Re: is this a good idea or not?
There is a big difference between "cold" and "wet". The bees handle cold pretty well but suffer greatly when you add wet to the mix. I have a shed that I winter the hives in my "home" yard in. This shed only has 3 walls and I place about a dozen hives in it. I do nothing with these hives except add an upper entrance/vent. My bees do really well in this shed usually less than 10% loss. In my other yards I have gotten to the point of just trying to keep the rain off. I've found that I had no better success with wrapping and insulating than just keeping them dry. I keep my hives on stands that allow me to place 4 hives next to each other. In winter prep I shove them tight against each other (about 1" gap) and staple tar paper from the bottom of the end hive over the top of all 4 and down to the bottom of the other end. I place my bricks on top and staple enough to keep the wind from blowing it off. I cut the upper entrance/vent hole in the tar paper and I'm done. About 2/3 of the front and back are left exposed. I can do this way faster and seem to be successfullly wintering the same as when I was completely wrapping them up. When I don't cover them at all they tend to have quite a lot more moisture inside and I have more die offs.
Again......moisture is a much greater concern than cold....in my opinion anyway.
Beekeeper? Shoot, my bees keep me!
9 years, 100 hives in Western Wa State