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Thread: Outer covers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    bridgewater , nova scotia
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    Default Outer covers

    How many of you use a simple piece of plywood for an outer cover? I was trying to figure out how to keep things simple without harming the bees . I have several telescoping covers and they seem to hold the moisture in and the others that are just a simple flat cover with 2 end pieces seem to have nothing trapped inside.
    I am trying to eliminate wooden inner covers as well, I have started to use a polyethylene material cover, just something to keep the bees from gluing the top cover down. I have a large roll of the material and it was free , so trying it is cheap for me : )

    I have seen some commercial operations using just a piece of plywood sitting on top of a hive and the hives were just fine throughout the year. I'm sure in the winter months I would have to insulate the top etc .. But I just wanted to get some of the ideas you all have on what works for you.

    Thanks

    Ben
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,051

    Default Re: Outer covers

    i have always only used migratory covers or scrap pieces of plywood. If you can find a concrete contractor. Ask him if you can haul off the form board. It is MDO or HDO, a heavy exterior plywood that commercial covers and pallets are made of.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
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    1,936

    Default Re: Outer covers

    Ben... I use a simple top made from Advantec, which is an advanced form of waffer board that will not warp or seperate. It has a 72mm hole (Mason Jar top), drilled in it for feeding in Spring. After feeding, I simply place a solid jar cap in the hole and leave it all Summer and Fall. When Winter arrives, I remove the jar cap and place a piece of screen wire over the hole for ventilation, then place a normal telescoping cover for the rest of the Winter.

    If I get a few warm days in January or February, I can remove the telescoping cover, remove the screen wire over the jar hole, and feed a quart or more of sugar syrup and never break the seal on the hive. When the warm days are gone, just place the screen wire over the hole again, then put the telescoping cover back on, and wait for the next warm days.

    Not sure what you mean by using a polyethylene material to keep the bees from gluing the top down. Actually, you want them to glue the top down to seal the hive.

    Yes, get rid of inner covers as such. They are a great place for small hive beetles to congregate and make the bees chase them.

    Here is a photo of the Advantec tops in the feeding mode. As soon as feeding is over, I place the solid jar cap in the hole and leave it all Summer and Fall, and well into the Winter. Then add the screen wire over the feed hole and put a telescoping cover on for Winter.

    Thru top feeders.jpg


    cchoganjr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Outer covers

    Advantec is a brand name of MDO. It comes in 7/8 and 9/8 thickness and more if you have deep pockets.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,238

    Default Re: Outer covers

    I am using FBIC's (feed bag inner covers) on my nucs with 2 inch Foamular 250 on the top weighted with rocks.
    http://s1110.photobucket.com/user/Ad...ml?sort=6&o=33
    http://s1110.photobucket.com/user/Ad...ml?sort=6&o=87
    http://s1110.photobucket.com/user/Ad...ml?sort=6&o=31

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
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    Default Re: Outer covers

    That will work.

    cchoganjr

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,563

    Default Re: Outer covers

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericasBeekeeper View Post
    Advantec is a brand name of MDO.
    Hmmm, not quite. MDO - medium density overlay- is plywood with a resin type overlay on the surface.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium_..._overlay_panel


    Advantech is essentially OSB - oriented strand board - manufactured with a higher percentage of resin and wax than standard OSB.
    http://www.advantechperforms.com/tec...tion/faqs.aspx
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: Outer covers

    >How many of you use a simple piece of plywood for an outer cover?

    Basically.

    http://bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    776

    Default Re: Outer covers

    Does the rain get into the hives with the setup you use ? I have about 10 outer cover that are just a piece of plywood cut with a 1 inch overhang to keep rain from running in , i know it's not rain proof , I just thought it would work without having the moisture stay inside the hive.
    I insulate the tops when winter comes anyways , so I will be trying this on some hive to see how things go , I really don't want to drill holes in the boxes for upper entrances and I wanted to eliminate the wooden inner covers as well. I did use feed bags over winter and they worked VERY well !
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
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    Default Re: Outer covers

    The other reason for using the material inner cover is because i can open the hive up a little at a time , it seems to bother the bees less when it's windy out. I have seen some people using a cotton material cover soaked with Beeswax, I think it was on Gaiabees.com .
    As most everyone knows weather is never cooperative with beekeeping.

    Ben
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: Outer covers

    >Does the rain get into the hives with the setup you use ?

    Not any more than any other setup.

    > I have about 10 outer cover that are just a piece of plywood cut with a 1 inch overhang to keep rain from running in

    The overhang just catches the wind and drives more rain in...

    > i know it's not rain proof , I just thought it would work without having the moisture stay inside the hive.

    It doesn't stay inside. It runs down the inside front of the hive and out the door... or the "drain plug" or the screened bottom...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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