Is fibreglass loft insulation ok to use to keep bees cosy over winter?

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CliffDale 

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I have a spare roll of loft insulation.
Is it ok to use or will the bees not like the fibres?
Cliff
 

tonybloke 

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I have a spare roll of loft insulation.
Is it ok to use or will the bees not like the fibres?
Cliff
erm, the insulation is usually not inside anywhere the bees can get at (over crownboard)
 

CliffDale 

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I've left a little gap in the feeder hole for ventilation. If it is ok to use loft fibre, I will block the feeder hole completely and use a couple of match sticks under the crown board on the solid floor hives.
 

tonybloke 

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You have a solid floor in/under the hive.
if you use a porter bee escape in the crown board, this will stop the bees from accessing the glass-fibre, and provide a little ventilation. then no need to prop up crownboard with match-sticks.

you'll get more answers than that one, for sure!

btw, my hives have solid floors. ;)
 

CliffDale 

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I have used porter escapes in the past but when I left them on for a while they gummed them in the open position!
 

madasafish 

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If you enclose it in polythene, it should be fine. (that's what I have done)

I hope...
 

Flatters 

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Personally I would not recommend using the roll type of loft insulation. It can be made up of strands of fibre glass (although you can get mineral fibres). Even putting it in a plastic bag may still lead to some fibres being left on the outside of the bag. Glass fibre strands and honey are not a good combination. There may well be no apparant contact with the insulation, but at a later date you don't know if there will be(eg using a feeder).

For the sake of a few pounds I would think it better to use a less risky option.

I have worked in a food and medicines factory for 13 years so may be over cautious.
 

aseeryl 

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Wrap it up in a plastic bag or similar. I put some in uncovered and a number of bees got tangled and died. Now removed.
 

SteveH 

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I'm with with Flatters on this. If you have to insulate, use something less risky. In the past I've used offcuts of carpet and even old bath towels. For the last couple of years I haven't insulated my hives at all, and I've had no losses through the cold!

Steve
 

eric 

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Personally I would not recommend using the roll type of loft insulation. It can be made up of strands of fibre glass (although you can get mineral fibres). Even putting it in a plastic bag may still lead to some fibres being left on the outside of the bag. Glass fibre strands and honey are not a good combination. There may well be no apparant contact with the insulation, but at a later date you don't know if there will be(eg using a feeder).

For the sake of a few pounds I would think it better to use a less risky option.

I have worked in a food and medicines factory for 13 years so may be over cautious.
:iagree:
 

oliver90owner 

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I've had no losses through the cold!

It's easy to say that when we have over ten hives - one loss over winter is an acceptable 10% - and so no sweat to make that up early in the spring. Different altogether if you only have one or two colonies.

I too have had no recent losses due to the cold, unless 'isolation starvation' can be attributed to a 'too cold' hive. (Not even sure that has happened recently either)

The main use of insulation is to prevent damp by condensation on the underside of the crownboard. Any extra is simply emulating a polyhive, which, by all accounts, is not a bad idea at all. Ignoring polyhives, then think 150-300mm of wood cover in a tree, rather than the nest being 20mm inside the tree bark. I know which I would prefer if I were a thinking bee.

Regards, RAB
 

roche 

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The biggest problem I can see (apart from the fibre problem) is the potential for condensation to form in the insulation, which would defeat the exercise. I would use sealed cell insulation such as multicell...
 

Finman 

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Everything which make fine dust, you will see them on the surface on honey and to bees and larvae glass dust is not good.

Are you able t find more worse insulation?

When you have honey or resing in your fingers, the glass dust adhere to you fingers. Then you rub your eyes.

Mice love stone and glass fiber and make their nest into stuff. Smell of piss. - my experience.
 
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SteveH 

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I've had no losses through the cold!

It's easy to say that when we have over ten hives...
Actually Rab, I've recently united several colonies and now only have 7, which is 1 or 2 more than I usually overwinter and I've had no problems in previous years. I'm not discouraging the use of insulation in general, just the use of loft insulation. As I mentioned, I've previously used carpet offcuts and old bath towels (over my first couple of winters), but haven't used anything for the last few.

Regards,
Steve
 
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Poly Hive 

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Please do not use.

Please do not leave porter bee escapes in a CB, in fact you are far far far better off not using the silly things in the first place.

Please do NOT use match sticks to raise the CB or I will come to your house with jacks and lift up your roof two feet and see how you like your heating bill....

Buy some decent insulation or find a skip with some in it and put it above the CB.

If you are giving the bees a solid floor you might want to rethink that too.

Happy wintering.........now that is.........

PH
 

Bee-Key-Pur 

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Take out the inspection floor from your OMF and clean it, then use it to cover the holes in the crown board, then go down to your local charity shop and for a few pence buy some cheap polyester cushions.
Pop them on top of the crown board, replace the roof, put a breeze block on top and you have roof insulation....
 
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