Hi fellow beeks
I see almost on every hive that roof is secured with some sort of weight, bricks etc
I believe it’s to prevent a skunk or other small animal to open the hive?
How do I secure my flow roof since it’s peaked and can’t put a brick on it? Any advice / photos would be much appreciated!
Hi fellow beeks
I have 2 methods and I use both. First is a stainless steel hook and eye safety latch (2 and 1/2") which I found on amazon.com. It looks like this, and works pretty well:
The second is a ratcheting strap (same as a hive strap). I don’t have a photo of that, but basically I place it around over the top and the sides of the hive and the hive stand, then tighten to hold everything together. The risk is that you can dent the roof if you tighten a little too vigorously. I have tried it, and it also works to put the strap around the hive, but over the top of the inner cover. You can then put the roof on top, and my latches can be adjusted a little to hold the roof on too with the strap underneath the roof.
Hmm, why do I have a big brick on my hive ? No sure …
Maybe cuz everyone one else does. It does look more fashionable than a strap … My Langstroth have deep lid n my hive are behind a secure 6 plus foot fence … Bottom of posts are in a heavy steal bracket … So water doesn’t rot the post n the lower half of the backer is buried in a cement wall. The neighbor built that fence to last n we’ve had 60 to 70 mph-er hit it more than once. I like my bricks. I picked out each one individually from the large hardware store in town.
Bet you have raccoons in your area. Being related to bears, they love honey and don’t mind bees. The bricks are too heavy for them to move off to get into the hive.
I have used a brick temporarily on the gabled roof of the Flow hive. However, I worry that it could be knocked or shaken off (gardeners are clumsy, and we have earthquakes too), so I went with the latches and strap.
We do have poseims n coon here. But I keep the window cracked open so I can hear if they are after my hens. The hens are locked in but start fussing. And the dogs behind us go NUTs … And I do have artillery ! and have on ocassions persuaded more than one critter that he came over the WRONG fence ! boom ! Mines quiet ! Nitie nite my friend ! Gerald
Thank you Dawn, the hooks look great and easy to install, I will go this route! Raccoons are indeed everywhere in The Bay Area so that should keep them off my hives thanks!
The bees have propolised the roof onto the super, so it is quite hard for me to lift the roof off without a tool!
When i first started, the roof came off easy as you please but then i left it alone for a few weeks and now cant open it when I like to.
These are the ones i bought - a little overpriced. You can probably find something cheaper in Home Depot or Lowes, but it always takes me so long to find anything in those stores, I decided to pay more.
Just stick tour hive tool in the join and give a twist. It will open. The only time propolise is a problem is if you have a telescopic roof with no inner cover.
I use an inner cover as well and it still gets stuck. i dont mind it being stuck, as it means i dont need to use a brick or straps or whatever to keep the lid on!
When i opened the hive last time, the inner cover was stuck to both the super and the lid but i didnt mind again as it helped to keep reassembly easier. I did check through the hole to make sure no burr comb existed in the roof- found none in mine, and i think it is because I gave them a medium brood box to play with.
In 28 years I’ve never tied my lids down & I use migratory lids. I have bricks to place on newly painted lids, just to hold them until the bees propolise them down. I always have to use my hive tool to remove lids.
I have never had a roof come off during severe weather events.
With the amount of force required to loosen the lids, I wonder is a racoon or skunk would be able to remove one.
My plan is to use a sand bag. It will form to the peak.
Yes, well, my reply to that would be that the bee population mustn’t have been strong enough to properly propolize the lid down. If that was the case, I’d encourage anyone to do the same as your photo. cheers
That’s interesting. Mine have shown no interest in propolizing the roof down. There is like a half inch to an inch on the front edge of the inside but other then that not much. Even the inner cover is not heavily propolized. Maybe mine are one of those breeds that just don’t put much down to begin with.
Hi Adam, I assume they’ll propolize the inner cover down, I don’t think they would need to propolize the roof down because as far as their concerned, all the gaps are filled. I guess if the inner cover is a neat fit over the flow super, it might appear that the bees didn’t propolize it down good, however all the bees are doing is seal any cracks. I’m heading down to my bees shortly for the first time after a fairly severe weather event followed by some near cyclonic winds. I don’t expect to find any roofs off my hives. My biggest concern is that the cows didn’t knock any hives over. Wish me luck.
Before I go, because I use a vinyl mat covering most of the top frames, sometimes I’ll borrow lids from hives for a day or so if I need to.
If a lid does blow off a hive, it’s never a big deal in the scheme of things anyway, considering where you see some of the places where bees build their nests.
I just occurred to me that a lot of beekeepers use an inner cover with a lid over that, so naturally the bees will propolize the inner cover down but because the lid doesn’t form part of the inside wall of the hive, of course the bees can’t propolize the lids down. In my case & including a lot of Aussies that use migratory lids, where some of us use vinyl mats with a bee space all around, the join between the top of the super & the lid gets proplized down.
PS, no lids were blown off & no hives knocked over by cows. Only one hive that went queenless & died out.
Hi Dale, that takes away the attractiveness of the roof, I see other flow hive roofs with bricks on them. If one is going to take away the attractiveness of the roof, he/she might as well just use a normal painted lid. Another option would be some of those neat little clamps you can buy.