Winterized Beehives 2016

These are photos of my winterized beehives (taken on Wednesday, November 30, 2016). As a beginner beekeeper this is what I have now. In the future I would like to have a better system where maybe I slip on the insulation. A few of the hives had inner covers that came out a little and the insulation had to be somewhat customized. In the future I do not plan on ordering those inner covers again. The insulation used is polystyrene and I used bungee cords wrapped around the beehives to secure the insulation. As I write this it has already reached below zero (temperatures below -10°F (-23.33°C) as of Monday, December 19th in Chicago, IL, USA). There is advice not to use thick insulation. However, this worked for me last year and I already lost one beehive because it froze over the winter. I am learning in many aspects of beekeeping there are many different ways to go about accomplishing a task. In fact, beekeepers rarely agree on anything. If you put ten beekeepers in a room and asked them a question you would probably get fifteen different answers. This has worked for me. Hive number three (the first hive and hardest to see in the photo) is a BeeMax (R) (it was purchased from BetterBee) polystyrene hive and it was started from a package and survived the winter of 2015. It is only wrapped in some thin bubble wrap insulation. I am worried about hive number 4 as I do not have a standard overhanging cover on it. That hive also survived the winter of 2015. When I was adding insulation to the top bar hive (the photo of the hive by itself and not as tall as the others) the bees were obviously upset and I could hear them. I am worried about the top bar hive surviving the winter as it suffered from ants on the inside of the cover (after a month or so the cornmeal took affect and the ants were gone) and I had issues getting them to leave the package and the bees that would not leave the package basically ended up dying. That hive may be disadvantaged by a smaller population and pests. I did not harvest any of the honey from any of the hives, but I did not give them any additional winter food. I think it is possible the top bar hive many run out of honey over the winter. 

winterized beehives November 2016 IL, USAwinterized Nov 2016 top bar hive IL, USApartially winterized beehive Nov 2016 IL, USA

Published by SewIsabel

Spare-time aspiring fiber artist, gardener, beekeeper and sew much more! Author of

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