you can purchase an all styrofoam job from dadent, but I would suspect it might be weak. I would rather take a regular box and add insulation around it.  ( of course, I am a total newbie, so....)

Offline derekm

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Re: Making insulated hives and supers
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2014, 06:46:49 PM »
Here in north Florida, we are expecting 2 nights of hard freeze, down to the mid 20's .  My buddy, who got me into bees and I, just finished making a bunch of insulated hive bodies and supers.  We took our normal empty hives and supers and attached with pin nails and glue, 2 inch closed cell foam, with something like a T-111 siding.  This product can be special ordered from Home Depot or Lowes. 


This product comes with the foam already attached to the siding. We cut the siding and foam on a table saw.  I think it was kind of like cutting crown molding, as we had to get the corners right.  I plan on using these in the upcoming season , year round, to keep the girls cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

My 2 hives both swarmed and left in late July. My buddy still has all 11 of his, no swarms.  He thought of the idea and tried it out about a month ago on just some of his hives.  They are all side by side, and he said that the insulated hives are by far the most active and healthy.  In anticipation of the upcoming freeze and since today was in the 70's, he changed out the rest of his hives for the new insulated bodies.  He just took the frames out and transferred them to the new insulated bodies.

I don't know why I don't see more info on insulated hives. I see you can purchase an all styrofoam job from dadent, but I would suspect it might be weak. I would rather take a regular box and add insulation around it.  ( of course, I am a total newbie, so....)
you will find a lot more on uk beekeeping forum.
If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?

Offline GSF

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Re: Making insulated hives and supers
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2014, 10:26:33 PM »
Welcome to the forum.

I'm a newbie as well, so take this with a grain of salt:

Some folks warn against doing something like that in area's that aren't sho nuff cold. In our areas the concern is they will be fooled into thinking it's warmer than it is outside and fly off to do their bee thing. If it's too cold they freeze up (so to speak) and never return to the hive.
"Life is hard, It's even harder when you're stupid."

John Wayne

Offline AllenF

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Re: Making insulated hives and supers
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 12:48:30 AM »
My 2 cents is I would not worry about insulating hives if you are in Florida.  I am doing a thing here in North Georgia.  I just closed up some of the cracks between old super boxes with masking tape so the wind would not blow through them.  More than I have done in several years.   I do have my screened bottoms closed for the first time in years also. 

Offline derekm

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Re: Making insulated hives and supers
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 03:52:38 AM »
I would insulate because of the summer heat in Florida... And because apis mellifera  evolved to use trees.
If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?

Offline rober

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Re: Making insulated hives and supers
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2014, 01:04:11 PM »
I put a 1" piece of blue rigid foam under the outer cover. the inner cover has a notch for an upper entrance which allows condensation to escape. since our temps. are in single digits & below zero I've closed the s.b.b. for the 2st time since I've used them. I would think that in fla. wrapping with roofing felt to keep wind out would be enough.

Offline derekm

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Re: Making insulated hives and supers
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014, 01:56:30 PM »
I...the inner cover has a notch for an upper entrance which allows condensation to escape. ...
and the heat
If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?