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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Brownsburg, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    168

    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
    5,321

    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 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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,696

    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Lemont, Il U.S.A.
    Posts
    119

    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    708

    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.

  7. #7
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,290

    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,218

    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Some parts of the northeast average 5 days of sunshine in Jan. That leaves 25 days and 30 nights with no solar gain from tarpaper, in fact tarpaper is as good a radiator as a solar gain instrument. Hey, I don't have the experience or location to be in this discussion, just a smart ass with a pencil. I say insulate and TP ain't that.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    When I just had a couple hives, I went to home Depot/Lowes, and bought some sheets of foam insulation. This are some pics of how I insulated the hives.

    Picture 245.jpg

    Picture 246.jpg

    Picture 247.jpg

    Picture 248.jpg

    Picture 249.jpg

    Insulated Hive.jpg

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pierce/Thurson County, Wa
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Here, we have 300 days without sun a year. I was told to paint my hives a dark color, anything other than black and green (because those colors are hard to spot). We had summer here. It was two weeks in April and a week in May. *goes outside and takes a couple pictures of my hives*



    *huddles in a blanket at the computer* Yea, it is actually supposed to hit 70 degrees today! Once the clouds burn off. . . maybe 4 or 5 pm maybe.

    Edited to say: Is there an easy way to make the pictures smaller?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,290

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Looking at your set up I would have both hives on one pallet. The breaking strength of the wood would be greater with two then having one in the center. If the boards should break it is likely the hive will completely roll over but with two they wouldn't.

    We usually have weather like you but this year it is reversed.

    I would rather link to another photo cite so the size of the picture can remain large for better viewing.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    SEYC, Nice! Hate the color! Do you insulate during your 11 1/2 month winter!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    unionville,mi, USA
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    I just use tar paper as well, like michael palmer said, it isn't so much for the r value as it is a wind break and black that allows the hive to gain temperature. One roll will do quite a few hives and cost around $50. If you provide upper entrance for vapor to get out, you probably would not have too much trouble with cold temps. If palmer gets away with tar paper in vermont, I pretty sure it would work in indiana.
    Your inferiority complex is better than mine.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    804

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    Part of deciding what do is understanding what goes on inside the hive during winter. Bees don't heat the inside of the hive, they just keep the cluster warm.

    Roofing felt helps with solar gain on warm sunny days allowing the bees to break the cluster and move to stores sooner.

    When you inculde nucs I'm sure Michael Palmer overwinters well over 1000 colonies each year in Vermont. He's a non-migratory commercial beekeeper. Kind of like the old EF Hutton commercials. When he talks it is worth listening to.

    Tom

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,876

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    I like the stuff from B&B Honey too. I would like the bee cozy from NOD better but by the time you get them shipped they are prohibitively expensive IMO. If you only have one or two hives and no plans for more, they are perfect. I put a piece of brown soundproofing felt on top of the hive body or over a feeder rim with a 2" piece of epe obove that. Works like a charm. I can pop the lid from the epe up to add shgar bricks if needed in almost any weather. In our kinda winter, I often had three to five pounds of bees clustered there on the top bars and hanging off the soundproofing board. I staple the insulation wrap product on and have a hole cut for the ventilation hole in the upper hive body. It may not work this year, but it sure worked well last.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,938

    Default Re: Winter Wrapping Bee Hive

    If I wrap, it's with inexpensive tar paper. Last winter was so mild that I didn't get around to wrapping or even closing up most of the screen bottom boards. Of course, it hardly even touched minus 20 degrees at all. Most winters it's down to perhaps 25 to 30 below here and I suppose if it ever gets really cold here in Maine, I might think about insulating.

    My experience is that providing insulation might make me all warm and fuzzy but the bees do not need it. What the bees need in winter is ventilation, not insulation.

    Wayne

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Toronto, ON Canada
    Posts
    91

  20. #20
    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!

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