We unearthed the bees a couple of weekends ago. Well, unwrapped them actually. I learned winter in northern Wisconsin and it stuck. Ive always wrapped in winter here in Ohio. Some years not needed at all. Some years wish Id added another layer.
The first shot shows where I started this weekend, or where I ended last fall. You can see the large pallet lying on the ground behind the colony. Thats an additional wind block on the north side of the wrapped hives. I use them every year because every hive has some sort of wind screen. The black boxes on the hives came from Mann Lake. They are those very heavy, corrugated, water proofed, collapsible boxes that are about 2 deeps tall, and as wide as a 10 frame box.
My bees go into winter in 4 or 5, 8 frame mediums. Taller than 2 10 frame deeps by almost half. So what I do is wrap the top boxes in that plastic-on-one-side-and-insulation-on-the-other-wrap I get from B & B Honey. It comes in rolls, or individual sheets big enough to wrap a 10 frame box and deep enough for two deeps. I wrap this on the top of my stack fastened with a staple gun. Then I slide one of the boxes over the top and bring it all the way to the bottom.
Image courtesy of beeculture.com