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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bourbon, Missouri
    Posts
    187

    Default Feed bag innercover?

    I have seen several references here and other places about using a feed bag for an inner cover. I have a few questions about that subject.
    What kind of feed bag to use? Why use a feed bag? How to use a feed bag?

    Thanks to all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St.-Lègier, Vaud, Switzerland
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Feed bag innercover?

    "Feed bag" Do you mean: a kind of "zip-lock bag"?
    If thats the case, give an eye at the canadian website: "the french bee farm". That guy use them to feed his bees with a home made candy.
    His site is: seems to have some trouble at that time ... at least it was www.frenchbeefarm.com
    very complete with videos and explanations

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bourbon, Missouri
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    187

    Default Re: Feed bag innercover?

    It is used on top of the hive to help keep the bees in the part of the hive that you are not working.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,276

    Default Re: Feed bag innercover?

    I use a chicken feed bag for the inner cover on my nucs. It has several advantages over a manufactured one: It is cheap/free; It doesn't get stuck down, it just peels off the top and if you drum it with your fingers as you do that it no bees remain on it; It allows me to use 2 inch Dow Corning styrofoam as insulation on top - if I didn't have the FBIC the bees would chew on the Styrofoam.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    989

    Default Re: Feed bag innercover?

    A feed bag is a large bag that livestock feed comes in.

    When used in palce of a traditional inner cover it has the following advantages:

    1) It is less expensive than a traditional inner cover, as it is normally thorwn away when empty...that is, it costs nothing.

    2) It serves the purpose of preventing a telescoping top from being propolized to the top box very well ( this is the priamry purpose of an inner cover, though it is useful for many other things).

    3) It's cheap.

    4) Being flexible, you can uncover only the part of the box you are working in, minimizing hive disturbance and the number of bees in the air.

    5) Did I mention that they don't cost much?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Feed bag innercover?

    I use a plastic chicken feed bag cut to size.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bourbon, Missouri
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Feed bag innercover?

    I was wondering if the bags used were the plastic woven type or the cloth type bags.
    All my feed bags come in the plastic woven type.
    I do see the advantage of putting it below any Styrofoam insulation too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    989

    Default Re: Feed bag innercover?

    I don't thing that it will make much difference; It's my understanding that the original inner covers were fabric, and that that type is still in use in some countries.

    Plastic won't hurt either.

    Bob Hack has some videos that will probably be helpful at http://www.bobhackbees.com/videos.html
    Also see an article by Larry Connor here

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,276

    Default Re: Feed bag innercover?

    Mine are the plastic woven type, and they work great. A couple of years ago I saw a beek who used thick clear plastic sheeting and he was able to peek at the size of the cluster and whether it had eaten the fondant he placed by just lifting the top cover.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bourbon, Missouri
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Feed bag innercover?

    You always here about ventilation and keeping moisture out of the hive.
    I can't see how the clear plastic sheet would work do that. I would think it would keep the moisture in.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    989

    Default Re: Feed bag innercover?

    If one doesn't consider and allow adequate ventilation, a plastic sheet under a cold, uninsulated top cover might result in some condensate/ wet bee problems.

    But if there is a small vent anywhere in the top box, or if the lid is insulated so that the condensation forms on the walls instead, it ought not cause any trouble.
    The experience of cold country beekeepers who use them in that way has demonstrated that moisture is generally not a problem.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: Feed bag innercover?

    Hello,

    I have a deep hive body that I converted into 2 four frame nucs that I am using a feed bag as the inner cover. I have noticed lately as it is getting cooler I am having a real problem with condensation between the feed bag and the outer cover--the Masonite of the inside of the outer cover is soaked as well as the top of the feed bag when the outer cover is removed. I was going to drill some holes in the box but under the lip of the outer cover to act as ventilation. Is this what people that use feed bag covers typically do? How big a hole would suffice?

    Thanks
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,276

    Default Re: Feed bag innercover?

    My 5 frame nucs have a 3/4 inch hole 3 inches from the tip.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    989

    Default Re: Feed bag innercover?

    Mike Palmer gets a week or three of subzero temps in Vermont.
    He bore holes in his boxes...3/4" diameter if memory serves me well. Pics of his boxes are in post #44 of this thread
    I use a 5/16 to 3/8" shim under my top cover with a gap in it about 1/2" wide, and and bottom reduced to about 3/8" by 1/4 (one bee space).

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