Beehives in cold winter winds

Although I live in one of the not so arctic areas of the US, but THIS winter had a few extreme cold snaps, and I improvised a wind break for the beehives.  I was mostly worried about the wind, as these are first year hives.

Beehives with coverings

Beehive wind and rain protection. The hive setup.

The winds were deeply chilling, and I got out my old sheets, couch covers, and bundled up to go and cover them before night came.  It was vurrrry windy (30 MPH), and I took sheets of solid foam insulation to cover the sides on the bottoms because I have  ventilated bottom boards.

Beehive with covering for winter

Beehive number ONE (the Italians) with wind and rain protection

Then I covered the entire hive, including the front entrance clear to the ground floor with couch covers and sheets.  My aim was not to completely seal the hive, but to break the wind.

Beehive with covering for winter 3

Beehive number 3 with winter protection from wind and rain

When days come that it isn’t really badly cold, I just lift the front to expose the entrance so the bees can get out and do their “business”, whatever that might be.

NOTE:  the things on the top of the hives are scavenged from an old hot tub cover, and are foam covered with Naugahide upolstery material.  They are waterproof, and can be used for shade if needed, or rain and snow.  I’ve had them for several years and they also come in handy to set things on top of when I’m tending hives any time of the year.  You just don’t put your smoker up there.

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