Ideas for winter insulation

I’m currently looking for ideas on simple and effective insulation for my wintering hive in Hobart, Tasmania. I have two brood boxes over winter, having harvested and removed the Flowbox in autumn. My Flowhive is in a cold and windy location, so I would like to try insulating it this year.

I will need to be able to fold it up for compact storage over summer and re-use the following winters. Also if I can conjure up something from used materials, instead of having to buy new stuff, that would be nice. I’m sure others have invented some good solutions!

Remember also the following
Bees don’t die of cold. They starve.
Bees don’t try to heat the hive. They maintain the cluster temperature.
Always ensure (and I repeat this) that the honey reserves are properly organized.


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That’s not what I asked about.

I have a collection of green board styrofoam insulation scraps that I’ve used with bungees or other strap to hold them onto the outside faces of hives. I also put one under the roof cover using a shim. They then stack flat in my shed once spring is here. You can probably get new ones at a hardware store, and cut them to fit nicely with duct tape joints (like I planned to in my head!). Or find free scraps from a building job.

Every year I thought about joining my scraps so they’d be easier to put on, but a couple years ago I went and bought ‘bee cozies’ instead. They’re like thick water heater covers but with black plastic. They do the job but have been very amenable to ants setting up a colony under them. They also trap moisture along the box sides, allowing mildew to grow :unamused:. And they are not easy to store! So I am considering selling these and going back to my styro-board rig-up.