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A very simple rain shelter

I like to shelter my hives from the rain. A sheltered hive gives the bees a dry place to land and keeps rainwater from seeping in around the entrance. It also keeps snow and hail from blocking the entrance. It’s probably not very important in most places, but here where it rains for about nine months straight, it is a nice add-on.

I have permanent rain shelters for most of the hives, but for the few that are standing out in the elements, I use a simple shelter made from a rectangular piece of 3/8-inch plywood and a ratcheting tie-down.

I simply cut the plywood bigger than the hive so it overhangs four or five inches on each side, then I paint it. I place the plywood on top of the hive and tighten the tie-down around the the whole thing. At first the board is flat and looks kind of awkward. But each time I tighten the tie-down, the roof bends a little more. After a month or so it looks like the top of a Quonset hut.

Of course, this type of roof offers little protection from blowing rain or snow. But better than 90 percent of the time it keeps the entrance dry. I often see the bees walking around out there, sipping a beer and remarking on the weather.

If the boards are painted they last a long time. The ones I have are about five years old and are still as good as new.

Rusty
HoneyBeeSuite.com

A simple rain shelter

 

Comments

Phillip
Reply

I have to learn how to use one of those ratchet things.

So I can make one of these for my house.

I like these better than telescoping covers. It looks cheaper too.

mbee
Reply

You crack me up. Thanks for the the laugh that came with this great tip. Rain shelters are next on my to-do list.

Jason
Reply

Is there a reason you painted your hive green?

Rusty
Reply

Yes.

Jason
Reply

So what is the reason the hive is green, if you don’t mind saying?

Rusty
Reply

Sorry, Jason, I was just giving you a hard time.

First off, the paint matches my house trim and my lawn furniture, so I happened to have it on hand.

Secondly, we live next to a state forest. Trails run by, not too far away, with hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. I didn’t want my hives to be clearly visible through the woods and attract a lot of attention. So far, this has worked well. Heck, I can barely see them from a distance and I know where they are. My bees don’t seem to care.

For more on hive colors see: http://www.honeybeesuite.com/what-color-do-i-paint-my-hives/

Jason
Reply

Don’t be sorry for giving me a hard time. You answered the questions correctly and I do the same thing to other people. Like when people say “I’m going to run to the store,” I say take your car it’s quicker. So you just gave me a dose of my own medicine….very funny though.

terri heisele
Reply

I have huge honey bee hive on eave of house. Rain comes down in torrents . . . directly onto hive. I want to find a way to shelter them. I have an un-used dog house, with heavy pvc roof, detachable. Do you think I could make that work if I creep up on roof…cover hive…and yes, it is heavy . . . but I can lift it ok. Just thinking . . . want to weight it down so wind never moves it against bees or hive. Any ideas? Thanks. (MadMaven)

Rusty
Reply

Terri,

Sheltering the colony from rain would be a good thing. I just don’t know if I can picture your idea of putting a dog house over a colony that is hanging from the eaves. It sounds kind of unstable to me.

terri heisele
Reply

Sorry for typos . . . using cell to post . . . hard to see. Not interested in taking their honey. I just want them happy and comfortable. Thx

Anna
Reply

I just want to say a huge thank you for all of your posts. I live up in Bellingham and this is my first year with bees. I love it! But it is a constant state of learning (and for me, worrying). Every time I get online with a question your site comes up and I find answers to my questions and more! I built a mountain rim feeder, a quilt box, and this is going to be next experiment. Trying to keep these gals dry and happy (and fed) through the winter.

Rusty
Reply

Anna,

Your comment reminded me about the rain shelters, and I went out the barn and dragged them into the bee yard. Thanks for the reminder!

Nick
Reply

You should buy them a tv so they can watch football while they lounge on the front porch and drink beer.

Rusty
Reply

Nick,

But they all will need remotes…

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