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When to apply hive insulation?

What’s the consensus (HA!) on when to apply winter insulation or wraps to a hive? And a quilt box? It would seem to me that insulation would help whether the ambient temperature is below or above the ideal ambient temperature… which is what?

Some locals say they put their insulation on after thanksgiving but that seems arbitrary…

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Anytime from when you’re not planning on opening the hive for awhile in my opinion. All year round if you’re that way inclined. Insulation works both ways - and the overall effect is the hive can better maintain the brood temp.


I agree with your opinion, and I also agree with @fffffred. Insulation gets in the way of inspections, so if you don’t plan on any more inspections, you can insulate whenever you want. They are not going to overheat, even if the weather is warm. Polystyrene (styrofoam) hives work just as well (or even better!) in hot climates as they do in cold ones. So once you are ready to tuck them in for winter and put your curiosity away, go ahead and insulate! :wink:


I think it is about time. Gauging the the last inspection and the upcoming weather. I’ll be checking the tray debris and planning to do a OA treatment while they are broodless in early December, but wasn’t planning on opening the hive until it warms up a little in the late winter/early spring.


Here in the Philly area I’m planning to finish up winter prep this weekend/next few days as the nights have dropped to the 40s. That’ll include upper and outer insulation. And mouse guards!