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Author Topic: Screening the inner cover hole  (Read 951 times)
mat299
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« on: March 07, 2013, 06:33:07 PM »

Does anybody put screen or hardware clothe over the hole on their inner cover?  I feed with jar feeders inside an empty super and have heard that this will keep the bees out of there.  Is there any problem with the bees being able to get the syrup out with the hardware cloth in place?

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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 06:53:22 PM »

With the lid of the jar completely covering the hole, how can they get past?   And as long as they have enough bee space in the hive, it should not matter if they get into there, just as long as they have brood and room to grow below. 
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iddee
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 07:25:59 PM »

If you do it, remove it when not feeding. If the bees can't get between the lids, the ants can and will build a nest.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2013, 09:32:02 AM »

When I used them, mine were usually screened so I could feed with jars and not have bees get into the box where the jar was and so I could refill the jar without having to shake bees off of it.  When I make my own inner covers I put a hole the size of a mason jar lid and screen it.
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Moots
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2013, 09:45:32 AM »

I built a two jar feeder like this....



 and position it to where the opening in my inner cover in completely covered and falls in between the two jars.  I like this setup for a number of reasons...It places each jar over the inner cover instead of directly over the hole in the inner cover, this eliminates the possibility of having the syrup drip directly onto the cluster.  Also, the ability to have two jars allows me to add a second jar while leaving the previous jar that may not be quite completely empty.  Lastly, If I want to use just one jar, I just toss a small square off hardware cloth over the extra opening until needed.
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2013, 10:30:26 AM »

I usually cut another hole besides the oblong one in my commercially built inner covers....70mm or 2-3/4" hole (wobble the hole saw around a bit to make a nice fit for the jar lid).  But...I usually put the screen on the top side (#8) and simple stand the jars on top.  I can feed 1/2 gallon at a time with the two holes.

I like the holes being screened because I can replace the jars without having to shake bees off the jar lid or having them fly up out of the holes.  When all that I'm doing is simply replacing jars of syrup I don't wear a veil.

What iddee said about ants building nests between the lids gives me food for thought, though.  I've got a friend that has had problems with ants doing this and he uses screening over the holes in his inner cover, too. 

The feeder that Moots is showing would probably be the answer to the screening/ant issues.  I would think that you could permanently add some screening and use it as long as you are feeding.  If you only use one jar then drop a *solid* lid in the hole to keep the bees from propolising the screen.  Once you are through feeding for the season then remove it and give the bees free access.  Using the feeder that Moots showed you wouldn't have to pull staples out of the inner cover to open it back up.  Naturally, without the screen on the inner cover you will have bees fly up all along when you remove the telescoping cover.  These feeders seem simple enough to build...even I could probably one!   Kelley sells them but $14 a pop seems a little much for them.  huh 

As for the answer to the mat299, the bees will get the syrup through the screening.  One-piece lids are the best as they don't recess inward.  Using regular canning jar lids might cause the bees some problem in that the lid part is recessed toward the jar creating a small distance between the surface of the screen and the lid surface.  I had an older beek to tell me to simply flip the lid over in the ring so that the gasket faces outward...this also reverses the "recess" of the lid and makes it protrude outward toward the bees.  He said that it would not leak but I have not tried this, yet.  But, if the surface of a lid is in contact with the screen then the bees have no problem getting the syrup.

On another note, I see you're over in Georgia so SHB are an issue for you.  Beetles will enter the hive through the holes in the inner cover and will readily pass through #8 screen.  I tried some regular window screening last year and noted a higher number of beetles scurrying around on top of the inner cover (to be little greasy bug spots shortly thereafter).  The bees could still take the syrup through the screen (close contact with one-piece lids).  But, most of the time that the window screening was in later summer when I wasn't feeding very much.  Eventually the bees propolised the window screen closed....had I covered the screen to block the air movement or light(?) I think the bees would have left it open.  The window screen did reduce the access points for the beetles but no matter what you do the beetles will get inside the hive so beetle traps are still a must.  I'm a newbee, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Smiley

Ed
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AliciaH
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2013, 12:00:26 PM »

If you do it, remove it when not feeding. If the bees can't get between the lids, the ants can and will build a nest.

For what it's worth, I've had ants move in between the covers even without screening the hole in the inner cover.  Maybe Washington ants are just more persistent?  Or my bees more tolerant of their presence there?  When I get them, I switch to a migratory top for a bit.

I, too, like to screen the hole so the bees can't fly out.  Makes it easier to recruit kids, friends, neighbors to feed if I'm away for the weekend.  Faster for me 'cause I can switch jars on the fly.

Just make sure that if you have a very thick inner cover, you turn the cover so that the screen is directly against the jar lid, assuring that the bees don't have any trouble reaching the syrup. 
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dfizer
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2013, 06:00:50 PM »

Only one question here... why is there this much discussion about syrup feeding in the spring?  Isn't the time to feed in the fall - not the spring?  I only feed in the spring in the case where there are too many bees (build up was too fast) and the flow is late...  Do you all really find it necessary to feed in the spring?  I am relatively new to beekeeping - therefore please correct me...

David 
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mikesbeehives
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2013, 06:10:15 PM »

The problem I see with screening the hole in the inner cover, is that it prevents the bees from having an upper entrance, The rim of my inner covers have a notch cut out so the bees can exit/enter thru the top and this also gives better ventilation. Smiley
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Moots
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2013, 06:14:52 PM »

The problem I see with screening the hole in the inner cover, is that it prevents the bees from having an upper entrance, The rim of my inner covers have a notch cut out so the bees can exit/enter thru the top and this also gives better ventilation. Smiley

My inner covers also have a top entrance...However, it's notched into the rim that falls below the solid board of the inner cover, as opposed to the rim above the solid board.  So, whether the hole in the inner cover is blocked or screened in really a non-issue as far as the top entrance goes. 
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2013, 09:35:13 PM »

Hey Jeff,

Don't suppose you could send me pictures of how you do your top entrances. I am hoping to do those myself and haven't figured out how. Of course I don't have my hives yet they ship on Friday. The pictures really would help.

Thanks

David
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AllenF
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2013, 09:50:10 PM »

Only one question here... why is there this much discussion about syrup feeding in the spring?  Isn't the time to feed in the fall - not the spring?  I only feed in the spring in the case where there are too many bees (build up was too fast) and the flow is late...  Do you all really find it necessary to feed in the spring?  I am relatively new to beekeeping - therefore please correct me...

David 

Feed new installed packages, new splits or nucs, weak or light hives, or to build up spring hives just to get large numbers of bees early. 
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Moots
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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2013, 10:12:52 PM »

Hey Jeff,

Don't suppose you could send me pictures of how you do your top entrances. I am hoping to do those myself and haven't figured out how. Of course I don't have my hives yet they ship on Friday. The pictures really would help.

Thanks

David


David,
If I'm remembering right, I followed these plans from Beessource, and simply added a notched out  2 inch wide entrance on the quarter inch side that i use as my down side.

Hope that makes sense, if not let me know and I'll get you some pics tomorrow.
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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tryintolearn
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2013, 08:47:36 AM »

i used plastic screen over the notch and over the inner cover hole to hopefully combat shb.   the bees put propolis all over the hole in cover...i took it off and kept hoping the beetle traps wud help.   beetles in sc are a real problem for my yard
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2013, 09:02:21 AM »

>Only one question here... why is there this much discussion about syrup feeding in the spring?  Isn't the time to feed in the fall - not the spring?

Many feed in the spring to stimulate them to rear brood early.  In my location, IF this works,  this usually incites them to rear brood TOO early.   So basically I agree, but sometimes they are short on food or you're installing a package...
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