In this interview we talk to experts in the field of insulation, we will explore the physics and show how insulation really works and particularly how this protective barrier relates to Beehives in the winter months
Insulating Your Bee Hive for Winter Bees have lived in well-insulated natural cavities for thousands of years.
We have created an insulating solution that is as close as possible to what the bees experience in nature when living inside a hollow of a tree.
If you only read one thing this fall about overwintering your bees, this article should be it.
Bees can handle very cold temperatures, even as cold as the Arctic Circle. What bees have not yet adapted to is sudden drops in temperature. We have to provide thermal insulation that internally slows the temperature drop in the hive.
Winterizing Your Top Bar Hive for the Colder Months Here in Colorado we experience very cold winters. Most of the content in this article is directed toward those who live in cold winter climates. Insulating the beehive, and keeping a full hive of honey is important in areas where you will experience below-freezing temperatures for many days at a time. Obviously, if you live in a very warm climate like Florida it will not be necessary to winterize your hive. Understand that you may need to adjust this information for your specific climate and area.
Ideally, in the winter bees will hibernate by forming a ball where they circulate in a "dynamic system", an inter-weaving pattern much like penguins in the antarctic use to keep all the members warm. In a continual flow, the bees on the outside move inward into the center of the ball, and the bees in the center move toward the outside of the ball. If you were to put your hand in the hive in the winter you would find it pretty warm in there. Honey is passed from one bee to the next until all the stomachs are well fed. Their biggest challenge is to slowly move as a ball of bees to a new honey store as the old is depleted.
It's the first week of December and after a week of single digit temperatures, the the cold breaks and the temps climb past the 50 degree mark. I look at the ground outside the hive and there are dead bees everywhere. I look in the window and see no sign of my bees. Did my bees die?
When fall arrives there is a great challenge for the bees because there is no available nectar. If this nectar dearth is combined with unusually warm weather, what we see is bees that are still very active looking for any food sources they can dip their little proboscises into.