Random thought - Seperating boxes during winter in a small/weak hive with newspaper
Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    612

    Default Random thought - Seperating boxes during winter in a small/weak hive with newspaper

    I have a hive that is not doing well due to mite issues. The might issues are a combination of my mistakes (oops), weird weather, and MAQS problems. I was thinking about how I could maybe help this hive out a bit. I think I am getting the mites under control now. I came up with the idea of placing a sheet of newspaper between the boxes above the bees (filled with stores) and the boxes that the bees are in right now (with some stores).

    My logic is that they bees will eat up from the box they are in, and when the reach the newspaper at the top of the box they will break thru it to get to the next box of stores. Placing newspaper above the cluster will seal off the full boxes above reducing the amount of empty space above the bees that is cold and drafty. A layer of newspaper will stop thermal convection (drafts), but it will not stop thermal conduction (heat traveling thru the paper). I think the newspaper is also thin enough to let moisture thru to help keep moisture in check.

    Has anyone heard of or ever tried something like this? Do you think it would help or hurt?

    I thought about moving this hive into a NUC, but I dont really have the equipment to make that work well. The cluster is mostly on deep frames right now, and most of the stores are on medium frames. I only have 1 medium nuc box, and I dont think that is enough stores for a nuc for the winter. This hive is currently sitting at 4 boxes high, 1 mostly empty deep on the bottom, a half full medium on top of that, and 2 completely filled mediums on top of that. I think this hive is down to about 5 frames of bees which is really low, but they already made it thru a 15 degree cold snap so they are not in terrible shape (yet).

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,604

    Default Re: Random thought - Seperating boxes during winter in a small/weak hive with newspap

    Other than feeding it seems like every time I've tried to help the bees out this time of year it's come back to bite me.

    Personally I would not try the newspaper barrier now. I understand the logic behind attempting to contain the heat generated by the cluster, but there could be unintended consequences. If the bees stay in cluster my guess is the newspaper will absorb rising moisture and end up being a cold wet roof right over the bees. Moisture will not pass through it. It might not really work anyway. If the bees break cluster on a warm day they will move up and chew holes through the paper.

    Other than a cluster smaller than we would like to see it sounds like they have everything they need just the way it is. I would leave them alone, insulate the hive, and hope for the best. JMHO.
    To everything there is a season....

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: Random thought - Seperating boxes during winter in a small/weak hive with newspap

    I wonder if this would lead to stranded sub clusters. I have seen some fairly large collections of bees get lost and die under loose insulation jackets. Splitting the brood with empty frames in marginally cold conditions can lead to starting of queen cells.
    Frank

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •