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Weather here has gotten goofy to say the least. two days ago it was mid 90s. Yesterday it was about 68 during the day and dropped into the high 40's at night. Supposed to go back up to mid 80's for a week or so, but night time temps are now mid 50s or less. So when should I consider wrapping the hive and or adding the insulation and ventilation that I have been reading about?
 

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Viking,

I'm not as far North as you are (North Eastern Wyoming) but in the same general region. In years past I typically have not wrapped my hives until about the first week in November. This year I'm going to try holding off wrapping anything until about the last week in November/first week in December. This has been a crazy year temperature wise with the fluctuations and the amount of moisture.

This is all anecdotal but, what I personally think the most important things for our Northern winters are:
> Going into winter with strong colonies. You should be combining weak colonies now and feeding if necessary. Treating for mites and on the lookout for other diseases
> Ventilation. I've had colonies die due to condensation from the heat of the cluster freezing and dripping down on them
> Food stores. I typically get lucky with 1 or 2 days in December or January that hit up to the mid 40's, plenty warm enough to feed
> Spring is worse than winter in Wyoming: I've had bees go a week or two without a top cover on the hive in the middle of winter and still survive. Spring on the other hand; when you have a warm day around 40-45° and then night time temperatures drop to -20°F it's BRUTAL. I've gone out and checked colonies that looked really good and had a temperature swing like this and checked them the next week and they're dead, bees will break the cluster during the day and won't cluster back up before the rapid drop at night. I don't have a good answer for this, maybe someone else can chime in.
 
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