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Gregs 

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Hi everyone
I am a newbie in West Wales. Due to COVID not possible to attend a course but have ab experienced keeper helping me Bit I don't want to keep ringing him up every week!
I've been looking at some information on insulation over winter, something that doesn't seem to be mentioned in the books I have. I gather it goes over the crown board Is it necessary to create holes in it to correspond with the holes in the board as presumably the ventilation is still important?
Thanks
 

madasafish 

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No holes: think about your own house. Would you leave your loft open for all the hot air to rush into it? Of course not.

The holes are a relic from the Dark Ages of Beekeeping when Britain lead the world in stupidity.
 

drdrday 

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No, you don't need the crown board holes for ventilation - best to close them off anyway whenever you're not using them for feeding. Majority consensus (you'll have learnt already that beekeepers never agree anything unanimously!), and common sense, is that bees are better overwintered without any top ventilation and with a nice slab of insulation on top of the crown board, under the roof.

Just like you at home, the bees don't want to lose all of that heat they've generated through gaping holes above them.

I keep a slap of 50mm insulation permanently glued into my hive roofs all year round. Going into winter most of my hives get a second slab of insulation in an eke between the crown board and roof so that bees have 100mm of insulation above them in total, but that's just me being overly protective ;) .
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Hi everyone
I am a newbie in West Wales. Due to COVID not possible to attend a course but have ab experienced keeper helping me Bit I don't want to keep ringing him up every week!
I've been looking at some information on insulation over winter, something that doesn't seem to be mentioned in the books I have. I gather it goes over the crown board Is it necessary to create holes in it to correspond with the holes in the board as presumably the ventilation is still important?
Thanks
You don't want or 'need' any holes in your crown boards unless you have a feeder on it. Cover them with a piece of slate, 6mm plywood or whatever you can find.
The 'ventilation' you've been told is quite the opposite of important (more like unwelcome or unwise)
Get a piece of 50mm Kingspan/celotex/PIR insulation - go skip diving near building sites or just ask/scrounge for offcuts.
Cut the kingspan into an 18" square and glue it permanently to the inside of the roof (you don't need those vents in the roof either)
 

Gregs 

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Thank you so much for those replies. You have neatly articulated my confusion due to the tension between heat and ventilation As with any livestock I guess it's all about microclimate. Calves are very happy in an open barn as long as they can create their own microclimate with plenty of bedding, and they don't get direct drafts. In treating an outbreak of respiratory disease in an old stable the first thing to do is break all the windows!
Many thanks
Gregs
 

Gregs 

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Hi Dani
About 15 m north of Carmarthen Near Llandysul
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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looks like a bin bag loosely wrapped around the hive
I see they're churning out the tripe about ventilated roofs again as well
 

Erichalfbee 

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Hi Dani
About 15 m north of Carmarthen Near Llandysul
Not far from me in Talsarn which is approx equidistant between Lampeter and Aberaeron.
 

hemo 

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A good way of trapping water and water logging your hive, £27 for what looks like a Black bin bag. Cheaper to buy a 8 x 4 sheet of 25/30/40mm PIR and make a proper hive cosy with a lid.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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some of my family came from Llanllwni in the early 1800's, and Llanfihangel ar arth- as well as a few other villages down that way
 

pargyle 

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Anyone seen one of these? Is it useful or a just a gimmick? We do get driving rain here so a raincoat might be nice?
Bee Cozy (thorne.co.uk)
Personally - there are better ways of insulating hives but if you were really desperate and this is the only thing you can manage then save yourself a shed load of money and get this ...


Half the price and will probably do two hives ...
 

Erichalfbee 

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some of my family came from Llanllwni in the early 1800's, and Llanfihangel ar arth- as well as a few other villages down that way
Llanllwni
Have to watch driving through there. So many different speed limits on a practically straight stretch of road and the speed van is often there.
 

madasafish 

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Anyone seen one of these? Is it useful or a just a gimmick? We do get driving rain here so a raincoat might be nice?
Bee Cozy (thorne.co.uk)
£27!
Is it gold plated? Or does it come with free Gas for when your supplier goes bust?
 

Newbeeneil 

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If all you are after is a rain barrier the cheapest way to do it is to use this
Cut into 2 m strips and stapled to the hive it works out about 50p/hive. I use it as woodpecker protection in susceptible areas.
IMG_0730.jpg
Edit. I just realise that my comments about woodpeckers could be misconstrued! - the downed tree was caused by high winds.
 
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E&MBees 

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Garden compost bags work well too. I have a ready supply from work.
 

oliver90owner 

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A good way of trapping water and water logging your hive, £27 for what looks like a Black bin bag. Cheaper to buy a 8 x 4 sheet of 25/30/40mm PIR and make a proper hive cosy with a lid.
Steady on! They are likely better quality bin bags.:)

Hives will do OK with just top insulation. Bin bags, held on by the roof and a few drawing pins (or bungee cords?) help to prevent water ingress - and don’t provide grip for woodpeckers.

All my hives have OMFs, but I have over-wintered on solid floors on occasion. With those I put matchsticks between the box and floor to increase the bottom ventilation - in fact I used wire nails or slivers of plywood, not matchsticks.:)
 

Gregs 

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Fascinating replies Thanks So much that isn't in the books. Does BBKA course includes such insights?
I'm just outside Llanfihangel-ar-Arth as it happens Nice to feel among friends. Yes beware speeding at Llanllwni - sudden changes from 50 to 30 such as not generally seen in Loegr - also heading out of Lllanfihangel towards Llandysul where speed camera sits in a layby at the point it feels natural to accelerate up the hill.
So final question (maybe!) Is it worth splashing out on a 6 inch lid?
Just to explain - we inherited a hive with a few bees in which attracted a swarm, but lost it last winter due to leaky roof Also bought a TBH early in the year which leaked so I am pretty paranoid about moisture now and hence reverted to new National till I am more confident.
 

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