Outer Cover Function
An outer cover is a critical part of the hive, functioning as a beehive “roof.” When placed on top of the hive, they provide additional protection, ventilation and insulation for the honey bees.
In winter months, outer covers also greatly reduce condensation within the hive. Their telescoping shape allows it to hang a few inches over the hive body, which keeps the hive dry and bees safe from the elements.
A beekeeper’s choice of cover depends on the size of the hive, their girls’ needs, and design choice. Wooden outer covers can be galvanized with metal, which helps them better withstand wind, rain, storms and snow due to the added weight.
Another example is a temporary clear dome cover, which is perfect for showcasing your hives to guests. Some outer covers require an inner cover for additional temperature and ventiation control.
Types of Outer Covers
Dadant offers outer covers in both select and commercial grades. Some outer covers are available both assembled and unassembled.
Wooden Outer Covers with Metal
10-Frame Telescoping Metal Outer Cover: This popular metal cover is made of wood and galvanized with a piece of metal. The metal top allows the cover to last longer and better withstand the elements. This cover is available both assembled and unassembled, as well as for 8-frame hives.
Black Fume Board with Black Top Pad: This cover is lined with chemical absorbing canvas liner and galvanized with black metal to absorb heat from the sun. The inside of fume boards can be sprayed with bee repellent such as Bee Quick or Bee Go, which will drive bees from the honey super to the brood chamber. This will make harvesting honey easier and more efficient. This cover is also available for 8-frame hives.
8-Frame Garden Copper Outer Cover: Galvanized with copper, this cover is perfect for adding an appealing look to your beehive and function as an accent piece to your garden.
Wooden Outer Covers
10-Frame Migratory Outer Cover Plywood: Migratory outer covers do not have the telescoping shape that many outer covers have, but they do have their advantages. These covers are cheaper and easier to build, and your girls may yield more products because of increased space. If you place a migratory cover on top of your hive, you will no longer need to use an inner cover.
10-Frame Flat Wood Outer Cover Commercial: This commercial grade cover is made from Ponderosa pine. Despite not having a telescoping shape, it still fits tightly onto hives and functions as a strong cover.
Additional Outer Covers
Polystyrene Telescoping Outer Cover: Used for 10-frame wooden hives, this polystyrene cover keeps the hive cooler in summer and warmer in winter. A similar polystyrene outer cover is available exclusively for Beemax hives.
Clear Dome Temporary Cover: The Clear Dome Temporary Cover allows you to see activity within the hive without removing the cover.. This is perfect for curious visitors who want to observe your hive in action without disturbing the honey bees. This cover is also available for 8-frame hives.