THE FOLLOWING HAS BEEN UPDATED SINCE ORIGINALLY POSTED.

We finally got around to wrapping our hives for the winter. Here’s another how-to video narrated by me with a sore throat.

I thought about using corrugated plastic as a type of winter wrap, but I didn’t have time to mess with that, so I stuck with following the traditional roofing felt wrap method. We don’t plan to touch the hives again until late January or early February when we might have to feed them candy cakes and pollen patties. See Wrapping Hives for Winter and Winter Preparations – Part 1 for more info.

UPDATE (Nov. 14/11, 7:20am): I just took this photo of frost on top of the hives — proof that the insulation installed over the inner covers is working.

If the insulation wasn’t working, the frost would melt away from the heating escaping from the hives.

4 Responses to “Winter Preparations – Part 2: Hive Wrap”

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  1. I have some questions on how the winter.
    1. What is the minimum temperature during winter in the area
    2. The bottom of the hive is compact and comes with mesh for ventilation
    3. If the bottom is compact not have problems with condensation in winter

    I am in a area where you 5-6 months in winter. Bees have a three flight four months and if you isolate so much condensation occurs and disease occur.

    • Phillip says:

      “1. What is the minimum temperature during winter in the area.”

      Between October and May, the average low temperature in St. John’s, Newfoundland, is approximately -5°C, but we have plenty of days when it’s much colder. The average wind chill factor is well under -20°C. A -40°C wind chill in not uncommon between December and March. Our winters are generally wet and mild. Whenever we get snow, it’s usually followed by rain.

      “2. The bottom of the hive is compact and comes with mesh for ventilation.”

      Our hives have solid bottom boards. The half-inch mesh keeps mice out of the hives during the winter and allows for better ventilation.

      “3. If the bottom is compact not have problems with condensation in winter.”

      The bottom board is solid. We don’t have problems with condensation because the hives have a top entrance that allows the condensation to escape. We also have insulation over the inner covers that helps reduce condensation.

      “I am in a area where you 5-6 months in winter. Bees have a three flight four months…”

      It’s similar here. Our bees are stuck in their hives for about 8 months of the year.

      “…and if you isolate so much condensation occurs and disease occur.”

      Ventilation seems to be the key to healthy hives, during the winter or summer. I still have much to learn.

  2. yes, ventilation is the important thing in keeping hives alive through winter.

    re: corrugated plastic, i’ve seen hives wrapped in bubble wrap, the air in the bubbles would make a good insulator, i’m thinking.

    eric.

    • Phillip says:

      I don’t have the corrugated plastic yet, but I can get tons of industrial strength bubble wrap. I’m thinking I’ll try that next year.

      This is what I like about beekeeping. There’s more than one way to get the job done, plenty of room experimentation and finding one’s own style of beekeeping.

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