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A bed warmer in the top

Trying something a little different this year.
I have used an old wheat bag to fashion a small, breathable bag to keep about 15Kg of rice on top of the brood box. It sits on a board on top of the frames with bee space all round.

I took the 2nd brood box off this hive to strengthen a very weak one. To compensate the loss off bees I am using this to 1. Use the rice to help de humidify and 2. Give the hive thermal mass on cold nights, a bit like the old wheat bed warmers.

As an after thought, I will be able to use it a guide in Spring for a super if bees start to build in this space.


Very interesting, Wilfred - how did you come up with this idea? I will be keen to hear how it works out.

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I was a bit worried when I split the top brood box off and placed it on the single brood weak hive, (with the paper and all) that loss of bee mass to the other hive may stress the hive during cold spells in Winter.

I read an article on using rice to dry out your mobile phone after it had gone into water and thought immediately of keeping the hive dry with rice and the thermal mass flowed on from that.

Mind you, SWMBO was a bit reticent to use her sewing machine to sew a wheat bag and has promised to sew me up a purpose built bag if it works out.
I will check every now and then with the thermal camera to see how the rice works out and do an update later in Winter.


Nah , not one of my better ideas.
Did not seem to control moisture at all and I don’t think gave thermal mass to the hive.
I have removed the bag and fed the rice mixed with wheat to the chooks.

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Great example of the circle of life at a homestead with chickens :nerd_face::chicken: