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.