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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    BADEN, PENNSYLVANIA, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Tar paper for hive wrap/insulation?

    Just wondering if anyone has used tar paper for winterizing hives? If you have...was hoping you would let me know the pros & cons.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,974

    Default Re: Tar paper for hive wrap/insulation?

    For your warmer climate it is probably a very good idea. When the sun shines, it will give the bees quite a heat gain and might be the difference in their being able to reorganize food stores. The best thing it does if done properly is create a dead air space that goes a long long way in helping them heat their cluster. An easy way I found was to staple one edge square and wrap 80 inches around tight and staple. If you then staple a precut cardboard strip along that edege to keep the wind from getting purchase and ripping things, it helps. I fold the top like wrapping a package and weight it down. I provide ventilation by cutting out th little 7/8" hole I have drilled in my upper box right below the handhold. If there is none, I drill one right thru the tarpaper. I then staple a little cardboard vee over the hole to slow down the wind that might want to blast in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    470

    Default Re: Tar paper for hive wrap/insulation?

    cheap and easy to install.
    Be sure and leave an upper entrance to vent moisture.
    I use a small vertical strip of wood to hold the edge and to hold the top away from the notch in the inner cover.
    Insulation on top of the inner.Homosote or foam.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Franklin Co, PA, USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Tar paper for hive wrap/insulation?

    Not mentioned - use the 15# tarpaper (not the heavier 30# weight). The heavier paper is hard to wrap. I find primary benefit is additional wind protection. Good luck and tell us what you decided and your experience.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: Tar paper for hive wrap/insulation?

    IMO one of the most important things is to put insulation on top of the hive. If you don't then condensation will build up and drip on the cluster. I wrapped my 3 hives last year and bunched them all together. All wintered VERYwell. The second most important is ventilation. I'm using upper entrances so it's not a issue for me because that's what they have all the time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,875

    Default Re: Tar paper for hive wrap/insulation?

    I use tar paper much in the way that Mike Palmer does. There are videos showing how Mike winterizes his colonies.

    The major difference is that instead of string to tie covers down, I use straps. Then again I'm not prepping hundreds of colonies so I can choose a more expensive and easier for me to work with option.

    I reverse my notched inner covers so that the notch is down and place a piece of 2" insulation between the inner and outer covers. This has two purposes - one being to reduce condensation and the 2nd being to raise the outer cover so that the notch in the inner cover is unobstructed for the bees to use an an upper entrance.

    The solar gain aspect of tar paper has been discussed - I think it has value as a wind break too; especially between boxes in the brood chamber and yes my bees know about propolis!
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

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