Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Upper Kingsclear, NB, Canada
    Posts
    74

    Default att'n Maine/N New England beeks, do you wrap for winter?

    Approaching my first over-wintering season. Maine is the closest to our conditions. Wondering if there is any consensus (perhaps that is being a bit too optimistic ) on winter prep in these climes...such as whether to wrap or not, other insulation, windbreaks, seek or avoid the sun, or what seems to work for you.

    My hives will be fairly well protected from the cold wind directions, and high enough to keep out of the snow unless we get abnormal amounts. I'm inland and humidity here in winter is generally low .We do get occasional thaws and rains, but it's usually below freezing from December to Feb. I was thinking of a slab of insulation on top, maybe wrap the sides with Tyvek.

    still nice here today, 24C/75F

    any ideas appreciated...

    cheers

    Rob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,938

    Default Re: att'n Maine/N New England beeks, do you wrap for winter?

    I wrap with the cheapest tar paper and no insulation. Adequate ventilation is provided. Last year was very mild here in Maine and I didn't get around to wrapping at all. My only real losses were in a yard that is very exposed to the wind, so that tells me a lot about the value of a natural windbreak.

    An upper entrance/vent allows me to not worry much about how deep the snow gets. Only once in recent years did I have to dig down to find hives and that was in the same exposed yard with chest-deep drifts. (Snowshoes are a key part of my winter hive management program.)

    I always try to place my hives in an area that gets as much sun as possible.

    Wayne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Waterboro, Maine
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: att'n Maine/N New England beeks, do you wrap for winter?

    Our state apiarist spoke at our recent beekeepers club meeting. He recommended wrapping with light weight tar paper (it's easier to bend without cracking in cool weather). Based on those I've spoken with it seems to be the consensus around here. I plan to wrap this winter. It's cheap insurance in my mind.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,794

    Default Re: att'n Maine/N New England beeks, do you wrap for winter?

    Hi Rob,

    Here on the coast I do have humidity - more than I would like.

    The short answer - yes I wrap and add insulation over the inner cover. I've described the details several times recently.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Harvard, MA, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: att'n Maine/N New England beeks, do you wrap for winter?

    This will be my third first year beekeeping ;-)

    I think the most important items are windbreak and top entrance.

    I use that construction black plastic/fabric that already has the stakes put in for a windbreak.

    Take Care,
    Mike

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: att'n Maine/N New England beeks, do you wrap for winter?

    I will wrap with 15 LBS tar paper and add a super filled with pine shavings over the inner cover. Inner cover will have the notch down to provide ventilation and an upper entrance.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,121

    Default Re: att'n Maine/N New England beeks, do you wrap for winter?

    Anyone tried bubblewrap or reflexit. I'm thinking of leaving south side uncovered to catch the sun. Un insulated it should be the first condensation point as the hive cools at night. Melt the next morning, self bailing hive! Probably a better theory than fact.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Upper Kingsclear, NB, Canada
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: att'n Maine/N New England beeks, do you wrap for winter?

    Many thanks for the feedback, everyone. I will plan on some wrapping, I may vary the method to compare results. A medium super of sawdust on top appeals, as opposed to styrofoam. The silt fence material might also be a good option as its breathable, as was mentioned... - black geotextile may also be good.

    Still some asters flowering here but not much else. Red clover that was cut in late summer is flowering again. The hyssop in my bee garden still has bees on it. Hoping to collect seed from this for next year.

    Rob

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Pownal, Maine, USA
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: att'n Maine/N New England beeks, do you wrap for winter?

    I wrap my hives with tar paper, which are in full sun with a rock wall behind them as a windbreak. I also made 3/4" thick moisture absorbers for them, made with wood, burlap, and sawdust. It goes UNDER the inner cover (it has a matching hole in the middle, flush with the IC, so that the bees can go up over the IC in case they want to snack on candy I place up there), and it absorbs all moisture the girls give off. It works great. I know we had a mild winter last year, but I found almost no dead bees in the spring. I do sweep off their front porch after a snowstorm so that they get the ventilation they need.
    Don't be afraid your life will end. Be afraid that it will never begin.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Upper Kingsclear, NB, Canada
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: att'n Maine/N New England beeks, do you wrap for winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by treeoflife View Post
    I wrap my hives with tar paper, which are in full sun with a rock wall behind them as a windbreak. I also made 3/4" thick moisture absorbers for them, made with wood, burlap, and sawdust. It goes UNDER the inner cover (it has a matching hole in the middle, flush with the IC, so that the bees can go up over the IC in case they want to snack on candy I place up there), and it absorbs all moisture the girls give off. It works great. I know we had a mild winter last year, but I found almost no dead bees in the spring. I do sweep off their front porch after a snowstorm so that they get the ventilation they need.
    Interesting. Any northeasterners use the candy board method? Quite a few people seems to advocate the multiple benefits of this, including the moisture-absorbing properties. Some sort of moisture-absorbing item over the warm zone seems like a good idea and mimics the punkwood etc often found in a natural bee home in a hollow tree.
    Rob

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Keene, NH
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: att'n Maine/N New England beeks, do you wrap for winter?

    I am going to make candy boards this year. We'll see how it goes.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads