migratory cover vs telescoping cover

Migratory Cover vs Telescoping Cover: Which One is the Best?

To start a healthy and thriving bee farming initiative, you’ll need to build the perfect hives. It is the single most important part of bee farming. 

In terms of choosing the upper cover, which is the best, migratory cover vs telescoping cover?

Firstly, migratory covers are the cheapest and easiest to use. They can be easily made with plywood. But it is not long-lasting. The telescoping covers are made with wood and metal sheeting. Making them durable and long-lasting against the elements. But it is more expensive to build.

Now, how to understand which type of cover would be the best one for you? Which one will increase your production and keep your bees healthy?

That’s why we’re here for you! We’ll assist you to understand and guide you to choose the best one for your beehives.

A Quick Comparison

Making a healthy and thriving bee farm depends on the types of beehive boxes you are using. As well as, building the right types of accommodations for the bees. 

This also includes the wood you are using to build the box. It depends on the design and the type of the boxes and the types of cover you want to use on the boxes. 

We’ve drawn a comparison chart for your easier understanding. Take a look at it-

Features Migratory CoverTelescoping Cover
Durability It is fairly less durable due to being made simpler.Made with durable wood and steel lines.
Protection Gives good enough protection in a warmer climate on a short-term basis.The best option for a colder climate gives the ultimate climate protection.
Build SimplicitySimple to make, with fewer tools needed.Has many parts, is complex, and is time-consuming to build.
Build CostCheaper due to simple designExpensive to make.

Going through this little quick comparison may not be enough for you. Do you need a far more detailed breakdown? 

You’re in luck! We’re going to discuss the criteria to understand telescoping cover vs migratory cover which is better for your beehive project.

Detailed Overview on Beehive Cover

These beehives need a healthy and happy environment for them to produce honey. Also, to maintain the delicate balance of the surrounding ecosystem. Even a small part like the top cover of your custom hives can make a difference. 

Here’s a detailed overview.


Having the beehive made to be easier to handle can bring benefit for you and the bees when you’ll move the hives. 

A frame of honey can weigh a lot. The honey extraction process can be a lot faster when your cover design is easier for handling too.

Migratory Cover

Migratory top covers are easier to handle due to their simple design and hassle-free movement. It lets you handle your beehive without disturbing them. Even amateur workers can handle a migratory cover. Making them a very easy option to use.

However, these covers get propylized down by the bees. Which can make the bee’s life harder as well as increase the chance of accidents.

Telescoping Cover

A telescoping cover isn’t easier to maintain. The delicate design and installation of telescoping cover beehives make it a bit of work to open and close. Making the handling of the beehive a bit tougher. But this complexity does come with the bees being in a better environment. 

Even though it is a better design to use for your hive, especially in winter areas, the simpler and cheaper migratory cover would be the preferred way.

Winner: Migratory Cover


Durability and having a longer usage life are something very important for any kind of beehive component. Visible differences are seen here between migratory cover vs telescoping shelf cover

This lets the hive have longevity and the opportunity to grow larger. It also brings more productive output from each particular hive.

Migratory Cover

Migratory bee hive cover plans are made from normal cheap wood or plywood. This makes it not last for a continuous period of time. Also, the wax buildup that can happen within the cover board can decay. Compromising its structural integrity. 

Plywood or normal wood-made migratory covers cannot withstand the elements for a very long time as well. But due to it being made with cheaper material, you can replace a migratory board.  It’ll be without any major financial cost overrun.

Telescoping Cover

The telescoping covers last for a long time. It’s made with a good type of wood that also is covered with metal sheeting. This prevents it from getting damaged by environmental conditions. 

As well as, protecting it from foreign materials from easily entering the hive. This reduces the risk of the hive’s health, ensuring a productive beehive.

It can also give you the space to have a suspended sugar feeder. This way you can keep them from starving. Buy sugar in bulk and keep stocks.

Also, as we were speaking of feeder, let’s have a look at the best feeders that we think would be the best for you-

The cost of telescoping cover may be more than the migratory cover. But the benefits it brings for your bee farms’ health are worth the investment. 

Winner: Telescoping cover.


Low maintenance is a crucial factor for your beehives. The less your hive is disturbed, the better they live. Also, it brings more nectar production too. 

On the other hand, with low maintenance, you could face problems like bees having trouble filling outer frames.

Let’s see which cover has low maintenance and is better for your hives.

Migratory Cover

These covers don’t have any kind of maintenance issues at all. Because once the plywood decays, there’s nothing but to replace the cover with a new one. 

The whole process of changing your beehive cover is tricky. So in terms of frequent cover board changing, it can be a pain to work on, literally. But the cheap and easy-to-build advantage can make it workable for your situation. 

Also during winter, the migratory cover allows you to bunch the hives. This gives the bees more insulation and keeps them alive in the winter. 

Also, to keep your bees healthy you can try food supplements or feeding stimulants. You can even add the supplement with your bee fondant and make your bees stronger during the winter season. 

Telescoping Cover

The telescoping cover has little maintenance to do. The better design and climate protection give these covers a very long usage life. But the metal sheeting needs to be cleaned from time to time.

The metal sheeting needs to be cleaned to prevent it from getting rusty. This process needs to be done from time to time. 

But using a telescoping cover allows you to have an entrance on the top for the bees. This keeps them protected from wind gusts.

In terms of maintenance, the migratory cover has none. Making it the ideal choice in the first view. But the benefits that can be brought by using a telescoping cover make it a wise choice.

Winner: Telescoping cover

Our Recommendation

It’s a bit tough to choose from migratory cover vs telescoping door cover. Still considering everything, you should get the telescoping cover for your beehives. 

This will be a costly endeavor. But the benefits you will find from using this design are extraordinary. 

Using a migratory cover may be cost-effective and easier. But the constant changing of the cover board will keep the bees in an unsettling mood. This will negatively impact your nectar production. 

So, it is better to use the telescoping cover for your beehives rather than the migratory cover.


Some frequently asked beehive cover and feeder related questions can be as such-

Do you use an inner cover with a hive top feeder?

No, you don’t use an inner cover with a hive top feeder. Do not use it when the feeder is on top. Try to fill the feeder with sugar, in syrupy form. Use a telescoping cover to enclose the feeder. Make sure you clean and dry the feeder after feeding.

Do you need an inner cover on a beehive?

You don’t necessarily need an inner cover on a beehive. Normally, an inner cover is used to give insulation and protection for the hives. But it makes it more difficult to do the extraction process smoothly. 

Are frame feeders any good?

Frame feeders are good things to use if your hives are in a warm climate. It is also known as a broad feeder. These help the bees to have access to the sugar syrup. This lets them feed with ease.


I hope you are clear about migratory cover vs telescoping cover.

Using the telescoping cover will bring you benefits in nectar production and it will last long. Giving you the best output from your farm. Also, keep your hardworking bees healthy and happy.

Happy beekeeping!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top