Kelley Beekeeping top covers
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    pg county, md USA
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    33

    Default Kelley Beekeeping top covers

    Has anyone ever received a top cover from Kelley Beekeeping that is a solid board? The ones they sent me have a 12 inch board, a 1/4 inch or so gap, a small board roughly 3 inches, and another 1/4 inch gap. see the attached pic
    I was under the impression their top covers were a solid board.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
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    3,388

    Default Re: Kelley Beekeeping top covers

    That will work fine, but I have no experience with Kelley wooden top covers. We used plastic ones for a while, but started making our own with plywood. I believe Kelley has always used solid wood, but I wouldn't think i would ever have been one single piece, it warps too much.

    Peter

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Kelley Beekeeping top covers

    I haven't bought top covers from them. If you keep it, try to close the gaps where the top of the hive will come in contact with the cover. It won't matter at all in normal bee operations because they will close it for you, but it becomes a drowning risk if you use a top feeder and the bees can access it through openings in the top cover.

    I learned that the hard way. I bought some nice cedar hives with top covers made from 4 boards with beveled edges. Everything looked nice to the novice eye. I ended up with several hives completely drowned out and dead in the feeder because those bevels made 6 entry points under the cover into the top feeder. Covering them with some metal tape solved the problem, but the losses had already happened.

    Jim.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Marietta, Ohio USA
    Posts
    489

    Default Re: Kelley Beekeeping top covers

    If I am correct and what I am seeing is an outer cover, I personally do not like the design. I think it just provides a space for non desirable critters to hang out in. I build my own and use 3/8" plywood. This is similar to what Mann Lake and Brushy Mountain have done. I have never seen more than one solid piece of wood used before.

    If it were mine, I'd contact customer service and ask for a replacement or refund. But I am OCD and do not like things that aren't the same

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    5,400

    Default Re: Kelley Beekeeping top covers

    I would find that unacceptable. and would make my displeasure known to the powers that be at Kelly. If that is the best they can do then I would find someone who made covers to my satisfaction. It is just that simple. You are the customer and should not only receive what you pay for but what you expect! I think you will find that the folks at Kelly Bee will step up and make you happy!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Hampton, Georgia
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: Kelley Beekeeping top covers

    That gap is probably there for a reason. It's been my experience when using solid wood tops to have expansion and contraction issues busting up the side rail joints. This expansion is worse across the grain than down the length. I've got quite a few cypress tops that are made up of t&g boards that have busted the joints and bent the top metal.
    My tops that use engineered wood (plywood) don't have those issues.
    I'm migrating to migratory tops and planning on trying to source HDO for that.

    If those gaps bother you that much consider using a caulk with enough flexibility to move with the wood.
    Georgia Wildlife Services, Inc

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    pg county, md USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Kelley Beekeeping top covers

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeMoose View Post
    If I am correct and what I am seeing is an outer cover, I personally do not like the design. I think it just provides a space for non desirable critters to hang out in. I build my own and use 3/8" plywood. This is similar to what Mann Lake and Brushy Mountain have done. I have never seen more than one solid piece of wood used before.

    If it were mine, I'd contact customer service and ask for a replacement or refund. But I am OCD and do not like things that aren't the same
    you are correct this is a top cover and I too am not happy with the design. Ive read its a breading spot for SHB.

    I did ask for a replacement and was told "they all come like that and they have never made one with a solid board. " so I want to know if that is a valid statement.

    Does anyone have a top cover from kelley that is a solid board?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    pg county, md USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Kelley Beekeeping top covers

    "If those gaps bother you that much consider using a caulk with enough flexibility to move with the wood."

    If I end up keeping them I will use caulk, but don't feel I should have to modify a brand new product.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
    Posts
    1,716

    Default Re: Kelley Beekeeping top covers

    I don't understand why they would use expensive wide boards . I'll just keep on making my own equipment .

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ellston, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    686

    Default Re: Kelley Beekeeping top covers

    I would fill the gaps and move on with life. I also would not order one from Kelley again. It's easy to make your own or buy from Mann Lake.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Georgetown, Texas
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Kelley Beekeeping top covers

    I'm not sure about what you have there. I cannot find any item that even resembles that on their website or in their catalog. I'm replying more out of curiosity and to let you know my experience with Kelley. Is that supposed to be an inner cover, outer, migratory? Anyway I have ordered 4 times from Kelley on the recommendation of a friend a little over a year ago when I first started and have always received exactly what I ordered and have been happy with what I got. One bottom board was slightly damaged but that was more of a shipper problem in my opinion and just a little glue and couple of nails fixed that. Sorry you did not get what you wanted. Hope you will give an update of your final decision resolution on this.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    pg county, md USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Kelley Beekeeping top covers

    Quote Originally Posted by rmitch2 View Post
    I'm not sure about what you have there. I cannot find any item that even resembles that on their website or in their catalog. I'm replying more out of curiosity and to let you know my experience with Kelley. Is that supposed to be an inner cover, outer, migratory? Anyway I have ordered 4 times from Kelley on the recommendation of a friend a little over a year ago when I first started and have always received exactly what I ordered and have been happy with what I got. One bottom board was slightly damaged but that was more of a shipper problem in my opinion and just a little glue and couple of nails fixed that. Sorry you did not get what you wanted. Hope you will give an update of your final decision resolution on this.

    This was from my first order with them. Its an outer cover, I have 5 of these..... https://www.kelleybees.com/Shop/35/H...l-Outer-Covers

    the rest of the order was fine except for taking a few days longer then I expected but I understand this is the busy season so no biggie.

    when I spoke to them the first time they said they would look into it. when I contacted them again for an answer I was told the warehouse said they never made the cover with a solid bottom. After showing them a blog post from their own site that contradicted the statement Saying how kelley covers are made and it actually warned you about other manufactures so you would look for a solid board, I was told they would ship out new ones and send a call tag for the ones I had. everything's great right ? Well week and a half goes by, I call again to get a tracking number and check on the order only to told there is no record on my account about this. So we do it all over again, she checks the warehouse they say the same thing "they never made it". Even after I showed her what their own blog said they are sticking to the story.

    will other top covers work on kelleys boxes? Do I have to worry about bee space? i've read you shouldn't mix manufactures hardware

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Georgetown, Texas
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Kelley Beekeeping top covers

    Sorry you have to deal with this. I am definitely not an expert on this but would probably do as others suggest and fill the cracks and use them. I would think other covers would work as well (boxes should be same size) but do you want to spend the money? Very disappointed though in the lack of customer service you are experiencing. Will consider this before choosing where to make my next purchase. Fortunately I'm at the stage of starting to try make most of my own stuff from here on out (except frames), long as I can keep my bees alive and expanding and have the need. Good luck.

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