I deviced a modified inner cover that serves several purposes:
1. The modified cover is actrually more like a tray, having 2" high walls
2. the bottom board on this tray is interrupted by a 2" wide gap at the midlle, running perpendicular to the top bars. I can peek through this gap into the hive and assess what the population is like. The gap provides ample bee acces to the tray area.
3. the tray holds up to four 2 quart baggies, which is my preferred method of feeding. The baggies, if properly filled and tied, are less than 2" thick, so my telescoping or other cover will not put pressure on them.
4. the tray has a big notch cut out on one of its rims, and mesh is nailed on the outside to keep robbers out. The notch acts as a wide breathing port, so ample ventilation is provided.
5. The tray will hold any amount of burr comb or propolis that is sraped during inspection, when no bucket is available. Any burr comb that contains nectar or honey will bel cleaned out by the bees, so tha next time you visit the hive it will be clean, dry wax.
The tray rims are 1 x 2s and the tray bottom is 1/4" plywood. Hot parafin can be used to coat the tray bottom, so that syrup spills will not rot the wood.
I have never had bees build comb in these trays, nor have I found ants or roaches building nests in them. It is a great accessory and easy to build.
I have not learned how to upload pictures, but as soon as I do, IÂ´ll share some.
Ventilation does not only speed up nectar ripening, but helps in the overall temperature and humidity control that is vital to brrod incubation.
I beleive bees are extremely capable of regulating hive atmosphere, but they certainly cannot dry out water sogged wood.