I remember reading a brief comment about "canvas and/or oil cloth" inner covers. I think they may have been use years ago. Does anyone remember? Just curious.
I use it on some of my hives just like my grand father did. I do not think it has to be "canvas and/or oil cloth" I use old bed sheets or any type of cotton like cloth. The only thing I make sure I have a 1/4 open space for ventilation. Here is a picture of a cloth between supper and bucket.
Now I'm curious. What exactly do you mean by the 1/4" space? Is there something that holds the cloth up off of the top bars?If not, then what purpose does the cloth serve? Is there a 1/4 opening in the cloth to smoke the bees through? Is it so you can open the hive up without suddenly removing the cover and startling the bees? Is it so you can smoke them a little before opening all the way up? Do you use it like a "manipulation cloth"? I have a canvas manipulation cloth that has an open slot so you can just expose a few frames at a time so the bees don't get too excited. I don't use it much, but on a really "hot" hive it can help. Thanks for sharing the picture.
Kirk Webster, an innovative but very practical Vermont beekeeper wrote a series of articles in the Bee Journal. He preferred to use the woven plastic grain sacks for inner covers. They allowed some ventilation and were easy to remove.
I have not tried them as I use migratory covers but the idea seems like a good one and they are readily available at any feed store.
How do you use the grain sacks for inner covers? I have hundreds of them and would love to save some money on inner covers. Do you fold them up or just cut them to fit, or do you overlay? Thanks
Hello Phillip and Everyone,
The series of articles in the Bee Journal by Kirk Webster begin in the February 1997 edition on pg. 111. He talks about the grain bags on pg. 113.
"One of my favorite pieces of equipment is the woven plastic grain bags I use for inner covers on all the nucs. I started using them because they were free, but now I have to buy them, and I'd hate to go without. They allow you to open the box without any cracking or jarring, keep the outer covers on during high winds, and can provide good ventilation if the outer covers are propped up during the heat of late summer."
He lives in Middlebury, Vermont and could be contacted there.
Thanks for the info! I still get the plastic "burlap" sacks from alfalfa cubes for my horses, although all the other feed comes in paper sacks now. I REALLY miss the burlap. I used to buy 100 pound bags of feed, instead of 50 pound bags, just to get the burlap bags for my smoker. Now I have to BUY the burlap. What a concept BUYING burlap!? I still haven't found anything better for smoking bees.
By the 1/4" space I mean not cover all of the frames complitly. Lay the cloth on top bars and have some open space between the cloth and one side of the box
Very interesting comments about 'Cloth Inner Covers' are being posted. Thanks! BUT,
I am not sure I understand how to make one for myself. Is a piece of cloth (14-3/4 x 18-3/8) simply laid on top of the top bars? Do they have a wooden frame?
If there is no inner cover 'frame', and the top cover sits on the super, where is the top entrance?
Are they used to increase ventilation? Why not use screen or hardware cloth?
Please keep the comment coming!!!
The concept of inner coverdon't appeal to me because it will get glued up when you change the bee space.
I used to use that method when useing 2 queen mateing boxes.
inner cover always invites the ants and spiders.
happy beekeeping Don