Winter Beekeeping for 2021

Here I am talking quietly for 15 minutes about my approach to winter beekeeping going into 2021:

The hives in this video are planted black like all my hives, but I also plan to wrap them soon because they’re in a open area exposed to heavy winter winds.

However, instead of the usual winter wrap (black roofing felt, etc.), I’m planning to wrap them in bubble wrap. Sounds a little loopy, I know, but I heard from a beekeeper on the BEE-L Archives whose experiences with bubble wrapping dark hives has convinced me to give it a shot. The next time I post anything about these hives, they might be wrapped in bubble wrap.

I’m also tempted to ignore the wrap altogether. Judging from my own experiences with my winter hives over the past 10 years and from several accounts that I’ve read from beekeeping records going back over 100 years, I’m not convinced that wrapping hives is always necessary, and in many cases, it seems to reduce the survival rate of some colonies.

In any case, I might try wrapping a couple of my black-painted hives in bubble wrap this week. We’ll see.

January 15th, 2021: I still haven’t wrapped my hives or stuffed them with burlap pillows. I am one lazy beekeeper this year. I’m not sure why. I’ll snap out of it if some really bad weather comes our way. It’s been a fairly mild and easygoing winter so far. I’m not too worried… yet.