Picture is worth a thousand words. That's what I was thinking of. Although I was thinkning of a cover that would extend a couple extra inches in the front for more protection from rain.
If you wanted to make an awning, you could attach the cut-out to the top lip of the cover instead of onto the top super. The unevenness of the aluminum might require caulking. I would probably drill two small pilot holes through the front of the notched out cover, apply silicone or construction adhesive, then put two wood screws in from the inside of the lid. That's basically what I did with the landing pad using wood glue.
Or, use a longer strip of 1'' board across the whole front of the lid.
When I made them, I wanted to be able to flip the inner cover over if I needed to close up the hive for transportation. I also didn't want to have to buy new equipment. Modifying the parts I had was easy and didn't cost extra.
Last edited by davo; 03-12-2013 at 08:03 AM.
Maybe I missed it but are there any issues with bees building burr or bridge comb from the top bars to the cover? If not I am going to try a couple this year.
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Bridge comb will be a function of the characteristics of the bees, of the amount of space available, and of the amount of nectar coming in.
In my case, when I keep the hive large enough (supers added or left to assure bees don't run out of space) no problems. If a hive is not supered at the correct time you will certainly get comb built up in that space. Fortunately since there is a limited space, it's not that big of a deal to clean up. I haven't had it happen in a few years.
Bridge comb was my biggest question about this whole thing. I was considering filling in part or all of the extra space created by the inner cover and shims with plywood.
This is my first attempt at modifying covers.
edit: S. Parker, I just now started reading your equipment link. It's extremely informative and good food for thought.
Last edited by davo; 03-12-2013 at 10:37 AM.
I like this design you have here. It looks like it could be reversible too so it could act like a reducer right?
I haven't tried it, but would turning the inner cover upside down make a top entrance.
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Thanks for your detailed plan on the top entrance frame. I build one yesterday and installed it today.
How soon did you see the bees use the top entrance after installation?
Did you reduce the bottom entrance right away?
I would appreciate any comments.
One note for future 'builders' make sure you don't make the distance between front entrance board and back board to tight or it may not fit all supers because of this lack of tolerance and the rain can't run off.
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Do you ever have any problems with it breaking from getting glued down with propolis?
To answer the questions:
I never completely close the bottom entrance. I believe they need some lower access to be able to clean the hive out from the bottom. I reduce the bottom entrance with a reducer to about 2 inches. In most of my hives 99% of the bees use the middle entrance..
I place the middle entrance between the 2 hive bodies and the supers. The bees will definitely propylize the entrance to the hive bodies. I can usually crack off of the supers without damaging the entrance frame. However it is still a thin shim and will not last forever. I know that I have had some hives for at least four years .
You should expect to get some burr comb (usually drone comb) between the supers and hive bodies when you use this entrance. I believe this is beneficial in that it acts as a queen gap. Last year I pulled 130 frames from my supers and had brood in only four or five. Last year I averaged 70 pounds per hive -- a great year.
Thanks Carl, much appreciated. I installed it between honey super 2 & 3 and have two deep brood.
It seems the bees just suntan and dance on top and do a lot of propylizing. Maybe they just need a little time.
@jgrizle - one mistake I made was build the frame to tight, the next one will be a little more 'sloppy' and one has to be careful, but once installed it can stay until removal of the honey supers, so I don't see to big of a problem. Once one is made, it only takes 10 minutes to make a bunch from left over wood.
Maybe it should have a handrail to avoid bee injuries it is deep!
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