insulation

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

Newbeeneil 

Queen Bee
***
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
2,246
Reaction score
1,235
Location
Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
40 plus 25 that I maintain for clients.
I needed a few more insulation slabs for the hives so I put a note on the local "Buy nothing" FB page last night. Had 3 messages this morning and picked up enough 2" thick insulation to make up a dozen pieces with a bit of judicious gluing and taping !
IMG_768.jpg
 

Wilco 

Village idiot
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
481
Reaction score
348
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-ish
I needed a few more insulation slabs for the hives so I put a note on the local "Buy nothing" FB page last night. Had 3 messages this morning and picked up enough 2" thick insulation to make up a dozen pieces with a bit of judicious gluing and taping !
View attachment 28604
It's amazing how much there is about. I found a whole 120mm thick sheet that had come off a truck on the local dual carriageway. No one had collected it after a few days so I rescued it- a bit broken in places but still salvable.
 

E&MBees 

Field Bee
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
895
Reaction score
446
Location
Bath
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
The local freegle / freecycle is another good source of PIR.
EBay is quite good for polycarbonate sheets, although prices have risen since covid.
 

sean-a 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
348
Reaction score
25
Location
Warwick
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
7
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.
View attachment 28474
Edit. I just realise that my comments about woodpeckers could be misconstrued! - the downed tree was caused by high winds.
But are you sure that it wasn't the hole that Woody pecked in the tree that contributed to it's demise?
 

SWHives 

New Bee
Joined
Sep 29, 2021
Messages
23
Reaction score
3
Location
South Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
Yes, they're not glass but polycarbonate crownboards (or quilts as they're often called). I usually get them from Maisemore. They do them with or without central feeder holes. I always get them without holes and just put on a traditional ply crown board with those feeder/porter escape holes on if I need to do any feeding. With my bees on double brood I don't often have to feed much but you can get them with a hole if you prefer and just block it off when you're not feeding.
Do you get any condensation under the polycarbonate crownboard or the insulated roof?
 

Apiarisnt 

Field Bee
***
Joined
May 1, 2016
Messages
500
Reaction score
256
Location
Herefordshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
8
Do you get any condensation under the polycarbonate crownboard or the insulated roof?
My hives have acrylic crownboards surmmounted with copious slabs to PIR (aka Kingspan / Celotex). In the coldest months they get a little condensation at the edges, but not much. You get condensation on cold surfaces. If the crownboard is kept warm by the insulation on top, then there is no cold surface.

And the next time somebody solemnly informs you that "It is the damp, not the cold, that kills the bees" ask them if they are aware of any evidence at all supporting their pronoucnement.
 

SWHives 

New Bee
Joined
Sep 29, 2021
Messages
23
Reaction score
3
Location
South Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
My hives have acrylic crownboards surmmounted with copious slabs to PIR (aka Kingspan / Celotex). In the coldest months they get a little condensation at the edges, but not much. You get condensation on cold surfaces. If the crownboard is kept warm by the insulation on top, then there is no cold surface.

And the next time somebody solemnly informs you that "It is the damp, not the cold, that kills the bees" ask them if they are aware of any evidence at all supporting their pronoucnement.
I have seen some videos where a thick see-through plastic foil is used instead of/or as a crownboard. This was mainly on the continent. Just thinking whether it would work as a cheap alternative to polycarbonate...
 

drdrday 

Field Bee
Joined
May 2, 2018
Messages
557
Reaction score
523
Location
Nr Maidstone, Kent, UK
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
Do you get any condensation under the polycarbonate crownboard or the insulated roof?
I agree with Apiarisnt. I very occasionally see a small amount of condensation in the corners of the crown board. It's really not an issue though as there's never condensation directly above the cluster where the crown board is warmest. A small amount of condensation in the corners will just drop back down through the hive.

No reason you can't use other materials, such as a thick transparent plastic sheeting etc. but personally I prefer having a framed board that I can use more easily year round. My hives are bottom bee space so I like having a bee space rim around boards.
 

masterBK 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
2,265
Reaction score
294
Location
S Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
wintering 31
I already had 25 hives with ekes on top of crown boards filled with 50mm Celotex (bought from Wickes) but I needed to insulate another 6 hives as I am wintering 31 colonies this year. I was considering a visit to Wickes to get some more Celotex when a skip appeared yesterday outside an unoccupied bungalow opposite. Workmen appeared and the skip soon filled up with all sorts of stuff including off cut pieces of 100mm Celotex which they let me have. There was enough for four ekes with the smaller pieces used to fill the cavities of couple of wooden Miller feeders now also being used to provide top insulation.

Note hive number pinned on hive. Made from red lid from Asda beef gravy container. Also use purple lids from drinking choc containers.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

drdrday 

Field Bee
Joined
May 2, 2018
Messages
557
Reaction score
523
Location
Nr Maidstone, Kent, UK
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
I was considering a visit to Wickes to get some more Cdelotex when a skip has appeared yesterday outside an unoccupied bungalow opposite. Workmen appeared and the skip soon filled up with all sorts of stuff including off cut pieces of 100mm Celotex which they let me have.
I haven't had to buy any this year either, thanks to skips. There has been plenty of free stuff around here, with so much lockdown building work going on. I got lots of smaller offcuts of brand new insulation from one skip, and almost a full sheet of old used insulation from another (the bees won't care ;) )
 

Martimart 

New Bee
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
62
Reaction score
37
Location
Derby
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
2
I use the insulation you get for "free" when ordering meat from online butchers. Providence Village Butchers sent their products in a nice woollen insulation about 2 inches thick.
 

BernardBlack 

House Bee
Joined
May 7, 2016
Messages
382
Reaction score
11
Location
Co. Armagh
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
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.

37017B5A-44B4-4C66-91D7-82506D4F2E02.gif
 

Boston Bees 

Bumblebee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
1,458
Reaction score
1,410
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
Yorkshire Beekeeping Association just sent out this bit of cognitive dissonance:

"Now is the time to ensure that hives are sound, secure, and waterproof. It is often not the cold that kills the bees but the damp. Damp conditions can also cause mould growth on combs and can stress the bees, bringing the risk of Nosema. There is an ongoing debate between ventilation and insulation. As heat is lost through the roof many beekeepers insulate the roof with an insulating material such as Kingspan or similar products. There is the other theory that to prevent the build-up of condensation in the hive, good ventilation is required. Personally, I insulate to help retain heat but also believe it is vital that you keep good ventilation throughout the hive so ensure that the roof vents are not blocked by any insulation material used."
 

Murox 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
3,209
Reaction score
1,219
Location
Campbeltown Scotland
Hive Type
other
Yorkshire Beekeeping Association just sent out this bit of cognitive dissonance:

"Now is the time to ensure that hives are sound, secure, and waterproof. It is often not the cold that kills the bees but the damp. Damp conditions can also cause mould growth on combs and can stress the bees, bringing the risk of Nosema. There is an ongoing debate between ventilation and insulation. As heat is lost through the roof many beekeepers insulate the roof with an insulating material such as Kingspan or similar products. There is the other theory that to prevent the build-up of condensation in the hive, good ventilation is required. Personally, I insulate to help retain heat but also believe it is vital that you keep good ventilation throughout the hive so ensure that the roof vents are not blocked by any insulation material used."
I somehow doubt that the committee suffered any mental discomfort from holding two conflicting beliefs.
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
24,315
Reaction score
5,729
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
13
Last sentence makes no sense. Roof vents have no connection with the brood chamber whether they are blocked by insulation or not anyway.
 

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
13,645
Reaction score
3,828
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
Yorkshire Beekeeping Association just sent out this bit of cognitive dissonance:

"Now is the time to ensure that hives are sound, secure, and waterproof. It is often not the cold that kills the bees but the damp. Damp conditions can also cause mould growth on combs and can stress the bees, bringing the risk of Nosema. There is an ongoing debate between ventilation and insulation. As heat is lost through the roof many beekeepers insulate the roof with an insulating material such as Kingspan or similar products. There is the other theory that to prevent the build-up of condensation in the hive, good ventilation is required. Personally, I insulate to help retain heat but also believe it is vital that you keep good ventilation throughout the hive so ensure that the roof vents are not blocked by any insulation material used."
Bill Bielby will be spinning in his grave ..... he'll be back to haunt them with any luck .... I can feel his ghostly form going round the hives removing the matchsticks ....
 

Latest posts

Top