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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,213

    Default Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    Two years ago I bought some home made telescopic lids from a guy who had a metal shop make up the galvanized outer parts. He had some spare galvanized parts and I bought about 10 of them. Before winter is over I'd like to complete them. I plan to rabbet the wood frame together, and have some thin board to put against the galvanized. Then use sheet metal screws to hold the galvanized to the frame.
    Am I missing anything? Is there anything the experienced beeks do when making their telescopic covers to make them better or last longer? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lyndhurst, va
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    Last summer, I noticed that when the temperature was in the 90's that the insides of my telescoping covers were HOT. Bees were bearding. This winter, I made a bunch of telescoping covers where I put styrofoam type insulation inside of my telescoping covers. I made some with the insulation between 2 thin plywood boards. Others, I used a thicker plywood and put the insulation between the metal and plywood. I am hoping that this will keep the inside wood from being so hot. I would think that this would help to keep the hive warmer in the winter, also.

    I had some aluminum that I was able to cut a little larger than the normal size to extend down farther because of the insulation.

    I plan on starting to use these in the spring. So, right now, I lack the experience of how they will actually work. I feel positive.

    Good luck.
    Mary

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,732

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    We make our own box jointed telescoping roofs, ussually reusing the Galvanized sheet (from the 30's). I am setting up to make 80 now. We plane our own 3/8 thick wood for below the galvanized. Can you read a Autocad .dwg or .dxf file? I could send you the print.

    Roland

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    In my old age I appreciate the lighter ones.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Dorset, Vermont
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    Quote Originally Posted by spieker View Post
    Last summer, I noticed that when the temperature was in the 90's that the insides of my telescoping covers were HOT. Bees were bearding. This winter, I made a bunch of telescoping covers where I put styrofoam type insulation inside of my telescoping covers. I made some with the insulation between 2 thin plywood boards. Others, I used a thicker plywood and put the insulation between the metal and plywood. I am hoping that this will keep the inside wood from being so hot. I would think that this would help to keep the hive warmer in the winter, also.
    I think you're on the right track.

    For the wood side pieces, I use 3/8" pine or plywood. For the ends, I use 3/4" pine. My joints are simple butt joints, with two screws for each joint - and glue. I make the depth of the sides 3" to accommodate a piece of 1/4" or 3/8" plywood under the sheet metal. (You do NOT want to leave the metal exposed or else you get condensation in winter and too much heat in the summer.)

    I use 1" blue styrofoam board under the plywood inner piece and then a piece of plastic coated cardboard (political lawn sign material) under that because my bees like to chew the styrofoam - this stops the chewing and adds a little extra dead air space for insulation.

    I can't decide if painting the sheet metal is necessary. I have my sheet metal guy just cut out a 30 degree slot at each corner and then fold over. No need for the elaborate folding you get on the corners of the "commercial" tops. I attach the top with small wood screws at each end on the sides. I like a tight fit on the long sides and an extra 1/4" to allow for a top entrance out of the inner cover.

    Since the wood is pretty well protected already, I just finish and protect with a 2:1 linseed oil:turpentine mix. Paint if you like.
    Last edited by JRH; 01-28-2011 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Typo.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    TORONTO,ON. CANADA
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    Just finished 50 of them, using 3/4" exterior plywood. First I made a frame of 2" strips using tite bond and brad nails, than glued and nailed plywood top to the frame, additionaly securing it with four wood screws. Primed with oil primer, sanded, than painted with latex exterior paint. Before fitting a metal cover applied bead of silicone in zig zag pattern all over the plywood top. Secured metal to plywood with galvanized 1/2" wide T- 50 staples. Nice and heavy, these guys won't fly in the wind for sure.
    ==Northumberland County Beekeeper, Trent Hills, Ontario==

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    Marbis. If you are making anymore let me know. I'm ordering a bunch of the pre-made metal tops from beemaid. They are about $5 each, then I just use scraps for the wood parts.
    Something I never thought about before but another beek brought to my attention was; you may not be thinking about it now, but if you ever decided to take a bunch of bees out east for pollination heavy lids actually add a fair bit to the trucking cost. Of course, if you never do the heavier the better.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    TORONTO,ON. CANADA
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    Beemaid tops are ~1/2" shallow, and I wanted to have 1" of metal covering sides, to protect 3/4" of exposed plies, so I went with PVC coated aluminum.
    They look great and are heavy. No plans for polination services, intend to be stationary honey producer.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 01-29-2011 at 03:58 AM. Reason: UNQ
    ==Northumberland County Beekeeper, Trent Hills, Ontario==

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Nacogdoches,TX,USA
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    i make mine using 3/4 plywood and ripped 1x4 in half get 10 to sheet of plywood use 20" x 10 ft alumnium just glue and staple ripped 1x to plywood

    dave

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    908

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    I still have some Telescopic covers in the shed but have not used anything else but Migratory for say 20 years. Here, in the Subtropics nobody seems to use anything else. Even does of us who never shift bees. The Migratory do give better ventilation and I can't recall one ever blow off.
    Can sombody remind me what the advantage of the Telescopic covers is?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,732

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    If the bees read the right books, they do not propolize down the innercover and telescoping roof, because the light does not go around the corner enough. The junction of the migratory roof and super is open to the light , and they will propolize it more. If you lift up the front of a telescoping roof, and set the front endge on the front edge of the innercover, you can open th etop of the hive for ventilation with out letting rain in. The migratory roof also seem to warp more, because they do not have the vertical depth for support.

    Besides, they are more traditional.

    ROland
    Linden Apiary, Est. 1852

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    908

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    " they do not propolize down the innercover and telescoping roof"
    ...and may not propolize the AJ Beetle traps as much? Worth a try! I still have a bunch of them in storage. In our warm climate ventilation is quite an issue.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    The advantage of a t-top is they don't leak water in from the sides. I lost too many colonies from migratory tops and switched everything over to telescoping. Haven't lost one due to leaking since.

    I skip the tin and use epoxy fiberglass resin instead. You just roll it on with a foam roller. More durable, and doesn't get condensation build-up between the tin and the plywood. Plus, I don't cut my hands to shreds in the process. (note: don't use that polyester super-stinky resin. It'll take months to gas-out and probably kill a lot of bees in the process. Who knows though, might be a tracheal mite treatment )

    I made a top-bar cover that way too. Used 3/4" pine sides 1/4" ply on top and reinforced with glass cloth. 4-feet long, 20" wide and less than 10lbs.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    TORONTO,ON. CANADA
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    Quote Originally Posted by iwombat View Post
    I skip the tin and use epoxy fiberglass resin instead. You just roll it on with a foam roller. More durable, and doesn't get condensation build-up between the tin and the plywood.
    iwombat I like the idea of epoxy coating, could you please explain in details how you do that, and what products you use. Thanks
    ==Northumberland County Beekeeper, Trent Hills, Ontario==

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,416

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    I Second that.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 02-04-2011 at 03:41 AM. Reason: UNQ
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,670

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    I have used "West System" epoxies for various boat repairs and that would work well. I would be tempted to use a lightweight chopped-mat to hold a little more resin but it may not be necessary. "System Three" is another brand of resin.

    Polyester resin would be fine if painted over. I would also seal inside joints with glue to prevent the "fiberglass" resin smell from getting through.

    Epoxy is more expensive.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lexington, KY, USA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    I have made several telescoping covers.
    Two things that I always do: 1. No matter what corner joints I use, or if I use insulation, I always kerf the bottom edges. I do this as the last step on the table saw by raising the blade about a 1/4" and run a cut in the middle of the bottom edge, then I assemble. It breaks the water running down the outside to wick to the inside.
    2. I use 26 gauge galvanized sheet metal from the local sheet metal shop (a jar of honey for payment....) I notch the corners for an overlap and then bend three sides down between some lumber. Put the metal on the top of the cover and hold in place with large clamps while I beat the corners around to the sides. Clamp some more and solder the seams with a heavy soldering iron. Last I bend the last side down by beating with a rubber mallet, clamp some more and solder. No fasteners needed, no pentrations, no leaks. The only hard thing might be the investment in a heavy soldering iron. Take care and have fun

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    I make mine out of plywood,1/2-3/4,whatever I have that day.I use scrap pieces of 1 by boards to make the rim and just air nail them through the plywood and glue.Then I glue an old poltical sign on top,the plastic corragated kind,and they keep things cool because of the air space in the corrugated.I also paint them with reflective aluminum roof paint that showed up at work one day(lord knows where it came from,I must have 10 gallons).It goes on like water but covers in one coat.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    Like mentioned before, just use the west system (West Marine) and spread it on with a foam roller, or chip brush. If there's gaps anywhere you can peanut-butter it up. (Epoxy mixed with cabosil to a peanut-butter consistancy).

    (BeeCurious chopped mat is for poly resin, you skip that step and go straight to cloth with epoxy)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,670

    Default Re: Making a telescopic cover - tips please

    Quote Originally Posted by iwombat View Post
    Like mentioned before, just use the west system (West Marine) and spread it on with a foam roller, or chip brush. If there's gaps anywhere you can peanut-butter it up. (Epoxy mixed with cabosil to a peanut-butter consistancy).

    West Marine is one of the most expensive places to buy resins...


    Below are links and sample prices for a pint of 206 Slow hardener:

    http://www.defender.com/ $16.99

    http://www.boatfix.com/ $13.58

    http://www.westmarine.com $19.99

    LBI is an excellent source for fabrics, tools (air rollers), resins, and possibly advice...

    I would round off the top edges / corners so that any fabric will lay down nicely (or nicer). Fabric could be stapled in place (stainless) and then apply your resin.

    If you buy CAB-O-SIL (fumed silica) be careful of the amount you order, it's very,very,very, light in weight.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

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