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Question on hive insulation

Hey beekeepers,

We have a customer in Maine (a newer beekeeper) wondering about insulating her hive using a quilt and perhaps pine needles in the roof cavity. Since this is fairly regionally specific, we were hoping to turn it over to the “hive mind” here. Is anyone adding an additional section to their hives in place of the inner cover for this purpose? We’d love some tips on this to pass along to her.

Many thanks :slight_smile:

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There has been discussion about preparing hives for winter in the cold areas of the world. It does usually involve some sort of wrap, barrier, emergency feed and/or a quilt box for moisture control. The other advice was also go and see what other local beekeepers do. But that is all I know based on what I have seen others say they do. I live in a Mediterranean climate.

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@Freebee2 take a look at my responses here, as I’ve linked to two threads to help with the answer:

@Amanda_Wells this thread might also end up with an answer to assist you

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Thanks so much @AdamMaskewand @SnowflakeHoney

The customer was specifically wondering if anyone was adding an extra section in which to place pine needles and the like, which was a method I hadn’t heard of, but I think this overwintering information will be helpful to her regardless, as she may find that she does not need to go down that path.

Thanks agin for posting your responses - much appreciated :slight_smile:

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Quilt boxes are quite common I understand

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Thanks Adam, I’ll let her know :slight_smile:

Free, I use aspen shavings from the pet supply store in a shallow or medium quilt box, fitted with a hardware cloth bottom covered by a tea towel, on top of my hives here in PA. This year I’m trying the idea of utilizing the Flow roof space for this. I’d think pine needles would do a decent job of insulating, but I’m not sure about their ability to wick moisture the way wood shavings can. Here’s a great article by Rusty Berlew on making a quilt box:

https://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-make-a-moisture-quilt-for-a-langstroth-hive/

@busso was it you who posted about trying out a mesh bag filled with similar insulation material placed under the Flow roof in cold weather?

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That’s great info @Eva, thanks so much :slight_smile:

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