Considerable number of dead bees on top of Inner Cover- Should that hole be blocked/screened?

Last time we looked in the hive there I would estimate there were at least 50 dead bees on the inner cover of the flow super. Each other time we looked there was just one or two cockroaches, no bees. We have a small mat on top of the flow frames to discourage brace comb, propolis etc- when the cover is in place it loos like the access gap between the top of the mat and the hole in the cover is 6mm or less. I am thinking the bees are finding their way in but becoming trapped and dying.

I suppose we should remove the mat? or-

Are bees supposed to be able to get through that hole in the center of the cover and go up in the attic in the first place?

And if so- what’s to stop them from building comb in the roof? I am guessing the hole is for ventilation and not actually to let bees up?

i think its for ventilation.
My hive doesnt have anything blocking the hole, and the bees havent built brace burr. I think the hole itslef discourages them.

Having had bees moving into small spaces such as that, I’d cover the hole in #8 hardware cloth (or, if SHB are an issue, maybe window screen). It’s unlikely they will move into it unless really crowded, but I have seen such things happen on occasion…

Good question, I’m interested to know this because my cover is between my brood box and feeder box and I only see about 3 to 5 bee’s feeding in there at a time.

Should the cover be place on top of the feeder box? Or is it right were it is?

thank you in advance

The hole is either for a feeder, or for a bee escape.

Bee escapes are a sort of one way valve for bees. If you put one in an inner cover, you can put the cover below a full traditional super of honey and the bees will leave the super over a day or two, making it easier to harvest.

If I am not using a bee escape or feeder, I block the hole with #8 hardware cloth, or a tile to stop bees from entering the “attic”.

My crown/AKA inner cover is above my full size top feeder but as Dawn mentioned I use it as vent n bee release escape. Don’t seem to have the beetles here yet. I have the QE below the feeders to keep the queen from climbing up n drowning in the syrup. I do have floating rafts so bee loss is minimum. Just some thots n pix’s. Gerald

Porter bee Escapes are pence and as Dawn says they have a one way valve - bees up can come down but not go back up (or the other way around depending which way the escape or board is used)

I just got 6 Porter bee escapes for £6

To anyone that can answer, this is the feeder that I have on my flow hive:

Should the cover be on top or bottom of this feeder?

As Brushy Mountain says put the inner cover on top, that is what I do.

I’m laughing at myself here. I never watch the video until now so it look like I have it backward so on the next inspection I will place the cover on top.

thanks again @Dawn_SD

Luv this forum :heart_eyes:

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So I am guessing we should cover the hole? Or should we leave it for ventilation? Or cover it with a grill and have ventilation and cover? :smirk:

This is the mat we have:

Do other flow users have a mat like this on top of the flow frames?

Sounds like the hive mat is good practice in standard hives- but I am not sure if the flow super dimensions of the hole on the roof to the top of the frames- with mat- gives beespace- only just- 0.6mm. It just seems odd to find over 50 dead bees up there?

That is what I said! :slight_smile: Either a tile/flat stone, or tape some fly screen over it. Your choice.

I don’t, and I never have on any type of hive. I know that @JeffH does use those mats, but his hives are all traditional. I haven’t seen them in use in any of Cedar’s or Louise’s Flow videos, but maybe I missed it.

Hi @Semaphore & @Dawn_SD, I use the vinyl mat basically for the same purpose as the link that Michelle provided. We, in Australia mainly use migratory lids that provide around a 40mm bee space above the frames. I use that bee space to let me know if the population is blowing out & the bees getting ready to swarm.

At the end of that article they say in red to make the mat fit tight on the frames otherwise SHB among other things will hide between the mat & the frames. I use that to my advantage. I like the beetle hiding under the mats because the bees propolize them in.