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just getting into bees,Ilive in high mountain valley in colo where weather can get -20.what are chances of overwintering successfully in this environment with right race of bees, or would I be better off sending them back to cali. to winter with guy i bought them from? he migrates back and foth annually.
 

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It often gets -20 here where I live. We have no problem overwintering. Just keep the wind down around the hives and you will be fine.
 

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The race of bee you use is very important
regarding winter survival. My favorite is
NWC as they winter in small clusters and
are easy on stores.

Wraping your hives with house wrap or black
roofing felt helps keep wind out. The roofing
felt has the added benifit of solar gain.

Top entrances are wonderful and allow the
bees an outlet even if they get snowed in.
And use mouse gaurds if you go with bottom
entrances.

Cold won't kill like condensation does. Make
sure your hive is ventilated. This cover design
is wonderful IMP.

http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/store/season-inner-cover-p-50.html

Did I say use mouse gaurds???

[ July 14, 2006, 09:50 AM: Message edited by: Sundance ]
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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We get some -20 F here. I haven't wrapped until this last winter and I may not bother to do it again, although I think I will butt the hives up against each other again.

I overwintered Buckfasts in Laramie, WY at 7200 ft. It didn't get up to -10 F for two weeks that winter.
 

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We winter using two deeps and wrap 4 hives together using R12 and plastic. The bottoms are closed and top entrance open. A half sheet of 1/4 inch plywood forms a roof.We also use a very sheltered location. We get lots of cold and wind as well. There is a picture on our web page.
http://doulong.sasktelwebsite.net/
 
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