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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Migratory covers leaking, new simple cover design ideas wanted.

    So far this year it has been raining almost everyday and my new (this year) migratory covers are leaking.

    Not a lot, but enough that I am getting mildew on the inside surface and on some of the frames and every time I open the cover to check the bees I see water droplets hanging from the wood. These covers where painted with four coats of oil based finish and held up for the first several weeks but have now opened up and are no longer water tight.

    Yes, I know about telescopic covers and their are million other ways to stop water if that was all I wanted but I think they are pretty hideous aesthetic wise and since my hives are right next to my tower house and part of the over all look of my property I want something that fits in with the medieval/industrial style that everything else on my property has.

    I also don't want something as huge and heavy looking as some of the bee roofs I've seen. I really liked the clean, simple look of a wooden migratory cover but since that has failed to do its primary job and looking for something to take its place.

    I have a few ideas of my own but I thought I would ask you guys and see if anyone has come up with a simple, effective cover that doesn't look like the top off a chest freezer and would look okay on a bare wood langstroth.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Migratory covers leaking, new simple cover design ideas wanted.

    I had the same problem with my cypress migratory top and set it aside for a couple years. This year I needed extra tops & bottoms with the intention of splitting into single deeps and combining back to the number of hives I wanted and resurrected the migratory top. I trimmed the end board so the top is flat and covered with 20" aluminum flashing using a rubber mallet to bend down the sides, a utility knife to trim and a staple gun to secure. Took longer than I wanted to spend, I made another with the same aluminum roll and scrap plywood, but made that one to overhang. IMHO, nothing beats a sheet of metal, aluminum or galvanized.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,322

    Default Re: Migratory covers leaking, new simple cover design ideas wanted.

    All of my migratory tops leak and the bees don't seem to care at all. It sounds like you need more ventilation at the top. Are you on solid bottoms? Can the moisture drain through and out, or is it puddling in the bottom and creating condensation under the tops? You have a far different climate and different problems to solve in Montana, but you might need to think about the problem differently.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,456

    Default Re: Migratory covers leaking, new simple cover design ideas wanted.

    Sheet metal is the only way to go. You can paint it to more or less match the wood or buy vinyl coated aluminum flashing.

    Any wooden migratory cover is going to warp without the metal, and probably will even with but not so bad. Ship-lap boards will be the worst, plywood the best.

    Peter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Migratory covers leaking, new simple cover design ideas wanted.

    Since you aren't planning on migrating your bees why don't you just make them so they have an inch overhang on the sides with a drip edge under each edge to prevent the water from migrating??

    I believe the only reason they are typically the exact width of the box is to jam em together on pallets.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: Migratory covers leaking, new simple cover design ideas wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by psfred View Post
    Sheet metal is the only way to go. You can paint it to more or less match the wood or buy vinyl coated aluminum flashing.

    Any wooden migratory cover is going to warp without the metal, and probably will even with but not so bad. Ship-lap boards will be the worst, plywood the best.

    Peter
    My Advantec covers are several years old and none have ever warped at all, or allowed any moisture thru. I'm not in Montana but it gets very humid here in the summer. I only use them to feed with half gallon jugs.
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Migratory covers leaking, new simple cover design ideas wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by valleyman View Post
    My Advantec covers are several years old and none have ever warped at all, or allowed any moisture thru. I'm not in Montana but it gets very humid here in the summer. I only use them to feed with half gallon jugs.
    I second that valleyman. So far my tests of Advantec are very positive. It cuts like butter, never warps. I started using it for feeder covers and have now used it as the bottoms of the double nucs I am building. I also plan on using it for all my new top covers and building bottom boards for production hives too. Cheap and doesn't rot or warp. Not as pretty as pine from a planer but the rustic look is kinda nice too.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

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