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Hey I was thinking of a cheap and easy hive wrap for top bar hives using reflectix, painted black on the outside. It would provide a windbreak, a decent r value, and there are versions rated for outside use that should last a long time. I have two concerns with the idea, one, will moisture build up between the hive wall and the reflectix, and two, is there any reason it couldn't stay on year round? Would it get overly hot in the summer being painted black, or would the insulation keep the excessive heat out as well?
 

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There have been several discussions about this product as a hive wrap over the past few years. Just type "reflectix" in the search bar in the upper right hand corner.
 

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Why would you paint it black?

The aluminized surface should lose a lot less heat than a black surface.

It will probably pick up less heat from the sun on the sunny side, during the day, when it isn't cloudy.

But as a thought experiment, I think a heat source enclosed in a reflective metal wrapper will lose less heat than one in a black wrapper.

Black is especially good at losing heat, though not much better than a white painted surface (both are good at losing heat)
 

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I've always been puzzled by 'black' - sure it absorbs heat, but then I look at old women in Greece and Arab countries who dress exclusively in black and who don't appear to be falling over due to heat-stroke. Must be relying on heat radiation ?

FWIW, the Russians who favour the 'Alpine Hive' (a Warre variant) paint their boxes in solar reflective paint - a bituminous product which dries a silver colour. Bl##dy cold there - but as far as I know, they don't wrap their hives either ... curious.
LJ
 

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Why would you paint it black?
as noted it both gathers more heat and relases more heat, on a sunny day in cold areas it creates a micro climate for bees to take a short cleansing flight right
 

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On my one top bar I use foam screwed into the sides and on front, and keep it on all year. I think all hives could keep foam on all year.
 

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I'm no expert, but from my limited old man construction memory lol .... Reflectix type material such as iso insulation board with the foil on one or both sides or the similar bubble wrap material is commonly used in the building industry. The idea is you put the foil side facing the inside of the dwelling as it reflects/ the radiant heat back into dwelling. The insulation material bubble wrap/ISO board etc is then used to insulate the foil as it has very little R value itself. Double sided ISO board or bubble wrap etc reflects the radiant heat both out and in. The inside side reflects it in, and the outside reflects the outside away... It normally has nothing to do with the shiny color as its usually sandwiched between other materials, its the what the material itself is made of that acts as a reflective barrier to the radiant heat. It might help to paint one side black for winter and reverse it to the foil side in summer... but i've never used it that way either so i don't know. Hope this helps a little. John
 

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Hello NJBeeVet,

I am not familiar with the product you mention, but this black, white or any-in-between coloring has always puzzled me. Sure the dark absorbs more radiant heat, but where I am we have now 8 hrs 28 min. 'sun-up', on Dec. 21. we have 8hrs 3 min. So 1/3 (maybe) 'heat-in' and 2/3 'heat-out', so I feel what the bees need is a stable temperature, within the 24 hrs of a day and over a longer period. The hardest would be heating-up in the day and sharp decline at night (MHO).

The same applies in the summer, where ventilation = lowering the inside temperature becomes more important than heating.

I use 2" EPS board glued on the long side of all my brood boxes & supers, year round and feel my bees make more use of the outside periphery of my boxes & supers earlier, sooner and in the fall longer. In the fall I insulate top, bottom, both ends and the long sides with additional 2" and then wrap with orange insulated material that is used to insulate freshly placed concrete from freezing and it worked great last year (first winter of me doing this) and I will see how this works this winter. Now we are in -25°C and we (I) will see.

Again, keeping the hives stable is to me more important then spikes either way.

JoergK.
 
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