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Ok,

I have my 4 hives in a field that faces south east (i think). They get the early morning sun. There is a small tree line behind them that should act as a partial wind block.

My questions are.......

1. Should I use just tar paper and wrap the hives?

2. Should I also put some bales of hay on the rear of them to block the wind...leaving the tar paper on the other 3 sides to absorb sunlight?

3. Should I also put hay on the sides leaving only the front of the hive exposed to the elements?

I'm assuming tar paper will help to heat the hives during heavy sunshine that might allow the girls to move around more to get to honey stores when necessary.

Any suggestions or flaws in my logic? Thanks.

Regards,
Bill Warren--Maine
 

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Hi Bill -
Your'e in that strange belt that just seems to get hammered in every season. Are you up on a hill on in a valley? I have a good friend in center Standish and when I get a dusting of snow here in Portland, he gets 4".
In the summer it is 72 degrees here and 87 up your way.
I think the hay wind block is a great idea if you have the bales around. If not, I'd wrap - just to keep the wind off - I know MB doesn't wrap and didn't even up in the mountains - and I respect his opinions and experience.
Still I'm planning to wrap with the thick felt tarpaper and get a good insulating board inbetween the inner and outer cover - homosote or something else that absorbs and wicks moisture (not rigid insulation) with a vent groove cut into it.
There's a lot of moisture swirling around your area between Sebago and the Whites -
Ventillation and wind block are key, I think. (I'm in the same type of position between the City and the marsh.) I'm focusing on the wind block and keeping the moisture at healthy levels.
Best of luck - glad to hear of another Maine Beekeeper!
 

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Hi Bill,

I live in the Waterville area and have seven hives. I take advice from Bob Egan - past Maine State Bee Inspector. He helped me winterize my hives last fall. He wraps them with tarpaper and installs homosote for moisture as described above. My hive are facing south against a tree line. The hives wintered fine.
 

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On eastern long island,ny...we often have fairly mild winters. I don't plan on wrapping my hive.If it turns out looking like its going be a pretty cold one,then i may wrap then..
Since i have Italians, and they eat alot, if i wrap the hive and its a pretty mild winter they may be too active, eating there stores to fast.
 
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