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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I drive around and see large bee operation field setups I hardly ever see the covers weighted down. Do they have another method to keep the covers in place in the wind??

I set out my 1st outyard of 56 colonies and they are in the open. Tonight they are calling for storms so I raced over and put concrete blocks on the tops.

I can't imagine large operation hauling around a couple hundred rocks or blocks..........

Signed...... Puzzled in North Dakota
 

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I think most use migrotory covers which don't catch the wind like a telescoping cover and they are usually glued down tight as there is no inner cover. I do have some blow off now and again, but not very often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Joel......... so my concrete blocks are probably over kill...... ;)
 

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In Devils Lake ND, not at all, I hear the wind blows 80 MPH, it's -40 most of the winter and folks get lost walking to the barn and are never seen again in blizzards! Makes me all warm and fuzzy. In fact we thought that happened to you for awhile last winter when you disappeared! I couldn't watch the Christmas episode of Little House on the Prarie the whole time you were gone!

Heck I'd paint them different colors on different side so you can use them as management indicators too. :D

[ May 27, 2006, 09:47 PM: Message edited by: Joel ]
 

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Good hives glue them down well. I don't scrape clean top bars.High wind areas I sometimes use one #4 nail.When pollinating, important for covers to stay on. Besides robbing, dont want bees to move down, grower drive by and not see lots of bees on the top and get wrong impression.
 

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I've always put a rock on top and thought it was kinda silly, even with our crazy winds here. Then one day I didn't, and was looking in the yard when a telescoping top went frisbeeing across the yard, and we're down in a river valley and with a lot of mature trees too. Must be the telescoping vs migratory thing.
 

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I have still been using bricks but have considered several alternatives. One would be two carefully measured and centered (for interchangability) deck screws to hold the cover on. Another would be a screw front and back on the top box and a piece of bailing wire to hold it on. The straps that Jim Fischer has refered to would work well, but might take longer to put on and off, but still it would be less lifting.

I think if I used the screws (either with the wire or without) I'd keep a cordless screw driver and a manual one for backup handy.
They only need to go through enough to hold the lid on, so I wouldn't go more than 1 1/2".

I don't think the concrete blocks are overkill in SD. They aren't overkill here. True you can get by without them for a couple of months but then you inspect the hives that day and the wind kicks up that night and the lids all blow off.

I also started making my lids the size of the hive (in the case of a ten frame that's 16 1/4" by 19 7/8" or in my case 13 3/4" by 19 7/8") and they seem to catch the wind a lot less than the telescopic covers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had thought about eye screws and bungies, but figured the sun would make short work of them. One bungie would go across 2 colonies on a 4 way.

I also considered eye hook latchs (like on screen doors), one on front and back.

Lugging 50 bricks around got old fast.
 

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I've seen migratory hives around here with a couple of sheet rock screws holding the lids down. I've also seen migratory hives missing their lids. Especially out on the blueberry barrens, the winds can whip up nicely.

Those german beekeeping vidoes with the plastic green hives show what appear to be wire clips that hook under the bottom of the hive and clip over the top edge. Something like that would be fast and easy to use.
 

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How about using a piece of high tinsil fence wire bent in a shape to catch the handholds of the hive box and keep pressure on the top cover. Sort of like those used in the German hives to hold the styrofoam or plastic hive tops on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmmmmmmmmmmm interesting concept PN...... You could fashion one to go across 2 colonies in a 4 way easily.
 

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This is not that big of an issue with migratory lids. I bet we don't have 10 covers blown off of 6,000 hives in a years time. Usually the ones that do blow off are weak hives or dead.

This is not counting cows,horses, and kids knocking them off.

I have seen migratory bees with lids nailed on but it will screw your boxes up over time.
 

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I use migratory tops, or just a flat piece of plywood. Even with the top propped up, they get stuck down solid. If I felt the need for something else, I think one deck screw would be more than enough. Anything that rips that off will probably take the hive.
 

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nick noyes adds:
I have seen migratory bees with lids nailed on but it will screw your boxes up over time.

tecumseh replies:
well if you use box style nails like those used in most bee box construction the damage is limited. some nails expecially ring shank are a bit tough on the equipment. double headed concrete form nails are most excellent and the level of their damage to the top box is about intermediate between a box nails and ring shank.

a lid glued down by the girls is just as good as it gets. as a day by day practice I tend to inspect the girls by first removing the top box with lid un-removed.
 

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New lids put on late in the season may not have time to get sealed down good.So we will sometimes nail on some of the lids especially if wintering around livestock.I dont like it and agree with Nick that its hard on equipment.Just leave enough of the nail head out so you can pull it with a nailpuller bar later.We used to cut inner tubes into big rubber bands and stretch over each end to do the same thing.
 

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The ones that we rent for our orchard come strapped to pallets with a nylon(?) strapping. The lid could move around, but they have cleates on the ends that would keep it from coming off.

Obviously, it would need to be replaced anytime you got in the hives because you would need to cut it to get the lid completely off, but is probably pretty cheap.
 
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