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Thread: Hive Tops

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Wayensboro, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    147

    Default Hive Tops

    I have been beekeeping a number of years and would like to know the pros and cons between a migratory top and a telescoping top with inner cover. All of my hives currently have telescoping tops with inner covers but after building some nucs this year with migratory tops on them I found that I really liked using a jar feeder through a hole in the lid, made feeding easy and cheap. So I was kicking around the idea of switching all my tops to the migratory style but I don't know what benefits I would be losing that I now have with my inner and outer tops. It looks like the inner cover adds some bee space above the frames that without it you don't have and I belive the inner cover also provides a air space that helps with over wintering but I don't know that this is necessary or not. When it comes to building equipment I know it is allot easier to build migratory tops which is a big pro.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,999

    Default Re: Hive Tops

    I'm a newbee just starting out this year and I'm using telescoping tops. "I've been told" that the inner cover and top cover combo gives SHB more places to hide. I did use a couple of migratory tops this summer working with some colonies I got from swarms and it was easy to see that the migratory tops give the beetles fewer places to hide thus allowing the bees to harass them more easily. And, like you said, they're cheaper and easier to build.

    Ed

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,323

    Default Re: Hive Tops

    Great question. I've wondered the same thing. What I read is that the migratory top is not as good for overwintering but I have no first hand experience to confirm nor deny this. That was enough to make me shy away but I'm always willing to listen to others with first hand knowledge as they would be a snap to build.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Gordonsville,VA USA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Hive Tops

    Mountain bee, I think the migratory top was mainly for transporting the hives, for stacking purposes. That being said I would think that for over wintering the only concern I would have would be if I lived farther north , with the extended cold weather. For here in good ol Virginny, I think you would be fine with over wintering. The one thing I would do is place a piece of burlap under the top for condensation purposes. This would absorb the moisture if in fact it becomes an issue. The tele top I feel is more for the ventilation and provides a kind of air space for the moisture to dissipate. This space could also have a sort of insulating factor also. Oh by the way the Queen is a big ol Golden Italian and she isn't very shy, actually I think she likes walking the comb when I am inside the hive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Yukon, Oklahoma
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Hive Tops

    We run 90% migratory tops, and don't have any issues related to the design of the top. If it gets too hot...like right now...we just put a propolis trap on top of the hive, and a stick to lift one end of the migratory top up in order to vent. The hole cutout always has a punched out mason jar lid in them, and when we aren't feeding, the bees will propolis the punched holes and then they don't leak. Migratory is cheaper and that is the way we started and just kept going with it. Don't know if this helps out, but that is what we do.

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