Re: Winter insulation
I use 2 inch on east, west and north and top and bottom. Use 1/2 on south and wrap all in black roofing paper. It is slower for interior to get cold with 2 inch all around, but once the hive interior gets cold in really cold temps, it is slow to warm again and bees are slow to get to new stores. Needs to be 40F plus for bees to move from cluster.
My thinking is use the 1/2 plus black paper to get thermal gain from sun to warm interior faster.
As an aside, with no 1/2 on front, interior gets too warm too quick and bees try to fly when too cold outside and perish.
Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!