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Home > International > Beekeeping techniques > The warm partitions

The warm partitions

It’s in February 2007 at the ANERCEA d’Armeau event that mister Marc Guillemain presented for the first time his “high performance partitions”. We did our first tests the next year, however it’s only in 2010 that we started using this technique on 50 hives and on 300 colonies in 2011. Since 2012, almost all our hives, Maxi+ and divisible hives are equipped with at least one reflective partition.

Principle and use:

-* The insulating material (aluminium paper) reflects the ray produced by the bees on the cluster. Consequently, it restricts the honey consumption and above all, it limits the risk of cooling down during spring.

Depending of the colonies’ strength, the warm partitions are located differently:
-* For the weakest colonies: the partitions are placed at the bottom of the cluster of bees (honey frame outside),
-* For the strongest colonies: they are placed on the frames of the sides.
In order to let enough space to the colonies, we remove the partitions once the colza blossoms.

The results:

They are spectacular, especially:
-* in cold regions, for example in Ukraine where this technique is used a lot,
-* on micro-colonies or on the weakest ones.


  • We first made the same “high performance partitions” that Marc Guillemain created,
    • extruded polystyrene at the center,
    • reflective insulating material (4 layers) on the outside
  • Afterward, we replaced the polystyrene with an isorel slab,
  • Finally, we removed the slab to keep only the insulating material. This is what we call a “warm partition”. We are less exposed to cold temperature than the apiculturists located in the continental area. This is an advantage for us because those lighter partitions are faster produced.

Standard precautions:

The only precaution is to keep away the partitions from the mice (in the hives or in the building storage). In fact, they often use the reflective partitions for their nests.