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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lebanon, OR, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    So do you use an inner cover or not and why? I have seen several youtubes and such and I've noticed that some do and some don't use them so I am just trying to find out the why's and why not's. I appreciate all your help so far and will probably have a few more crazy questions.

    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    Nope.
    I've only got one box with a tele cover and it has a feedbag (cut down to size) instead.

    The rest of the boxes have migratory covers or just a piece of 1/2" ext ply cut to size and don't need anything to keep the box from getting stuck on, as I can slip a hive tool into the crack btw it and the top box.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    938

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    Mike, there is nothing crazy about your question at all.
    Telescopic lids with inner covers are the way to go in a smaller operation hands down.
    If I could, all of our hives would have inner and outer covers.
    I think they winter better. Also, emergency winter feeding is easier.
    Where the hang-up occurs however is when you get to the quantities that focus on loading trucks.
    If you boom hives with telescopic lids onto your bed you will only be able to have 5 hives across.
    The outer cover takes up an additional 2 1/2" per hive space.
    With migratory lids you can have 6 hives across the bed. Big differance.
    Palletized, your issue is the same but different. They will fit fine across the bed but will hog excess room down the length of the bed.
    Anyway, my opinion is that if you can get away with using inner and outer covers in your scale of operation, I would do it.
    I still have about 80 of them and folks always want to buy them from me but we use them at the home yard on and off with new hives. Unfortunatly, they all get migratory lids at some point prior to almonds.
    Do what works best in your operation!
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,438

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    On a small scale like HV said, the telescopic cover with inner cover is the way to go. Reasons why include: It is easier to remove the telescopic cover with an inner cover because the bees can't propolise the telescopic cover down. I've seen some TC cemented down with propolis without an inner cover. Also with this combination, you get the added benefit of a top entrance AND hive ventilation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    I use feed bag inner covers (FBIC's) on my nucs with 2 inch pink foamular styrofoam on top of that weighed down with a rock. The styrofoam gives an insulation value of R-10, and for as long as my wife's geriatric chickens are alive I have a free supply of feed bags.
    On my ten frame hives I have some standard inner covers, and telescopic covers with 2 inch styrofoam between the them. I also have some of those ventilated inner covers that have the multiple drilled holes in the walls covered with #8 mesh - they were a lot of work to make and I probably won't make any more.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,735

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    I guess you could say I do both. I don't see any advantage to inner covers in the Spring/Summer/Fall so I don't use them Instead, i use a 3/4 thick Advantec migratory top, that has the feeder hole cut in it. When not feeding, this hole can be closed with a solid Mason jar lid, or if you want ventilation in the Winter, place some screen over the hole after the bees have begun to cluster, then place a telescoping cover over them. I put a telescoping cover over all of them during the Winter.

    If I want to feed in February or March, all I have to do is take the telescoping cover off, pop out the solid Mason jar cap, and place a 1/2 gal. or 1 gallon jar of syrup on the hive. I use all glass jars so they do not expand and contract and leak syrup. If it turns cold, I can place the solid cap back in the hole, and either leave it that way or place the telescoping cover back on. Makes it really easy to feed without opening the hive in February and March. This type of feeding seals the jar lid and the Advantec top and eliminates robbers/ants, etc, around the top of the hive.

    In areas of lots of SHB the traditional inner cover, gives the beetles a place to hide and the bees spend a lot of time chasing them around on the inner cover. The 3/4 inch, migratory type cover eliminates that area.

    cchoganjr

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,656

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    It's a matter of choice, my self i've gone to mostly migratory lids, the reason is that i have less SHB problems. When i used inner covers and took the lid off a hive there would be 20 to 30 bees holding shb in a corner of the inner cover.With migratory lids they don't have that extra place to hide and tie up some of the work force. Like above i do move them around to different out yards and migratory lids are better for moving them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    I started my first 20 or so hives using telescoping covers with an inner cover. My only complaint is price if I purchase them or time if I build them. I've gone to migratory for these reasons. After using the migratory with the "cleats" on front and back for a couple seasons I started using 3/4" plywood the same dimension as the box. I like this by far for its simplicity. In the winter I run a 3/4" spacer under it with a 1" opening for ventilation and alternate entrance should they plug the bottom with dead bees. I haven't seen a difference in wintering success between the two styles. For feeding I have seperate covers that have a hole for the jar lid and use an empty deep on top with the cover.
    Beekeeper? Shoot, my bees keep me!
    100 hives in Western Wa State

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Genola, Ut
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    I don't use an inner cover or a telescoping cover. I find it easier to make a migratory covers out of a piece of plywood. Problem is, you have to make sure that the hive stays covered. This winter I had a problem with water getting in a hive because I left a gap between the cover and the hive. Stupid mistake, but it cost me my best hive. Here is the post I did about it. I like the idea of the inner cover and telescoping cover. I just find it easier to make migratory covers. They seem to work fine... as long as I make sure to cover the bees. If I had the money to buy them, or the time to make them, I would use an inner cover and telescoping cover.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,821

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    I don't use an inner cover because I use a migratory type lid. I do use a piece of 1/2" sound board during cold months under that cover. Maybe that is my inner cover.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,074

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    I make my own.
    I incorporate top entrance spacer with inner cover that has two holes that fit mason jars for feeding.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lebanon, OR, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    Thanks for all the great information, much appreciated
    FlowerPlanter and everyone actually, it would be nice to see a pic if possible.
    Harry, are you in CA now, I was thinking of possibly stopping by and visiting, if you have visitors.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,438

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    0131131611.jpg
    I build these out of scrap materials, costs me labor is all.

    0131131610.jpg
    Work in progress. Woodenware is going to be preserved clear and I plan on a "copper" top.
    The wifes garden surprise.... shhhhhhhh.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    Your wife will be happy with that! If I had a wife, she would be!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,735

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    MAB52... here are photos, (as requested) of the migratory covers I run all summer, then as described above, I cover these with a telescoping cover in Winter.

    Thru top feeders.jpg

    These are made from Advantec, 3/4 inch thick, makes late Winter/ early Spring feeding easy, provides ventilation in Winter if you replace the solid jar cap with wire mesh, and a telescoping cover. less Small Hive Beetle hiding room in the Summer, easy to remove, Can be used as is,( notice the ones in the photo are not painted,) (of course you can paint them). Probably other reasons.

    cchoganjr

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    Yes, yes I do use an inner cover! Because I like them.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lebanon, OR, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    Thanks Beeman, I think she will be impressed, nice job!!
    Nice yard Cleo, thanks for the pictures. Did you make your stands as well, very clean looking.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,735

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    MAB52,, No, actually I bought 35 of those stands for $5.00 each about 15 years ago. An old beekeeper, who also owned an oil well drilling company had his welding crew build them from 2 inch heavy wall steel pipe. They did an excellent job building them. They will accommodate 3, 4, 5 or 6, hives per frame. Here are a couple more photos of them in use.

    Stovall Brood Stock.jpg

    Monroe.jpg

    cchoganjr

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,456

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    I prefer an inner cover and a telescoping outer cover. I think it's better for keeping water out, and provides considerable insulation (lots of newspapers under the metal on top , too).

    However, once you start loading hives on pallets or trucks, you will start using migratory covers. Name says it all, I think. I'm not moving hives at the moment, but will probably start this year to follow honey flow -- we have lots of black locust trees in the area, and some highways have huge amounts of yellow sweet clover in the right-of-way, and I'd like to take advantage of that. Won't be moving more than a couple hives, though, so they will still have telescoping covers.

    We tend to get thunderstorms here a lot, and I don't trust a migratory cover to keep the hive dry.

    Peter

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Default Re: Do you use an inner cover or not and why

    I use feed bags for inner covers.

    Adam

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