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Inner Cover Notch Up or Down??

By: Chari Elam

The "Notch" For beekeepers that use telescopic lids, inner covers are necessary in that it prevents bees from propolizing the outer lid to the box. But are you taking advantage of another attribute to these inner covers?

How to use the notch: 

  • For ventilation turn the notch side down on the inner cover and to the front of the hive. 

-Install the outer cover (telescopic lid) over the inner cover and slide it just slightly forward to allow additional air flow (ventilation) for the hive – but not enough room for a bee to get in or out. * 

  • Another benefit for the notch, is that it can be used as a top entrance to the hive. This can be beneficial during nectar flow as bees traveling can expedite unloading their cargo directly into the supers without having to travel up through the brood boxes. 

-When using the notch as a top entrance – install inner cover as described when used for ventilation, but this time slide the outer cover all the way forward, allowing enough space for bees to come and go. 

-Another way to use the inner cover as an entrance is to place it above the queen excluder and under the honey super. This allows the bees direct access to the honey supers as described above. 

Note: You may notice the bees building burr comb under the cover when the notch side is down. This is due to exceeding bee space. For this reason, some beekeepers opt to only using notch side down for winter ventilation. However, using as ventilation and/or upper entrance over supers doesn’t seem to inspire more than normal burr comb, as the bees seem to be more focused on building comb in the supers than under the inner cover.


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