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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to find a good inexpensive design for a top cover. When looking at pics of hives sitting in the almond fields, many look like they have nothing more than a plywood square for the top cover. Do the commercial beekeepers even mess around with a inner cover, or will the simple plywood top suffice? Please let me know if you have any good ideas.
 

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yeah you are seeing right - most comm are are just plywood maybe with a cleat but its just one more part that gets broke or missing also the flat plywood tops dont hang up on pallets when loading etc

as for the inner cover they serve a great perpose

1. they hold a dead air space that helps keep hive cool in summer and warm in winter - a lot like your attic

2. they have a hole that works great for feeding (pail style)

3 they work with bee exits (if you have a day to wait) most want faster results

4. they are great for a feeding board for dry sugar

and last on my list but should be first is ....

if you use Tele cover you MUST use it with a inner cover or you might not ever get the lit off !!!!!!! haha ive broke a lid before due to pitch that brought home

the tele cover are great for wet areas - there is less chance of getting a stream of water inside

down fall is that they dont work with 4 way pallets and take up space on the truck - you want a tight load and the teles leave 1 1/2" space between the bodies - (room to shift)

one plus of the tele is that they dont warp like the flat plywood does

well that should put a lit on my post reply!!!
 

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Here is one more reason why we like to keep the covers simple:

We can cut 12, yes 12, covers for a 10 framer out of one sheet of 4' X 8' plywood.

Estimated cost / cover = say $ 24.00/sheet
24.00/12 = $ 2.00/ cover
The covers are easier to stack for transit compared to other designs.

Ernie
 

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Ernie-

Do you use any cleats on your plywood covers? What thickness of plywood do you use?
 

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Trying to find a good inexpensive design for a top cover. When looking at pics of hives sitting in the almond fields, many look like they have nothing more than a plywood square for the top cover. Do the commercial beekeepers even mess around with a inner cover, or will the simple plywood top suffice? Please let me know if you have any good ideas.
Used Pallet Co. located in Fresno does a lot of business selling 4 way pallets and covers to beekeepers that are in the valley for pollination. Nothing better than a haul back loaded with their made to order pallets and covers.
They are also very cost effective.
Ernie
 

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Here is one more reason why we like to keep the covers simple:

We can cut 12, yes 12, covers for a 10 framer out of one sheet of 4' X 8' plywood.

Ernie
Ernie (and others),

one thing has always puzzled about the simple plywood cover and the migratory cover - don't they violate beespace?

The top of my frame bars is 3/16" below the top edge of my supers, and the inner cover that came with my telescoping cover has a lip that adds another 3/16" of space before the lower surface of the cover over the frames (resulting in 3/8" space total), but the migratory cover that I have is flat with no lip (as the oher migratory covers I have seen and the simple plywood cover I believe you are describing.

I have not used my migratory cover except for short-term manipulations because it seems like it leaves only 3/16" of space and will result in a grreat deal of burr comb between the top of the frame bars and the bottom of the cover if I leave it on for any period of time - what am I missing here:scratch:?

thanks,

-fafrd
 

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Could be that the bees don't build burr comb if they can't get to the space to build it!! I use the plywood tops and have had zero problem with burr comb on the lids.
 

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i really dont think that they need the space above the frames
if you think of wild bees in a box - they start the comb from the top and head down - leaving no space to crawl above -

just something to think about -

but the inner cover gives you a little more space for patties and such

some of my mig. tops i have put a 3/16ths " shim rim - on the edge this gives them the room

ive not seen any real difference in them -

but they do put a little burr on the inner cover - but not worth writing home about
 

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I build all my supers with the frames flush/even with the top edge of the supers, my covers have built-in 3/8" rims for bee space above the frames, they may not have this configuration in a natural hive, but it sure makes it easier to feed.
 

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Good morning guys, as a hobbyist I like the telescoping covers and especially the design by Honeyrunapiaries. I have modified them some as the sides are around five inches high. The insulation is covered with 14" plywood on both sides and the bottom plywood is 3/8" up from the bottom edge to allow for a slotted upper entrance on a narrow end about 3/8" x 3". I also rotate the boxes for winter and summer use, although I put cleats over most of the ventilation holes for winter. For winter use there is just one 3/4" hole on one end and sloped to give them an upper entrance during the winter. The telescoping covers have 1x2 frames all around and then are covered with a galvanized telecoping cover over the wood. Here one can us plywood or whatever. One of the things that I like to do on the bottom of the telescoping covers is to run a Kerf on the table saw before assembly to give it a drip edge. I have been thinking that if I will have to make several the next time, I will cut them from wider boards with the Miter Lock and then rip them to size. This should be quick and simple to assemble and last forever. Oh well, thats just me, I'll do things the hardest way I can think of and that keeps me away from the "Stupid Box". Take care and have fun
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks to all who have responded. Another thing I've noticed in the pollination pictures is hives with plywood covers with a feeder on top. That means, of course, that there is a hole in the top of the cover. So do the commercial ops carry two covers per hive; one with a feeder hole and one without, or do they just block the hole when done feeding?
 

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I use plywood.
We get a lot of rain up in the great north West, so they will need a good coat of paint.


Jim
 

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As a small scale beek, covers tic me off.

My tin topped masonry board with pine sides telescoping tops have worked well but easily cost 18 bucks.

I have an all cypress tung & groove no tin telescoping top that I sealed with caulk. Six bucks less. It swelled lifted and pushed out the end.

I have an 8 buck cypress tung & groove migratory top. Let the middle panel float thinking it would swell sealed. No, leaked and molded on the bottom side. Now I have a piece of 4 mil plastic stapled on the bottom.

I like the look of natural wood and am too lazy to paint and plywood needs it. Maybe I should try brown paint.

Each part of a hive IMHO is priced right considering the retail cost of material and the time it takes to make a standard hive, but when you add it up, for a guy who wants a little fun while getting one of nature's best ready made foods, the local farm market looks attractive.
 
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