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I know this topic has been discussed before but I dont seem to see any temperature (minimum/maximum) that the hive should be kept.

What I can see is if the hive is kept to warm then they would want to come outside which could be bad for them in really cold temps.

In really cold temps they could freeze to death(I think this happened to a really small hive of mine - temps around 6 degrees)

I know some people use tar paper but I was thinking of other ways. Solar, electrically, etc..

So am I full of bee poop or what??
 

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>I know this topic has been discussed before but I dont seem to see any temperature (minimum/maximum) that the hive should be kept.

I've had bees in Laramie, WY. The average low in January was 8 F. We often got two weeks of -10 F during the day and -20 F or so at night. The record low was -33 F. The bees did fine. I didn't wrap them or use any insulation.

>What I can see is if the hive is kept to warm then they would want to come outside which could be bad for them in really cold temps.

That's not true either, unless it's REALLY too hot. My observation hive is 70 F all winter and they don't fly out.

>In really cold temps they could freeze to death(I think this happened to a really small hive of mine - temps around 6 degrees)

Maybe if they are a small struggling cluster and they have other problems. More than likely they got stuck in one place and couldn't get to stores.

>I know some people use tar paper but I was thinking of other ways. Solar, electrically, etc..

Bees have been surviving without it in climates harsher than yours for as long as we know of.

>So am I full of bee poop or what??

I don't know. Are you? I think you have a very mild climate compared to most I've had bees in and I've never even wrapped, let alone provided a heater. This year I did moving them all against each other (which requires migratory covers) and I wrapped with tar paper. Of course, it's been a mild winter, so I have no idea if it helped or not. I was just trying to help them when they start rearing brood and help them be able to move stores around on sunny days.

I have tried a heater on my nucs. But a nuc is in a more vulnerable position with a small cluster on a really cold night. I'm still not sure what I think of it yet and since it was a mild winter it will be hard to judge until I have a typical winter.

[ February 22, 2006, 12:58 PM: Message edited by: Michael Bush ]
 

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I wrap my hives with felt paper and have for sometime now.
However, felt paper provides virtually zero additional insulation to a hive. Felt paper adds zero warmth during cloudy, snowy & rainy days. It does not add warmth at night.
The felt paper does act as a wind infiltration barrier.
The reason that I wrap with felt paper is it increases solar gain (warmth), but this is usually not much of a factor till later in winter / spring when the sun is gaining strength.
 
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