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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Paw Paw, SW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    125

    Default Wintering with a screened inner-cover

    I put a ventilated (screened) inner-cover on this summer on my one hive and was wondering if I could winter them here in SW Michigan with it, or should I put the standard inner-cover back on. Would it provide more ventilation? I plan on insulating the space between the covers, which might negate the use of the ventilated inner?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,670

    Default Re: Wintering with a screened inner-cover

    I have had good results with top entrances drilled into the top boxes with standard inner covers with the notch down ... I place a piece of Homasote over the inner covers.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,948

    Default Re: Wintering with a screened inner-cover

    I think if you place insulation between the screened inner cover and your outer cover you will be negating any ventilation benefit. Ask around to find out how beekeepers who regularly overwinter all of their hives in your area prepare their hives (for winter) and emulate them.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: Wintering with a screened inner-cover

    A ventilated inner cover is probably going to give you too much ventilation in the dead of winter. Putting an absorbant material, like homasote, straw, etc, willallow for some ventilation and will absorb moisture.

    Bees can handle cold a lot better than cold and wet. The main purpose of upper ventiltion in the winter is to allow excess moisture a place to go.

    I have made several different types of ventilated inner covers. I typically leave them on all year but add either straw or cedar chips in the winter to absorb excess moisture. I have found that most of the screening is propilized over by the bees negating the added ventilation I gave them. I wil be moving away from providing so much ventilation.

    Tom

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    975

    Default Re: Wintering with a screened inner-cover

    Add a single sheet of newspaper and 5 pounds of sugar as your inner cover (turn your ventilated inner cover upside down and cover the pile of sugar). Leave some space around the edge of the paper for air movement. It will absorb excess moisture and also provide the bees an emergency food source if they run out of honey or get to the top and can't get to stores. At least 50% of my hives are well into eating the block of sugar by the first of March. I am convinced it has saved many a hive from starving. Cheap insurance. And no, at least in our area, the ventilated inner cover doesn't provide too much air movement.

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