Purpose of an Inner Cover
A beehive inner cover is optional for your hive and is commonly paired with a telescoping outer cover. Choosing the best inner cover depends on various factors, including weather, seasonal changes and your hive’s needs.
An inner cover’s purpose is that it provides honey bees with more insulation, allows moisture to escape the beehive, and helps circulate fresh air throughout the hive. It also prevents bees from propolizing the hive’s outer cover, while functioning as an upper entrance and exit. Depending on the season, they can be adjusted for both hot and cold weather.
Types of Inner Covers
Everyday Inner Covers
Masonite Inner Cover: The masonite inner cover is a strong and durable inner cover that will not shrink out of shape. It uses a mortise and tenon wood frame construction with sturdy masonite inner liner set in grooves, which makes it a long-lasting cover. Bees will have enough working space and ventilation to thrive. To remove bees from the honey supers, use this cover with a bee escape. This cover is available for both 10-frame and 8-frame hives, as well as in bulk.
Slatted Rack: The slatted rack, which sits between the bottom board and brood box, is believed to add additional room that helps reduce swarming. It also provides additional ventilation for your bees. Because the slats align with the frames, varroa will fall through the screens and into your bottom boards. This cover is available for both 10-frame and 8-frame hives.
Inner Cover with Feeder Hole: Made of plywood, this cover is perfect for feeding your colony while keeping intruders at bay, such as robbing bees. Simply attach a feeder with a standard Boardman feeder cap at the center hole to feed the bees. This cover is available for both 10-frame and 8-frame hives.
Temporary Inner Covers
Super Shim Select Assembled: A super shim should only be used when the honey supers have been completely drawn out. Place it above the queen excluder and below the honey super to give the bees an upper entrance and exit from the honey supers. However, if the super shim is left in the hive for too long, the bees will create burr comb. This cover is available for both 10-frame and 8-frame hives.
Innerview Inner Cover: This cover, offered for both 10-frame and 8-frame hives, is perfect for efficiency and curious guests. It features two layers of laminated glass that allows you to take a quick look at the colony without having to don a suit and light up a smoker. An extra PVB layer, which is placed between the two layers, offers additional insulation.
Hives without inner covers may use migratory lids as an outer cover, which is a simple, flat wooden cover placed on top of the hive. With migratory lids, bees are unable to use propolis to glue the cover to the hive, unlike with telescoping shapes. Dadant offers plywood migratory lids for 10-frame hives.