Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fox Blocks As Hive Insulation

For the last few years I've been searching for a convenient, yet effective way to winterize my hives in the cold Minnesota environment I live in. Hay bales were effective but tended to attract vermin, and presented me with a problem after winter: I could not find enough people who wanted to utilized these bales after their winter use. We tried pink insulation foam last season but they were not insulating enough it seems. This year we will try insulating the hives with Fox Blocks, insulating concrete forms. This insulation should be as effective as hay bales, yet reusable and easily stored.

Monta designed and built these structures using her skills as a sculptor. Pink insulation foam was used to close off and fill in the gaps.

We will see how this works.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Getting Metpropolis Ready for Fall/Winter

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon moving bars of honey around in the top bar hive, Metpropolis. The hive surprised me. I'd been thinking that, while watching from the outside the last few days, it was rather weak. This was not the case. It is thriving with much capped honey, a healthy looking queen, and a solid population. I cannot say the same with the other top bar hive, Plan Bee... . I looks like it was weakened and robbed in some way. It is essentially dead! This was a surprise as well because in August it looked like the strongest hive I had. I fed sugar syrup and pollen patties to the other hives. They seem to be doing well just like Metpropolis.