Insulating hives

Having been told several times by You Lot that our hives’ walls are too thin, we have made some wooden panels to clad the outside of the hives, painted them up and attached them thus-and-so:

I did wonder if the large black and yellow power screwdriver would be attacked as a wasp when it began vibrating the hive, but everyone was too happy in the sunshine to bother about it.

Measuring up and tweaking the panels was easy because we have an empty hive of the same make.

One tip: the panels, formed from simple tongue-and-groove lumber from a hardware shops glued together, were attached with 4 screws each. I originally chose screws which were just long enough that they wouldn’t quite penetrate the double layer of wood: I assumed the panels would lie flat against the hive wall. But, it turned out the hive has distorted quite a bit in the last two years: even if it were unseasoned wood it’s had a warm moist nest on one side all that time, and warped a bit. So I needed considerably longer screws than I’d expected.

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2 Responses to Insulating hives

  1. Yes – the walls of our man-made hives are a lot thinner than the old oak trees our bee colonies used to live in. Visit to see how they compare!


  2. itsonlyausername says:

    Nice article from Paul and also a very nice oak tree picture from Chris. I just love that huge old oak tree . As an Ancient Tree Hunt Volunteer Verifier I can attest to the efficacy of old hollow trees as a snug and stable environment to reside in. Not that I live in a hollow tree you understand but even in the depths of winter I have found the inside of hollow trees is generally constantly dry and at a stable temperature. They also tend to be well sound insulated too. Its why bees choose to build their nests in hollow trees most frequently I suspect.
    The beecosy won’t fit my top bar hive though. Its 4 foot long. Also the sides are over 1 inch thick being made of untreated waney edge boarding. It is unseasoned so it still warps but not that badly. However the temperature is lower than a hollow tree. But does that not affect the behaviour of the bees being warmer?


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