Thought everyone would enjoy these pics of our winter covers. Just some 2 x 4’s and some left over pond liner. Lots of air space yet keeps the snow and rain off, so far so good. Thanks for looking: Randy
Hi Randy, well done. I reckon anything we can do to help the bees to keep the hive warm during cold winters is going to be an advantage.
Bad news on my covers. They did little to help the hives survive our hard winter this year. Lost everyone, mainly because of the cold, as we had weeks at below zero and a couple nights at -18. Should have install electric blankets for them. I’ll get a new hive and next winter move them to a building, feed them better and make sure they get better ventilation. Also left the flow hives in place and though they survived they should not be left in all winter. The larger hive moved up into them and started a brood in to them. I believe the flow hives are best used in the 3rd box up to be sure if and when the queen moves up she doesn’t move into the flow hives. The flow hives did work as advertised but are not usable for a brood chamber. A real pain to clean up. The best method I found was to soak them in warm water awhile and then spray them with water to remove the dead bees.
Thank you for your caring. I feel badly I was not able to keep them, but mother nature has her ways. We love in northwestern Montana about 50 miles out of Missoula. There are a couple things I did wrong. They should have had a bit more ventilation, at least in the one hive where the numbers of bees were much higher. And in both cases they needed much more food close by for this hard of winter. I’m hearing now that some hives in the north use well over 100 pounds of stores. And that in most cases large amounts of sugar cakes are added to help fill their pantry enough. But no matter what, if its below zero for weeks and down to -18 like we had a couple times, then the chances of them making it drops quite a bit. I’ll get another package this spring and make changes to help my new hive survive. If need bee I’ll bring them out a warm blanket from the drier on cold nights and snuggle with them:) Thanks again, Randy