A Hive Full of Cracks

I noticed yesterday there’s significant gap between the bottom and top deep as well as between the top deep and the inner cover of one of my hives. Here are some photos:

Enough space between the inner cover and top deep to slip in my car key. (July 31, 2015.)

I noticed the crack between the deeps when I first installed the top deep:

Enough space between deeps to easily slip in my pocket knife. (July 31, 2015.)

Thinking it was the new top deep, I switched it with another one but the same gap (or crack) still appeared. Which leads me to conclude that the top edge of the bottom deep isn’t flat. And who knows what’s happening with the crack beneath the inner cover. The inner cover might be warped. I hope that’s all it is, because that’s one big massive crack.

I’m used to dealing with some cracks between the hive components from time to time. Most of the cracks provide ventilation that doesn’t hurt the bees. But the cracks in this hive are a bit much. I’ll probably fill them in with duct tape once I’m done tearing the hives apart for the year. Completely replacing all the deeps and inner covers with ones that still might not fit tightly together — I can’t be bothered. I have no interest in messing with the bees that much at this time of year.

Do other beekeepers worry about cracks?

4 thoughts on “A Hive Full of Cracks

  1. We do. We don’t have cracks that wide yet, but some smaller ones that we cover with blue painters’ tape until the bees can block them up with propolis. If it’s winter time, we leave the tape in place to make sure to keep out wind/rain/snow. It’s frustrating when your sweet new hive bodies are not flat.

  2. We don’t worry about cracks unless they are a structural failure. If the bees don’t want the ventilation, they’ll close it quickly enough. That said, I use an assembly jig to help keep my hive bodies/supers as 3D square as I can.

  3. The bees don’t seem to mind the cracks, but I do have these supers marked for repairs the next time they’re removed from the hive, probably next spring. I’ll need to plane them down to bit.

  4. I have a pretty wide crack in one of my TBHs. I notice that there are always a lot of bees along the crack inside the hive. The crack is along a joint, so it’s definitely one I plan to fix.

    Another hive has a number of cracks where an observation window popped out of place a little bit. That’s the only hive that made it through winter last year (lost the others to condensation), and I wonder if the cracks provided ventilation. In any case, since no harm has been done, I’m going to leave those cracks.

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