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What is everyone using to wrap their hives? My hive is painted dark blue and I am wondering if I even need to wrap it with anything. I read on another post that people are using newspaper in an empty super to insulate the top.

Has anybody hear of a homosote top? Where could I find them?

thanks for all your help everyone!!!

Bee well! haha
 

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just started wraping hives today first time iv ever done it so i messed around with diferant ways today. im useing 30lb roofing paper and 2inch of the styrofoam blue sheets. we wrap the hives in groups of four on skids. Nick
 

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I have been wrapping hives for a while. I use 15# roofing paper as it is less ridged then the 30# paper.

The roofing paper provides wind protection and solar gain to the hive. The insulation value of it is minimal.

I place an empty hive box on top and use this box to feed the colony in the fall, late winter and spring lite syrup / oils. I place a sheet of paper on the top bars with granular sugar for added stores.

The empty box allows for access to the colony without disturbing them. It allows for their stores to be evaluated and feed to be placed where needed.

The granular sugar has two functions it absorbs moisture and condensate. It also acts as feed.
 

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I put a sheet of styrofoam inside the outer cover to retard condensation, and I wrap with building paper. I also cut generous holes at top and bottom entrances for mositure control and cleansing flights. This year I put a thin block of fondant/candy on the top bars, for food and to absorb mositure. I also have windblocks on the east and west ends of my row of four hives. Our winters are very cold and windy.
 

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I just put a few hay bales on the North side of my hive. I stacked them 3 high...the exact height of the hive right now. Staked them into the ground with long garden stakes so that the wind won't blow them over onto the hive. I'm not going to wrap.
 

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I use 15# felt.It will last a couple seasons with a little care.

I cut the pieces inside(where it's warm,and I have a nice smooth surface) to about 6'-6" long.

I prefold the strips.Makes things REAL easy.

This year I'm "ripping" each 3 ft.wide strip into 12" wide x 6'-6" pieces,and overlapping each of these "bands"(starting on the bottom)in hopes of being able to seperate supers in the early spring,without having to remove the wrap prematurely.

But we will see.
Mark
 

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I've wrapped my hives with Betterbee's Hivewrap, and am going to experiment with Mountaincamp's method using empty hivebody (medium depth) above the two deeps for feeding dry sugar and syrup in mason jars when weather permits. The 27" Betterbee hivewrap nicely covers the 2 deeps plus 1 medium.

I have polyfoam deeps in winter, but they must be protected against wind, snow and major tits
Finman,..sounds like you get some pretty interesting weather over there. ;)
 

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I use 15lb roofing paper and a section of homosote cut the size of the inner cover placed on top of the inner cover. The purpose of the homosote is to absorb moisture. A grove is cut from the center to the front edge, coresponding with the notch in my inner cover. I also use a couple of frame ends to keep the outer cover off of the homosote near the front to allow for evaporation. Homosote used to be a popular building material. Some called it fiber board, it comes in 4 x 8 sheets. My local lumber yeard was happy to order it for me. I haven't bought any for several years - and I don't remember what I paid for it. Here in Maine, using homosote is standard practice.
 

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MountainCamp,

I have a few questions about your wintering system.

What type of paper do you use?
One sheet or multiple thicknesses?
Do you leave a hole in the middle for access?
How much space do you leave around the outside edge for access?

Sorry for all the questions, but I like your system and want to give it a try. I've got one hive that is still somewhat light and isn't really taking syrup anymore. A load of sugar on top may help get them through.
 

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Denny, They will work feeders if the hives are in the sun into the mid 20's. I leave the syrup on till mid December on average. I then place it back on in mid to late February.
Mountaincamp,....thanks for the info. My hives are in the sun for most of the day. Also, I've placed a 1" thick piece of polystyrene board in top recess of inner cover (within the rim). I routed a air vent slot on its bottom edge that mates up with the center hole of the inner cover to the notch in its rim. That should help prevent moisture problems.
 

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Hillside:
What type of paper do you use? I use felt roofing paper 15# weight as it is less prone to cracking and tear when bending it around the boxes. I do not make it like a second skin just staple in places.

One sheet or multiple thicknesses? One sheet.

Do you leave a hole in the middle for access? I leave the lower entrance uncovered. If the box has a center hole I cut that out usually.

How much space do you leave around the outside edge for access? I don’t staple the felt paper tight to the hive.

I use the upper empty box to access the hive during the winter. The upper box gives space between the inner cover / outer cover and the cluster. You don’t open the hive up and find the cluster up against the inner cover in the corner and then have them all worked up. I had cluster many times up against the inner cover off to one side. They were not able to make good use of the syrup or sugar on the inner over. I no longer have that problem. I can pop the tops look down and see where the cluster is. If they are low and have not worked their way to the top of the upper frames yet or if they are right up on top, I can place sugar or syrup right on top of them.

denny, The granular sugar on the top bars with a sheet a paper absorbs a significant amount of the mositure and condensate.
The are some picture on the site under photos.
 

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Ahhhhrrrrgggg. I was unclear yet again.

Mountaincamp,

I was wondering about the paper that the sugar was on. What type, what thickness, how do the bees gain access - center or around the edges. Sorry my question was poorly worded.
 

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A single sheet of newspaper or paper towel works fine.
I try to leave a little gap to the from and back of the paper.
They will chew through it without much trouble.
Some hives faster and better than others, as with all things with bees. Every hive is different.
 

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I also put an empty super on the stack so that I can feed dry sugar if they need it. I just put a sheet of paper or thin cardboard on the top bars for the sugar. Then I place the inner cover, which has a notch cut out of it for winter escape, on the empty super. The hive cover goes on the inner cover pushed as far forward as possible to let the bees get out of the notch. (The cover is placed on the inner cover with a couple of popsicle sticks between them ofr ventilation.)

I wrap the stack with 1/4" "fan-fold" styrofoam, mostly for the wind break as it adds little insulation value. Then wrap with 15# black paper.

I leave the screened bottom boards open all winter, but do put loose straw around the bottom outside edges to cut down on direct cold air flow.

I've had excellent results.
 
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