As I was getting ready for the cold winter months in New England, my thoughts and concerns were for my bees. One of my colonies is still in am 8 frame langstroth hive and it certainly is not insulated enough for the cold. There are more opinions on insulating bee hives than there are types of native bees. I was talking about his very thing with Jesse, my partner, and explaining how I wish I was able to supply the bees with a log hive, but as they were settled in their home and I did not want to disturb them. I do not move a colony from its home as their environment becomes a part of their beeing. Jesse, in his practical-thinking way, asks “can’t you just use 4x4s?”
Yes. I can just use 4x4s. Brilliant. I can get the untreated ones and place them around the hive body to provide 4 inches of insulation on each side! Yes. I like this idea!
I let Jesse know he is brilliant and we head off to Home Depot to buy some wood and straps. As I want to disturb the bees as little as possible, hammering or screwing into the wood is not acceptable to me, so we decide to hold the wood together with strapping.
Jesse gets to work cutting the wood and I begin to stack the sides to make sure this is going to work.
I become more and more excited as I see it being created because it is a way to provide for the bees without a major disruption. The final result may not be beautiful to the eyes, but it is beautiful to the heart.
As I sit in the grass looking at insulated HeartSong hive, I find myself thinking about the role the insulation fills. It definitely helps to keep the heat in for the bees, but is there anything else it does? Sure, it will help to block out sounds as well as electrical waves and smells. The more I think about it, I realize that the insulation allows the bees to sense themselves better. I am providing a way for the bees to be within themselves in a more healthy way. As the seeds seek the insulation of the Earth and humans seek the insulation of our homes in the winter, the bees seek the insulation of trees. Bees in trees just makes sense. For the bees I have that are in a thin box, this is the best I can supply them at this point.