I’m getting me and my top bar hive ready for it’s first colony. I read about heat being a problem, so I have a suggestions for that person and I wanted to run them by you, Matt, to make sure what I’m doing is okay.
To create a chimney effect to keep the hive cool, I have put staples on one side of three top bars. I used a shim under it to hold the dimension at 1/8" between just three bars. Then I make the partition the correct width so when it and all the bars are in place air can pass, but bees can’t. I don’t want to risk getting a comb attached to the roof. Then I drilled 1" holes at each end of my pitched roof near the apex and covered the inside with 1/8" hardware cloth. With the hardware cloth on the bottom of the hive, air should be drawn through to keep it cool. I’m pretty sure it won’t be enough to dry it out, but I plan to check it often
The other thing I have done, even though the hive will be in the shade, is to cover the roof with over-lapping, self-adhesive, reflective roof flashing. This stuff sticks to anything it touches, so be sure it’s located well before you put it down on the rooftop. My roof also projects about 3" all around and extra in front where the entrance is located.
Another thing I’m doing different has to do with inspection. I purchased a 3/8" diameter, lighted endescope with a 16’ reach on eBay for just $22. It works great!. I plan to drill 1/2" holes in at the bottom of all four corners so I can remove a rubber plug and slide the endiscope in to inspect the hive without disturbing or moving the top bars.
Do I need side entrances?
Will the light of the scope (which is adjustable) bother the bees?
I used a very good grade of plywood with untreated aspen veneer for the body of my hive. None of the rough edges are exposed to the bees. Have you heard of the glue or glue I used for the corners cause any problems.
Thanks to any who answer for taking the time. I’ll post pictures next time and if I can post video you can see how well the endiscope works.