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I wonder how many of you have tried to heat hives in the winter. I have read about people keeping hives indoors, and some have tried heaters, but I wonder how many others have tried it.

My father is talking about trying something with a small solar cell and a very small element (perhaps a small lightbulb in a container of some sort...)

I understand that you have to avoid heating too much, as they will just get too active and consume too much food - perhaps even go out into weather that's too cold and die in the process. But my father is looking to just find a way to help with the 'low lows'.

What have you tried, and what were the results?

Adam
 

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If you can find a thermostat to control the activation of your heating source it would prevent overheating.

If your container is close you'll have to worry about ventilation to ensure a flow of fresh air for your bees.

Wrapping the hives for outdoor wintering is a good alternative that works well.
 

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Heating hives is unnecassary. They create their own heat. The indoor winterers that I have talked to say that the main problems that they have to work against are overheating of hives due to not being able to keep the facility cool enough and ventilation to get the CO2 out of the building. Ventilation is also used to cool things down.

There is plenty of info on indoor wintering of bees. Look it up.

I think that you may need to learn more about bees, their needs, their habits and how they get along in their environment. Adding heat to a hive will not help it live through the winter. They don't heat the inside of their hives. They keep themselves warm. Themselves being the cluster of bees.
 

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What sqkcrk said. The best thing you can do is have plenty of feed, keep them in a sunny spot, and have a good wind break. Give them that and there is a pretty good chance they will come out of winter strong.
 

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I'm not sure what heating would help. I've talked to several beeks that have tried to use some sort of heating and they have had mixed results. The best information I could get was to keep the air around the hive at 40-45 degrees give or take. The object being to help keep the hive from freezing but not to heat them up so much that they feel the need to fly. Other problems I have been told of were that the bees use up their food supply faster and that they can have problems if the outside temps are too cold they may try to go on cleansing flights and not make it back.

You could try using foam board insulation and wrapping your hives. Wind breaks, hay bails and a sunny location will also help.

You have a much worse winter than I do though. Good luck.
 

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:lookout::If you are worred about hives freezing.Get them out of the wind! I have lost hives with 80 lbs of honey and a full brood box of bees I had at a truck farm when the weather turned bad and I couldnt get them moved .Heatlng your makes them more active .When spring comes you will have lost more of youre cluster to old age and used more feed.
 
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