Native Bee Hive Styrofoam Covers
We have been getting lots of inquiries about Styrofoam native bee hive covers, especially in cooler regions south of the border down to Sydney and Woolongong.
I don't personally use them, but I have setup a trial with 2 of my "smart super" hives, one with the cover, one without.
Both hives are populated with Hockingsi bees, and are fitted with internal temp and humidity Bluetooth sensors..located in the honey super in the sensor compartment for easy access.
Both hives were the base section of respective split hives, on the same day in April 2022.
We have had mornings in Ipswich at 4-5 degrees so far this winter
the hive with the styro cover hasn't dropped below 20 degrees internally and 80% humidity..and sits at 26 degrees daytime temp and 90 - 95% humidity.
The one without the cover has dropped below 12 degrees and 60% humidity..and daytime temps at 28 degrees..and 90 - 92% humidity.
Both hives are in direct sun all day, with no roof.. a wall thickness of 45mm Cypress and a tropical lid.
Im not surprised that the covered hive is active when ambient temps hit 17 degrees.. the Styrofoam cover also helps trap in some humidity (they are tropical bees so love the humidity high)
And has almost 3/4 filled the new top box and the brood is only 20mm from the view panel. Because the cover is keeping it warmer overnight they are very much more productive.
yet the hive not covered they are inside until 11-12 when the internal temp hits optimal temperature..and have only layed 20mm or so high into the new second level.
I read somewhere a few years ago Rob Haabe in Ipswich swears by Styrofoam covers and keeps them on year round, and I wanted to do this trial so I could collect some data for myself..although not entirely necessary for me to use them here..increased productivity has me now pondering actually fitting covers on all my hives..
I'll have styro native bee hive covers on the website soon in the accessories section.
Standard oath dimensions
200 X 280 X 310h
mini oath dimensions
200 X 200 X 310h
(But can fit anywhere up to 230 X 230 X 310h)
all seams glued and inside seams filled so they are waterproof.
primed & 3 coats of dulux weather shield in vivid white for extra protection