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  1. #1

    Default Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    What's the difference, why would I prefer one over the other? What's the pros and cons. The two hives I have now have regular top covers. Trying to figure out what to do with my new hives.
    Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
    Thomas A. Edison

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    3,779

    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    Migratory covers let you push the hives up right against each other making it easier to keep the hives warm or to strap them together for transport, etc. They're easier (less expensive) to make and, with a little weight on top, are just as secure in windy weather.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeNnc View Post
    What's the difference, why would I prefer one over the other? What's the pros and cons...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenseye View Post
    Migratory covers let you push the hives up right against each other...or...strap them together for transport...They're (less expensive)... [easier] to make and, with a little weight on top, are just as secure in windy weather.
    What Ravenseye said is true, but also with the inner cover needed under a TTC, you may give Small Hive Beetles, or other insect pest the upper hand. With a MTC less room for Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Beetle to hang out and do their thing, something to think about in North Carolina and Alabama too. I doubt the climate in North Carolina dictates that you must have the dead air space above the hive many beeks further north desire or need. The $20 or so bucks saved per hive on the cost of lids will buy a goodly amount of sugar for new comb or the frames and glue for 20+ wooden frames.

    If you want to make sure your lids don’t come off, fifteen foot ratchet straps are I think about 2 bucks each at Harbor Freight. I doubt they would let your hive come apart in any thing less than a toronado. These straps may also deter a bear attack, (or force it to destroy your boxes to get at the larva).
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Quapaw OK USA
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    262

    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    What they said is true but I wouldlike to add a bit to it.I use feeders that fit down insidethe hive in place of a fram.By using the migatory covers I don't need to ;ift the top completely off.I just need to remember what side they ore on.I just slide the migatore cover back to uncover the top of the hive BIT

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Ennis, TX USA
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    5,124

    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapfe View Post
    What Ravenseye said is true, but also with the inner cover needed under a TTC, you may give Small Hive Beetles, or other insect pest the upper hand. With a MTC less room for Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Beetle to hang out and do their thing,
    That is the main reason I am building/buying MTC this winter. Going straight MTC and no inner cover.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    North Bend, WA
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    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    Biggest problem around here is rain. Migratory tops pretty much always leak water in around the sides. Especially, with a good wind-rain combination. I use all telescoping tops for that reason.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    As many opinions as there are beekeepers....and now I'll add mine. Telescoping covers cause rain water to run off, away from the sides of the hive. Ultimately, less water gets into the hive. I have plenty of small hive beetles and have discovered that they will always find somewhere to hide. For hives I'm transporting migratory covers, for hives that are stationary...telescoping covers.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Billerica, MA
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    298

    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    Something I've wondered about tops; if you're using a telescoping top, and don't want to auger holes into your boxes, how does one go about providing an upper entrance?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
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    3,543

    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    Notch in the innercover
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  10. #10

    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    Or a shim with a notch cut out.
    Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
    Thomas A. Edison

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
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    2,139

    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    I have both covers. I use the migratory covers for transport. I use the telescoping covers for my northern, on location hives that I don't move. I have found that I have way less moisture problems with my winter set-up with telescoping covers vs migratory.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2009
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    Malabar, FL
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    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    I use telescoping covers here in FL, I don't find them any more accomodating to SHB, I like the rain run-off factor and I can place patties on the hives and the side are still covered not open to the elements. (I dont use inner covers here)
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Shallowater, Texas, USA
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    355

    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    I started with the "standard" hive setup, TTC, inner cover and solid bottom boards. I then switched five of my ten hives to screened bottom boards. Of the three hives that were dead outs, they all had solid bottom boards...interesting. I also began to see SHB scurrying about under the TTC on some of the hives.

    This spring I'm switching to all MTC and screened bottom boards. Some have posted experiencing water problems using MTC. What about bending a small piece of aluminum flashing over the non cleat edge to prevent rainwater from dripping in? It would still allow boxes to be stacked up close to one another.
    "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"...well that horse ain't got nothing on a bee.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, GA, USA
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    35

    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    Why is an inner cover necessary with a TTC?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,650

    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    stripstrike -

    On my non-migratory covers, I used my drill press with a 1-1/2" forstner bit, turned the lid upside down and drilled a half moon down out of the front 3/4" board all the way down into the 3/4" plywood top about 1/2". This will give the bees room to crawl up and over the inner cover lip and get out. You have to have a hole in your inner cover as well.
    Regards, Barry

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,650

    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    DavidBee -

    Have you ever tried taking the inner cover off? It's always glued down real good, at least around here. How do you think you would get an outer cover off if the bees glued it down? No gap to pry in.
    Regards, Barry

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: Top Cover vs Migratory Cover

    Davidbee,

    The inner cover serves several functions. With the center cut hole, and a porter bee escape, you can use it to remove bees from the extracting supers...they'll generally leave overnight, then not return.
    There are some other uses to, but Barry nailed the important one. Bees will nail it down with propolis. And that keeps the outer telescoping cover from getting glued down. Just lift off the outer cover, smoke the hole in the inner, then pry it up while smoking gently.
    Granted, some people swear by them... probably others swear at them.
    Regards,
    Steven

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