When Do I Put On Winter Honey Bee Hive Insulation Wraps?
As the weather starts to turn colder, beekeepers start looking ahead to when they need to put their bee wraps on their hives to keep their bees alive through the winter. New beekeepers often wonder when to wrap hives, because it's a new experience, and they start getting anxious about not getting their bees insulated in enough time for the cold weather.
One of the key elements in understanding when to wrap your bee hives is to understand first that bee wraps, along with other winter beekeeping supplies , are designed to protect your hive during sub-zero temperatures, but should be installed earlier. Most beekeepers in the Midwest, Northern United States and Canada wrap their bees mid-November, if the temperatures are cold enough (meaning, the average daily temperature is at freezing or below). Customers often ask, "We have had two weeks of frigid temperatures and I wrapped my hives, now next week we will have 50 degree days. Did I wrap my bee hives too early?" There is not telling what Mother Nature will do. Weather fluctuations during the early winter months can make it very difficult to determine when to put on the insulation wraps. The main concern is that you get them put on before the extremely cold sub-zero weather sets in.
As the beekeeper, you have to make your best guess as to when the temperatures are right. Bee happy with your decision and just know that you're giving your bees the best chance that you can to get them through the winter!
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