I was going to post the same question!
Wondering about the folks that use Migratory Covers?
I tried it this season with and some without and it didn't really seem to matter, except there seemed to be better top ventilation without them.
I`m not comercial nore do i move my hives to greener pasture but i do us inner covers. I believe they are a must for winter servival. They provide a dead air space that works as a insulated layer against the cold. Their also a great place to put your upper entrance. If you live in a warm climate year round probobaly not much point spenden money if ya don`t have ta!
We do not use inner covers. One more piece of equipment to worry about, plus telescopes don't work too well with pallets. We do have rims on our migratory covers to accommodate patties. Without the rims the top bars sometimes got pretty hot and the rims help with that too. With no inners we can just slide the cover to the outside a couple inches to expose the division feeders towards the inside of the pallets for syrup so feeding goes very fast.
If you use telescopes, inners are a must because you could not get under the telescope to break loose the propolis when opening the lid.
50/50 som e of my equipment I baught had them, some dont. Great hidding place for SHB here in Ga. But I have noticed a difffrence with better build up with the inner cover. I dont move my bess so I can have them with no worries of transportation issues. my2cents
Don't use them...no need. The bees do fine without them. Also no problem putting on patties with them in place. Like Shari said the main reason to use the is with Tel covers as you won't be able to get them off if you don't use the inner cover.
All my inner covers have a 1x3 nailed to the top. turns them into a shallow box. I can feed my girls without exposing them to the elements. I put a few pounds of granulated sugar up top just in case. Sugar works great as a moisture crystal.I feed syrup using ziplocks. I us a rolling pin to flatin out the patties a little more .It`s a bit time consuming, but my girls are worth it.
Have no SHB on vancouver Island, knock on wood! I have found queen b.bees and queen yellow jackets wintering up top as well as woodbugs, earwigs, spyders and of corse ants. All but the bumble bees get squashed. What i do works for me. I`ve lost 4 hives in the past 6 years and the funny thing is, I change my wintering method each fall. Wind and moisture are the leading cause of winter mortality on the Island.
I use a plywood cover. Which means that I have to nail it down between visits and when moving. Many of the other commercial beekeepers that I know have more substantial covers w/ rims, like Sheri mentioned.
The telescopic outer covers are a couple of inches wider than migratory lids that are the same width as the hive.
2 inches per hive really adds up when loading a truck.
An 8' bed will handle rows of 6 hives across; 5 hives across with telescopic lids.
On a 14" bed thats 84 hives doublestacked; 70 with telescopic lids.
I switched to migratory when I started moving bees around.
Otherwise, I still prefer telescopic for some reason.
Just don't use them much anymore.
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