straw bale bee hives

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Paul Wheaton, May 9, 2005.

  1. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone ever surrounded their hives with straw bales?

    I've heard that it's good in winter - the bees don't have to work as hard to keep the hive warm.

    I'm wondering if the same might be true for summer too - keep the hives cooler ... Anybody ever experimented?
     
  2. WayneH

    WayneH Active Member

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    I haven't used them myself, but a friend of mine has in the past. He has over 40 years of experience, so I take his word on anything related to bees. He said that the problem with the straw is that it retains too much moisture and can actually act like a freezer in the winter time. He says that just a wind-break works best in his experience. Just thin pieces of plywood leaned against the hive works well. Tarps don't breath enough and moisture collects under them and freezes.

    I've been thinking about Tyvek though. It's supposed to be able to allow moisture to escape. I don't know if it would escape fast enough though.

    Wayne
     

  3. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    In the summer time, I believe that the problem is venting off excess heat and moisture. When the bees are working hard they produce a lot of excess heat. Early sunshine gets them up early and working, but I have been told that in many areas afternoon shade and upper ventilation is desirable.
     
  4. WayneH

    WayneH Active Member

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    Yup. Ventillation is extremely important during the hot season.

    I think bees dislike the same things that we (people) dislike. If it's too crowded, they swarm. If it's too damp inside, they leave. If it's too hot, they leave.

    I leave a large gap between the inner cover and top cover when it's warm. Last year, I used a feeder board on top of the hive instead of an actual inner cover. The two holes seemed to give a lot more air circulation.