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Thread: Insulation Hive

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

    Default Insulation Hive

    I posted a thread about insulating my hive, had some positive comments and negative ones too!
    with that said, I experimented this weekend, the temperatures in Indiana were lows in the lower 30's and the highs in the upper 60's
    I am top feeding both hives until they won't feed anymore.
    I have two hives, both have top feeders and both have the heavy plastic top the Walter Kelly sells.
    I did an experiment I placed a two inch foam insulation cover over one of the hives, the other one I left alone.

    I wrapped the hive with the foam cover with Double Bubble insulation, then placed a 4 mil, plastic bag over the hive at night.
    The sun radiant heat warmed the covered hive to a temperature of 79 degrees F.
    The syrup was 57 degrees F.
    The bees were buzzing in this hive, when I opened it the bees were taking the syrup like always.

    The hive I didn't do anything too, had an internal temperature of 52 all day yesterday, bees were slow, only a few bees were eating the syrup.
    As the temperature rises, I can take off the plastic bag and the insulation.
    I've reduced my lower entrance on both hives, to keep the mice out.
    The only thing I"m concerned with is moisture within the hive, I need to keep the moisture level down, that's why I'm removing the plastic and the insulation during
    the daytime.

    I'm kind of a newbee, here, but I've worked for years in the energy management field, trying to see if the EMS, (Energy Management System) work for raising bees!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,738

    Default Re: Insulation Hive

    You're planning to fool with your hives, daily? With this system, I would be very worried about moisture. And what happens if you neglect to unwrap?
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Shelton, WA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Insulation Hive

    First I'm a newbee as well and facing my first winter here in western Washington. I agree that your system will help keep the bees warm but the moisture issue concerns me. Since our winters are so wet here I have modified my hives, here's what I've done and thus far no issues. Instead of the standard inner cover and telescoping cover I use a quilt and top cover from a Warre hive modified to fit my Lang. The quilt is the size of a medium super, cover the bottom with fabric, I used some old linen. Fill with pine or cedar shavings. The cover I made has 3, 2" round soffit vents installed under the peaked cover to vent moisture. The vent seemed to do well through the heat of the summer, had some days in the mid 90's with minimal bearding. I think if you did something like this you could leave your insulation in place and not have to do daily adjustments.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Brownsburg, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Insulation Hive

    Hey that's a good idea, as mentioned in my original thread, i said moisture was and is an issue, with my setup, karanmatt, your solution seems like a good idea, to my solution.
    Went out just a few minutes ago, thousands of bees outside the entrance, flying around, sun is shining, all is good.
    Tonight i'ts suppose to have a hard freeze, so that will just about wrap it up for the fall flow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Keene, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Insulation Hive

    At my bee meeting this week, we were discussing feeding this time of year. One member said he stops feeding about October 1, so the bees will have time to cap the honey. One year he kept feeding them and they never had a chance to cap it before it got cold and the bees all bunkered down. He had terrible condensation that year and lost a lot of bees.

    I prop up my inner cover with two flat popsicle sticks, one on each side, to help the air flow and prevent condensation. I have some black silt fencing left from a project that I plan to wrap the hives in. I thought about black plastic, but was concerned that it might not breathe. The silt fencing has small holes in it designed to let water through, but not soil. I though it might work better. Thoughts anyone?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,738

    Default Re: Insulation Hive

    I think you're overthinking. The only problems I've had with moisture was in a hive that was closed up too tight. I have SBB and close them most of the way, leaving about 1" open and either top entrances or shims above the inner cover. If you're going to insulate anything, my recommendation would be to put foam on top of the hive to prevent condensation on the underside of the top cover.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

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