Just when I thought I’ve heard it all, Aram Frangulyan of Auburn, Washington reported that bumble bees set up housekeeping in the moisture quilts of two of his honey bee hives. He first discovered the bumble bees in late March. Aram’s hives are either double deeps or single deeps with a medium. On top of […] Read more
Every now and again someone wants to know what happens when my moisture quilts become saturated. One beekeeper wrote, “I can’t believe you keep a soggy pillow over top your bees.” The short answer is simple. I don’t. Here’s the issue: if your moisture quilts are soggy, they are not made correctly. Moisture quilts are […] Read more
This week I want to share some more variations of the moisture quilt that were sent in by readers. Each of them has been customized for local conditions or unique problems. Today’s rendition was sent to me by Herb Lester in Tennessee. Herb starts by making a candy board with a hole in the center. […] Read more
Of all the changes I made to my hives over the years, nothing has helped more than the moisture quilts. I’ve used quilts for five years now, and on average, I went from overwintering 50-60 percent of my hives, to overwintering 80-100 percent. Many people have criticized my design. Most of those who criticized said […] Read more
I just read this comment on Twitter. It’s such a charming image: all those little bees with their own individual quilts pulled up under their chins. So warm, so cozy. Thanks to @distracteddan for warm humor on a cold day.
Well . . . not exactly. But mention moisture quilts to a beekeeper and his creativity takes flight. Although our “quilt show” wouldn’t feature bright cotton fabrics meticulously cut and sewn, I’m sure it would be equally inspiring. The post I wrote last year about making moisture quilts for a Langstroth hive garnered more comments […] Read more
In spite of all the winter alterations I’ve made to my Langstroth hives, I’ve never done anything to my top-bar hive. Previously, when the temperature dipped into the 20s for more than a day or two, I’ve moved it into the garden shed, a space I keep in the 40s so things don’t freeze. I […] Read more