Wrapping a beehive for the winter - Bee in Harmony, Rowe Apiaries blog

Preparing for the winter: wrapping beehives, Part III


Wrapping the beehives for the winter is not something that I would normally do in Alabama. That is unless the winter is predicted to be wet and chilly. The chilling temperatures is one thing, having cold and windy weather for weeks at a time, drives the colony to eat up its stores quickly, while losing a lot of bees on the outside of the cluster, unable to move into the middle of the cluster because it is too tight, slowly dying of starvation. As you may have already read from the previous two posts, I installed the bottom board, placed a canvas cloth on the top of the brood super, and continued to feed our girls. I have never wrapped by beehives before, so I don’t know how successful I will be in fixing the problem of losing too many colonies to plain starvation (I will need to write another post on the subject of force feeding), as well as how it will affect moisture buildup inside the hive. I know that many beekeepers swear by polystyrene beehives (Bee Craft, UK beekeeping magazine), and have absolutely no problems with mold and moisture buildup. On the contrary, they report that their colonies stay snug and warm throughout the winter. However, the Styrofoam beehives are almost impossible to sanitize. They are breakable. The woodpeckers love them. Mice love them. They will not do in the summer here. In Minnesota, some beekeepers wrap their hives, which increase their colony survival. I may, one day, make a better wrap too.

So, without further discussion let me show how I did it. Please following me on this blog for further updates.


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