OK, we know what some of you might be thinking,"Top screen? What's that? Another piece of equipment I need?"
The answer... yes! A top screen is a valuable component in a hive.
The top screen fits on top of your hive under the roof & it's important purpose is to provide ventilation to the hive during hot, summer months. Most beekeeping sources tell you to use an inner cover in the summer. We do not recommend this as inner covers do not provide enough ventilation. Inner covers with screened bottom boards do not provide enough air flow during hot months. We also do not recommend using an upper entrance to aid in ventilation as this leads to other problems such as burr comb & bees depositing pollen in honey supers.
In our hives, we do not use a top screen if we are using hive top feeders. Our hive top feeders have screened holes on all four sides to provide ventilation & light which will cut down on burr combing under feeder box.
Proper ventilation in the summer is critical to bees. A poorly ventilated hive equals a hot hive. Hot hives can cause bees to have bad temperaments & become unnecessarily over-worked. Over-worked because they spend valuable energy, time & resources fanning themselves & collecting water to cool the hive when they could be spending their time & resources doing what you want them to do... collecting pollen/nectar, raising brood & other hive related duties.