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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Lewiston Idaho USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Why use top cleats on migratory covers? Why Not?

    I have noticed some migratory covers have top cleats and others have a flat top with with just an end cleat attached to the side of the lid. I am curious as to the benefits of both. It would seem if one was stacking pallets it would be easier to do so with a flat top migratory cover? What is your grand wisdom on the subject? The following is a links to a migratory cover with a flat top and another with a top cleat.

    http://www.gabees.com/store/product_...roducts_id=164



    http://www.gabees.com/store/product_...roducts_id=167

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Why use top cleats on migratory covers? Why Not?

    I do wonder the same thing at times. I occasionally use them for stacking occupied supers on so fewer bees are crushed, but other wise I don't know. May I also ask: Why do some migratory cover have end cleats and some don't?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,715

    Default Re: Why use top cleats on migratory covers? Why Not?

    I don't know why others have top cleats or not, but I have them on mine to reduce the chance of the wood warping and/or giving a little bit more weight to them. I imagine others may not have top cleats due to the added cost. The ones with cleats cost $0.75 more, and when you are purchasing 1,000-10,000 the cost adds up.

    As to side cleats, I use them to give an added assurance that the wind doesn't lift up on the underside of the lip and blow the lid off. But I imagine others don't have them for the same reasons they don't have top cleats.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Why use top cleats on migratory covers? Why Not?

    Cleats help to lock the pallets together better when stacked up. You know keep stuff from sliding around.
    AKA BEEMAN800

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,612

    Default Re: Why use top cleats on migratory covers? Why Not?

    Top cleats add a little more strength to the lid as well especially when its more than 1 board forming the lid. Dont mix the two. Personally I built all mine as flats on top, insulated with side cleats.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,245

    Default Re: Why use top cleats on migratory covers? Why Not?

    I don't know the exact definition of a migratory cover but in my mind it's a non-telescoping lid, with either a flat or cleated top as long as the cleat dosent run the long way on the lid as that affects airflow. Many cleated lids were designed to fit together with a cleated bottom in some manner so as to lock them in place and guarantee good ventilation. Of course that was before bee pallets and forklift loading became popular. We use all flat lids to reduce the height of the load as the pallet itself guarantees good airflow.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Lewiston Idaho USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Why use top cleats on migratory covers? Why Not?

    Great insight everyone! Thanks for the help. I bet Jim's suggestion is correct as to where top cleats came from. I have seen nucleus hives with top cleats that lock into a cleated feet of another nuc. They work great. I think I'll try making a few flat top covers and see how they work. My current plan is to make them out of tongue groove cedar, dipped in a combo of micro crystalline and paraffin wax to seal them and prevent warping.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Why use top cleats on migratory covers? Why Not?

    My Nuc boxes lock together to stack better as you describe. I also make cleated lids that lock in 4-way pallets the same way. That makes it easier for me to stack them straight when I load them on a semi.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Lewiston Idaho USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Why use top cleats on migratory covers? Why Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Euliss View Post
    My Nuc boxes lock together to stack better as you describe. I also make cleated lids that lock in 4-way pallets the same way. That makes it easier for me to stack them straight when I load them on a semi.
    Chip, that's interesting. If I understand you correctly, you must set the bottom runners on the pallet in a bit so they sit just inside the top cleat of your covers? Is that correct?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,715

    Default Re: Why use top cleats on migratory covers? Why Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Euliss View Post
    My Nuc boxes lock together to stack better as you describe.
    Interesting. Any pics?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Why use top cleats on migratory covers? Why Not?

    Yep, my 4-way pallets have the runner boards just a bit narrower than the cleated lids. The Nuc boxes each have a solid bottom with 2, 1 1/2 runner boards that keep them off the ground when in use and spaced so they fit just inside the lid cleats so they stack better. Don't have pics but could take some in a few days if the explanation doesn't make sense.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,787

    Default Re: Why use top cleats on migratory covers? Why Not?

    I use top and side cleats. Why, who knows, but the reason Im going with is that it helps keep the boards straight, I use 3/4 inch plywood, and cut the tops so that the strength of the board runs length wise. To stop the boards from curving or warping the other way I use cleats. The top cleats are a little annoying some times when stacking and feeding, but it also adds some weight, enough that I dont use rocks on those tops anymore,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Why use top cleats on migratory covers? Why Not?

    I wouldn't put a lot of faith in a cleat helping to hold a lid down in winds. I had a good yard, except it was subject to some high winds at times. I visited the yard after a thunderstorm, only to find that 8 of the 24 lids had come flying off. I do mean flying. 1 lid was over 40 feet away, many were outside the electric fence. Several other lids had been dislodged. I used large rocks on each lid after that. The bees won't be going back into that yard again. All my other yards had no troubles after the same storm.

    Wisnewbee

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