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What is the feeling about hitting some loose ends of 15# tar paper ends with a Bostwich heavy duty hammer tacker at this point in the winter? Would this disturb the cluster enough to break it loose?
 

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I think you would probably be better off depending upon how many hives you are talking about wrapping with just putting Bee Cozies on them or go to Lowes, Home Depot, etc. and buy some Reflectix bubble insulation and wrap the hive(s) with at least 4 layers pulled as tight as you can get them. Temporarily tape the ends in place while you use some 12' hive straps to snug up tightly at the very top and very bottom the the Reflectix wrap to secure it in place. This is what I am doing with mine.

If that is more hassle than you want to deal with, Steve McCoy has some really nice hive wraps that are currently rated R4 but I think he may be working on some that will be R8. Not for sure but you might contact and ask. The Easy - On Beehive Cover is really easy to put on and last a LOT longer than a Bee Cozy will and they are about the same price or a little bit more. Probably not practical for a large number of hives unless you can swing a bulk purchase discount.

https://easyonbeehivecover.com/

I don't think I would go hammering on your hives as far north as you are right now. All the above can be installed easily and with almost no noise or disturbing the hive.
 

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I was just in some hives yesterday at 15F, putting some sugar on some small nucs. The tar paper at these temps is quite stiff and breaks easily. I doubt roofing cement/duct tape would have stuck with all the ice/frost.

Is it going to rip off in the wind? I'm of the opinion that unless it's going to tear off and pull the hive apart, I would just leave it. BUT if it's channeling the wind into the hive, tie it down or rip it off depending on where and how hard it is to deal with and if those don't work and it's bad enough, be quick and get out of there.
 

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In regards to fastening the aluminized bubble wrap, I found that the 3" wide rolls of shrink wrap or cling wrap tape work very well to hold the reflectix tight. It comes on a roller handle. Way cheaper than any kind of sticky tape. Home Hardware.
 
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