Tag Archives: Heating beehives


I am pleased to announce my totally new redesigned WARMBEES.COM website, which has been redesigned to be an authoritative website for Over-wintering success!  Many of you have provided valuable feedback, and permission to use your comments in support of Warmbees In-Hive Warmers.  I thank you for your support and interest in the success of Warmbees In-Hive Warmers.   The new website format should prove to be very helpful in better understanding the physics and dynamics behind successful winter beekeeping.  Because Warmbees In-Hive Warmers are being so successful, we are seeing more and more smaller colonies surviving long winters into late spring, which has provided opportunities to observe and interact with colonies that otherwise would have died.  One thing that quickly came to light, is that critically small colonies have to contend with other factors beyond just temperature, to survive.  I am very pleased to announce that research and study into these factors, and what constitutes the minimum quantity of bees required to thrive, has lead to the observation and discovery that bees apply additional behaviors to control humidity, when they reside in a space hopelessly too large and dry for their small numbers to maintain high enough humidity, to incubate and hatch eggs.  This single factor is the largest determining condition beyond temperature control, which dictates the minimum quantity of bees needed to thrive in spring! This is a MUST READ!  With Warmbees In-Hive Warmers, many of you have begun to experience the excitement of getting small colonies through the winter months, only to watch the critically small colonies continue to dwindle and fail to thrive in the spring.  I have coined a new name for this condition, which I call “HYPOHUMIDITY SYNDROME in MASS-CRITICAL COLONIES”.  This new information, and many ideas and methods to turn this condition around and get them to thrive, is now on the new Knowledgebase page on Warmbees.com.  I have now successfully recovered many small colonies, and expect that many of you may pioneer other methods that will drastically change this outcome and drive our success rates to nearly perfect numbers.  My smallest success is a softball size colony thus far.  The coldest reported temperature, thus far over several days, for a successful overwinter, is minus -25° F in Kenai Alaska.  I am interested in setting a record.  I expect a standard hive of a 2 deep Langstroth full of bees with 2” foam snugly placed on all sides, top, and bottom, should successfully overwinter with a Warmbees In-Hive Warmer II, with an add-on element board, to minus -60° F.  To the first party that documents a successful overwinter with logs and pictures, to minus -50° or lower, using a Warmbees In-Hive Warmer II with Add-on, I will give them a free Warmbees In-Hive Warmer II with Add-on. I invite you to check out the new Warmbees.com, and further improve your success rates in beekeeping!  I also encourage you to please feedback your stories of both successes and failures, and any other observations that you may make surrounding overwintering, and particularly with Warmbees In-Hive Warmers.  This information is very valuable to this growing community and helps us tweak future designs and information to better withstand the elements, and provide the most robust and reliable products.  The new information available now, will illuminate many of our practices and procedures that can help, or hurt your hives chances for survival.  Don’t wait till spring to dive into the knowledgebase, by then it may be too late to hedge your bets!  The Knowledgebase section on the physics of heat loss from beehives, I believe, is some of the most valuable information that you can use RIGHT NOW, while preparing for the winter months!!!   Many of you have already learned that Warmbees In-Hive Warmers are the most valuable when placed in full strength hives.  Most full strength colonies are not only stronger in the spring, which equates to more honey gathered, but consume as much as 50% of the honey that they otherwise would have required, when they have a Warmbees In-Hive Warmer installed!!!  For those with the new In-Hive Warmer II, be sure and try using the B.A.W.B feature by moving the B.A.W.B jumper to the upper pins 1 and 2.  This keeps the warmer on at a very mild 10 % always, which removes that much burden from the bees to generate winter heat.  This literally will often pay for the In-Hive Warmer at least once in honey savings (just 17lb@$5=1 warmer), in addition to not having to replace a dead-out, while still allowing for near dormant temperatures!  Thanks and best of luck on the coming winter of beekeeping!  Ren (admin@warmbees.com)

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