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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bronson, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Protecting styrofoam in cover of top bar

    I use styrofoam in my covers and use a space before the first top bar for my top entrance. The bees wintered fine through a brutal winter so I'm happy with how it worked---both ventilated and warm enough. The problem is the bees seam to have a taste for styrofoam and ate quite a bit of it at the entrance end. I'm building new top bar hives and would like some ideas how to protect the foam. It's too expensive to have to replace it every two years. Thank you, Mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    441

    Default Re: Protecting styrofoam in cover of top bar

    I use foam board above my Langstroth hives and nucs. I use scrap pieces of tarp under the foam board to separate it from the bees. Some people use old feed bags. Works fine and the tarp material is leftover scrap so it's free.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,824

    Default Re: Protecting styrofoam in cover of top bar

    Try aluminum tape from Home Depot. Works pretty good. got the tip from Joseph Clemens. It's 6" wide, sticks well and bees don't seem to bother it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bronson, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Protecting styrofoam in cover of top bar

    Thank you, both ideas are great---hadn't thought of either. I was thinking about painting them but I like these better. I already have the covers hinged { got tired of lifting them and having both hands full while trying to sweep bees out of the way}, So I cant use anything thick without re-attaching the hinges. Thanks again, Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,350

    Default Re: Protecting styrofoam in cover of top bar

    I've tried paint - it only slows them down.

    I've been using foamboard for nuc Bottom Boards and nuc Covers, for more than a decade, now. I even like to make my queen cell building nucs out of 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" thick foamboard. I generally only have top or upper entrances, so the foamboard Bottom Boards, I cut a 4" x 5" ventilation opening into the end that will be at the rear of the nuc, then I cover the foamboard Bottoms with a piece of #8 hardware cloth, this allows air through the vent hole and keeps most everything else out, and protects the bottom foam from the bees. In cooler months I insert a piece of plastic between the foamboard and hardware cloth, to reduce the colder winter air. For Covers, if I don't use aluminum foil tape on the side of the foamboard exposed to the bees (and I usually do), I make sure to use a piece of 3 mil thick, black plastic garbage bag, cut to fit the top of the nuc, as an Inner Cover - eventually the bees do chew small holes in some of the plastic Inner Covers, but I haven't yet had one fail, even with a few holes chewed in it. Perhaps an even thicker plastic would be more resistant to this, but garbage bags are cheap and easily replaced. On single story nucs, entrances are where this plastic Inner Cover and foamboard Cover are both slid back to create an entrance. On multiple story nucs, entrances can be wherever an upper super meets a lower super, with the upper super slid back for an entrance space - and sometimes, both.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    426

    Default Re: Protecting styrofoam in cover of top bar

    A layer of lumber wrap would fix your issue. You can get all you need for free at any lumber store.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bronson, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Protecting styrofoam in cover of top bar

    I think I'll go with the metal tape to fix the existing hives and in the future use the foam that already has the aluminum on both sides. It's three dollars per sheet more expensive for 1" instead of 11/2" and I'll only loose 1R value. Thanks everyone, Mark

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