Question for Discussion Insulated bee hives

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jpcows
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Location: Greensboro NC

Question for Discussion Insulated bee hives

Post by jpcows »

I wonder if anyone has seen insulated beehive boxes? I wonder why I have not seen any. When we had that cold spell several weeks ago, I covered my hive with insulated blankets, leaving the entrance hole open. Several days before I covered the hive, I measured the temperature of the with my Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer.

It read

5 deg on many sides

12 to 15 deg were the bees were clustering

After covering the hive with 2 moving blankets and waiting 24 hrs, and measuring from the blanket surface

Low reading was still 5 deg
the bee cluster was now 20 degs


If you think about it bees in the wild live as deep with a trees as they can. May be we need to listen to the bee again see what they like.
Jacobs
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Re: Question for Discussion Insulated bee hives

Post by Jacobs »

I haven't wrapped hives, but at last Thursday night's beginners course, both James Brown and Vern Allen said they wrapped hives. Most winters, my losses have been well below the national average, but last winter was rough. If losses don't go back down this winter, I may have to consider experimenting with wrapping some of the weaker hives. I am pretty sure that most beekeepers in this area do not feel that winters are harsh enough to call for wrapping hives.
jpcows
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Re: Question for Discussion Insulated bee hives

Post by jpcows »

My thoughts are not just for the winter. If you think of a tree in the it is dormant, bee would have a fixed temp. In the spring , summer and fall the tree is pulling water from the ground to nourish the tree and maintain it's temp. I would think this would enable a hive to have a constant temp range. They can spend less energy heating and cooling their hive and more energy in products and baby bees. This should create a stronger hive. Just a theory that could be had to prove. If anyone has a tree with bees in it. I would love to put a few temp prodes.
ski
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Re: Question for Discussion Insulated bee hives

Post by ski »

I also have not wrapped any hives in my 8 years of beekeeping.

There was an experiment someone documented in the Beesource forum that compared unwrapped to wrapped hives. If I remember correctly they did not have bees just hives with temp probes. Again, if I remember correctly they found that wrapping a hive created a temp lag both warming up and cooling down. Both hives would reach the same temp but the wrapped hive temp would change slower than unwrapped hive.
So the unwrapped hive would have more rapid temp changes.
I guess I could see that applying to a tree as well depending on the size of the cavity and the thickness of the trunk where the colony was located.
I hope you find a tree this year to see what data it would provide.

I will try and find the Beesource posts.
Just some thoughts.
donwal
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Re: Question for Discussion Insulated bee hives

Post by donwal »

I wrapped my hives last winter and this winter also. This year I added bales of straw for a wind break. This photo was taken in November after I finished wrapping them (entrance feeders were removed). They all have an upper entrance for ventilation. Put 1/2 inch insulation under the outer cover.

Image
Locust & Honey
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Re: Question for Discussion Insulated bee hives

Post by Locust & Honey »

We have never wrapped our hives either. I was always told that cold won't kill the bees.....moisture and cold will but not cold.
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