Roof covers

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Drone Bee
Oct 19, 2009
Reaction score
Newport, South Wales
Hive Type
Number of Hives
Do people generally stick with the traditional metal roof covers?

I am looking to make some hives over winter ready for the spring and I've sourced everything else but thin metal sheet seems to be difficult for the diyer to obtain at reasonable cost.

I have one experimental hive covered with EPDM flat roofing material. Supposed to last ~50 years on flat roofs. I just laid it on dry with hospital corners and nailed it down. Also thought about using pond liner - obviously 100% waterproof. Only problem I can see is these materials are black so may be heat management issues.

If using metal - what metal? Aluminium/Galvanised Steel/Lead? How thick? Obviously a trade off between toughness and workability. I have found 0.7mm thick Al sheet on the 'net that seems reasonable price (per roof) - but the postage cost is more than the material cost - would that be thick enough/easy enough to work with without having industrial tools?

Comments appreciated ...

I think loads of beekeepers used to use printing litho plates?
Are you looking for 'pretty, pretty' new stuff? If so, your local steel stockist should not be too expensive.

If make-do-and-mend, roofing felt stuck on is as good as anything. You might be able to source some aluminium sheet from scrap landrovers. Lots of other options available from the scrappy.

Black should present no particular problem - just insulate under.

You could make sloped roofs, to shed water easier, and simply paint.

Bees won't really complain unless they leak.

Regards, RAB
I bought some 0.5mm Aluminium sheet to roof my nucs and it was just right. I cant remember where I ordered it from (somewhere online) but I had enough for about 10 nucs and they worked out about £1-50 a nuc including delivery. I`ve no idea if that is a good price or not but I was happy with it.

Regards, Darren.
you can make a hive out of cedar and zinc roof that will last 20 -30 years or a hive out of reclaimed skip timber and roofing felt that will last 5 years

one will cost £200 the other a £5, its your call

i hedge my HQ hive to one DIY...the bees do not mind, so long as they dont leak

my HQ hive has just been vandalised..too posh,to noticlble with its gabled roof

The old DIY hive,faded timber odd planks of timber, odd bit of roofing felt added to the roof with extra archivrave wood to keep the felt on looks like a pile of boxes...never touched
Last edited:
Hi Paul
C Wynne Jones sells pre formed galvanised roof covers, just need fixing and ready to go, as to price give him a ring, he does have a website but not priced
Be interesting to see his price as I buy just the roof metal from Thornes a few times a year.
Can someone post it when they get the info.
other ideas from hedgerow,
scrap washing machine/drier side panels two roofs per machine and may a nuc roof same with an old fridge.

galvinised metal sheet for a roof needs to be no more than 0.5mm and thats max so where i live i can buy flat gav sheets at 600mm square for £5 each

other hive roof materials
fibre glass
normal paint
melted tar
green mineral felt
pond liner
copper sheet
ali sheet
tin foil
Thanks all.

6 * Al litho plates on their way - price = jar of honey next year (non left from this year's megre crop).

I'll let you know how I get on with them.


used to get Ali litho plate from a local printers but have gone over to P Cs no more plates, if you have spares or can get any please PM me.
it is so useful.

hi Mik

I asked what they do with the old plates and apparently they are re-cycled. Since they didn't want any money I assume that means they get at most scrap value for them.

When I pick them up I'll ask about more.

BES do a possible solution for a roof covering - Alu closure Plate

Product - Part no 6981 / 6982 only down side is you need to buy in 10s

regards philip

Latest posts