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Upper Class Bees with seasonal accommodations. :)


My trips n sailing was primarily in Puget Sound, San Juan Islands but did get into the Gulf Coast Islands n Inland Passage to Alaska.

it’s been 34 years since my trip to Alaska … Time flys ! Good memories …


So we are just entering spring here and I have wondered a bit about winter. As you are starting into winter now, I’m hoping you can pave the way for the new flow hivers out here. So as it gets colder, you take the flow hive frames off for the winter?


I’m not going into winter but when winter comes they should be off.


Never had mine on, I started my girls a bit late in the season. But saying that yes…the flow should only be on in the busy season.

Good luck,


Hey Rob,
I don’t think I need to do a side by side comparison. I had 3 clean frames in the hive for weeks, 5 days after I switch to the winter box, I have 1 frame @ 40%, another @ 30% and one at 10%. I don’t think this is a coincidence. I think they are spreading out from the center frames because they don’t have stay as tight to control the temp. I’m starting on a couple more thick boxes as my main brood box will be full this time next week.



I live in Midwest USA and it can get very cold> I like this thread and it makes sense to decrease the load the bees have to carry over the winter. I have been thinking of adding rigid insulation to the outside of the hive. I especially like the idea of a side by side comparison. Any thoughts ideas or cautions would be mos appreciated.


G’day Ed, the better insulated the hive is during winter, the better it will be for the bees, in my view.


Hi Ed,
I only have one hive so side by side comparisons haven’t been done in my yard. I do think anything to do to increase the amount of insulation has to have an affect. Even in warmer climates it can help. Is it quantifiable? For sure, but I don’t think I will be taking the time to do it. I have seen some styro/poly boxes that are being used in very cold climates, I thought about going that way but I really like working with wood and like the look.
Good luck,



Thanks for your input. I have found many examples of insulated hives. One interesting article I am attaching the link indicates this has been on the minds of serious beekeepers for many years.


Yo Ogre ,
This is the Captain Down Under ,
Insulation has many forms . I have experimented with cold prevention through 1. Aaspect
2. wind breaks and barriers .
3. Hot bedding the soil surrounding the hives
4. Insulated bee hives .
5. placing a nuke hive on top of a strong hive with different entrance directions .
Given we do not have snow I have no experience there other than logic / intuition tells us that controlling the environment should help or hinder the bee colonies .Look to nature and study the success of wild bees and use this as a guide to success . Barns , House roofs and cavity’s -Hollow trees and upturned bins seem to work . We have Eucalyptus trees that produce great hollows . The bees favor hollows with smallish near vertical entrances .
The insulated effect both summer and winter is often profound .
My opinion is that bees will divert the necessary resources to keep warm and there young alive .The harsher the conditions ,the more resources will be consumed in survival . The population could diminish further if food is scarce ,weather is adverse and disease is present . Death of a thousand cuts !
It is up to us to thoughtfully intervene when pesticides are sprayed in the foraging area . Likewise add food when there is a dearth . Locate your hives out of the prevailing winds , angle the entrance downward to encourage condensation to drain , install top entrances if need be . face the entrances toward the rising sun Go for insulation ? Although you may not need to if other measures suffice .


Well I figured I might as well make a few more. I’ll need the space in another couple months. Gotta love the look of red cedar…sexxy :slight_smile:


OMG!! What more can I say??? :blush:


They’re beautiful!..love the colours


I think that the wood is so so beautiful. Looks much better than my rag tag poly hives


Ogre, They look just wonderfull, lucky lucky bees. What glue did you use? love to know, if you can remember.:grinning:


Thanks for the compliments! I use regular wood working pva glue.



Ogre I used Silkabond Teckgrip, which I am now a bit worried about, as it fomes up and can leave holes if it is sanded back, my joins are not that good!!! I just hope I have’t made homes for the hive beetle.

I am a compleat beginner with bees and am waiting for a sworm, not to good at the woodwork eather.



I’ve used polyurethane glue before with hives. Just clean up any over flow
and sand the rest away as you do and you will be alright. I’ve found
applying it lightly compared to PVA.

Good luck,


Thanks for that.:smiley:


Upgrade…and it’s spring!

I decided to put some viewing panels in the thick boxes. The Flow frames will stay in the 45mm thick box until they are full, then I will transfer them to the original Flow super for harvest.
4 days after the Flow frames and 4 frames are 25% full. The girls definitely didn’t have a problem taking to the frames, no sugar spray, no wax covering. They needed space and were ready for the frames.At this rate we will be harvesting in 3-4 weeks! The picture of the viewing glass is 2 hours after installing the box. Cedar you’re bloody genius!