The Bee Cozy winter hive wraps are made with recycled high density materials layered with R8 insulate protection to reduce heat loss from your bee hives, giving your honey bees a better chance of surviving the cold winter weather. The easy to slip on and slip off process saves you valuable time getting ready for winter, and the wraps can simply be pulled over various hive styles and configurations.
It is advisable that you wait to put your Bee Cozy winter bee hive wraps on until after Halloween, around the first or second week of November. You need to let your bees realize that it is cold, so that they will move into a cluster around the queen and shut her brood rearing down. By wrapping your hives too early, you will be encouraging your bees to raise a lot of young, which in turn will eat up a big portion of their winter honey stores once they hatch. Bee Cozy hive wraps stay on your bee hives until around the middle of April.
In the last few years winter hive losses have surpassed the 50% range in many North American regions. The Bee Cozy winter bee hive wraps have been used successfully during the long North American winters for over 25 years.
By preparing your bees for winter, the colony is more likely to have a productive season and consume less feed during the winter months. A properly managed overwintered colony can peak at the beginning of the main honey flow and is capable of maximum production. For this reason, overwintered colonies are preferred. In some areas, a maximum crop from an overwintered colony is 250 pounds. In comparison, a package colony purchased in May could produce only 80 to 100 pounds. For honey production, a strong overwintered colony is crucial!
During winter, honey bees cluster together around the queen in the middle of the hive. Hive temperature drops to around 81 degrees F (27 degrees C) on the inside of the cluster to conserve energy. The temperature on the outer rim of the cluster is around 48 degrees F (9 degrees C). Throughout the cold season bees rotate from the center of the cluster to the outer edge of the cluster, so that all the bees can keep warm enough to survive. During times when the hive needs to be kept warmer than the outside ambient temperatures, certain bees are given the duty of regulating the hive temperature. In order to support the "heater bees" at their job, other bees bring their food to them. They need energy to fuel their constant, vigorous use of their wing muscles, or "vibrating", to generate heat. This is called thermogenesis. Once the queen starts laying again in the spring, the remaining winter bees must ensure the temperature of the brood rearing zone is back up to about 93 degrees F (34 degrees C).
Wrapping provides the insulating layer bees need to reduce the overall rate of heat loss from the hive while also supplying a wind break for breezy locations.
- These wraps give your honey bees just the right amount of insulation to help get them through the winter.
- The plastic and fiberglass wraps are easy to work with in cold weather.
- Wrapping and unwrapping is very fast, easily done by a single person.
- The wraps are light and not awkward to work with or store. Shipping can also be cheaper than some other wraps due to the Bee Cozy being compact and lightweight.
- No unwrapping is required to check the hives.
- Unwrapping can be done in stages to maximize benefit to developing hives in the spring.
- Equal to or less expensive than other winter protection on the market.
- Wraps have a 5+ year average life expectancy.
From all of us here at Lappe's Bee Supply and Honey Farm LLC,