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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

So I'm in zone 3b (-30/-40c) and I found this guy 1hr to my north who wraps his hives/nucs together. Sorry vid in French but you get the idea from watching https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WOqTEGUDG0Q these guys have been beekeeping for a few generations and match my climate so I'm following their lead.

My question is if I want to wrap 4 hives tight together, how do the girls find their way home? I mean if I do this, I obviously have to shift the hive location at least a bit and therefore will that not create confusion?

I know there are lots of wrapping threads which I've read into, but can't find anything on tight groupings like this.

Thx
 

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Hi All,

So I'm in zone 3b (-30/-40c) and I found this guy 1hr to my north who wraps his hives/nucs together. Sorry vid in French but you get the idea from watching https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WOqTEGUDG0Q these guys have been beekeeping for a few generations and match my climate so I'm following their lead.

My question is if I want to wrap 4 hives tight together, how do the girls find their way home? I mean if I do this, I obviously have to shift the hive location at least a bit and therefore will that not create confusion?

I know there are lots of wrapping threads which I've read into, but can't find anything on tight groupings like this.

Thx

Do they winter in cubes or rows? If in rows I would think if you slide the together now and wrap later, they would be okay. In cubes I guess you do that after bee flight is finished for the year. I think Vernon Vickery's book...McGill...has something.
 

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Last winter I slid all the hives and double nucs into rows of 4 and wrapped the hive in felt paper and insulated the lids. All did great.
 

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I move all my colonies together into one long line and place 2" of insulation between them to accomodate the overhanging lips of the telecovers. Then I apply insulation panels (4" thick in all) to the ends, backs, and fronts, with the backs and fronts being covered with large panels that bridge the several hives at a time. The whole shebang is then held together with long ratchet straps. I don't further overwrap them with roofing or felt paper, but I do take pains to make sure that there are no gaps in the insulation. I also do other stuff like quilt boxes, but that is a separate deal.

Enj.
 

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This is what I've done the last couple years, but I am not near as cold as you.
Top and bottom entrances.



I regretted insulating last year though. My winters temps have changed and bees were active all last winter, rearing brood in December instead of Feb. With temps forecast to be as warm or warmer this winter, I want to keep them as cool and inactive as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Do they winter in cubes or rows? If in rows I would think if you slide the together now and wrap later, they would be okay. In cubes I guess you do that after bee flight is finished for the year. I think Vernon Vickery's book...McGill...has something.
I am thinking of doing cubes so less sides exposed to cold winds, but am worried about winter evac flights and bees getting lost. So maybe this year I'll just try a row tight together with lots of windblock on North side.

Thx everyone!
 

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My question is if I want to wrap 4 hives tight together, how do the girls find their way home? I mean if I do this, I obviously have to shift the hive location at least a bit and therefore will that not create confusion?

Thx
Most guys who wrap in 4 hive arrangements do so because that is how their yearly pallet arrangement is. But I think your asking, because you don't have them arranged this way. Keep in mind that wrapping usually is done later in the fall season. Flight is minimal and even so, its typically not your winter bees flying at this time. I use to fill in empty spots within my yards while I wrapped. Wrap later, before the weather turns to cold. You will have no problems.
 

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@Arnie:

My hives all sit on a short section of Metro shelving so if they are already close together (2 to 5 feet apart) on the main stand I can scootch astonishingly heavy hives along, even the 140 -170 pounders.

But the ones on separate sections of the long platform are at different levels because my yard is sloping. Those need to be strapped together two-ways with ratchet straps, and then another pair of straps is applied as a hoist and then I sweet-talk my husband into using the bucket of a farm tractor to lift them gently up and move them towards their winter positions. Something I usually do repeatedly, in small stages, over the course of several weeks, so it usually requires a lot of sweet-talking, and pie.

Enj.
 

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Pie works wonders.
So do those little chocolate truffles which are remarkably easy to make and always get those ecstatic eye rolls and an 'Oh, my God......'
 

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West central Minnesota. Hives have 1/2 inch insulation on the east, north, and west side. Wrapped with tar paper. Quilt boxes on top filled with wood chips with vent holes on the same side as top and bottom entrance. 2 inch insulation under top covers. Mouse guards are on. Full sun with pine tree windbreak west and north side. Zone 3b also. -30 -35 f below zero. Bee Apiary Beehive Membrane-winged insect Insect
 
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