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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,494

    Default Re: whats the need for an inner cover

    It has been a long time since I used telescoping and inner covers. But, aren't there two sides to an inner cover? One side deeper than the other?

    My understanding on why Inner Covers are used and how they are used are for a small number of reasons.
    1. It makes getting the cover off easier since the bees will usually only glue down the Inner Cover around the edges. Usually.
    2. To maintain bee space between the top bars and the lid, when the shallow side is down.
    3. to provide more room above the top bars when the deep side is down, so, during the winter, the cluster can have more than bee space above the top bars.

    As far as Small Hive Beetle are concerned, I don't know what kind of cover would have much effect on them other than maybe an opaque/see thru cover. SHBs don't like light.

    Many of my migratory covers have a feeder hole in them. I use a piece of canvas as a sort of inner cover. That's where I often observe SHB. Under the canvas when I rip it off quickly. I don't know if that promotes their existnce or not. I don't have much of a problem w/ them when my bees are in NY. Usually only seeing them while my bees are in SC. But not much of a problem there either.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,620

    Default Re: whats the need for an inner cover

    Like sqkcrk said, also the inner cover has a oblong hole in the middle of it that was for a bee escape, to use when taking honey off. The inner cover has been around since the langs came out (before shb and other pest) they serve a purpose for those who like them, but i get along better without them. Jack

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    888

    Default Re: whats the need for an inner cover

    I use Inner Covers with Migratory lids. If I'm not using IC and there is a good flow on I find the bees build comb into the lid.
    I do find SHB under the IC and I squash them on the cover. My IC are pieces of 3-play wood. Lino works well too.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: whats the need for an inner cover

    I use inner covers because, well, I always have. I guess I am getting old and set in my ways, besides I have had to change so many things about beeking since I began I wanted to keep something familiar around, for heaven's sake!
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,127

    Default Re: whats the need for an inner cover

    If you didn't have inner covers, where would the cockroaches and pisants live? Gotta make room for everyone.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Naselle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: whats the need for an inner cover

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    If you didn't have inner covers, where would the cockroaches and pisants live? Gotta make room for everyone.
    " Snug Bugs". Winter must have been a wee bit too long in Vermont this year. Make room, my Varroa are on their way UPS overnite! All I can get to live under my inner covers is slugs & frogs out here on the west coast. MP, those were some fantastic fall queens!

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: whats the need for an inner cover

    If you use migratory lids without inner covers, drill a cork-sized hole in the side of the hive body as high up as you can without burying it under the lid rib, and not where you attach cleat handles if you use them. The holes replace the inner cover's ventilation function, and are plugable in bad weather. You can also tape screen on the outside for transportation.

    I run several boxes high in the spring and need the ventilation, so I have wine cork holes AND inner covers with telescoping covers. Incidentally, smaller tapered corks work better than wine corks if the proper-sized holes are drilled. I'm using 11/16" holes and corks that snug up about half way now.

    On my double and triple nucs, there are quite a few holes in the sides, but the cork expense isn't that great - they're less than a quarter, and a wine cork makes two of them if you know how to cut and shape them. I make individual inner covers for each chamber, and keep a burlap sack handy, too.

    I sell comb honey, and have a health-conscious market that DOES ask if I use chemicals. So, triangle bee escapes are my favorite option, along with a blower and a brush, for clearing the last few bees out of the shallow supers. It would be a mess without inner covers.

    I'm experimenting with the oval hole going 90 degrees from the conventional front-to-back, venting more frames across the cluster.

    Yes, building inner covers is extra work, but I build castles for my bees. I want them to love their home, so I make a production run of inner covers along with all my other parts, and I don't think twice about it. If its right for the bees, its ok with me.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 03-10-2011 at 10:18 PM.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    888

    Default Re: whats the need for an inner cover

    kilocharlie - would you mind to post a photo of your inner covers? They seem a little more elaborate then my 3-play!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: whats the need for an inner cover

    My regular inner covers for 10-frame Langstroths are same as Dadant's. I cut a single bee passage in the top front edge.

    The ones I make for double nucs are same length, half as wide, with the hole in the middle as for a 5-frame nuc, but they don't need, nor do they fit triangle escapes. There is a notch (half a slot) along the bottom of one long side for the 1/4 inch lauan or plywood divider that separates the standard Langstroth deep into two 5-frame chambers.

    The triple 3-frame mating nuc arrangement of my standard Lang's use inner covers the same length but 1/3 as wide. They are NOT notched for one bee escape - they need to be locked into the mating nuc at times - so I cut a few hacksaw slots for ventilation. Both edges are notched on the bottom long sides for 1/4" divider boards, even though only the middle one needs it on both sides.

    There is no design change to either of these (double or triple) except the width, and a cut-out along the bottom side(s) for the divider boards. Nothing complicated.

    The experimental one is a standard inner cover, but the hole is oriented 90 degrees - "sideways" instead of "longways". We will see if the bees like them better, worse, or indifferent this year.

    I'll have to assemble all of them for a photo session. I'm moving this month (awful timing), so it might be a while.

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