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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking no more single digits, probably no more teens (hopefully), I just took the wraps off the hives.

Besides, the mouseguard is ajar from yesterday, so I suspect a mouse or mole or vole got in there last night. I took the wraps off to peer into the boxes, but I couldn't lift the lower ones without taking the hive apart and I don't want to do that in 40F degree temps. It will get warmer today, maybe later.

I secured the mouseguard back with pushpins. Is it okay if maybe the critter is still in there? I figured when they warm up today they'll probably get 'im...
 

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We leave ours on until mid-April. We took them off a couple of times in mi-March and chilled a bunch of brood. I think they provide a big benefit in the early spring.
Dave
 

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It remains cold and windy here with cool to cold nights in the forties until well into July. I don't unwrap my tropical insects until sometime in June when the main honey flow starts and there are lots of bees. My insulated wrap is amenable to being removed and replaced easily so I may unwrap and manipulate several times before leaving wrap off. Any freshly made Nucs stay wrapped until it is hot. Your correct answer varies with night time temperatures and adherence to cult activities like SBB's.
 

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I won't make the same mistake that I made last year. I took my wraps off on April 1st thinking that we were completely out of the woods. Turns out that the Northeast had a cold spell that lasted into May. We're still getting down to freezing at night here in PA. I'm leaving them on for 2 to 3 more weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I didn't even use wraps last winter. Maybe that's why I came thru with only 2 tiny clusters that couldn't seem to get going in spring. It was probably my fault. I ended up combining them and then requeening.
 

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Here in northern NY my plan is to consider taking the outside foam insulation panels off in mid/late May around the time of my frost free date. but I have so much wrapping, blankets, etc., that the outer layers are probably going to start getting peeled back in mid-late April. But they would be re-applied during any chilly spell.

I have no issues with inadequate ventilation which would be the only thing that would prompt me to uncover earlier.

The first part of their insulation that will be removed is what's inside the hives. No point in deliberately overcrowding them into swarming. That's going to happen starting next week (it's in layers so I can take it out in stages), when we may get temps warm enough to open the hive and separate the boxes. If not, then I'll wait a week or so more before I get too antsy about it.


Enj.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm still not sure what to do about that potential mouse that might be trapped in the hive, since the mouseguard was ajar today.

Think they can keep him contained until our rainy/chilly spell is over? (if he's in there)
 

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I had 3 hives out of 25 I did not wrap this past winter and we had as low as -40 in these parts and all three are doing well . I took off all my wraps off just this past WED. So I will see how they do and then I will know if it was a smart idea or not . One thing about beekeeping if ya really want to know if some thing is a good or bad idea just try it and see then you know.;)
This coming winter I am only going to wrap half and see how that go's .
 
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