Bill, inner covers can be made from a lot of things. Plastic sheeting, reflectix, old seed bags, etc. Kamon is near you and uses reflectix which sits directly on the topbars of the frames. A screened inner cover should not be necessary in TN.
I was recently gifted some old 8 frame boxes with observation windows on either side. I've sanded, sanded and sanded some more followed up with sealant and trim to make some beautiful hives.I had wooden (standard) inner covers and replaced the center 1/8th ply with plexiglass on about half of my colonies. It's nice to be able to pull the outer cover and be able see what's going on in the top of the hive without disturbing the bees. I drilled a couple of 1" holes in the plexiglass and covered them with screen for vents, but the bees quickly propolized them shut. Going into my second year with them and no trouble whatsoever. I'll plan to covert a few more.
I was recently gifted some old 8 frame boxes with observation windows on either side. I've sanded, sanded and sanded some more followed up with sealant and trim to make some beautiful hives.
Only thing missing was this idea!
Do you take existing covers and swap the wood for plexi or build your own plexi covers from scratch?
Actually he lives in Middle Tennessee unless I am mistaken. I am in East Tennessee myself and it gets pretty hot here with several days over 100. I use solid bottom boards and no other ventilation other than a notched inner cover. The bees beard some in the summer but I have yet to see proof that this is a bad thing.I checked Kamon lives in the hills in East Tennessee. Here it hits 100 degrees sometimes I worry they might over heat. What’s the max temp inside a hive?
Evidence ?Bees choose a cavity with ONE SMALLISH entrance/ventilation port for a reason.
I leave my quilt boxes on year round and they also partially propolize them. I have left them alone so far because I assume the bees know what they are doing.My climate is a mild one. I was frustrated with how long it took for the bees to dry nectar before pulling honey so I had an idea on how to speed up the process. It was a large hive. I thought with a screened bottom board and a screened inner cover there would be maximum air flow and dry the nectar faster. Apparently it was too much air or too much light because they propilized part of the inner screen shut.
There area millions of hives with migratory covers; no crawl space there. I have a notion that for wintering in cold climates it might be an advantage to have cross over space. If you look at Scott Hendricks Youtube web site he drills an inch and a half hole dead center of each foundation sheet.It was mild this year but some years it’s bad for a few weeks.
From what I’m hearing the bees don’t need my help. I thought temps inside the hive above 90 might be an issue. I did some reading and they like it at 95.
I do worry about the bees not having room to move over the top of the frames if I use a tarp. Is that an issue?
When I tried soft covers myself a while back, using clear polythene (ex polytunnel /hoop-tunnel covers) I found that they lifted the polythene up and crawled underneath it. To make life easier for themselves, they laid-down ribs of a wax/propolis mix which held the polythene sheet up, creating 'crawl-tunnels' in the process. By doing this the polythene became badly distorted and, over time, unusable. The same problem wouldn't occur if using a fabric.I do worry about the bees not having room to move over the top of the frames if I use a tarp. Is that an issue?