Quantcast

What insulation will bees chew up?

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Mushy Bees 

New Bee
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
Hello,

I'm already thinking about how I'm going to keep them warm over winter and was thinking about the addition of two expanded polystyrene slabs (the white rigid stuff) either side of the frames (with OMF and crown board insulated - no vent). Maybe about in inch thick cut to the full size of the side of the BB.

Would they chew it up?

Thanks
MB
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
25,615
Reaction score
175
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
.
I have tried many things and you will look your constructions over half year.

Only reasonable solution is real polyhive. You may move frames to the more estetic hive for summer, but those slabs are not handy or nice at all.

In inner wall or ceiling bees jew the board, and if not bees, ants then.

Poly boxes cost something but you get money back soon because spring build up is fast and they forage more honey in early summer.

If you have a wooden hive and you close it with plastic, the wood will rotten quickly.
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,632
Reaction score
35
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
since you can buy polystyrene hives i can't see there being as problem.

It is all about density. Over a certain density and they will not destroy it; less than the minimum, and they will remove it slowly, or more quickly, from the hive if they get access to it. Simple and no argument on that at all. Normal insulating and packaging expanded polystyrene materials are far below that minimum.

Behind an effective divider is 'OK'; covered in a bee-resistant material is 'OK'.

Top insulation is OK with an OMF and is a must- have for all hives IMO.

A sheet of impermeable material below the OMF means no OMF! So don't go there (insulating the OMF).

The OMF is just that - open! Maybe temporarily screen off or partly screen off to prevent very cold draughts for short periods of really hard weather, but otherwise open. The hive needs that bottom ventilation to remain dry (damp free). It is dampness that kills bees.

The bees will maintain a good hive temperature as long as there is not too much heat energy escaping through the fabric of the hive and the space above is not excessive.

Bees survived ouside, in a window opening all last winter somwhere in Warwicksire, so no problem with their own builds. Framed hives, with too much top ventilation, are another thing entirely.

Regards, RAB
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
25,615
Reaction score
175
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
.
When you make that job year after year put on- take off,
it is not a good business to make self made insulation.
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,632
Reaction score
35
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
You are right, Finman.

But this is internal - to the hive - insulation, Mushy Bees is considering. Replacing 2 frames (Ten 14 x12 frames of stores is likely enough in the southern UK) and under the roof.

I would agree with you entirely if there were many more than 4 colonies to be sorted out each year - the economics of cost, storage and time would change.

I jam/fit a 25mm sheet of expanded polysyrene (cut to fit) in the recess (on the outside) at each end of the hive. Stays there all year. Leave 11 or 12 frames in the brood.

Regards, RAB
 

HighlandWozza 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 1, 2010
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Highlands of Scotland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
I am thinking about constructing a wooden box to place over my national hive so that there is a narrow gap of air between them and the floor remains OMF. Anyone any thoughts on this? The bees would still be able to get in and out if they wanted to.
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
25,615
Reaction score
175
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
You are right, Finman.

But this is internal - to the hive - insulation, Mushy Bees is considering. Replacing 2 frames
2 walls insulated and 2 not? I think that it does not help at all.


Think about a house which is well insulated. Then you keep the door open. Is it warm?
 

iball 

House Bee
Joined
Apr 6, 2010
Messages
338
Reaction score
0
Location
Mossley, Lancs.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
I've been thinking about top insulation on my two nationals, both have a gabled roof.

Does putting polysterene above the crown board cause condensation or is the OMF sufficient to stop this from happening.

I was thinking of a breathable quilt made from wool loft insulation, or am I worrying needlessly?

Ian
 

Peter Cox 

New Bee
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
87
Reaction score
0
Location
NE Massachusetts
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
12
.
Only reasonable solution is real polyhive. You may move frames to the more estetic hive for summer, but those slabs are not handy or nice at all.

Poly boxes cost something but you get money back soon because spring build up is fast and they forage more honey in early summer.

If you have a wooden hive and you close it with plastic, the wood will rotten quickly.
Do you use Poly Boxes?
I assume your winter climate is similar to ours - winter is typically end of November to beginnining of April, we sometimes get down to -20f and average about 70 inches of snow.
I'm using langstroth's and don't wrap them and don't add internal insulation. Overwinter on 2 deeps and they seem to make it OK. Sometimes need to add fondant starting around mid Februaray.
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
25,615
Reaction score
175
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
.
Polystyrene is not good as inner cover. It is short living and painfull to keep clean.


"I was thinking of a breathable quilt made from wool loft insulation, or am I worrying needlessly?"

I have such a construction. A wooden box frame + 10 mm board. The moisture passes through. Then 50-70 mm insulation which breathes.
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
25,615
Reaction score
175
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
Do you use Poly Boxes?
I assume your winter climate is similar to ours - winter is typically end of November to beginnining of April, we sometimes get down to -20f and average about 70 inches of snow.
I'm using langstroth's and don't wrap them and don't add internal insulation. Overwinter on 2 deeps and they seem to make it OK. Sometimes need to add fondant starting around mid Februaray.
Seems to be same as I do...

Our willows start blooming about first of May. Then natural brooding begins and they get food outside. So, I feed in September and they live with sugar 8 months.
 

Polyanwood 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
2,203
Reaction score
1
Location
London
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
45
Can you use use sheep fleece as insulation in the roof? I would have thought that woudl be breathable.
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
19,457
Reaction score
1,394
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
7
I have just ordered some wool insulation. RAB posted that he cuts a window in his insulation so that he can place fondant and then puts another layer on top so I wondered whether I could use wool.
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
25,615
Reaction score
175
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
.
I use used ( recycling) foam plastic mattress. As a new they are expencive.
Wooden parts are recycled too.

Wooden is important because I like to clean the inner cover with propane torsch.
 
Last edited:

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
13,655
Reaction score
3
Location
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9 and 18 Nucs
The insulation I used above my timber hives was floor mate made by Dow.

http://www.floormate-online.co.uk/

Bear in mind over a crown board whith no holes in it or covered holes then there is no bee access to it.

For a partition you could face it to the bees with Fablon. Not cheap but pretty bee proof.

Or as already suggested and the obvious answer is to just buy a Poly hive and reap the benefits of the proper system. but then I would say that.... lol

PH
 

clare p 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
96
Reaction score
0
Location
East Sussex
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
1 new Nuc and a swarm caught on the 10th July
I was going to use a washed sheeps fleece in a pillow case.
Is that ridiculous? My husband seemed to think it was, but I thought it is breathable, warm, natural and if it is in a pillow case they won't get stuck in the fleece.
I have a WBC and a national, so I was going to use a super to stuff it into for the winter, perhaps look at a hole/flap that can be used for fondant ( if needed)
Clare
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,632
Reaction score
35
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
I over-winter my colonies in 14 x 12broods with insulation over, and OMF under. No problems with condensation.

Read post#4.

Regards, RAB
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
25,615
Reaction score
175
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
No problems with condensation.

I opened last winter 4-frame nuc and the hive was half full of snow. It had become from condesated water from cluster respiration.
Outer temp was -20C.
But it is normal. So they live in the winter here.
 

Latest posts

Top