Re: ventilated inner cover questions
I made a few of these and use them on EVERY colony that doesn't have a screened bottom board. They're also great for combining colonies if it's hot... it'll help keep the top colony cool until the newspaper is removed. I accidentally left one of these boxes on a open screened bottom board colony ALL this winter and it was the strongest in the yard come spring... truly it's difficult to overventilate. More typically in the winter I'll put shredded paper in the Tarheit box (as I call them, after Tim's BeeSource handle some years back). The paper absorbs moisture while reducing wind and providing some insulation, but allowing gradual air exchange. During the summer it's wide open. I'll find the occasional bee patrolling up there, but if you respect bee space top bars to the bottom surface of the Tarheit box, I've never yet had any comb building in the box itself (even if I do baggie or jar feeders up there).
They're a great management tool and I love them. But as I switched to screened bottom boards, I use the Tarheit boxes only on old-style solid bottom board colonies and love them there (the bees seem to agree).
Bees, brews and fun
in Lyons, CO