Do I have to have inner cover? Melbourne Australia

Hi everybody,
I am in Melbourne Australia. Do I need to have inner covers for my hives? Usually hives sold here do not have inner covers. Some suppliers have no idea what inner cover is but after watching some videos on YouTube and doing some research apparently it is a good idea to have them. Considering Melbourne’s climate do you guys recommend it? In summer? In winter? I have 2 hives and planning to split them to 4.
Thank you

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Some people in Australia seem to prefer a hive mat. @JeffH makes his own by cutting a rectangle of linoleum from scraps from a flooring shop, I believe. You need to cut it slightly smaller than the hive box, so that bees can access the roof space and move between the frames.

If you have a Flow hive with a gabled roof, I would definitely recommend and inner cover/crown board. You should be able to use a hive mat instead, if you wanted, but my bees would build in the roof if I did that, even if their box was not full. They just have a defiant attitude! :rofl:


Hive mats are typical with conventional hives, but plenty of conventional beekeepers use inner covers as well. I agree with Dawn and use inner covers. They are very useful for feeding bees as needed (with a jar feeder or other kind of internal feeder eg rapid round).


You don’t “have to have inner cover”, however it certainly helps, especially if you opt to use a hive mat instead. Using the inner cover as provided by Flow allows you to harvest honey without having to raise the roof.

There is a big difference between an inner cover & a hive mat.

With an inner cover, the bees will propolize that to the super, therefore meaning that the roof will need tying down. The reason being that there is nowhere for the bees to propolize the roof, unless the center hole is open, which might happen with time.
It’s true that bees will enter the roof with the hole open, before first filling the frames. it’s natural for bees to want to build in an upwards fashion.

With a hive mat in place, the bees will fill the frames first, before moving into the roof. That’s a good thing because it allows us to see when the population is exploding, & importantly gives the increased population space to move into.
Another big advantage is that the bees will propolize the roof to the super, thus negating the need for tying the roof down.
Another advantage is that bees wont build comb above the frames, adjoining to the roof, which makes the task of removing it difficult, messy & upsetting to the bees.