What's the best way to wrap with tar paper?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by robertjao, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. robertjao

    robertjao New Member

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    Hi
    I live in NE Ohio and I'm considering wrapping my hives with tar paper. I've seen pro and con posts here. If I do decide to wrap, I want to make sure I do it properly, so I don't end up with an ice box. Would appreciate any tips from Beeks who have used it successfully. Thanks in advance!
    robertjao
     
  2. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I'm in NW PA, so we're practically neighbors! Makes me wonder why your post info says, "California," though. :confused:

    The purpose of tar paper is primarily as a wind block. It provides zero insulation. Maybe a little warming if the sun shines on it, I guess. I just wrap it around mine, with the tar paper cut shorter on one side so the entrance is exposed. Staple to hold in place. I put a staple over the entrance if the paper gaps and bees might walk up inside, but it's probably not necessary. Not rocket science! Keep the main entrance uncovered, keep the upper ventilation holes uncovered, and you are good to go.

    The only thing is to not cover too early, and not remove too late, or they may get too toasty in there on sunny days. It's kind of a judgement call, depending on weather.
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I can't help you with this one since I have never wrapped hives in tar paper, I'm not far enough north for that.
     
  4. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Don't forget that once you staple the paper on, you can't move or separate the boxes for inspection or manipulation anymore for the winter. ;) best to wait until it's too cold to open the hives anyway.
     
  5. Kate

    Kate New Member

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    Hi, I'm planning on wrapping with tar paper as well, its getting cold up here in the Cariboo Region of BC, but the days are still nice. Thanks for the tip on not wrapping too soon... or keeping it on too late... I'm hoping to get some hay bales as well, to use as a wind break. I have only three hives, so it shouldn't take too long to wrap.

    What about the girls that might still be out foraging? Won't they have difficulty recognizing the hive?

    Should I worry that stapling will disturb the girls? Would tape be a better option?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If you were to move the hive a few feet, the returning foragers would return to the exact spot the entrance was at, so, no, the difference in appearance will not confuse them. They know where their entrance is.

    Stapling should not bother them, but I would suggest wearing your protective apparel anyway. They are a bit more defensive in the fall.
     
  7. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I have not had any trouble (that I know of) of the bees not being able to find their way home.

    As for the stapling, sometimes they do get a little buzzy when the stapler goes "thunk," but they get over it. It doesn't take a lot of staples - 3-4 per corner depending on how large the hive is. You will get a feel for it very quickly. Protective gear is a good idea if there is any question.

    They are irritated more by the loose tar paper flapping and falling in front of the entrance as you are trying to wrestle it into position first. (This is another reason to do this on a cold day with no forager traffic coming and going) What I do is make vertical folds in the tar paper first, using a spare hive body or super as a guide. It may not be perfect, but it will be close enough. Then you carry the pre-shaped sheet to the hive, wrap it over the front, and secure the closure somewhere toward the back of the hive. This will hold it up while you secure the rest of the way around.

    If you have room, you can store your (now very nicely pre-formed) tar paper and use it several seasons, provided you go into winter with the same number of boxes!

    I would not trust tape, as some loses its stickiness in the cold. You do not want the tar paper to come loose, slip down and block the entrance.
     
  8. Kate

    Kate New Member

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    Great advice, thank you...