Insulating hives for winter
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Springfield Illinois USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Insulating hives for winter

    I was looking in to using sheets of either expanded polstyrene or extruded polstyrene and then wrapping in roofing felt. I was read that some can have toxic vapors that vent out of some insulation.

    My question has anyone used with one either type of insulation? What are some other way or thing to do?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Boundary Creek NB Canada
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Insulating hives for winter

    Tarpaper black it draws ths heat

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kenosha,WI
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: Insulating hives for winter

    I use EPS as a cover over a sheet of poly or fbic that keeps bees from chewing EPS. No problems at all. EPS hives are used all over Europe rather than wooden hives.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Killington,VT
    Posts
    143

    Thumbs Up Re: Insulating hives for winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy85 View Post
    I was looking in to using sheets of either expanded polstyrene or extruded polstyrene and then wrapping in roofing felt. I was read that some can have toxic vapors that vent out of some insulation.

    My question has anyone used with one either type of insulation? What are some other way or thing to do?
    Hi: I've used 2" poly panels covering three sides of a hive with a tar paper wrap over a twine binding to keep it all together. The front of the hive was oriented towards the sun and had no insulation. I used an upper and lower entrance and I've had good results. As my apiary grows this becomes material and time intensive.

    This year I worked a few days for a nearby commercial beekeeper, and he only wraps with tar paper or leaves unwrapped, but with upper and lower entrances on solid bottom boards with good results.

    That said, this year I'm going to try tar paper alone with a sloped outer cover with some Homosote as a top insulator/absorptive material. The slope should allow any melting condensate to drain down the back of the hive or outside and not onto the cluster. If this works, I'll need no poly insulation or storage for it or time to install/remove.

    The hive is sealed with propolis, so any off gassing of the polystyrene is outside and away from the entrances particularly if you only wrap 3 sides with the foam board, so I didn't expect nor have I had any problems.

    Good luck with what ever you chose to do. Paul
    Zone 4a-b

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    639

    Default Re: Insulating hives for winter

    You need a windbreak and black will heat the hive so they don't have to use as much energy to do it themselves. Wood is insulation enough?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Napoleon, OH
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Insulating hives for winter

    I use 2" extruded foam on top of each hive and also tie 1/2" thick foam panels to the two sides that face the prevailing winds. I've had good results wintering this way; it protects the hive a little but still has open sides to "breathe".

    Just yesterday I was cutting panels of insulation in order to get ready for this winter, and I noticed that the foam board had a "Greenguard" logo stamped on it. The fine print below the logo said that the foam was manufactured so that it wouldn't give off toxic vapors. You might want to look for this if you decide to go with foam insulation.

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