Today has been a day of gorgeous blue skies, however the wind and cold air is reminding us that “Winter is coming”.
Rusty from Honey Bee Suite has given us some great ideas for insulating and keeping our hives dry this year. I have re purposed out “Vivaldi Boards” for this use. 4 inch lumber with 6 holes and hardware cloth, with organic burlap (thanks Just US!) and filled this mini-super with straw. The straw will both keep the hive warm while wicking the moisture to the sop where it can be dried by the holes. We then covered the bottom brood boxes with tar paper which will help hold some of the heat in, though in fact its usually not cold that kills bees over the winter, but the moisture. The condensation from their breathing and activity collects on the top cover and drips down on them causing a deadly chill. We have out fingers crossed for this winter. We had no queen problems or Varroa mites, Nosema Apis also seemed to be staying at bay, so we are optimistic that all hives will survive.