View Full Version : Bees crushed by inner cover

May 28th 2010, 09:55 AM
I'm wondering if it's normal to have some bees crushed between the inner cover and the super when you replace it....I can never seem to get the bees to leave the area that the inner cover meets the super. This morning, I installed a package and even with brushing and waiting, I couldn't get them to leave, so I ended up just setting it on top of some of them because I didn't know how long I could wait before replacing the top cover....and I'm not sure if you can brush the bees down after they've become established without getting stung.

Any info is appreciated

May 28th 2010, 02:43 PM
Smoke, not brush. You will always get 1 or 2 now and then, but smoke will move most of them.

May 28th 2010, 06:38 PM
Do you guys mean that bees are getting crushed along the edges of the super itself, or on the tops of the frames (or both)? Last time I opened my hives, I noticed a fair number of crushed bees as well. I kind of thought there was supposed to be space for the bees between the top bars of the frames and the inner cover, but obviously that isn't the case in my hives.

May 28th 2010, 06:51 PM
Between the lid and box edge. Your inner lid should leave a space above the frames for the bees. If not, add shims around the edge of it so it does.

May 28th 2010, 07:49 PM
Thanks. My inner cover (from Brushy Mt.) is completely flat on the underside. There is a raised rim around the top edge, but that side is clearly marked "this side up". Is the bee space typically provided for by the inner cover, or is there usually space between the top edge of the frame and the top edge of the super? (I hope I'm making this clear; this is usually where a drawing on a napkin would be appropriate).

As all of my equipment so far has come from the same source, frames and everything, I'm disappointed that the space wasn't "built in" there.

May 28th 2010, 07:57 PM
Different suppliers make the supers different, and I'm not sure how Brushy does theirs. If the frames are less than 1/4 in. below the super top, I would add a shim on the bottom of the lid.

Yes, the 3/8 in. open area goes on top. I make my inner lids with 3/8 on top and bottom, so they can go either way.

May 28th 2010, 08:40 PM
My husband fixes a little 3/8 piece of wood on the flat side of the inner cover on all 4 corners as well - so they can get air and it doesn't crush bees either.

May 28th 2010, 09:12 PM
Arkie, I would suggest 1/8 in on the four corners for ventilation. 3/8 will allow robbers in during July and August dearth. It could cost you a hive during that time.

3/8 strips should be all the way around. If a gap is left open, it should be only an inch or so.

May 29th 2010, 06:18 AM
here in active shb country not having bee space above the frames in the top box means you have created a habitat for the shb where the bees cannot get to them.

May 29th 2010, 06:27 AM
Smoke, not brush. You will always get 1 or 2 now and then, but smoke will move most of them.

I agree with iddee, here, but I have also had numerous times when my smoker has gone out by the time I get to closing up. (Still haven't gotten that knack!)

In these cases, I lower the inner cover rotated a bit from its final position, so that it comes down on 4 points, not the entire perimeter of the box. I lower it slowly, and most bees sense the impending doom and move out of the way. Then, once it is down crooked, I can rotate it slowly and, again, most bees move out of the way. Note that I keep saying "most."

For me this method also helps when replacing full boxes after an inspection. I am not strong enough to lower a 90 lb deep "slowly," so the 4-point method minimizes the carnage, even though it still breaks my heart when I crush one.

For what it's worth, I put my Brushy Mtn covers on "upside down," because I like having the notch on the bottom side. I get some burr comb, but no more than I get between boxes.

May 29th 2010, 08:22 AM
[quote="Iddee"]Arkie, I would suggest 1/8 in on the four corners for ventilation. 3/8 will allow robbers in during July and August dearth. It could cost you a hive during that time.""

I asked my husband about this last night after I made the post and he said he used 2/8 instead of 3/8 - would that still be ok? Good thing he is in charge of this stuff!

May 29th 2010, 08:30 AM
2/8 is 1/4. Bees can go through 1/4 in. hardware cloth. A 1/4 in. opening under the inner lid, I don't know. It would be near the limit either way.

May 29th 2010, 08:50 AM
Sliding the cover on instead of setting it on saves a whole bunch of bees from getting crushed.

:mrgreen: Al

Jun 11th 2010, 05:26 PM
Yes. Sliding eliminates the problem for me.

Jun 11th 2010, 11:11 PM
I put my cover on at a 30 degree angle with the hive body slowly lower it to where it touches then rotate into position slowly works great the gals will get out of the way I do the same thing putting supers on and hive bodies