HOW TO OF Wrapping a Hive for Winter

dsc00892

This hive is  ready and waiting to be wrapped. Notice the entrance reducer is at it’s smallest size and the landing board has been removed.It is December 3rd and the weather is cold enough now.

Order of  the Hive-Being’s Architectural Structure :

Hive Stand 10″ high, Screened Bottom  Board, Slotted Bottom Board , Supers 1,2,3, , Drone cafe (modified inner cover) and finally the roof. Wrapping here in Nova Scotia happens normally  in the first week of December. It is always best to wait till the bees form into a cluster and the outside temperature hovers close to the 0 degree mark.

 

 

dsc00893

The first thing to do is to put a small finishing nail in the center  of the entrance as a mouse guard. This was done already in late October while the bees are still flying  since we do not wish to lock in a mouse  accidentally into the hive. As long as the bees are still flying, any rodent that thinks this location would be a good one for the winter,  will be quickly driven out .

 

 

dsc00910

Drone Cafe has been filled with organic straw, preferably with Biodynamic rye straw, otherwise get either rye or any other straw from an organic source to avoid any “treated version”. The rye straw has qualities that are beneficial for the interior environment of the Hive Being. The straw will wick away also all excess moisture.

 

 

dsc00894

Next the actual wrapping of the hive . I use roofing felt and wrap the hive once around all sides. The black felt with absorb the sun on the South side.  It also is moisture proof.

 

 

dsc00909

Use staples all around to make sure no gaps are left, since the bees are always naturally inclined to investigate everything around their hive and by doing so they cannot  get stuck in cracks. Also, as soon as you have completed this step then immediately  cut out the bottom and upper entrances .

 

 

dsc00895

As you have cut them out staple again all around so no cracks remain. (As you can see the wrapping gets recycled over several years.)

 

 

dsc00898

This is the outer wrapping that goes on 3 sides of the hive, leaving the south side exposed to the sun so that the heat can be transferred  into the hive. This wrapping is 1′ thick and is the equivalent of a 5′ thick wooden structure. I have in the past tried many other versions of wrapping but this is the final one for now that seems to do all what I want for the hive .  It shields the hive from  the wind and gives an insulation which keeps the cold away,while   still  allowing some sun to get to the hive on the South side which is not covered with the green guard.  This also assures me that  I have not created a box that seals everything in  possibly creating a tomb of condensation for the bees  or an ice box if the South side was not left with just the black tar paper to absorb the sun to heat the hive..

 

 

 

dsc00899

Just a picture of the back side of the wrapping showing it” hinged together” with tape.

 

 

dsc00900

The entire green guard shield is held  tight to the hive  by one ratched  strap

 

 

 

 

dsc00902

Finally because of where I live the whole hive structure is strapped one more time from top to bottom, creating a xmas package look to the hive.   The strap and the stones create extra weight on the roof. This assures the survival of the hive Being should the hive structure be blown over in a big storm. This way the hive will not break apart should it fall and therefore most likely will survive. And believe me I had to learn this the hard way.

 

 

dsc00903

Samples of entrance protection  covers that will keep out direct wind intrusion

 

 

dsc00904

Same as above

 

 

dsc00905

Porches attached

 

 

dsc00906

And don’t forget to open the upper entrance when you are all finished. Don’t keep your nose too close though  because by now the bees will be ready to investigate the outside as soon as you open it because of all the noise you have created while you were wrapping.

Advertisements