As we’re getting our bees ready for winter, one of the crucial thing to look out for is moisture inside the hive, particularly under the cover. As the warm air from the cluster moves up and meets the cold air above, it condenses and cold water drips back onto the bees, making it nearly impossible to keep themselves warm. Additionally, brood is chilled and moisture creates the perfect environment for mold, fungus and other deadly organisms.
Warré hives have been built with moisture quilts all along, and lately, Langstroth users are jumping on the moisture quilt wagon. Rusty Burlew, writer of the blog “Honey Bee Suite”, has a play-by-play post on how she builds her quilts, while “The Bee Space” blog shows their plans for building a Warré moisture quilt. Both blogs have great info on construction and materials used. Absorbent material for the quilt ranges from cedar shavings (think hamster dwelling), straw to newspaper. Read about the different materials online and choose which you like best.
A few quick trips to hardware/fabric stores and you’re ready to build quilts for your hives!
Everybody, even the bees, need an extra layer this time of the year!