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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen a number of people using that plastic feed bag material for inner covers. I'm just now trying some. For those with experience, do you find they're always frayed and coming apart, or is there some method of burning the edges to keep that from happening?

Adam
 

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One of my mentors recommended this last year. We cut them to size, so at least 2 edges were always the "cut" edge and yes they frayed some, but not bad. They will propolis a bit between the feedsack and the top of the frames.

In my mentors experience (and the reason why he uses them and recommendends them), the bees will build little "hive beetle jails" on top of the bars and herd the beetles in them. Once he pops the tops, he takes his hive tool and runs the bend part over the frames, squishing the beetles that are in the 'jails'. The sack settles enough on the frames that bees really don't get caught. We tried these a bit last year and our bees did construct the beginnings of the "jails", but we didn't get any beetles...maybe we just didnt' have any at that time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I know Kirk Webster uses then (or did) as I saw them in a video of him. I have top entrances going, so I'm looking to use them by just setting them back from the entrance edge by a couple of inches to allow them to go out. that way, the whole top of the box isn't open to the air, and I'm hoping it will make the bees less likely to glue the cover to the top box.

Adam
 

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I tried woven feed sacks last fall as inner covers for some 4 nucs I wanted to winter. They failed miserably. I used goat feed sacks cut to size and as long as it was warm weather things went fine with them but when the temperature dropped they acted like a vapor barrier and did not allow water to escape and all four nucs were lost due to wet frozen bees. I used real burlap on a couple and they were fine. I didn't use an inner cover on two and they had large cracks and holes in them and they wintered wonderful with no help from me. I plan on trying some of the landscape fabric that says that it allows water through this fall.

Tim
 

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I cut mine with a hot blade and they haven't frayed with 2 months of use.
 

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Seeing feed bags used on photos on Beesource I thought I'd give them a try. I like them.
I am using my wife's chickens feed bags, a kind of woven plastic. What I am finding is that when I lift off the outer cover, I can peel off the feed bag inner cover (fbic) and drum it with a finger as I peel it back. This drumming makes the bees that are on the fbic fall back into the hive. Fbic's are free, weigh next to nothing, and come with pretty chicken designs on the side that faces out.
Try one. All you need is a pair of scissors, and a feed bag. I have had mine in use on nucs for over a year with no signs of wear. Unlike other inner covers when you take them off they will blow away unless you put a rock on them. I have mine overlap all the way around the box by about an inch. I haven't seen hive beetles up here yet. I am trying to get FBIC into beekeeping vernacular.
 

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I don't use, though I know some folks who do. I don't care for the way they come off the hive, that tearing sound. Though, I don't know that it bothers the bees any. It just seems to me that the way it comes off would.

I like the beetle jail idea expressed previously. If you have hive beetles, that would be one reason to use them. So one could squash the beetles.

I have a friend who uses tar paper for an inner cover. That I really don't like and don't understand. He says it helps warm the hive. I don't see it.

I have a flat plywood cover as a cover for my hives. Some of the ones I have inherited have a hole cut in them for a feeder pail or jar to sit above. Each of those covers also have a canvas (Army Tent material) inner cover. To me, a little better than the plastic feed sack.

Whatever works for ya, Adam.
 

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I've tried them several times, and my main objection to them has always been that they give the hive beetles so many places to hide. Apparently not as smart as your mentor. Guess i'll have to reconsider. Certainly lighter and cheaper than anything else.
 

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I am using some for the first time this year. I made up my mating nucs back in March. They seem to be working fine, the edges that stick out in the sun have started to fray but the part that is under the top cover are holding up just fine. I am using a queen castle type mating nuc so it makes it very easy to inspect one hive but, keeping the other hive right beside it from getting into the hive I am working with.
 

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I use them on mating nucs only to keep bees from traveling to other side during inspections. Works great. One full sized feed bag folded in half. A bit of fraying at the edges doesn't bother me as long as the area over the frames is intact.
 

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I have a friend who uses tar paper for an inner cover. That I really don't like and don't understand. He says it helps warm the hive.
It will hold back moisture under the right conditions which will be less of a heat loss. Certainly not reliable under varying conditions. I would not want my honey in the presence of tar paper on warm days for extended periods.
 
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