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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been reading and studying (I'm not a very good student when it comes to reading) but have a few of questions today.

1) My inner cover has a notch on the rim and a round hole in the center of the cover. Why do I need this cover? What would happen if I just put on the telescoping outer cover only?

2) I am currently installing the inner cover with the rim notch on the top and to the front of the hive. When I install the outer telescoping cover over it I pull the outer cover backwards so as to block off access to the notch so bees cannot enter the top due to robbing concerns. How should I be installing this inner cover and for what reasons?

3) Different topic not...What does the term "honey bound" mean? I read in another post that it might refer to the idea of honey stores around the top of the brood frames forming a sort of "boundary line" for the queen over which she will not pass thereby preventing her from moving upward in the hive to the next box. Is this correct? If so, how does one deal with this problem?

Thanks in advance for your kind help and patience with a green horn newbee!
 

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Some bees glue EVERYTHING with propolis even telescoping tops. Because of their design the telescoping covers are hard to pry off. This is the "why" of having an inner cover--ease of removal. But not all inner covers are the same. Personally I use a screened inner cover for the increased ventilation and ease of checking the hive without disturbing it.

The "notch" on the solid inner cover is for increased ventilation as well. Down here in Alabama our hives need that extra ventilation but it may not be an issue up where you are.

HTH

Rusty
 

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What Rusty said is very true. The oval hole in the inner cover is to fit a Porter bee escape. This is a sometimes used method of clearing bees from honey supers (not very effective.)

I turn the inner cover notch side down to use as an entrance in the winter.

Honey bound typically means that areas that the queen might lay in are filled with nectar/pollen/honey, leaving the queen no where to lay. Not a good scenario.
 

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What they said but differently...
notch to fit porter bee escape in. This goes between the super (hopefully containing honey) and the brood box and allow bee down into the brood box but not back up in to the super. This clears the super of bees before you harvest it (hopefully).
The rest of the time this inner cover or crown board stop the bees propolysing the telescoping cover to the hive making it impossible to remove. The lighter crown board is easily pried off even when propolysed. The crown also has gapping so that when you replace your telescoping cover to don't squish too many bees.
Honey bound means the bees fill all the available comb with nectar/honey leaving the queen nowhere to lay. This usually results in swarming. This can be avoided by the timely addition of a super to give the bees somewhere to put the nectar. Be aware that unless the super contains already drown comb they will also need time to draw the comb to put the nectar in. Best of luck.
 

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Everything they said plus.... The round hole in the center of the inner cover is also used by some for feeding. An inverted jar of sugar water is placed over the hole where the bees can access it. When I do this I place an empty hive box over the inner cover and then place the hive top on this. That will sheild the jar of sugar syrup from the hot sun.
 

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>1) My inner cover has a notch on the rim and a round hole in the center of the cover. Why do I need this cover? What would happen if I just put on the telescoping outer cover only?

As mentioned, the outer cover will be glued down and there will no where to fit your hive tool into to pry it off. http://bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#innercover

> 2) I am currently installing the inner cover with the rim notch on the top and to the front of the hive. When I install the outer telescoping cover over it I pull the outer cover backwards so as to block off access to the notch so bees cannot enter the top due to robbing concerns. How should I be installing this inner cover and for what reasons?

There is nothing wrong with that method. If you use an excluder I would slide it forward to let the bees bypass the excluder. Personally I only have top entrances and prefer them.

> 3) Different topic not...What does the term "honey bound" mean?

There is no where for the queen to lay because of honey and nectar.

> I read in another post that it might refer to the idea of honey stores around the top of the brood frames forming a sort of "boundary line" for the queen over which she will not pass thereby preventing her from moving upward in the hive to the next box. Is this correct?

No. That's just called "normal".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank-you all for your replies and great information! Very much appreciated! Maybe someday, if I keep reading and following this forum, I will learn enough to actually consider myself a beek!!! ☺
 

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Hate to add another question here, but I feel this is hitting on an area I need answers to. Please forgive me for any intrusions.

I have four new hives started back May 13th with all looking fairly good to so so. Two weeks ago I decided to add a super to each so they would have plenty of room. I haven't opened the two closest hives to me for about two weeks until today and discovered the bees are filling in between the deep brood box's top rails and the bottom of the medium super's frames with cone and honey. The cone is very white with all golden honey - absolutely beautiful. Question; What should I do about the cone and honey between the two boxes? They haven't even started drawing cone on the medium frames yet - they're wood with wax coated plastic cell foundation. Should I remove the cone/honey and try to mash it into the medium frames or just take it? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Hate to add another question here, but I feel this is hitting on an area I need answers to. Please forgive me for any intrusions.

They haven't even started drawing cone on the medium frames yet - they're wood with wax coated plastic cell foundation. Should I remove the cone/honey and try to mash it into the medium frames or just take it? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I have heard bees can be a little reticent to draw comb on plastic foundation. Apparently, spraying some sugar water onto the foundation can help. The main thing is you need to get them up and building in that box. Surely there can't be that much comb and honey between the top of one frame and the bottom of the other. There shouldn't be more than a bee space. Trying to "do" anything with it at this stage will make a mess. If you don't need to take it off wait til you harvest the super and run a guitar string or piece of fishing line between the boxes (diagonally corner to corner) to separate them and just crush and strain the comb.
 

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> Question; What should I do about the cone and honey between the two boxes?

The comb between the boxes is irrelevant. Leave it.

> They haven't even started drawing cone on the medium frames yet - they're wood with wax coated plastic cell foundation. Should I remove the cone/honey and try to mash it into the medium frames or just take it?

Sometimes on new plastic it helps, but when they really need room they will use it.
 

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Thanks AugustC and Michael Bush. I didn't think of it, but when I added the supers I didn't spray the foundation down with syrup. I did spray them when I first installed the packages. I will open them up tomorrow and try spraying them down and hopefully they will move up and start using the medium supers. I appreciate your advice.

Russ
 

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I am a new bee keeper too but for what its worth I put five brand new all plastic frames in a new 10 frame deep, with three full frames and a frame feeder, on Sunday last week , the hive is queenless, the hive has produced queen cells, but more on topic they have finished or almost finished eight sides of frame with new comb. This in five days.
 

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I like inner covers for a couple reasons. I make my own, so they are much deeper on the deep side than factory ones, and I leave a 1/8" space on the "flat" side as well -- seems to give the bees more room above the frames.

At any rate, with the notch up the bees have more controllable ventilation (meaning they decide how much air moves through it) and they use the space above the inner cover to dry honey -- lots of bees up there when there is a flow on. Probably also reduces bearding in the summers, too.

The inner cover reduces the tendency to glue the outer cover down, although last fall every hive locally was glued like crazy, guess the bees knew it was going to be a cold one.

In the winter, the notch in the inner cover can be mostly covered by the telescoping cover by pushing it up flush to the boxes, this allows slow but steady airflow to keep condensation down. The wood absorbs quite a bit of water, so will buffer the humidity while preventing drips. Wood also has quite a bit of insulating power, and I feel the bees benefit.

One note -- plastic one-piece telescoping covers are worse than none at all in my opinion -- my brother and I both had trouble with water in the hives all winter, and even in the summer the inner cover was always damp. Turns out the design and material encourages condensation on the concave inner surface, with the result that water collects and runs down to the sides and hence onto the inner cover. On top of that, in a few years the plastic degrades and cracks through, allowing rainwater to drip right through. Mine shrank so that it was almost impossible to fit over the boxes, too. We tossed them all -- wooden covers can be made for less than the cost of the plastic ones and should last decades.

Peter
 
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