why do you need to use an inner cover? What is the purpose?
why do commerical beekeepers not use them?
If they dont, why do back yard beekeepers?
Greetings . . .
Bees attach any cover placed over top super.
A "commercial" TC does not have "side" (only a front and back). When this cover is glued down, you just pry it up (from sides) like a super.
Covers that extend down on all sides of super(telescoping) are hard to remove if glued down, because you have no place to insert hive tool. So, covering super first w/ inner cover, allows bees to attact it (which can be pried off like super) and TC just sits on top (until wind blows it off )
Hope this helps!
The inner cover provides ventilation and in turn relieves the moisture from inside the hive. If the moisture isnt vented, the bees may freeze in the winter.
Hope this helps,
Reasons and uses for an inner cover:
With another box on top of the inner cover you can feed through the hole.
You can put sugar on top of it in the winter for feed.
You can put baggie feeders on top of it for feeders.
You can screen both sides of the hole, notch it and use it to put a weak hive on top of a strong one and share some of the atmosphere.
You can screen both sides of the hole and put a vent box "attic" on top of it to make more ventilation
You can stack wet supers on top and the bees will clean them up and move the honey down. You can also uncap honey, put it above the inner cover and they will usually move it down (if there is room).
You can puff a bit of smoke in the hole before you pop the top to keep them a bit calmer.
You get an air space the reduces condensation on the top in the winter.
If you have a notch in the inner cover then you get a top entrnace without having to cut holes in your boxes.
Resons and uses for a Migratory cover:
You can put hives up against each other. You can't do this with the telescopic cover that is usually over the inner cover.
You can reduce the costs of a hive. One Migratory cover is much cheaper then a Telescopic cover and an Inner cover.
The Migratory cover gets glued down by the bees and won't blow off when it's stuck well. While the Inner cover may get glued down, the telescopic often blows off and does not get glued down.
The Migratory cover is easy and cheap to make.
The Migratory cover is less work to remove and replace when you are working a lot of hives. One lid to remove and put somewhere instead of two.
Migratory covers are popular with Migratory beekeepers (hence the name) and beekeepers in the South. They do not seem to be popular with beekeepers in the North.
Only reason for an inner cover not mentioned is dead air space in winter to keep it warmer and cooler in summer.