Simple and Effective Insulation for Wintering Bees

One of the biggest challenges facing WCOBA members and other northern beekeepers is preserving heat within the colony while providing effective ventilation.  In recent monthly club meetings covering winter preparations, WCOBA shared a simple yet effective insulation scheme for your hives.

This techinique uses an existing medium or shallow super the beekeeper likely has around the apiary.  Rigid foam insulation readily purchased from your local home improvement store is cut to fit the inside dimensions of the super.  We recommend 2 inch or 1.5 inch rigid foam insulation for west central Ohio winters.  The insulation super should be placed above the inner cover with the upward inner cover hole covered to prevent the bees from moving up and chewing on the insulation.  The forward or rear facing ventilation gap in the inner cover can be placed downward to provide an upper entrance / ventilation or a candy board with an entrance / ventilation hole can be placed below the inner cover.  The top cover would go on top of the insulation super.  

This simple and effective hive top insulation can be put together by most beekeepers using existing equipment with minimal effort.  Check out a video of one of our beekeepers describing this insulation super technique on the WestCOBA Youtube channel.  Please note that in final installation, the upper hole in the inner cover should be covered (place a board over the upper inner cover hole) to prevent the bees from moving into the insulation super and chewing on the insulation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CCYwaShls4&feature=plcp

 

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