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Creating a Cork and Cob Hive

The Cob-Cortiço | A Bee-friendly Home

Creating a Cork and Cob Hive
Creating a Cork and Cob Hive

The BeeWisdom network is experimenting with the creation of bee-friendly hives using different materials, here cork and cob, which provide both insulation and thermal mass. We call this hive: the CobCortiço.

In their natural state, bees like to occupy hollow trees. They like cavities with round, organic shapes and rough walls, which they coat with propolis. The thickness of the walls gives them a higher thermal insulation quotient than conventional thin-walled hives. Our cob and cork hive is inspired by these principles to provide bees with a comfortable habitat.

As a heat accumulator, cob absorbs the sun’s heat during the day and releases it at night. This type of material is well suited to regions with hot days and cold nights. Note that the insulating value of cob is low, making it unsuitable for use in cold regions, where the clay can potentially absorb heat from the colony itself, and tire it out.

In the first part of the video we show how to use a “cortiço” (a traditional Portuguese cork hive) as the base for making a well-insulated hive for the bees. In the second part of the video, we collect a swarm and bring it to the new hive.

Thanks to Benjamin Dubost and Sam Rosenthal for the music.

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BeeWisdom | Network of Bee Lovers