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jezd 

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External Hive Insulation (my approach)

Thought I would share my newly insulated hives with you all, doing this was always the plan but it got delayed like most things in life. The reasons for doing this was to help with general heat retention and at the same time keep moisture (rain ingress) to a minimum.

The blue national in the separate picture (the rest are the same now) has two thermal skirts around it, the lower one fits the brood box and will stay in place until April time. Above this is a second ‘removable’ thermal skirt that sits around the super to keep the rain out and this sits under the roof lip - the super contains fondant feed has breathable insulation in it with a cover-board on top. This top skirt can be taken off for inspections or treatments, also note that the handle inserts on the BB have been filled with 1" polystyrene blocks.

The six frame Nucs are similar too, they have a single skirt around them with 1" polystyrene blocks in the handle inserts. Inside each box is a raised cover-board and the roof has a 9mm trim lift under it and then lined with thermal sheeting.

Comments welcomed.

JD

PS Those keen eyed amongst you (and yes there are a few) will see that the blue hive is missing a mouse guard – take off as it got clogged up, but do they need to be on now? Mice are all tucked up in bed by now….
 
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Hivemaker. 

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Now is the most important time of all to have mouse guards on,mice are not all tucked up,but they may be soon,in your hive.
 

jezd 

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Now is the most important time of all to have mouse guards on,mice are not all tucked up,but they may be soon,in your hive.
Fair enough, they must be mad given how bad the weather is mind, its the only hive with it missing mind.
 

Hivemaker. 

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No,mice don't hibernate,buggers are always active.
Very neat job with your wrapping,athough i have never done this as i have a notion it will trap to much moisture..inside.
 
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jezd 

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No,mice don't hibernate,buggers are always active.
Very neat job with your wrapping,athough i have never done this as i have a notion it will trap to much moisture..inside.
Not sure on the trapped moisture side, I know that damp and rain is taking its toll from the outside and not helping. I have used double skirts to allow air flow still and in reality the top of the hive, CB/roof etc are all the same as normal. There are no moisture barriers internally.

The insulation is from B&Q, 60cm x 750cm and then cut to size - the best part is using a roll of aluminium tape as this really makes life easy and is very very adhesive (NOTE: stole the idea from another thread on here and used in my own way).
 
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admin 

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How much are you selling them for Jezd ;)

Not sure if you spotted it but you have a funny looking green box behind your hives.

What stain have you used on your hives,is it any good?
 

jezd 

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lmao, i'm selling nuffin :)

You mean the compost bin?

I will drop a post on the stain but its nothing special, the search goes on for a better one.

How much are you selling them for Jezd ;)

Not sure if you spotted it but you have a funny looking green box behind your hives.

What stain have you used on your hives,is it any good?
 

Hombre 

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That would be it Jezd, the compost bin top centre, two-tone green/blue in the first picture. :)
 

oliver90owner 

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presumably no bees in the compost bin? Supers in place, rather than the roof protecting the coverboards. What is it like for levelling up on a site like that, or did you just have to pick a suitable spot?

Other comment is I wonder why you did not go the 'whole hog' and insert a sheet of polystyrene tightly between the nucs - and then wrap them together.

Looks good to me.

Regards, RAB
 
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As you've done such a neat job why not leave the insulation on all year round? At least on some of the hives if you're not brave enough to try it on all of them.

Who knows, you might find they lay up the outer frames as they do in poly hives, which in effect, is what you have made a copy of - sort of. And don't forget the supers when you come to add them.
 

jezd 

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presumably no bees in the compost bin? Supers in place, rather than the roof protecting the coverboards. What is it like for levelling up on a site like that, or did you just have to pick a suitable spot?

Other comment is I wonder why you did not go the 'whole hog' and insert a sheet of polystyrene tightly between the nucs - and then wrap them together.

Looks good to me.

Regards, RAB
yes, there are bees in the 'bin' but I suspect they are queen less (late mater), but thats another story. The supers are to allow fondant feeding and they have insulation to fill the space.

Leveling was an issue, I had to place a number of blocks under 2 corners to get things level - we do have had strong winds but its not moved to be fair to it.

The Nucs, well you are right and I did look at that, in fact the larger material on the Nuc roofs was what I planned to use to fill the centre - still will do.

Thanks

JD
 

jezd 

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As you've done such a neat job why not leave the insulation on all year round? At least on some of the hives if you're not brave enough to try it on all of them.

Who knows, you might find they lay up the outer frames as they do in poly hives, which in effect, is what you have made a copy of - sort of. And don't forget the supers when you come to add them.
Great minds and all that, I figured others would shoot me down for thinking about leaving some on.

Will test a few boxes I think.
 

jezd 

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What style bottoms you have? Solid or mesh?

Your wintering place is quite windy.

Your wall insulation seems good.
Nucs/hives are OMF, and yes, wind can be very bad here - the orientation of the hives is all down to prevailing winds.
 

hedgerow pete 

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I love the hive wrapping, just like my video?????????

some people do leave the wrapping on all year round, but it is not uv stabilized so will become brittle after 12 months, cheap screwfix for there bubble wrap i think it is cheaper than b and q, if you have mesh floors or big holes drilled into the nuc floor with mesh over them there is never any damp or condensation, as many will tell you i am wrong but , i have loads of hives wrapped up like this with no ill effectes ever, solid wood floors , as per my video , not that you have seen it or any thing! it shows how to keep the top ventalated and so no damp again
 

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