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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Maricopa, AZ
    Posts
    62

    Default Metal tops to hive covers, hotter or cooler?

    Living in Arizona I was trying to determine a good way to keep the hives cooler in the summer months when the daytime temp can easily be 115 in the shade. In the sun it can be much worse. I started at the top by looking at the hive cover. I thought about covering my hive tops with metal but then I wasn't sure if that would make it worse or better? On the one hand it reflects the sun, on the other it's so hot to touch it would burn your hand.

    I was planning on screen bottoms, to assist with ventilation. Placing the hives so they are in shade for the hot afternoon hours and adding ventilation at the top via holes or a screen.

    Is there any concensus as to what would be best to cover hives with in the South Western US?

    Thanks for the bee colony mentality for group wisdom here! All ideas are considered and most seem to be tried.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,992

    Default Re: Metal tops to hive covers, hotter or cooler?

    They use metal in Honduras. That is a bit south of you and hotter.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Whitehall Texas
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Metal tops to hive covers, hotter or cooler?

    You could always place a sheet of styrofoam underneath the metal.. The metal would protect it and it would then insulate the top from both heat and cold.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Ar. USA
    Posts
    302

    Default Re: Metal tops to hive covers, hotter or cooler?

    Styrofoam is a yes!

    For a good place to get thin aluminum to cover your hive cover, call your local newspaper. Most presses use aluminum sheets. You will have to clean a thin layer of grease off the back side, and excess ink off of the print side. (mainly to keep it off your hands) They use these sheets one time, stack them up and send them to scrap yard. What a waste!
    To clean them off, I found that the cheap carburator cleaner that Auto Zone sells for $1.99 per can will clean 10 sheets on both sides. Will clean off both grease and ink. Use that old cotton T-shirt in your rag bag. Paper towels don't work!!! Oh, My paper sells them to me for $1 each.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Metal tops to hive covers, hotter or cooler?

    I use the polystyrene beemax telescoping covers that Betterbee makes for woodenhives (they are also make a version for their own beemax hives) it is basically high impact styrofoam. paints easily and holds up well... just dont put your hot smaoker on top of it... you'll add additional large ventilation holes! they work well both in summer and winter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Default Re: Metal tops to hive covers, hotter or cooler?

    I understand the BeeMax hives as well as tops are great ventilators. Cool in the summer, warm in the winter. This come from the local bee inspector in this area. I, however, have so many old fashioned wooden boxes, I don't see myself converting in the near future. The one thing I would do with metal tops is paint the metal white. It deflects even better than just having aluminum in the sun. Too, I think you should try slatted racks. We certainly don't get as hot here as where you are, but we can get into the hundreds in a really bad summer. I noticed that as soon as I put the slatted racks on, the girls stopped bearding and went back inside! Too, I raise up my outer cover a bit from the inner cover by placing screws in the corners of the inner cover, and now screwing them completely in, leaving about 1/4" sticking up. More ventilation and not a big space for robbers to get in.

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