When Should I Wrap My Hives??
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Monmouth County NJ USA
    Posts
    15

    Default When Should I Wrap My Hives??

    I am located on the New Jersey Shore in USDA zone 7A. I have two strong hives which I have decided to wrap. I am currently feeding my girls with their own honey and will do so until I run out which will be in about 2 weeks. The average daily high temperature about December 1 In our area is right around 50. Should I wait until mid December or wrap the hives and put the girls to bed when I stop feeding?? I just am concerned about wrapping the hives too early?? Thanks for your input 😀

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,930

    Default Re: When Should I Wrap My Hives??

    Truth be told, in zone 7a, like I am here in Richmond, you do not need to wrap at all. If you do, make sure they have airflow because our winters are humid compared to many other parts of the country.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Warren County, NJ, USA
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: When Should I Wrap My Hives??

    i would advise not to wrap. you may see moisture issues with our humid air. soon after the new year i tack some landscaping fabric to the front of my hives. the boxes warm up a bit better on the cold clear days. this allows them to move within the hive and even fly a bit earlier in the day. the landscape fabric breathes. you efforts would be better suited by putting some foamboard under the outer cover. just do something to protect it from the bees chewing.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Monmouth County NJ USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: When Should I Wrap My Hives??

    Well guys my mentor tells me to wrap, but on the other hand two local long time Beeks say it's not necessary like you both of you say??
    I do also plan to put foamboard under the outer cover. Maybe with your experience, I will rethink wrapping the hives?? I also like the idea of covering with landscape fabric. Thanks!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    1,396

    Default Re: When Should I Wrap My Hives??

    Quote Originally Posted by Oneshoo View Post
    Well guys my mentor tells me to wrap, but on the other hand two local long time Beeks say it's not necessary like you both of you say??!
    How long has he been your mentor? Obviously he wraps ALL of his hives? As a mentor myself, one of the things that will make me draw back my time and effort is the beek not following the advice I gave them (and physically showing them & giving them the why I do it this way), and then ask me to come over to "fix, do, or ask why my bees died" But all beeks have their why
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Milford, Michigan USA
    Posts
    302

    Default Re: When Should I Wrap My Hives??

    Well my bees are in Michigan I wrapped my first year and had moisture issues. I have not wrapped since and have not lost a hive over winter. I do use foam under the top cover on some and quilt boards on others and don’t see much difference.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    1,396

    Default Re: When Should I Wrap My Hives??

    Quote Originally Posted by Oneshoo View Post
    Well guys my mentor tells me to wrap, but on the other hand two local long time Beeks say it's not necessary like you both of you say??
    Perhaps, the better question is what is your mentors Winter survival rate? vs local long time beeks? Perhaps follow the advice of those who have the better Winter survival rate Which of course still does not guarantee yours
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,930

    Default Re: When Should I Wrap My Hives??

    I am a third year beekeeper and will volunteer my survival rates with unwrapped hives in zone 7a. First year I lost a small nuc when temps dropped to -8F. Not enough bees to maintain temps. We rarely get into the single digits, so sub-zero is an anomaly. The other nuc and two hives did survive. Last year I had zero winter losses from temperature or moisture out of 16 colonies. I did allow a nuc to starve in March while they were booding up. Chalk that one up to PPB. All my hives are on screened bottoms with just a piece of corroplast inserted to cut down on drafts. Some have top entrances and some do not. With an SBB I don't think it makes much of a difference.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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