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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Brownsburg, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    182

    Default Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    I'm rather new at bee keeping, In Indiana, we have different winter weather pattens, so with that said, I want to protect my investment, and I want to protect them the best I can.
    I've read about the tar paper method for insulating the hive in the winter, and the reasons for protecting the bees, I've looked at this product to cover my hive this winter, and want opinions of users here, to tell me if this is
    going to work or not?
    The product is a thin layer of Aluminum with an air pocket then another layer of Aluminum, it's light weigh, has an R-value of 4.1 that's equal to 4 inches of fiberglass insulation.
    The cool thing I like about this product, is it's thin, and can be wrapped easily around the hive just like the Tar paper.
    Will it be too hot for them in the winter months, with this type of insulation?
    I only have one hive, so the cost is minimal for this application.

    Bonded Logic UltraTouch Water Heater Jacket

    Click here to view larger image


    Click here to view larger image


    Manufacturer: Bonded Logic
    Item #: 11085
    Availability: Backordered
    Retail Price: $32.87
    Regular Price: $29.89
    Hot Buy Price: $24.00
    Quantity:

    Description
    Specs
    Reviews
    Buying Guides & Videos

    Bonded Logic UltraTouch Natural Cotton Radiant Barrier is a light-weight, foil-faced, fire-retardant blanket insulation that may be used in a variety of applications, including as a water heater jacket. A water heater jacket can reduce standby losses from a tank-type water heater. Made from durable natural fibers, UltraTouch contains no fiberglass and does not itch or cause skin irritation, making it easy to install. The pure aluminum barrier reflects radiant heat, with the fibers used to manufacture UltraTouch treated with an EPA registered anti-microbial agent that offers protection from mold, mildew, fungi, as well as fire resistance.

    This UltraTouch Water Heater Jacket is 72" long by 48". It has an R-value of 4.1. A roll of pressure sensitive aluminized foil tape is included.

    Dimensions: 72" x 48"
    R-Value: 4.1
    Origin: USA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,538

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    The idea of wrapping hives in the lower 48 isn't about insulation. It's about heat gain from the black 15 lb. felt paper.

    $24 for a 72" roll? Hot buy? Felt (Tar) paper will work better and at less than $1/wrap, why waste your money?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    710

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    The idea of wrapping hives in the lower 48 isn't about insulation.
    That depends what you "wrap" them with. I understand that last winter here in PA wasn't exactly representative of a severe winter, but I surrounded each of my hives with 1" foam board and wrapped that with tar paper. Yes, I know, the insulation keeps out the solar gain, but it keeps in the heat of the hive, and that is the point in which I was interested, increasing the heat retention of the 3/4" board that makes up my boxes. I lost one hive out of 7. One of the surviving 6 was a two-box 5 frame medium nuc. I understand that if you have hundreds of hives this amount of labor isn't really feasible, but I think the insulation really helped me, so I'll be doing it again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    I see the word "cotton" in the description. Field mice will love that!

    Tar Paper is cheap. Solar gain and a bit of wind protection.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,993

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Previous years I used a roofing product that is over 1/8 thick. I cut sheets the same size as the hive body and used two screws to hang them from the top. Last year I did nothing for a wrap. Two years of experience is nothing but I feel for my area that nothing is adequate except for 2 inches of foam on the top cover. Moisture is more of a problem than the temperature of the hive.

    To me the only reason for insulating a hive at my Latitude would be to reduce the amount of stores necessary to winter. I don't think running that risk is worth it. Climate is way to difficult to predict these days.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,281

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    I use this stuff and it did well for me last year .
    http://www.bbhoneyfarms.com/store/c-...winter-packing
    I allso use a 1in thick peice of foam board under the tel. cover . Worked great had a 100 percent winter survival rate but it was a realy mild winter here. Don't forget ventilation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    R value of 4 is not bad but not equal to 4" of fiberglass, http://www.allwallsystem.com/design/RValueTable. Tar paper has no significant R value, it is a vapor barrier only, I see no reason to wrap hives with it. I would worry that your bubble/foil barrier would not stand up to the weather but other than that it sounds good. Foam board would probably be cheaper and some types have a higher R value. Keep us posted on what you decide.

    http://www.lowes.com/Building-Suppli...937087_&rpp=24

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,699

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    the double bubble wrap (one of the names in Canada) is a good product. The only problem with it is to get any R value, it must be compressed. It does help to retain heat on things that create heat...ie my wax melters. It requires less time to heat up and boil the water.
    Check out nod apiaries for the hive wraps. Easy to use, durable, long life product

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Lemont, Il U.S.A.
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    It makes me feel good when I go out to the bee yard on a sunny day in January and that 15lb. paper is nice and warm and all my colonies are still humming. I also like the windbreak effect.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Maybe off topic a bit, but what is purpose of putting foam board/insulation under top cover (above inner cover,right?)? I bought a retired beekeepers collection and it came with a few foam boards, just didnt recall the purpose or location he told me - can only retain so much!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Local fellow had a late swarm show up at his place last fall, and settled in a lilac bush. Having no experience or equipment whatever, he read enough that he decided to open feed them close to 75 pounds of sugar before winter set in. Last winter was a mild one for us, only dropping to minus 10 once, and only getting below zero less than a dozen times. We also did not get as many of the unholy bitter strong winds that are usual during our winter. His bees survived the winter, hanging right out in the open in the leafless lilac bush. He hived them this spring, and they did a good job for him over the summer. Proves just how tough they are.
    In spite of that, I'm thinking about wrapping my one hive with something for the winter.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    728

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwar77 View Post
    Maybe off topic a bit, but what is purpose of putting foam board/insulation under top cover (above inner cover,right?)?
    Have you ever noticed that when there is a thick layer of snow on the tops of your hives, that the center of that layer of snow is all melted down to the very cover forming a circle approximately the size of the cluster? I put a two inch foam board on top of my covers before I loosely wrap them in felt tarpaper. Bees don't heat the sides but their heat does rise to the top. No need to put the foam boards on the inside, they'll just cause a problem (bees chew at the foam) OMTCW

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,993

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwar77 View Post
    Maybe off topic a bit, but what is purpose of putting foam board/insulation under top cover (above inner cover,right?)? I bought a retired beekeepers collection and it came with a few foam boards, just didnt recall the purpose or location he told me - can only retain so much!
    I put my foam insulation on top of the outer cover. The R value is the same no matter where you put it.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,538

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    The R value is the same no matter where you put it.
    So if you put styrofoam on your roof, it's as good as right behind the sheetrock?

    The foam should go on top of the inner cover, not the outer cover.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,993

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    So if you put styrofoam on your roof, it's as good as right behind the sheetrock?

    The foam should go on top of the inner cover, not the outer cover.
    Have it your way but it makes no difference.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Moultonborough, NH
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Have it your way but it makes no difference.
    Blows off less if its under the cover, no?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,720

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I put my foam insulation on top of the outer cover. The R value is the same no matter where you put it.
    If the insulting material is sitting on a cold, sheet metal surface, with a film of water between the foam and top, I would clearly expect it to be less effective than a material placed directly over the inner cover.

    Trapping water on top of a migratory cover wouldn't be better imo.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,993

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Talk to someone that understands thermo dynamics. Maybe they can explain better how a blanket of snow can insulate a two foot sheet of ice on a lake.
    Hey if you want to put your foam on the inside, knock yourself out. Your winters are so mild in Fairfield County it is almost silly to do anything to your hives in the winter.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,720

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Talk to someone that understands thermo dynamics. Maybe they can explain better how a blanket of snow can insulate a two foot sheet of ice on a lake.
    Hey if you want to put your foam on the inside, knock yourself out. Your winters are so mild in Fairfield County it is almost silly to do anything to your hives in the winter.
    You're funny!
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,144

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Maybe they can explain better how a blanket of snow can insulate a two foot sheet of ice on a lake.
    I will explain as much as I know.

    First insulation keeps heat out as well as it keeps it in. keeping ice frozen would be the result of keeping heat out.

    Second is an understanding of how insulation works. there are several ways but the most common and the one that applies to snow. Air is a poor conductor of heat or in other words a good insulator. Btu it has to be unable to move. most insulation such as foam. fiberglass batting etc are simply trapping air in pockets. that is how they insulate. snow has a lot of air trapped in it.

    In order for any insulation to help a hive stay warm. the hive has to get warm first. Otherwise it will help the hive stay cold.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

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