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Author Topic: Are inner covers really needed?  (Read 3495 times)
Hi-Tech
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« on: April 30, 2006, 12:52:25 AM »

The local beek I just met told me they never use inner covers. They put the outer cover directly on the top deep.

What is the purpose of the inner cover and is it common, maybe only in the south, to not use one?
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2006, 02:52:14 AM »

I still use them but I have not ever had a SHB problem yet (clay soil), allot of beekeepers I know took their intercover off because the SHB hide on top of it, sometimes they glue the top down and its tough to get open but thats the price you pay, you could always try a migratory cover...
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2006, 06:46:47 AM »

When I went into this enterprize my first contact and supplier of nucs with now some 5-600 hives told me he didn't use them.

The guy lives and operates in south LA near Baton Rouge and it get plenty hot there, and, here where I live.

So I don't use them either. Actuall the bees will glue the covers, whichever you use,  to the hive box and that will prevent wind from blowing the cover off. If the INNERCOVER is used the bees will glue that to the hive box and the outer cover will be loose.

The INNERCOVER does have a cutout that does provide for some hot air to rise up and escape to aid in  ventilation of the hive. I dunno, my bees seem to have been OK last year and OK so far this year.

Just think, bees are hidden everwhere in nature with no INNERCOVERS, or, outer covers for that matter.

I have found that INNERCOVERS are useful in keeping the bees down in the box until one can place the outer cover on without smashing too many bees. Take the INNERCOVER, place it on one end of the box, level, and slowly slide it on, nudging the bees out of the way until the opposite side is reached. Then quickly place the OUTERCOVER on.

Hope this helps but you'll mostly always squish a few bees. There are other tricks to use to keep some good bees down but those are different stories for different times wink
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2006, 07:37:39 AM »

Inner cover are not necessary, they are there so that the bees don't glue down the telescopic top covers since there is no good way to shove in a hive tool to seperate.  If you use migratory top covers, this is not an issue.  I use them between the top super and a ventilation box.  They also come in handy when top feeding with an inverted jar (the best way to feed, I might add wink )

Quote from: Jack Parr
Actuall the bees will glue the covers, whichever you use,  to the hive box and that will prevent wind from blowing the cover off. If the INNERCOVER is used the bees will glue that to the hive box and the outer cover will be loose.

Just flip the inner cover over after it has been used a while and there will be enough propolis on it to hold the top cover, but not to the point that you can't get it off like when the bees glue it down.
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2006, 08:02:48 AM »

Actually if you are into the making of bee things, build your covers a little loose then the hive tools work well. Not to fear.

For an idea of what bees need to survive go back in time on this board and look at JACK PARR pics and see fo yo self wat dem bees need.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2006, 12:01:25 PM »

A well glued down telecsopic cover can be very difficult to get loose.  The inner cover fixes this.  The primary reason for an inner cover is to prevent condensation on the cover in the winter.  The secondary uses are so you can open the top and blow a few puffs or smoke in.  You can put a jar or can on the hole and feed, you can prop up the top and get ventilation, if you have a notch in it you can slide the telescopic forward to get both ventilation and a top entrance.

Most of mine are simple 3/4" plywood tops the size of the hive with two shingle shims under them to make a front entrance.  I get the ventilation I want.  It also seems to keep the condensation down becuase the wet air doesn't build up at the top but goes out the entrance.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm

My early top entrances were standard migratory covers with shims under them.  Now I just cut the plywood to fit.  Also you can put the shims under an inner cover to make a top entrance and get the same benefits.
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2006, 01:55:57 PM »

I use inner covers and like them very much. As stated they make it easier to remove the outer cover and allow for extra ventilation. Also I find that without one the bees glue the outer cover down and when you check that hive they are aggravated more by the pop as you disengage the outer cover.
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2006, 02:16:40 PM »

When I lived in California, I never used them.  I just viewed them as something like a hive stand.  Just something else I didn't need.  I can't even remember ever seeing one on anyone elses hives.  Now that I live in a winter wonderland, I find them a  handy piece of equipment.
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2006, 11:21:30 PM »

I don't know one beekeeper in the Tampa Bay area that uses inner covers.  I've asked about it and most share the opinion of it being just an unneccessary peice of equipment or, a death wish for the colony given, massive numbers of SHB would hide between them and the outer cover.
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2006, 11:27:47 PM »

Are there any tricks to keep the girls from glueing down the top cover? Maybe some vasaline on the top deep?
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2006, 06:01:43 AM »

NO.  

It is best to leave the bees do their thing, for the most part, IMO.
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2006, 10:56:36 AM »

Quote from: Hi-Tech
Are there any tricks to keep the girls from glueing down the top cover?


Yes, use an inner cover.....Sorry just had to say it wink



Using vaseline would be more of a hassle than just using an inner cover.  About the only thing that is certain is that you will end up getting it on your clothes.  You would have to keep lubing the super down,  lube more supers when you add them on top, keep track of which ones are lubed, etc, etc.  It is just not practical.

If you don't want to use an inner cover, use migratory tops.
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2006, 01:21:06 PM »

Quote from: Hi-Tech
Are there any tricks to keep the girls from glueing down the top cover?


Ummmm.... Just leave the top covers off??? shocked
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2006, 01:39:16 PM »

When you have a wind storm you will be glad they glue down the covers and the boxes etc.

Yes, the vaseline will slow them down. No, you can't stop them they will glue it down anyway.
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2006, 02:57:46 PM »

ok, I know I'm new, but what the heck is SHB?
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2006, 03:00:50 PM »

Quote from: KONASDAD
ok, I know I'm new, but what the heck is SHB?


Small Hive Beetle
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2006, 07:57:53 PM »

So.... Use the inner cover and give the hive beetles a good place to hide...
or
Don't use an inner cover and scare the crap out of the bees every time I open the hive....

Dang....  This is an awkward moment....
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« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2006, 11:29:55 AM »

In the beginning, when my mind was void of any bee knowledge, I thought you were supposed to put inner covers between each super.   embarassed  That didn't work out too well.  The bees basically glued each cover to each super top (I had three supers) and there was very little movement between them.   Eventually, after carefully evaluating others' hives, I realized this was not the best thing to do, and reverted to one cover.  

Yes, my poor bees have to put up with a lot from me...
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« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2006, 12:00:53 PM »

:lol:That is the best thing I've heard all day cheesy
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« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2006, 11:33:52 PM »

This is one of those subjects that comes up from time to time on beekeeping groups. Sometimes the 'discusssion' gets quite heated. Yes, you do need them! No, you don't need them! Yes, you do! No, you don't!

I started out beekeeping some years back and used them and they seemed ok. But, then I ended up later on not having enough and just used the outer telescoping cover. That seemed ok, too. I, personally, have not had trouble with bees gluing down my outer cover to the extent that it becomes difficult to remove, but then I check my hives about every two weeks or so. I no longer use them inner covers.
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