Insulated National Roof

Insulated roofs are a great way to improve the basic modern hive for the Bees. By insulating the roof you reduce heat escaping and therefore reduce pressure on the bees to warm the colony. Second you reduce the chance of condensation occurring above the bees and dripping on to them, which can be very problematic.

Many forms of insulation can be used here so this is a chance to repurpose those offcuts from the latest building job or the neighbours extension. If you are buying something for the task then can we recommend Sheeps Wool Insulation.

Step 1 – New Batten Height

The first step insulating your roof is to increase the batten height or in other words reduce the roof overlap. In the new roof (left) this is achieved by not placing the battens all the way down the sides against the top piece.

If you are retro-fitting to an old roof then the easiest approach is to add some 35mm 20mm batten above the original battens.

This is probably the most tricky part. You want to make sure you get the finished depth to match your insulation. In this guide I’m fitting 75mm sheep’s wool and have aimed for 65mm depth as it works well with the wood I am using and the depth of the roof sides.

Step 2 – Paint it (optional)

This is an optional step but if you are renovating an old roof or making a new one from anything other than Cedar with its natural protective oils you might want to take a moment to paint it with an Bee-friendly stain.

Step 3 – Fit the insulation

Now you can fit the insulation into the lid.

Step 4 – Cover the insulation

Finally you can cover the insulation. We have found the Calico makes a good material. In medium or heavy weight it has some thickness and strength to it. It can just be staple gunned into place.


Insulated roofs are a great way to help your bees through the winter. Don’t be surprised if they start interacting with your Calico pretty quickly. This roof had only been in place a few days.

Don’t forget if you are going to be using feeders you’ll now definitely need an Eke or unused Super.

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