i have a friend in scotland who told me that when he was a lad, he and his dad used to wrap their beehives to protect them from the harsh winters. here in illinois our weather is so erratic to wrap them can cause other problems when we have the odd warm day during the winter. when wrapped, the hives can heat up enough to start melting the wax foundations and also, the bees will eat more of their winter stores. after the below zero temps and ice of last week, we are expecting a couple of days in the 50's now! so i have came up with another idea, one to keep the rain and snow off the hives, but yet still allow some air flow circulating around the hives to help with any moisture in them. i imagine it will be best just to lift the front of the plastic sheeting off the front of the hives, on these warm days, and tuck it up over the top so the bees don't get confused. of course, this will all probably have to be modified (bricked down harder) when the weather turns nasty and windy again.