Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Bee Cosy be used on hives other than National and Commercial ones?

The Bee Cosy is designed to fit over a hive roof that is 50cms (20 inches) square. The hive entrance is also assumed to be at least 28cms (11 inches) beneath the roof line.

It is designed for National, Commercial and Rose hive designs but not Dartington and WBC hives which are just too large. The Bee Cosy will fit on Langstroth, Dadant and Smith designs although as these are not square then the Bee Cosy will not sit perfectly square on these. For these types of hives, you should also check that your hive entrance is at least 28cms (11 inches) beneath the roof line.

How do you know the insulation impact of the Bee Cosy?

We have tested the insulation impact of the Bee Cosy on a hive in two ways. Firstly by testing it in a stable environment using a constant source of heat and moisture. Then by using the Bee Cosy on one hive and comparing the results with an identical hive and similar sized colony. We have used sensors located just above the crown board to compare results. These tests show that the Bee Cosy adds 2 to 4C (4 to 8F)  to internal hive temperatures.

Why do you provide a Bee Cosy in green and blue but not other colours?

The honeybee sees colours differently to humans - They see four principal colours. Blue and green are two colours they can see well.

  • White is seen as blue-green

  • Yellow, orange and green as yellow

  • Blue, violet and purple as blue

  • Ultraviolet shows as white

  • The colour red is seen as black

Do the bees struggle to find their hive after the Bee Cosy is fitted?

We have had no instances of bees struggling to recognise their hive after a Bee Cosy has been fitted. 

Is it OK to leave other insulation in the hive as well as using the Bee Cosy?

With the Bee Cosy in place you may not need additional insulation like carpet, quilt or other forms of insulation under your hive roof. If these are left in place, make sure they do not inhibit ventilation within the hive.

How do you know that the Bee Cosy does not create condensation problems?

We have used sensors to measure the impact of the Bee Cosy on relative humidity levels within the hive and therefore the possibility of increased condensation levels. Whilst any solution that reduces ventilation will raise relative humidity levels, our tests have shown that the impact of raising the internal temperature, combined with reducing the variability in temperature levels results in warmer air within the hive that is able to hold high levels of water vapour. By raising the temperature of the hive roof itself the risk of cold condensation surfaces in the hive is also avoided.

What if I leave a Queen Excluder on over winter?

Ideally, you should remove a queen excluder, particularly if it is a metal one, as it just creates another block of material that loses heat within the hive. If you do keep one on then the depth of the queen excluder will be about 1 cm (0.5 inch), so the Bee Cosy will just end a little shorter on the face of the hive.

How do I keep my Bee Cosy clean?

Your Bee Cosy should only be wiped clean with a damp cloth and left to dry at room temperature. Any other treatment will damage or compress the fibres and damage the outer waterproof layer and seams.

How do you weigh your bee hives?

I use a set of in-place scales that allows me to regularly weigh my hives on a set of digital scales.

Does it matter if I leave it on all year long?

When you use the Bee Cosy really depends on your location / apiary and your hive management plan. Leaving on the Bee Cosy in times of hot weather is likely to cause your colonies to "beard" more easily on the outside of the hive and may encourage swarming. We will be testing the impact of the Bee Cosy outside Winter periods in Spring 2013.

I have a gabled roof - Do you plan to produce a Bee Cosy for this type of roof?

The structure of a gabled roof will require a different arrangement. Please let us know the size of Bee Cosy you would be interested in and we will put a gabled roof Bee Cosy in our plans.