Origionally seen in some British style hives, then a magazine, and also on this web site. I saw tops that were made to look like a house roof. I found a neighbor around the corner who is a cabinet maker, he's going to build me some for my hives.
We've agreed on a design that will be about 5 inches high on center, with about 1 1/2 inches overhang of the eaves all the way around. I found some neat little 2 inch dia. louvered vents to put on either end, and I may make some little homemade shingles for them. I know I don't have to do this, but what the heck! Who ever said you can't have a little fun with this stuff! When I finish, I'll have to take some pics and post them.
There is a local bee supply company that sells what they call a garden hive; it is an 8-frame hive with a nice copper roof. I have wondered what effect this would have on the bees and honey production. However, I have priced copper and making such a roof appears to be out of the question for now. I have considered cedar shingles but thought that it might get too hot.
I would be interested in seeing your new hives.
Well, I've finished the tops and have some pics, just need to scan them and I'll email them to you. You're right about the copper, it's scary how much it is! I just went ahead and left the tops the way they were, but put 5 coats of good outdoor 'WeatherAll' paint on. With the pitch of the roof and the paint, the water runs off very well(we've had rain for the last 3 days). With normal care, I'm sure they'll last a long time, and look good too! Thanks for the interest, Tom.
I just started beekeeping this spring, so bear with me.
I am in a class offered by the Cincinnati Parks Department. I started with 4 hives. A bit more then my schedule can handle at this time. I am just working through this year hoping next spring will run smoother. Anyway with only 4 hives I did decide to do the copper roofs. I did a gable roof with a 5/12 pitch with 1" eves and 3/4" rakes. This allowed the maximum use of the 2'X10' 16oz copper sheet. The copper was purchased at a sheet metal dealer that wholesales and retails to roofers and duct work contractors. I paid $31 for the sheet, which is the counter price, I work with a few contractors that may have been able to get me a better price but I will save that for the big jobs. It was difficult to find copper nails (most of what I got are copper coated steel nails). I finally found some in an older hardware store. They had an old box with 3 differant styles of nails. I bought 300 @ .03 ea (left 7 in the box for the next guy). I used a alumium break to from the copper and a small pair a duck bill pliers to finish the corners. I made 5 tops in all in case I messed one up.
I insulated the the attic space with 1.5" closed cell insulation. The type used behind brick in CMU type construction. The insulation is covered with Luan board or paneling. I didn't like the roof without a ridge-cap so I added them after the fact. In 2 months they have weathered to a nice patina. The cost added by the copper is about $8. Next time I think I will have each side of the roof separate and use the ridge-cap to join them.
I did add a vent type system to the gable end. I added 2 more escape hatches 3/8"x3/4" to the inner cover and drilled 3 corresponding holes in the gable end with a roto zip tool. In the winter the inner cover can be flipped and the vents will be closed. I have a photo pre ridge cap and vents but can't seem to get them loaded.
Sorry to be so long winded....