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I lost my first hive i found out. I now have 3 hives left. also my strongest hive has about 1/2 of the bees dead i believe. the other 1/2 seems okay (hope they have a queen) i am sure that the dead bees are starved out as they have thier heads stuck in the combs. I have mountain camp on all 4 hives. it has worked great until recently. they have been taking sugar all winter. i think they starved because they ate the sugar directly off the frames and left a hollow dome of sugar which i don't think they wanted to come up to eat. It may have been to cold to come up out of the frames to it. I added more sugar to the hives so they now have it on the frames again. should i wrap them to add more warmth so they can possibly move more often?(moisture has not been a problem) It has been a very long cold winter here in Montana.
 
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I lost my first hive i found out. I now have 3 hives should i wrap them to add more warmth so they can possibly move more often?(moisture has not been a problem) It has been a very long cold winter here in Montana.
Some will say no, but I will say yes. I use landscape material that keeps weeds out. It is able to breath and not hold moisture, make sure you have good ventilation. I have the wider opening of the entrance reducer in use. I have read when they are warmer they also use less stores. So far I have found truth to that in my own experiences. They even will warm on cloudy days. I also think tar paper has given wrapping a bad name. Good luck with the rest of your hives.
 

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Tarpaper doesn't give wrapping a bad name here in Maine from what I've seen. I use it along with lots of other beekeepers.

I want a material to stop the wind and not something like landscaping fabric that "breathes" far too much.

Wayne
 
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tell that to my bees.... I guess you have no moisture behind your tar paper?
I have done construction for 25 years I know a little about moisture, condensation and ventilation.
Wind out????
"breathes" far too much.
How may hives have you lost?

:popcorn:
 

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The last winter that I wraped I did half and left the other half unwraped, I lost more that were wraped than not so I don`t wrap any now. :popcorn:
 

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I would think that there would be wide temperature changes when using tarpaper. Bright sun on a mild day seems like it would be a problem to me. I didn't wrap at all this year... If I try anything it will be to simply add some insulation to avoid wide flucuations in temperatures.
 

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I have done construction for 25 years I know a little about moisture, condensation and ventilation.
Yeah, and I have a couple more years than that in construction, architecture and engineering and I know that if you can stop the wind from entering a structure (house, office building, chicken barn or hive) with an impermeable barrier, you can prevent moisture from building up in the interior by natural or mechanical means, especially if you can get some ventilation between the wind barrier and the next layer of material.

In cold areas like Maine and Northern NY where temps can drop to 30 and 40 below, (without even thinking about wind chill,) it is critical to both completely stop the wind and to provide adequate ventilation to remove moisture from inside a hive (or any other structure.)

As for worrying about moisture between the tarpaper and the hive body, little problem with that since I don't wrap them skin-tight and there is a little natural chimney effect in the slight gaps between the hive and the wind-block to move moisture up and out the top of the wrap, just as moist air moves up and out of the interior of the hive.

I need only to look at winter beeyards in this region to assure myself that tarpaper wrapping is the way for me to go despite what is popular in warmer areas like Indiana.

The original poster would do well to look at the many threads here about tarpaper and make up his or her mind. I think for every preference to not wrap, there is at least one in favor of wrapping, including at least one northern commercial beekeeper using tarpaper that I am aware of. If Montana's climate is like Indiana's, then I would listen to Indiana beekeepers' advice. Otherwise, I would look locally to see what works in Montana. I know what works in Maine.

Wayne
 

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I wrap only 3 sides with tar paper but also include the 18 inch hive stand in the wrap. With one open side and open SBBs they get ventilation but no wind. I have not had problems with moisture. The tar paper does warm the hives some on sunny days.
 
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I would agree, ventilation is the key to wrapping. As far as wind I have hives on side of a woods with the least prevailing winds. So at 0 degrees with a 40 mph wind it don't matter to me, I would guess in the open you could use tar paper for wind protection or straw, buildings or what ever. I choose the cloth type landscape material for its breathing capabilities and easement of storage it also resists ripping, soft and pliable. The type is kind of like long john material. I think it has a better heat transfer than tarpaper also. No... I know It does.
I guess its all in what you are looking for Wind Protection.......or warmth ......or a little of both. I also agree that it is different everywhere and we all can choose what we do……….. happy beekeeping
 
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I would think that there would be wide temperature changes when using tarpaper. Bright sun on a mild day seems like it would be a problem to me. I didn't wrap at all this year... If I try anything it will be to simply add some insulation to avoid wide flucuations in temperatures.
I wrap so bees are for sure going to get to thier stores and move around.
I have read that bees use less store when then don't have to produce heat.
So far this has worked for me. White is reflective of heat so do the math there.
The honey and comb act as a heat sink and produces heat long after sun has gone down.
 

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sorry to hear about that. judging from your descriptions, i would say you have been cracking the top a lot more than i would. i didn't wrap this year or last year, although i do have 2" foam boards on top of the hives, sticking way out past the landing boards, with hay and black plastic on top of that.i also went mcm but mostly for moisture control.i have not checked on them at all yet, i will wait until we get some 40's weather, and a little closer to spring before i break the seals. i might put some straw bales around for a wind break if they are exposed. sorry again. justin
 

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snip

White is reflective of heat so do the math there.
The honey and comb act as a heat sink and produces heat long after sun has gone down.
While it may not be great, my knowledge of heat transfer (and conservation) is sufficient for me to be against wrapping my hives with tar paper in Southwest Connecticut.

No math required...
 
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my knowledge of heat transfer (and conservation)
I think you were meaning condensation....and yes I agree as many people do not wrap with tarpaper and many say it is because of condensation. Many of them also are the first to say they lost hives. That’s why I tried what I am wrapping with....and so far I cannot complain. I have not lost many individual bees and I have lost no hives, they have plenty of stores with only having two deeps going into winter, there is activity in the hive daily, and I am planning on seeing strong spring colonies. Wrap.......Don’t wrap...its what works for you. I am just passing on my successes so that maybe others can try for themselves if they choose. I looked into entrance last night and it was around 27 degrees and bees were moving around on bottom of frames.:popcorn:
 
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