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Monsieur Abeille 

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Plea from a DIY novice hoping to construct an insulating board or two for the winter. Been reading some other threads and the current plan is to attach a couple of sheets of 3mm ply to a frame and fill with polystyrene (width?) , and seal up the sides with ducktape or similar.

Does that sound about right? Anything I should be doing diffferent, only using materials I can pick up from B&Q
 
T

Tom Bick 

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Sounds like a plan but simpler if you put a slab of 2" polystyrene over your crown board but cover the hole.
 

Monsieur Abeille 

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Sounds like a plan but simpler if you put a slab of 2" polystyrene over your crown board but cover the hole.
Thanks Tom

Yes, I was intending to do the roof as well (poly or carpet/underlay) with a hole made (but left capped) to allow for late application of fondant

My main concern re the side boards was that I suspect one of the colonies may be quite small, so wanted to fit the area to whatever size they are come shut-down time.
 

Monsieur Abeille 

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try looking at the winter hive video i have done
Pete - they're great videos, looked at a few now. I'm a bit worried that wrapping around the outside may cause issues with ventilation but thats easy to say while the suns shining!

Looking forward to making my way through your catelogue as time permits
 

oliver90owner 

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Rather depends on whether the brood box is full or not. Full brood box - external insulation, if you wish; too much spare space in broodbox - fit one or more insulated dividers so they are sealed at the sides and at the coverboard (bottom is not important -and they do need an exit!)

I have used some of my old standard-depth insulated dividers in my 14 x 12s, if I really needed to, working on the assumption that the cluster will be above that level during the really cold part of the winter.

Regards, RAB
 

Monsieur Abeille 

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Rather depends on whether the brood box is full or not. Full brood box - external insulation, if you wish; too much spare space in broodbox - fit one or more insulated dividers so they are sealed at the sides and at the coverboard (bottom is not important -and they do need an exit!)

I have used some of my old standard-depth insulated dividers in my 14 x 12s, if I really needed to, working on the assumption that the cluster will be above that level during the really cold part of the winter.

Regards, RAB
Thanks RAB - thats the sort of thing I had in mind for my expected to be under populated brood box. Can I ask how you make up your insulated dividers
 

kermit 

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I use a slab of kingspan in a super that I left on top of the hive. Seemed to work over last year's bad winter up 'ere int North.

Cheers
Dave
 

MuswellMetro 

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I use a slab of kingspan in a super that I left on top of the hive. Seemed to work over last year's bad winter up 'ere int North.

Cheers
Dave
yes same, 2" & 4" thick stuff tend to get it from skips, best typre is the roof decking with glued on ply surface

i paint it with water based paint to stop then chewing it, this is a 4" one, i use two in a brood to make a nuc then as they expand remove one then t'other

see photo
 

Arfermo 

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All this thread is quite astonishing to me. We had the worst winter in 30 years or more last winter and despite that I added no insulation whatsoever to my brood and a half or single National boxes and lost none of them and my hives are in a bit of a frost pocket. To me the whole of this thread seems OTT to be honest - quite potty.:rant:
 

darrenperrett 

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All this thread is quite astonishing to me. We had the worst winter in 30 years or more last winter and despite that I added no insulation whatsoever to my brood and a half or single National boxes and lost none of them and my hives are in a bit of a frost pocket. To me the whole of this thread seems OTT to be honest - quite potty.:rant:
A bit of top insulation with an open mesh floor can only help.

A bit of wind protection around the stand is probably more help though, especially if you`ve got a windy spot as i have.

Darren.
 

oliver90owner 

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Arfermo,

I look at hive insulation and compare it with my house. House: Open the windows in the winter and all the warm air escapes, so I tend to keep them closed. I invested heavily in roof insulation - again to reduce my fuel usage (and therefore the cost). My wall cavities have been insulated for many years. Those insulation costs have been recouped probably several times over. The beehive is a similar entity, only bees live there.

While they may well come through the winter perfectly healthy, they will use more fuel to keep their 'house' warm. You made no mention what the store levels were before and after the winter and whether you fed them in the winter/springtime. These are all costs, as I see it. Hidden or forgotten by some.

A few pieces of insulation cost little more than a kilo bag, or two, of sugar. Your choice as to the way you wish to go. The cost of the insulation can be spread over several seasons. The sugar is more of a running cost each year. What I do know is that their winter honey store is their fuel bunker and the amount of fuel needed to maintain a satisfactory temperature is reduced with effective use of insulation.

I usually leave honey on the hive if possible. That way, there is no possibility of 'sugar honey' in my supers. Honey costs nothing that way but is worth far more than sugar, so I don't wish them to waste it unecessarily.

On top of that I have noticed that the insulated colonies get a better start in the spring (the Dartingtons are ahead of the Nationals). Ymmv, but those are the facts, as I see them; simple physics and energy balance.

Regards, RAB
 

MuswellMetro 

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A bit of top insulation with an open mesh floor can only help.

A bit of wind protection around the stand is probably more help though, especially if you`ve got a windy spot as i have.

Darren.
Darren

like you i use a top insulation, last year i threw a bit of king span in an empty super, i prefer a cold wall hive with warm roof My grandfather always used a wad of straw off a bale stuffed in a super and all old video of beekeeping i have seen used a insualtion pad or blanket when it was colder

http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=5960&highlight=barnet

but I do make insulated dummies but dont use them in winter but i use them to run a NUC in a 14x12 brood box, as i am too mean to buy Nuc Boxes :biggrinjester:
 

Arfermo 

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The only extra that I did was to put an empty super below the mesh floor to reduce draughts. The stores they had were adequate, though I did give an Xmas treat of some fondant after Oxalic evaporation. All, I repeat ALL, grew strongly in the spring averaging over 100 lbs of honey each. I have had Apiguard on for two weeks and I shall give the second tranche to them today. After the Apiguard, they will be given back partially capped supers to do with what they will - Himalayan balsam mainly - but that will be for them, not me. Soon after I shall reverse the brood boxes with half below the bigger one, vaporise Oxalic in December, and then look forward to next year. If they need it I shall remove the supers later so that the cluster can remain low enough to not unduly dissipate their heat. Any quibbles ? I think I know what I am doing. How many colonies have you lost?
 
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Bobby 

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Though beginner, I seem to agree with Potty
 

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