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Discussion Starter #1
I understand that one purpose of an inner cover is to provide a beespace that prevents the bees from gluing the lid to the top of the bars/frames. But the space between the inner cover and the lid also provides a nice place for hive beetles.

I generally use an insulated lid with plywood bottom, so why not just put a narrow border around the perimeter of the lid to raise it 1/4" to 3/8" above the frames? I already use a top entrance so ventilation is not an issue.
 

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I believe that the inner cover prevents bees from gluing the telescoping cover to the hive box. This is important because the overlap of the telescoping cover makes it hard to use a hive tool to separate the telescoping cover from the hive body. You can block the hole in the inner cover.
 

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as far as I can tell, most foklks prefer the telescoping cover because it prevents water frm getting into the hive by way of the perimeter extending down past the top of the uppermost box. Covers havea tendency to warp, so this lip not only helps with the warping, but also the drainage. The problem is exactly as ginkgo described. those bugger will propolize the gap and make it very hrd to pry off, so the inner cover is used.

I made some pseudo telescoping covers recently with built in front entrances, and exposed corners for hive tool use. they've only been on a few hives for a few months, but so far, i like them.
 

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plus if they combed the frames to the top cover....when you pulled it off.....it would pull all those frames up and possibly cause a big mess. hence the reason for a inner cover that you can twist and break the comb so the frames stay in place
 

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Discussion Starter #5
as far as I can tell, most folks prefer the telescoping cover...
Actually, I am referring to a telescoping lid, just telescoping the lid upward 1/4". The outer perimeter of the lid would still drop down over the top edge of the hive box. If the bees don't propolize the inner cover, why would they propolize the lid if it is spaced the same from the top of the frames?
 

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Actually, I am referring to a telescoping lid, just telescoping the lid upward 1/4". The outer perimeter of the lid would still drop down over the top edge of the hive box. If the bees don't propolize the inner cover, why would they propolize the lid if it is spaced the same from the top of the frames?
They do propolize the inner covers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
They do propolize the inner covers.
By "propolize the inner cover", do you mean that they just cover it with propolis (like the do with the rest of the hive), or do you mean they glue the frames to the inner cover? I don't mind if they cover the bottom of the outer cover with propolis if I don't use an inner cover.
 

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I recently hived a swarm and had no inner cover just a shim to give some space. i did not use smoke as I thought they would be more likely to abscond. I can say that having the bees be required to come up through the center would have saved me from trying to get some very mobile bees off the edges to replace the cover without squishing bees. At least I would have had a few seconds to reconsider.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
...having the bees be required to come up through the center would have saved me from trying to get some very mobile bees off the edges to replace the cover without squishing bees.
I hate squishing bees too :) Wouldn't you have the same problem around the edges when placing an inner cover on the hive? We're just moving the squishing from the outer cover to the inner cover. I like to hinge my tops so I have more control over lowering them and it's easier on the back than putting them on the ground.
 

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I don't think it's really necessary to add bee space. All my hives have migratory covers, which are basically just flat pieces of wood with a lip at either end.
 

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My recent experience was trying to check the syrup level. As soon as I opened the cover they erupted in large numbers onto edge. A migratory cover may have helped. The cover I had was borrowed and heavy. I had to try to push them back in, not entirely successfully. My purchased hive bees are much calmer. The swarm needs some help.
 

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The inner cover and telescoping cover work together as a pair. The inner cover is intended to prevent the tele from getting glued down with propolis.

But you don't have to use that cover pair. My hives have migratory style lids - basically just a board. The issue of whether you need to glue small strips of wood to raise the board depends on how your hive bodies are constructed. Some manufacturers have 'beespace' distributed equally between the bottom of one box and the top of the lower one. In other cases most of the 'beespace' is at the top, and in other cases beespace is mostly at the bottom.

Check your hives to see how much space is above the frames with just a flat lid, you may not need to add any space. If you have equipment from different manufacturers, each vendor's boxes may be different.

For those who think hives are manufactured to a universal "standard", this article may convince you otherwise:
http://www.beeculture.com/content/BeeSpaceArticle.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The issue of whether you need to glue small strips of wood to the board depends on how your hive bodies are constructed. Some manufacturers have 'beespace' distributed equally between the bottom of one box and the top of the lower one. In other cases most of the 'beespace' is at the top, and in other cases beespace is mostly at the bottom.
You, sir, have nailed it! I checked one of my old Lang supers...sure enough, the frames are 1/4" below the body. That hive never had any attachment issues with the flat side of the inner cover. Since I plan on adapting a TBH to a long, I'll need to place spacers on top of the bars to get the same beespace regardless of inner cover or not.
 

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"I generally use an insulated lid with plywood bottom, so why not just put a narrow border around the perimeter of the lid to raise it 1/4" to 3/8" above the frames? I already use a top entrance so ventilation is not an issue."
The somewhat dead air space between the inner cover and outer cover can provide insulation. Since your outer covers are insulated you may not need this.
 

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I find it much easier to put on an inner cover then the top with less/no casualties, which is helpful when one is too lazy to put on a veil or gloves. I also think the insulation properties are the main reason for it. I have some hives with migratory covers with top entrances, alot tougher to manuver without smashing a few. But alot lighter on the wallet when a poor man is in expansion mode......:lpf: G
 

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The issue of bee space and squishing bees can be dealt with without a regular inner cover - with either kind of lid, by using a piece of plastic or poly feed sack. It gently pushes the bees down without squishing them and prevents the lid from getting glued down. It solves the problem of plastic frames coming up with the lid, and if you feed through a hole in the lid you can just slice a corresponding hole in the plastic. If hive beetles take refuge on top of it they are easy to nab when you open the hive. A flat piece of sign board accomplishes the same things and is a little neater if that worries you.
 
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