Saturday, December 20, 2014

Quick Saturday Update

A reader asked me the other day why I didn't place a sheet of foam insulation on top of the hives. A very valid question and one I have thought about doing about everyday honestly. The reason I never go ahead and put a piece on the top is because the hives in Winter actually have Winter inner covers on them like the one pictured above.

It's basically an extra deep inner cover that I fill with dry sugar and later will add in some pollen I collected. This is emergency food for those hives that may run out of honey before Spring hits. It sometimes works and sometimes doesn't as I have seen some hives that would rather starve than eat dry sugar or if it is an especially long cold spell the bees may not be able to break the ball long enough to collect more food.

It is not uncommon to see a hive die out with plenty of honey right above or below them but unable to get to it. The sugar also acts like a drying agent and collects the moisture from condensation up into it as well.

Anyway I figure the inner cover, sugar and outter cover combination insulates pretty good all together so I usually just skip the top sheet of foam. Still I always wonder if a bit of overkill isn't preferable to not enough and sometimes think I should put a piece up there just because....

Decisions, decisions...

Taking a quick lunch break from hanging insulation today so this is just a  quick post while in for lunch. Looks like another side project is going to keep me from other prepping orientated things today. Oh well family comes first.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. Insulation is never a very fun job but one thats very important. Not sure qbout the hives as I've never had one, like I said before I'd like to build a top bar hive at some point and see how they do.

  2. I guess it's a toss-up. Too little insulation they don't break cluster to eat. Too much and they might get too active & eat up the stores.


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