hi there. this is my first winter beekeeping in central oregon. i have been researching hive insulation, but would like to know specifically what kind of winterizing folks have been doing here to prepare for winter. i have some pretty small hives and didn't harvest any honey this year. i am a bit worried about how they will fare in the cold here in central oregon. thanks!
gia I live in Bend. I wrap my hives with tar paper. 15lb felt, one layer. I over lap it about 6" on the back side, just wrapping it around the hive, not over or under. I staple it on the back side two or three times, and a few additional times as necessary to keep the tar paper fairly close to the hive body sides. I leave a vent hole in the top, or upper front to line up with the vent hole in the hive, or upper cover, and don't block the lower entrance either. I do restrict the entrance to about 2" wide by 1/2" high. And, if you use a screened bottom board, (I do) I slip a piece of plywood under the hive to block the screened area for the winter. If you don't have tar paper and don't want to buy a whole roll, email me through the Central Oregon Beekeeper's web site "email a beekeeper". I don't answer them directly, but they know who I am and I will gladly give you some tar paper. Of course, I assume you have a langstroth hive not a warre or top bar. Come to one of our meetings. cobeekeeping.org/index.html#Contact