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Thread: Tops for TBH

  1. #1
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    I have been shopping for sheet metal with which to cover my TBH's. Cheapest sheet metal I can find is around $20 per 8 foot sheet, two covers.

    Found some two-foot aluminum roll flashing metal today for $1.29 per foot, $5 to cover a hive. Made a telescoping top with one ten-foot 1x4 and a piece of plywood. Very nice drop-over cover. It will rest on two integral runners to keep it an inch off the top bars, at the same time holding the top bars down until they are propolized properly.

    This covers the Hardison design. Will work on the Crowder top tomorrow.
    Ox

  2. #2
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    I designed my covers as peeked roofs which telescope over the ends, but at the sides there is a little more than a beespace's worth of air space for ventilation. I really need to take some pictures, but I have to get film to do that. So far the design works great. On our hottest days (before I installed the packages), we had some high 80's low 90's weather. In the early afternoon when the hives would be hottest from sun exposure, the insides of the hives remained as cool as the open shade outside.

    Since i have installed the bees, even on the hottest days so far (also about same as above), I haven't seen the bees fanning the hive, except when the hive has been inspected and the sun has been warming the top bars. The hive pretty quickly cools off and they settle down. I have taken to inspecting before 10:30am or after 6:00pm, when the sun isn't so strong. I am more comfortable and so are the bees. Both they and I seem much less aggitated when working with them at these hours.

    ------------------
    Scot Mc Pherson
    "Linux is a Journey, not a Guided Tour" ~ Me
    "Do or not do, there is no try" ~ Master Yoda
    BeeSourceFAQ: http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/beewiki/

  3. #3
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    Mar 2004
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    If you know anyone that has put a metal roof on a building in the recent past and they are anything like me they saved the sheets that were used to protect the roofing during transit. I am using that on the hive I just built. It's off white and was free so it good for me. No numbers or anything yet, no bees yet either.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I just took an old warped piece of 3/4" plywood and cut it close to the right size and through some concrete blocks on it. It's not even painted.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
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    Smile

    I used the 2 foot valley material for one of my hives, but it wasn't wide enough to cover the other two, so i just improved the Michael Bush method by putting a coat of paint on the plywood. I have been trying to find some scrap stuff, especially some of that corrugated fiberglass they sometimes use for skylights in pole barns, but so far no luck. The place where I get my scrap pallets may still come throughj though!

    cheap (and free) is better!

    One thing I found out is make the covers a little big. one of mine is a little tight and it tended to puull up a top bar with it. I made the legs of my last hive so that the cover actually rests on the legs, keeping it about an inch off the top bars, thinking this might be better for ventilation.

  6. #6
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    Actually I should say, one of the things I liked about the plywood is it was warped so there was a crown in the middle that left an air space.

  7. #7
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    I am with you guys on the air space and on the free material. Problem with free is that I cannot run onto any NOW when I need it. I'm still keeping my eyes open in case I want to build more.

    Amen on the crowned tops. I am going to have this telecope top for the Hardison hive rest on two runners to keep it above the bars.

    My plan for the Crowder hive is to have the top rest crowned and resting on the end pieces, which I left high.

    I am working on a design for a garden hive, only about two feet long total, with a gabled roof made of OSB and covered with the alumninum flashing.
    Ox

  8. #8
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    Jan 2004
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    London, UK
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    I got a 1.83cm long piece of corrugated PVC

    The hives are 122cm long so there is some over hang at the top and the bottom (and at the sidest as well, but that sits snugly when strapped down.

    Questions: is this a good thing and will offer addional rain protections, or will is also function as a sail, causing my hive to try and take off when the autumn storms arrive?

    Oh, its see through as well (the metal is just too heavy for me to handle) and so, I'm not sure how this will work out in terms of heat, and if I should do something about it.

    thanks,

    Cinnamon

  9. #9
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    Oct 2001
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    I don't think clear PVC is the best material. It will have a green house effect and the tops of the top bars will be both exposed to the heating of the direct sunlight as well as the ambient heat trapped under the green house roof. So its like a double whammy of heat IMO. The corragated tin works because although the tin itself gets hot it prevents the sun from directly hitting the top bars.

    I like to use wood because its an insulator AND because it has zero transparancy. Best of both worlds, and if you provide some ventilated attic space wihtout bee communication, then I think you have a winner.

    ------------------
    Scot Mc Pherson
    "Linux is a Journey, not a Guided Tour" ~ Me
    "Do or not do, there is no try" ~ Master Yoda
    BeeSourceFAQ: http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/beewiki/

  10. #10
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    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Salem, NY
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    my tbh cover is a piece of plywood cut to fit the top of my hive with a piece of currogated pvc to overlap the back and sides about two inches and the front about a foot. this sheilds my landing board, and thus also my entrance holes, from bad weather. i have also installed eye-hook latches into pre-drilled holes in the thickness of the plywood and the side of the hive to keep the cover from blowing off. This allows for the insulating powers of wood, plus the airspaces between the wood and the currogations of the pvc, and then the weatherproof capabilities of the pvc. the pvc is nailed onto the plywood, and then the nail holes were caulked, and then the whole thing given two coats of spraypaint. maybe not the cheapest way to go, but i think it will definitely outlast many of the other covers described here. also, the top won't get so hot because it is plastic, not metal, and there is an airspace under it to allow it to cool by convection. i am thinking of drilling some holes in the plywood (no the pvc of course) and then some small notches in the top-bars at the back of the hive to allow for ventilated air to move in through the entrance holes (bottom front) and out the back top-bars if overheating becomes a problem. whaddaya think? or just another entrance hole at the top back of the hive maybe??

    justgojumpit

  11. #11
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    May 2002
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    Danbury,Ct. USA
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    I don't know how many hives you have. If more than a few you might consider going to a siding/roofing store and picking up a roll of aluminum "coil". it come's in a good width and I think 50 ft.long. Open it carefully and you will have a source for many covers. It comes painted both sides.

    Dickm


  12. #12
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    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
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    justgojumpit,
    I wouldn't provide communication between the attic and the hive. If the draft ends up going the wrong way due to evena slight breeze, you are going to be in for some hot bee hives. Bees only need one proper entrance for proper ventilation. It is why in nature they try to select cavities with only one entrance within a certain size range.
    The best thing I think you can do is provide this proper single entrance size, and provide good insulation between the cover, and the top bars. If the hive stays cool at high noon on a hot day when empty, you have a winner of a design.
    I will post pictures as soon as I get some film for my camera, I just haven't done that yet.

  13. #13
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    >It is why in nature they try to select cavities with only one entrance within a certain size range.

    I've seldom taken a hive out of a tree that didn't have at least one other opening. Sometimes several others. But they seem to do fine with one small opening.

  14. #14
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    Jan 2004
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    London, UK
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    Thanks Scott,

    luckily there are no bees in that hive yet.

    Could I maybe paint the roof from the back (say) black or maybe even white, then black?

    Weight is a factor I have to consider. I can pull the current roof off with my left easily, so if not for the heat trouble, it would be ideal.

    Hmm. So, if I understand this correctly, you also have a plastic roof like me, but put a thin bit of ply underneath? What did you use to create the ventillation airspace?

    Or perhaps, the plastic roof for the ventillation and an old PVC table cloth above it to block the light? or maybe some cardboard :-?

    Any advice/idea is most welcome, and I hope to have some pics at the weekend -- and some bees in the hive

    Cinnamon

  15. #15
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    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Salem, NY
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    cinnamon, the airspace between the plywood and the pvc is due to the currogations in the pvc. here is a diagram: pvc on top, plywood on the bottom, space in-between is open for air: (the currogated pvc is nailed to the plywood at the low curves and then the nails are caulked over and the whole top is painted.

    /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
    -------------------


    [This message has been edited by justgojumpit (edited April 26, 2004).]

    [This message has been edited by justgojumpit (edited April 26, 2004).]

    [This message has been edited by justgojumpit (edited April 26, 2004).]

  16. #16
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    Feb 2004
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    Boonsboro, MD, USA
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    I built telescopic covers, with a peaked roof. I shingled it with cedar shingles. Total cost for two roofs, $5.86 for the cedar shakes. Buy them as underlayment shims, they are the rejects from cedar shake shingles but there are enough good ones to get two roofs, and a few extras. It looks really cool and is light.

  17. #17
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    Oct 2001
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    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
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    Cinn,
    No I don't have any plastic on my hives, nor any corrugation at all. I build a peaked roof similarly to regular telescoping covers, but they telescope only over the ends. Along the sides, the roof is suspended above the hive a little more than a beespace to allow aircurrents into and out of the attic. The roof is just 1/4 plywood that I painted White. Don't use black, black absorbs light and converts it to heat. White reflects light and therefore converts little (the least) of it to heat. Shiny metal reflects light too, but it stores heat very well, so its not as good a solution. White Paint on wood I think is the best for a cover.

    I'll take those pictures today and hopefully have them posted by the end of the week.

  18. #18
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    Jan 2004
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    Porter, Ok USA
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    I got my bees installed in the Hardison hive today. Put the aluminum flashing on the telescoping cover and put it on as soon as the bees were settled. Peeked a couple hours later and they were all clustered up front around the queen.

    The aluminum fits over the cover loosely, screwed down along the bottom of the sides. There is some air space between the aluminum and the plywood cover, then more between the cover and the top bars. Should not be hot.

    Nice thing about the aluminum is that you can score it with a sharp knife and break it like sheet rock. You can also fold the corners neatly. Requires only a light hammer, a couple of 2 x 4's and a sharp knife.

    I have to make some stands pretty quickly. This TBH is sitting on an old upturned watering trough.
    Ox

  19. #19
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    Jan 2004
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    London, UK
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    Heyas:

    @ Scot: Your roof would bee too heavy for me. I'm thinking that maybe I can deflect the heat with some white cardboard below the plastic? (nice pics btw!)

    Luckily the club apiary is in a mini forest and its not too hot yet here, so, I probably have a week or two to come up with a solution.

    I've seen some corrugated black cardboard (umm, its used for roofs, just looks like paper, but it isn't). thats light enough, just don't know if it gets too hot with it being black. Then again, I guess I can paint the outside white.

    My topbars are quite thick, they are made from 38x38mm sawn timber which is planed down to 35mm on one side. Good thing about that is that they double up as honey bars So, that should also insulate a little bit.

    I make some pics of what I have on Saturday and post them.

    Cinnamon

  20. #20
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    Oct 2001
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    The cover is not heavy. Its 1/4 plywood and very light. You want to avoid using the plastic at all. Anything that gathers the heat is bad.

    You could create a peaked roof like mine, but one where you can remove the sides, and then all you are left iwht is the skeleton to pick up. Just a couple of hooks in the right spot.

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