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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for suggestions as to what material people who construct their own inner covers use instead of /4" plywood. I'd like to use 1/8" if possible to make them lighter. I am concerned with delamination also. Suggestions. These will be only 1/2 the normal size width wise just so you know. I'll be using pine for the outer rim. I'm looking to make inner covers like the ones shown in the video "The Sustainable Apiary" by Michael Palmer. I don't want to use feed bags or cloth because I want to be able to have an upper entrance and to be able to put a feeder on each. These will be going on double Nucs.

Thanks for your input.

Wisnewbee
 

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I built inner covers for nucs just as you want to do, and I used luan which I think is about 3/16" thick at most. All I did for the rims is rip pieces of pine 1/4" thick x 3/4" wide, just stapled and glued them to the luan pieces (8 1/8" x 19 7/8") top and bottom. Drilled a 2" hole in the center of the luan for feeder jars. I didn't put notches in the inner covers although you could do it that way.
 

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I use 3/4" pine for the rims, and 1/2" plywood for the body of the inners. This is a full size 16 1/4" inner cover, but for nucs I make them 8 1/8" wide. I've been getting away from Webster's bag method and making wooden inners. I found that in the early spring, when I inspect my wrapped nucs, it takes longer to tuck the bag back under the wrapper than it does to inspect the nuc. Also, with an inner that has a 3'4" deep rim, I can give the nuc a bit of fondant if it's still too early to feed syrup, and don't have to attempt to squish the fondant down between the frames so the bag will fit back on properly. I'm still using bags for the mating nucs...don't feel like making 500+ tiny inner covers.







 

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Nice inner covers Michael, I see you don't have any rim (beespace) on the top side of the inner cover, I guess its really not needed although I have always made mine with them. What are those things stacked up to the right side of the inner cover?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
An answer from the man himself, thank you Michael. Thank you both for your input. Michael that is exactly what I was looking for. You even included pictures, wow. With the continued snow here in Wisconsin, it's a good time for indoor wood projects. Bottom boards are done. Double nuc boxes are done. 3/4 of the baby nuc supers are done. It was time to start thinking about the inner covers.

I was already going to be making an upper entrance cutout, but your input about the 3/4" rim for fondant is making me rethink my dimensions. Thanks for including that in your post Michael. That's also a nice simple jig setup you have there for assembly.

My plan for the winter of 2014 is to try wintering 25 double nucs as a test for the climate here in central Wisconsin. We get less snow then Vermont, but colder temps for a longer period of time. I figure 25 double nucs is enough for a valid test.

Thanks again for your help here and everywhere.

Wisnewbee
 

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Nice inner covers Michael, I see you don't have any rim (beespace) on the top side of the inner cover, I guess its really not needed although I have always made mine with them. What are those things stacked up to the right side of the inner cover?
In my opinion, the correct way to build an inner cover is flat on one side and recessed on the other. My boxes are cut to have the bee space above the frames, so an inner cover maintains that space when the flat side is down...in summer.
 

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In my opinion, the correct way to build an inner cover is flat on one side and recessed on the other. My boxes are cut to have the bee space above the frames, so an inner cover maintains that space when the flat side is down...in summer.
I have a bee space on top of my frames also, but its only about a hair under 1/4" therefore I put a rim on the underside of my inner covers to give a bit more space so I'm not crushing bees. I build all my own stuff so that's just how I have been doing it. It all works out.
 

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I have a bee space on top of my frames also, but its only about a hair under 1/4" therefore I put a rim on the underside of my inner covers to give a bit more space so I'm not crushing bees. I build all my own stuff so that's just how I have been doing it. It all works out.
this is the way my setup is also
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm making the inner cover similar to how Michael Palmer suggested, with one difference. I'm using 1/4" plywood instead of 1/2". These are small mini inner covers and I didn't think I needed the robust 1/2" plywood. I've got about half (25) made so far and they are coming out great. I'm using the flat on one side and 3/4" reveal on the other. A 3/4" wide X 1/2" high upper entrance was also added to the 3/4" reveal side.

Only 1 thing could have made this project easier, a set of clamps like in Michael Palmer's photos. Since I don't have a dado blade setup for my table saw, I just used my router table.

I haven't decided yet, but will most likely use a round hole as suggested by Michael Bush.

Thank you to everyone for your input. It was greatly appreciated.

Wisnewbee
 

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1/2 CDX is often well priced. My basic theory is that inner covers should be light (easy for me to move them from one place to another) and covers should be heavy (so they don't blow off). Since I don't have inner covers anymore, they are much ligher... ;)
 

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Old fashioned here, A 3/4" rabbeted rim on the ends, 3/8" tongue and groove in between, and 3/8 by 3/4 strips up the side to finish the rim. And of course, the oval bee escape hole, because that's the way they all where years ago.

Crazy Roland
 

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I had both plexiglass and bi-wall greenhouse lexan sitting around and used them for inner covers. They give some visibility into the hive and do not warp. The lexan gives insulation value but can not be looked through.


 

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I don't think I need inner covers and don't use them. Unless the soundboard for sealing the top and absorbing moisture is an inner cover for wintering.
 
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