Posted on Leave a comment

A Carpenter and Beekeeper’s Notes

How many of you opening your hives for the first time in the Spring and think something is very wrong when you come to lift the roof off. Have they propolised the roof down/ Is it stuck with honey? After exerting extreme lifting power off it comes. Resting in on something handy and having it upside down the reason is obvious. The roof is soaked through and often already rotting and the metal edges blown. A perfectly good metal roof is on the top that should have keep it dry.

However this is not the case. I had one supplier saying this happened because it was not painted properly .My new roofs were laid upside down and were painted with Sikkens varnish which i believe to be one of the top products- and top price!. I let the paint run down between the tin and the wood. 100% job.! No. Fact is that all metal roofs act like a single glazed window which we all have done away with long ago. During the frost vast amounts of condensation form on the inside surface. It has nowhere to go other than to be absorbed into the ply or solid timber below.

As a builder I know that no house roof would be built like this, so I set out to design an ultimate roof that would be kind to the occupants of the hive below. The roofs for my hives have been based on house basics so that there is permanent ventilation to the roof void at all times, The roof covering is of a non conductive material and there are channels all round the roof ventilating with the wind from any direction. By using an open crown board and mesh floor the roof can be used as chimney” ventilation.

I have introduced colours which helps the bees to find their way home and also gives a decor choice to the purchaser. Red is out as it is outside the bees visual spectrum as I’m sure you all know