This is an idea I am going to try this winter. Because my hive is up on a stand with an open top, and I’m using a screen bottom board with the solid panel pulled out, I have the opportunity to add a little bit of heat to the hive during times of extreme cold this winter.
The hive stand allows me to create a skirt around the bottom and fill the cavity halfway up with wood shavings (for insulation). Then, inside that cavity, on top of the wood shavings, I’ve set a heating pad rolled up loosely inside a galvanized tin pipe.
Of course, I’ll only turn it on at night, only during the coldest nights, and just on low. My hope is that if we have a very cold winter, this little bit of additional heat will allow the cluster to move around and get to all the honey they’ve stored in the hive.