Re: insulating scenario
I insulated three sides and top and bottom with 2 inches of insulation and then wrapped with black paper.
A down side seemed to be that bees in a strong hive were fooled into flying on too cold a day. Flights were one way.
On the plus side, brood rearing started early and I was then afraid to remove the insulation and losing brood and bees if we got a cold snap. One was an amazing hive, building to boiling bees early, producing 225 lbs of honey and a dozen frames of brood for three NUCs. I was very concerned about swarming but took honey and brood frames periodically and they stayed put.
I also think the insulation modulates the rapid change in temp inside the hive that we can experience on the outside.
With insulation and black paper only on one side, bees were able to readily get to food. They were often above the inner cover in which my center hole is 3.5 inches feeding on sugar blocks and fondants,
Think the postives significantly out way the negatives, and I will insulate again this winter. Will likely try a 3/4 insulation on the south side to reduce heating of the sun.
Last edited by mgolden; 10-09-2012 at 04:18 PM.
Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!