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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tip of the Thumb, Michigan
    Posts
    676

    Default Inner Cover hole orientation.

    At the last bee club meeting, I entered a converations with a gentleman about equipment, and he casually mentioned that he'd always thought that the inner cover hole was oriented the wrong way, and I agree.

    But, WHY is the hole oriented the way that it is?

    The size is dicated by, apparently, Porter bee escapes, which aren't really used in my area. (And my experience has shown that they're not really necessary, but that's another thread.)

    A search of the posts on this forum has made mention that the hole allows a puff of smoke down into the hive before opening. But, a "cross-ways" cut hole would allow for this also, AND allow more smoke to fill between more frames.

    Colony cooling was also mentioned in postings, however, with the conventional positioning of the hole, only the space between two frames would benefit, rather than 4 to 5 slots, which would be ventilated by a cross-ways cut inner cover hole.

    So, Why ISN'T the inner cover hole cut sideways? instead of the way that it is? Any answers?

    DS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Madisonville KY
    Posts
    95

    Default

    This is a shot in the dark from a new beek. I bet that in the past before plywood, most were made with boards tightly fitted. By cutting the hole this way you only had to take 1/2 the width out of two boards. Leaving the boards a bit stronger.

    Like I say I am new and may be all wet. Just a viewpoint from a long time woodworker and a starting beek

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tip of the Thumb, Michigan
    Posts
    676

    Default

    Very true, and quite probable!

    But, with today's modern materials, like Melomine and other pressboards that inner covers seem to be made with, the orientation of the hole shouldn't matter. Rather, orientation of the hole SHOULD be with performance in mind, and not necessarily with construction in mind.

    Likewise, higher "performance" will be with the hold orientated "east/west" instead of the traditional "north/south".

    Unless someone KNOWS why the hole should be cut in a certain direction?

    DS

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Autagua Alabama
    Posts
    29

    Default Inner cover hole orientation

    Some of the folks around here do not even use an inner cover. I have two hives without the traditional cover that I bought that way from a retiring keeper; the top cover has hardware cloth sandwiched between an innercover rim and the top cover with tiny holes drillled into the sides of the top cover. Yes they have glued the screen up some but it still ventilates.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,208

    Default

    >The size is dicated by, apparently, Porter bee escapes, which aren't really used in my area. (And my experience has shown that they're not really necessary, but that's another thread.)

    In my experience it's not in use at all anymore. People buy one and try it occasionally and after a disastrous failure they give up on them.

    >A search of the posts on this forum has made mention that the hole allows a puff of smoke down into the hive before opening. But, a "cross-ways" cut hole would allow for this also, AND allow more smoke to fill between more frames.

    But a round one the size of a quart jar allows you to feed them.

    >So, Why ISN'T the inner cover hole cut sideways? instead of the way that it is? Any answers?

    Because that's the way it was always done. Any I make I put TWO holes the size of a quart jar lid and cover with #8 hardware cloth so I can feed without having to put a veil on.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/JarFeeder.jpg
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Posts
    342

    Default

    That old design is outdated.

    Ventilation in the hives is improved dramatically by cutting a large hole in the inner cover and covering with hardware cloth. We only leave enough border to glue and staple the hardware cloth to. This treatment allows you to open hives and check them without smoke and it virtually eliminates condensation in winter (even with a layer of insulation loosly over it in winter up here in Wisconsin) and there will be little bearding in summer.
    You don't need the hole to feed if you use Mountaincamps over the frames feeding technique.

    Mabe
    Buy locally, buy only humanely raised animals, eat in season, keep bees!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA, USA
    Posts
    520

    Default Elaborate, please

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabe View Post
    Ventilation in the hives is improved dramatically by cutting a large hole in the inner cover and covering with hardware cloth. We only leave enough border to glue and staple the hardware cloth to. This treatment allows you to open hives and check them without smoke and it virtually eliminates condensation in winter (even with a layer of insulation loosly over it in winter up here in Wisconsin) and there will be little bearding in summer.
    You don't need the hole to feed if you use Mountaincamps over the frames feeding technique.
    Mabe
    Mabe,
    After you put the hardware cloth on (window screen?) do you rely on just the cut out at the front edge of the inner cover to provide the air flow or is there something else that you do. I would like to try this on at least one hive and compare my hives in the dog days of Summer. And how is it that this allows you to open your hives without smoke.
    Thanks,
    Ken

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Posts
    342

    Default

    Hi Ken,

    All of our telescoping covers have beads of hot glue in each corner and halfway down each side that allow about 1/8" space between inner cover and top. We also notch the inner cover over the hive for a top entrance and a tiny notch in the attic for bee escape/vent.

    I never use smoke when just taking off the telescoping cover because I have a full view of the top frames through the hardware cloth "window" in the inner cover. If I need to remove the inner cover I might use smoke if the bees reacted to the outer cover being removed.

    ...oh, and we found that #8 hardware cloth works best. Fiberglass window screen got propolized immediately and aluminum screen doesn't give the viewing ease of hardware cloth + it melts if you have to burn off wax or propolis.

    Hope this is helpful.

    Mabe
    Buy locally, buy only humanely raised animals, eat in season, keep bees!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Presque Isle Co. MI
    Posts
    66

    Default Inner cover

    This is one of those questions as a new beek I had. Last year was my first. I had planned on only starting with one hive. But that was not to be! I picked up on a hive some beehaver abandoned two seasons prior. (Long story different post) The hive was honey bound and extremely propolis when I picked it up. But the inner cover was chewed by the bees as if they wanted it larger, maybe 1/3 bigger. (I would post a pic if I knew how to post it.) I have thought about making all of my inner covers larger, but have not done so yet.

    Sprig
    God willing & the creeks donít rise, Iíll be there.
    S&C

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Catawba, Wisconsin
    Posts
    291

    Default what are mountaincamps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabe View Post
    That old design is outdated.

    Ventilation in the hives is improved dramatically by cutting a large hole in the inner cover and covering with hardware cloth. We only leave enough border to glue and staple the hardware cloth to. This treatment allows you to open hives and check them without smoke and it virtually eliminates condensation in winter (even with a layer of insulation loosly over it in winter up here in Wisconsin) and there will be little bearding in summer.
    You don't need the hole to feed if you use Mountaincamps over the frames feeding technique.

    Mabe
    What are mountaincamps please? Eddie

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kirkland, WA, USA
    Posts
    1,020

    Default

    Mountaincamp's. His method of putting dry sugar on newspaper over the top bars to help control moisture and give the bees winter feed.
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Catawba, Wisconsin
    Posts
    291

    Default

    Thanks xc0000005
    I learn something new every time i'm in this forum.
    How do the bees do on dry sugar during long cold Wisconsin winters?

    Eddie

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tip of the Thumb, Michigan
    Posts
    676

    Default

    Speaking from a Michigan point of view, the bees winter on dry sugar VERY well!

    Moisture that'd otherwise condense on the inner cover and rain down on top of the bees is absorbed by the single layer of newsprint and the dry granulated white sugar.

    Moisture that condenses and runs down the sidewalls is used to digest the sugar, which has hardened into a solid block, and is used as "emergency stores" if the bees should run out of stored honey. This sort of security was previously found in candy boards, which are time consuming and VERY messy to make. Pouring white granulated sugar on top of newspaper is fast, clean and easy!

    Come springtime, the hardened block of uneaten sugar is recycled into a light 1:1 ratio sugar syrup. So, no waste!

    It's a win, win, win situation! (Thank you, Mountaincamp!)

    DS

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,137

    Default

    BigDaddy, right on! ^5 So far, my hives that I put on the MountainCamp method of Dry Sugaring are doing wonderfully well!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Catawba, Wisconsin
    Posts
    291

    Default

    How much dry sugar and how much of the frames do you cover? MountainCamp sounds like a good method.Thanks for the info.

    Eddie

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bigeddie View Post
    How much dry sugar and how much of the frames do you cover? MountainCamp sounds like a good method.Thanks for the info.

    Eddie
    My recommendation, look up MountainCamp on the members list and read his posts. He is one of the few that I take stock in and read religiously.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Posts
    342

    Default Another benefit to windows

    Just found another reason these large hole inner covers are great. I was able to pour granulated sugar through the hardware cloth to refill feed the other day without removing the inner cover. Bees remained calm on the top of the frames. That was great considering that the temps were single digit and had bees flown up, they would have frozen their motors in the frigid air.

    Yes, thanks Mountaincamp!

    Mabe
    Buy locally, buy only humanely raised animals, eat in season, keep bees!

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