Hive Pillow Update

So it’s looks like the hive pillow is doing its job. Moisture is rising up through the inner cover hole, passing through the wood chips, condensing on the cold top cover, dripping down on the top of the pillow, where it then evaporates through the holes in the ventilation rim. Hence, the bees inside are kept dry.

The only thing I’m not thrilled about, but I’m never thrilled about it and it may not have anything to do with the hive pillow, is that the bees are clustered right up against the inner cover in a giant ball. Are the bees following the heat that’s escaping through the inner cover hole? Are they simply covering the sugar brick I recently added because they’re low on honey? Or are they just naturally clustering in the warmest part of the hive?

You’d think they’re just following the heat, and that the answer to all those questions is yes, but I have other colonies where the clusters are in the bottom of the hive, and they’re not following the heat up to the top of the hive. In any case, I don’t think the pillow is harming the bees. So that’s good enough for now.

3 thoughts on “Hive Pillow Update

  1. Would like to know where I can purchase a ventilation pillow. I have been stapling burlap to the telescoping outside cover after filling the cover with wood chips. Unfortunately the burlap usually falls apart by the end of winter and the wood chips fall through the hive and all my frames end up getting some wood chips on them. In addition I am tired of taking the chips and burlap off in the spring and then re-creating the situation in the fall

    Wonder if you could please tell me where burlap ventilation pillows can be purchased I can’t find any online. Thank you very much

  2. Hi Clayton,

    I made these hive pillows myself (that is, I had someone who can sew make them for me). You can’t buy them anywhere yet, but they’re easy to make. Just get the best burlap you can find with a tight weave, and sew them into pillow cases with a cheap handheld sewing machine. You could even staple them together like I did with my first one. You can also use regular cotton pillow cases, though they seem to get moldy.

  3. Thank you Philip. I have been following mud songs sporadically for at least five years. I perked up when I saw your burlap pillow because I have been using burlap to cover the inner cover by stapling it to the inner cover after filling the inner cover with cedar wood chips such as the kind you would use for rabbits hamsters etc. Unfortunately this past winter I decided not to use an inner cover and the bees were all over the burlap making comb on it. In addition I didn’t know there was a tighter weave of the burlap and the coarse burlap I got at the hardware store just did not hold up, spewing wood chips down between the frames. Thanks for your great video and I will make one somehow and use an inner cover this coming winter

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