Cover Foil
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Thread: Cover Foil

  1. #1
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    Im just wondering why is it Germany common to cover the hive with plastic film and why not in the rest of the world?
    New beekeepers start to replace the foil with f.e. beeswrap.
    The main argument seems to be, protecting the cover from wax and propolis.

    Almost everyone uses bottoms with screen, only closed while varroa treatment.

    I started this year without anything cause our Langstroth club is teaching that to beginners.

    What do you think about that?
    Abdeckfolie.jpg
    Last edited by psycain89-Germany; 11-04-2019 at 05:03 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Cover Foil

    In your photo, there clearly is condensation on that clear "cover"...that's not something desirable in winter conditions, to the best of my knowledge. Ventilation is very important even in the cold weather.
    Humble assistant to beek Alison as well as family purveyor of luxury Bee condominiums and Paparazzi activities...

  4. #3
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    Right, but that is intentional.
    The argument everyone has, is that this water is used by the bees. They are not able to fly out to get fresh water so they use this instead.
    But I don't think this is necessary.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Cover Foil

    I have never heard of covering a hive in foil. Is this on the outside?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Cover Foil

    Is this not just a translation difficulty ? The above photo doesn't seem to be a whole lot different to this:



    Which is what many people (in many countries) are using. If not plastic film or sheet, then woven plastic feed bags - same principle, surely ?
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Cover Foil

    Quote Originally Posted by psycain89-Germany View Post
    Almost everyone [in Germany] uses bottoms with screen, only closed while varroa treatment.
    That's pretty common in Britain too - ventilation via the bottom - but in the US/Canada opinion is divided: northern areas in particular preferring upper ventilation in view of long drawn-out winters with feet of snow which can block ventilation lower down.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Cover Foil

    Quote Originally Posted by psycain89-Germany View Post
    Im just wondering why is it Germany common to cover the hive with foil and why not in the rest of the world?
    New beekeepers start to replace the foil with f.e. beeswrap.
    The main argument seems to be, protecting the cover from wax and propolis.

    Almost everyone uses bottoms with screen, only closed while varroa treatment.

    I started this year without anything cause our Langstroth club is teaching that to beginners.

    What do you think about that?
    Abdeckfolie.jpg
    Few things:
    - Brandenburg, Germany has rather mild winters, compatible to USDA Zone 7 (Atlantic effect) where indeed the condensation maybe more beneficial than harmful
    - you do not specify details of your equipment (frame size/under-frame space/bottom type - ventilated mesh vs. closed vs. etc/entrance styles/etc, etc).

    Wintering in the Ukraine (UZDA 5) is pretty common under sealed plastic where the bottoms are ventilated mesh OR there is sufficient under frame air space with combination of very well insulated tops.
    I say it is rather routine for certain equipment setups.
    Last edited by GregV; 11-04-2019 at 01:10 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    - you do not specify details of your equipment (frame size/under-frame space/bottom type - ventilated mesh vs. closed vs. etc/entrance styles/etc, etc).

    Wintering in the Ukraine (UZDA 5) is pretty common under sealed plastic where the bottoms are ventilated mesh OR there is sufficient under frame air space with combination of very well insulated tops.
    I say it is rather routine for certain equipment setups.
    Everyone here has foil on the frames. As I wrote, we have all the screened bottom board and it looks like this:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by psycain89-Germany; 11-04-2019 at 04:57 PM.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Cover Foil

    Perhaps there is a translation/wording difference at play here, too. "Foil" for many of us located in North America refers to a thin metal, such as aluminum. When I saw the thread title, I thought that the boxes were being wrapped in metallic foil. I put metallic foil tape on the rigid insulation we put in our covers during the winter to reflect heat back at the cluster, but we do not "wrap" our hives.
    Humble assistant to beek Alison as well as family purveyor of luxury Bee condominiums and Paparazzi activities...

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Cover Foil

    Quote Originally Posted by psycain89-Germany View Post
    Everyone here has foil on the frames. As I wrote, we have all the screened bottom board and it looks like this:
    Sorry, I missed you did state the "Almost everyone uses bottoms with screen............" - which I did not interpret as your case too.

    Anyway, the screen bottoms are a feature of a particular climate.
    At my location benefits of screen bottoms are rather questionable (the energy loss during significantly cold winters - not to be ignored).
    Again, start with your rather mild and humid winters as a comparison point to everyone else.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #11
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    Ah okay, plastic film would be better I see.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Is this not just a translation difficulty ? The above photo doesn't seem to be a whole lot different to this?
    How do you call that?
    I have not yet seen a YouTube video where somebody outside of Germany used that.
    I just want to explore if it's really a must have with some benefits like it's told everyone here.
    My bees and some others I saw in Langstroth hives live fine without.
    The standard Segeberger Hive is constructed with a lot more than beespace on the top, so that's the only reasonable need I found out.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Cover Foil

    I really don't know what to say to you about this .... Perhaps just that Youtube is not the only source of beekeeping information ? Imo, much better than relying on videos is to join forums such as this one and so get to discuss various beekeeping practices world-wide.

    The use of plastic sheeting (or feed bags, canvas or similar) is a widespread practice - very common indeed. As can be seen on the picture posted, I tried this for a couple of years, but found the build-up of wax between the top bars and plastic 'messy', and feeding through the sheet was a tad awkward. It is a very cheap method of sealing the top of a hive, and peeling a sheet back is far less disturbing than crackng-off a hard board - but around the time of my experiments I sourced some excellent material for this particular job (http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/beek02.htm), and so changed over to using that instead.

    'best
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Cover Foil

    Quote Originally Posted by psycain89-Germany View Post
    I have not yet seen a YouTube video where somebody outside of Germany used that. .

    Search better.
    Hundreds of examples.
    Quick links for you:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR5sDzxXKrA&t=132s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY8TAmCgig8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRZhwR6ftLA
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #15
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    Thank you. Not really easy to search without Cyrillic letters 😅

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Cover Foil

    Quote Originally Posted by psycain89-Germany View Post
    Thank you. Not really easy to search without Cyrillic letters ��
    Type your search string in the language you know (e.g. German).
    Paste it into "Google Translate".
    Translate your German string into the target language.
    Paste the translated string into "Google Search".
    Hit "Search".
    Enjoy the search results.


    Doable - for few extra mouse clicks.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  18. #17
    Join Date
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    Default Re: Cover Foil

    I appears that in most cases where I've seen the plastic covers being used the hive top is very well insulated. I've seen that some beekeepers Europe are using flexible clear perspex covers. I corresponded with a gentleman from Honey Paw in Finland and he was gracious to describe their equipment. If I understood correctly, the hyper insulated cover prevents condensation from forming above the bees, instead the condensation is supposed to form on the walls of the hive where it can run down the walls and exit the hive at the bottom instead of dripping on the bees. One of my hive covers is vinyl with 50mm (2") of XPS foam insulation, R10, and I have a bunch of 1/8" (2mm) plexiglass in my shop so I am experimenting with that on one of my hives. What I like right away is that I can lift the cover off and see how the colony is doing without breaking the seal. Our mornings are around 0C (32F) and I haven't seen any condensation yet but I'll keep monitoring.
    Zone 6B

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