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Wintering TBH with / without insulation in Revelstoke BC



I have a first season Bee Thinking TBH.

I’m experienced with insulating Langstroth hives with Bee Cozy’s, and supplementing low production seasons with pollen patties.

What should I do to winterize / protect my TBH from our winters. I’m tempted to wrap in rigid insulation to protect from the elements. How many top bars should they have full of honey on average to winter. I know the general rule of thumb with Langs is 10 frames of honey. We’ve had a low production year, and I’m already offering pollen patties to supplement the 4-5 available frames in each hive.


Howdy, Ron!

Great questions, it’s about that time of year many in North America are preparing for winter. Thankfully, successfully overwintering a Top Bar Beehive can be easily done, with just basic tools!

  1. There is a cavity space between the top bars and your roof. This attic is perfect for stuffing with hay/straw, old wool blankets, pine needles + leaves, to create your own thermal block to help retain rising heat.
  2. If your beehive is in a stand, hay bales situated around the bottom will prevent wind from wicking away heat.
  3. You can move your beehive. Some move them near a brightly painted wall of a barn or home, where deflected UV light shining back to the beehive can help. You can also lower the body off the stand, and situate on the ground if wind gusts are a concern!
  4. Be sure to leave at least one of the vents open, to allow for a little circulation, to allow humid air to escape the beehive.
  5. Weight is important in scaling how much honey needs to be left. For instance, if you need 40 pounds in your region, you can divide that by the weight of each bar of ripened honey. Many top-bars can weigh upwards of 6-7 pounds (so that would mean 8 bars, less if your bars weigh more).

I hope this tricks help in your decision to winterize your beehive. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to assist!

Bee Thinking Team