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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may be a silly question but I ain't skeered. :D

On the top box of a Langstroth hive should there be space for bees to crawl across the top of the frames? Or is using a board flush with the frame tops in the box (i.e., bees cannot crawl on top of the frames) OK? On other hive box interfaces there is space, but I'm wondering if the girls would care that there's no space on the top box.

This is a hive without a top entrance (the only entrance is on bottom board).

- djb
 

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With all beehives - not just Langstroths - if the hive has a 'hard' top board (Inner Cover, Crown Board) above the frames, then it must be installed with a beespace between that board and the frame top bars.

Without that space, the bees will 'glue' the frame top bars to the board with propolis, and if the space is much greater than a beespace then they'll attach it to the top bars with brace comb.
LJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Allrighty. I wondered if one configuration (space or no space) might promote (or reduce) the gluing.

The top board(s) I've been using has a space, and it's also screened, and the girls have reduced the area of the screen significantly. So I was considering making another design for new hives. I guess they don't need no screen. :rolleyes:

- djb
 

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If you you use a soft cover like a feed bag or reflectix bubble wrap you can use a flat hard inner cover or also skip the hard inner cover and use a standard telescopic cover or migratory cover.

The soft cover will sag down tight to the frame tops and prevent building of burr comb. Like LJ says, it must be either touching or ~ 5/ 16 th to 3/8 " gap or they will fill it with their creations that will be inconvenient for you!
 

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The top board(s) I've been using has a space, and it's also screened, and the girls have reduced the area of the screen significantly. So I was considering making another design for new hives. I guess they don't need no screen.
Yep - I understand and sympathise fully - that's been my experience too.

I've drilled four 2" diameter holes in all of my Crown Boards (inner covers/ top boards) which support multiple inverted jar feeders - and these holes are either covered with tiles, or fully open when a feeder is in place. Some people place wire mesh over such feeder holes - which admittedly does make jar changing easier - but the bees will persist in propolising closed as much of that mesh as they can.

From this and other observations, I've concluded that bees require the tops of their hives to be as tightly sealed as possible. I fully accept that this runs contrary to the popular practice seen within the United States of providing upper entrances and upward ventilation - such ventilation usually taking place through some kind of fabric (that is, until it becomes coated with propolis). It would appear that there's never going to be any agreement over this particular beekeeping issue. :)
LJ
 

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I came to the same conclusion concerning not needing upper entrances/top ventilation 40 years ago. What is always a surprise is the number of beekeepers that refuse to even give it a try.

genusCastor; A piece of 4 mm plastic sheeting cut an inch larger in length and width than the hive bodies makes an inexpensive inner cover. I have mine attached at one end to foam insulation board so that it is easier to control in the wind.
 
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