I have two new hives going right now and as a beginner, I need info./opinions form all you existing beekeepers. One of my hives has the standard wood inner cover with hole in the center. My other hive has a clear plexiglass inner cover with a hole in the center that I purchased from a fellow local beekeeper. The clear inner cover is really neat to have since I can view the bees while they are working and I don't disturb them. It has also discouraged black ants to roam around on top of the inner cover like on the hive with the wood inner cover. My guess is that the ants are seeing the bees and get scared off. I have a few questions/concerns for this clear inner cover.
1. I hope that the plexiglass is strong enough to hold up a full 1 gallon plastic feeder bucket. The plexiglass might be around 3/16" thick. If the plexiglass, "bows" down toward the frames and reduces the bee space between it and the frames, do you think that bees will still be able to access the feeder? I understand this may be hard to answer without seeing the frames, cover, and feeder all in use in the hive.
2. What do you think will happen in summer and winter if this plexiglass is used as my inner cover? I have a concern that it could get too warm/hot over the summer and affect the bees. On the other hand, might it be too cold in winter and affect the bees in a negative way over the winter months? Basically, please compare a plexiglass inner cover to that of a standard wooden inner cover.
Also, I am very surprised that a clear inner cover is not available to purchase through any suppliers that I know of. I would think it would be a big hit with any hobby beekeeper. Maybe there is a reason why.