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Winter is a tough season for honey bees. The harsh, cold winds can cause the colony to suffer many losses and grow smaller. Despite this, beekeepers are able to winter their honeybee colonies and have them emerge with great strength in spring. Insulating the beehive is one of the ways to better ensure that a colony will survive winter. Wraps of various kinds are used around beehives to provide some insulation from the cold. The wraps are made using various materials that do not conduct heat from the beehive. This guide takes you through wrapping beehives to keep them warm through winter, and the best beehive winter wraps currently available on the market.
Insulating a beehive requires all-round covering. Winter wraps and other insulating devices used by beekeepers provide this cover. They may also cover ventilation inlets and outlets of the beehive. After using a winter wrap or other insulation on a beehive, be sure to check the hive for ventilation. Even in winter, airflow is required through the beehive and out of it. However, the size of the ventilation inlets and outlets is greatly reduced in winter. The best beehive winter wraps have taken ventilation into consideration and make it easy for the beehive to breathe.
Benefits of Using Beehive Winter Wraps
There are many advantages of using a beehive winter wrap. The benefits include:
1. Preventing condensation
Beehives that have condensation forming in winter risk being lost. The honeybee colony in a beehive suffers greater losses over winter than in other seasons. The drops of water from condensation can chill bees and kill them. Preventing condensation is greatly assisted when you use a wrap. It allows water to be removed from the beehive by ventilation.
2. Reducing heat loss
Wrapping the beehive prevents losses of heat from the beehive. More heat held in the beehive keeps water from forming drops and freezing in the cold of winter. With a wrap, the honey bee colony is able to keep the beehive warm without getting too worn out.
3. Warming the hive
In some regions, there is some sunshine in winter. The sunshine is sometimes strong enough to warm the beehive. Out in the sun, dark colored wraps help to warm up the hive on such days. This saves bees from using their energy to keep the beehive warm. They can direct their energies towards other beehive activities and tasks that they need to carry out.
4. Increasing the winter survival rate of the colony
The overall survival rate of the beehive in higher when beekeepers use winter wraps. Colonies in wrapped beehives emerge in spring with higher colony numbers and therefore foraging capabilities. It ensures you start the honey production year with a colony that is able to give you great beehive products yields.
With that said, let us now discuss the best beehive winter wraps.
Overview of the Best Beehive Winter Wraps
4. Bee Cozy Hive Wrap 8 Frame Double (2 Storey)
The Bee Cozy Hive Wrap 8 Frame Double (2 Storey) is a well-designed and highly effective product that is sure to please beekeepers of all skill levels. This innovative wrap is designed to help regulate the temperature inside the hive, providing insulation and protection against the elements.
One of the most impressive features of the Bee Cozy Hive Wrap is its versatility. It is designed to fit 8 frame double (2 storey) hives, which means it is compatible with a wide range of different hives. This makes it an ideal choice for beekeepers who are looking for a wrap that can be used with multiple hives.
Another great feature of the Bee Cozy Hive Wrap is its high-quality construction. The wrap is made from durable, weather-resistant materials that are designed to stand up to the rigors of outdoor use. This means that beekeepers can rely on the Bee Cozy Hive Wrap to protect their hives from the elements for many years to come.
Finally, the Bee Cozy Hive Wrap is also easy to use. It can be quickly and easily installed, even by those who are new to beekeeping. This makes it a great choice for beginners who are looking for a reliable and effective way to protect their hives.
Overall, the Bee Cozy Hive Wrap 8 Frame Double (2 Storey) is a fantastic product that is sure to meet the needs of beekeepers of all skill levels. Its versatility, high-quality construction, and ease of use make it a great choice for anyone who wants to protect their hives and ensure the health and safety of their bees.Check Price on eBay
3. The Rustic Chic Boutique Overwintering Beehive Protective Cover
This is a winter beehive cover that has been used by many beekeepers for many years. The protective cover is made in the USA. It has been in use for more than 15 years and has helped many beekeepers increase the survival rates of honey bee colonies in winter. The cover is made using plastic. It covers a Langstroth beehive on the outer surfaces that from the sides of a beehive. The top and bottom of the beehive are covered using the usual telescoping cover and bottom board respectively. This overwintering beehive protective cover fits up to 3 10-frame beehive boxes. The boxes can even be deep boxes and they will fit into this cover. You may also cut the cover down to the height you want to that it covers fewer boxes.
This overwintering beehive protective cover is made and sold by Rustic Chic Boutique. It is a company with a good reputation for quality products and excellent customer service. Being that the protective cover is made using plastic, it is durable while being light in weight. This protective cover for wintering shields beehives from wind, falling snow, water from melting snow and loss of heat. The beehive enclosed in this cover remains warmer than the environment during winter. This protective cover can be used together with a quilt box for best results in moisture management in the beehive. The quilt absorbs humidity from the beehive and releases the moisture to the air outside the beehive. The quilt box can be made by the beekeeper or bought together with the overwintering beehive protective color.
The Rustic Chic Boutique’s overwintering beehive protective cover is made in a black color. It absorbs the little heat that may be available in the environment to keep the beehive warm with greater ease. This cover might require you to make holes for beehive ventilation inside it after you fit it over your beehive boxes. The holes on the cover should align with those on the beehive. This cover is big, and somewhat bulky. It is not collapsible. These size and bulk challenges make this protective cover sometimes difficult to work with. It is however a great beehive cover that does its job well and is very durable.Check Price
2. Hansen Honey Farm Bee Cozy Hive Wrap Kit (10 Frame)
The Hansen Honey Farm Bee Cozy Hive Wrap Kit (10 Frame) is an exceptional product that provides top-notch insulation for beekeepers looking to protect their hives during the colder months. The kit includes everything needed to get started with installation, and the product is easy to use for beekeepers of all skill levels.
One of the most impressive features of this kit is the high-quality materials used in its construction. The wrap is made from heavy-duty vinyl, which is highly durable and resistant to the elements. The vinyl also ensures that the wrap provides excellent insulation to the hive, which is crucial in maintaining a healthy hive during the winter.
The Hansen Honey Farm Bee Cozy Hive Wrap Kit is also highly versatile, with its compatibility with 10 frame hives. This means that it can be used with a wide range of different hives, making it an excellent choice for beekeepers who have multiple hives. The wrap is also designed to be used with or without a ventilation shim, providing even more flexibility to the beekeeper.
Another great feature of the Hansen Honey Farm Bee Cozy Hive Wrap Kit is its ease of use. The kit includes all the necessary components for installation, including the wrap, velcro straps, and instructions. Installation is a straightforward process and can be completed in a matter of minutes.
Overall, the Hansen Honey Farm Bee Cozy Hive Wrap Kit (10 Frame) is an excellent product that is sure to meet the needs of any beekeeper looking to protect their hives during the winter months. Its high-quality construction, versatility, and ease of use make it a standout product in the world of beekeeping. Highly recommended for beekeepers of all skill levels.Check Price
1. Cutler Supply Bee Cozy Winter Beehive Wrap (10 Frame, 2 Story Deep)
Wrapping beehives in winter is a great way to help boost the survival chances of the honey bee colony. The beehive wrapped in an insulating cover should be ventilated as well. Using beehive winter wraps help the bees stay warmer and expend less energy in keeping the beehive warm. They also consume less of the honey stored in the beehive. Use these best beehive winter wraps in your beekeeping operation for strong colonies emerging from winter. They are great for getting the best yields of beehive products.
Have you ever used any of the beehive winter wraps mentioned in this article? Leave a comment below and let us know what you thought of it.