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Author Topic: Middle Entrance  (Read 2469 times)
ooptec
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« on: October 10, 2007, 12:11:14 PM »

Hey,

Opinions please    lol

Has anyone ever heard of the entrance on a 'Lang' hive between the bottom two deeps (nest) and the supers instead of a upper or conversely lower entrance.

My theory being the shortest distance to either brood or storage. Less steps mean more time.

I was thinking of just a thin as possible 'collar' between them w/the entrance and landing board so it could be possible to still interchange the bottom deeps as they fill w/brood as per S.O.P.

Huh?

cheers

peter
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pdmattox
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2007, 05:38:51 PM »

I bought a hundred deeps from a retiring beekeeper that just ran the single deeps and he has a 1/2 inch hole on all of them just above the handle and a little piece of tin with one nail in it so he could close it up if need be. should work just fine.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2007, 05:40:29 PM »

My brother and I tried that way back in 1963.  We made our own 1/2 shim with landing board and placed it between the brood chambers and supers.  
The results:
1. Bees abandoned the lower entrance completely, so close it off.
2. Queen abandoned lower brood chamber completely, a queen excluder is necessary.
3. The bees eventually abandoned the lower brood chamber completely.
4. Mice, wax moths, and mold moved into the lower boxes and had to be treated as if they had been exposed to AFB.
5. Bottom board warped from excessive condensation collection, a screened bottom board is necesary.
6. The Hive swarmed 5 times that summer.
7.  It was the only time I had a hive nearly succumb to nosema.

 Overall, the brood that had been in the original brood chamber died of chillbrood and was abandoned by the bees.  This experiment, although a failure, did illistrate the importance of proper ventilation in a hive.  It appeared that the lower boxes became to cool and drafty for the bees so they moved up.  The supers seemed to run too warm and I nearly lost the hive.  

I like screened bottom boards and I like top entrances but I have found that any entrance placed between the bottom or top of the hive breeds its own set of problems--the hive will become riddled with illnesses.  To that end I do not even use small holes or shims as additional entrances, although a very small entrance can add to ventilation needs if using the old standard hive configuration. SBB and Top entrances take care of all ventilation needs a hive requires.
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ooptec
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2007, 06:00:58 PM »

Excellent

As is sometimes the case my mind's eye and reality are not necessarily one and the same    lol

Sounded like an idea but thnx for clarifying.

I have enuf problems w/o shooting myself in the foot    lol

cheers

peter
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2007, 08:24:14 PM »

I've done middle entrances by drilling holes in the boxes.  But I don't like holes in my boxes.  I prefer just the top entrance.

An Imirie shim would work but also leaves excess space between the boxes.
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Robo
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2007, 08:46:36 PM »

Like these?




I based it off the beehive movable top entrance patent design with some "enhancements".
The patent can be seen here -> http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/patents/

They are in the winter position in the photo, with no honey supers in place. During the summer, the honey supers are placed on top of the entrance.  It is basically a 3" box within a box.  There is 3/8" clearance all around the outside that allows the bees to pass from the brood area to the honey storage area,  but with the middle blocked off,  it keeps the queen down in the brood section.   Instead of just boxing off the center area, I wanted to make it a dual purpose fixture that could be used year round.  So I put a piece of 1/4" or 1/2" hardware cloth on the bottom so that feeder candy could be placed in the box during the winter for feeding.   To prevent the bees from building comb in that area in the summer,  two removable 1/4" sheets are used to block the area off.  One sits on top of the hardware cloth, and the other on the top of the inner box.   Here are some drawings that hopefully give you a better idea of it.   




They worked well at keeping the queen down in the brood chamber and the bees had no problem with storing the honey above.  I abandoned them though because they suffer from the same issue as upper entrances when you try to do inspections.  You end up in exponentially growing tornado of bees looking for the entrance and I end up rushing and killing more bees and making them angrier.  It is also impossible to install it back on top without crushing bees that are  climbing up the front of the hive looking for the entrance and bees in the hive crawling out to leave.
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UtahBees
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2007, 01:39:55 AM »

I can't come close to what has already been said. But rather I'm asking for advice:

I have drilled holes and placed wooden covers over them for Winter (see photo below - right-side hive only). This week though, it's been in the 70's, and when the holes were open to being entrances, I never saw my bees using them. Right now, I'm more afraid of robbing, so they are both closed.

Should I open a top one in winter for ventilation? I've notice that my top-cover doesn't exactly fit snug, and wasps will try to make it in there, but it's too thin, yet still a crack open. I'm sure the bees will fill it with propolis if it gets drafty.

Comments/suggestions?


http://flickr.com/photos/barl0w/1526580173/

Regards,

UtahBees
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2007, 12:54:16 AM »

I do not like, nor do I recommend, extra holes in the hives regardless of the reason or justification.  For entrances, I recommend top entrances for ventilation solutions, but if you're like Robo and can't stand standing in a tornado of bees then the only other exceptable option, IMO, is the conventional bottom entrance.

Every extra hole means one more place the bees need to guard or it lets parasites in.  As a rule if the bees are not using an entrance/access then they are not guarding it either.  Why open your hive to invasion by doing something that is not really a solution to begin with?  I consider the boring of holes in boxes needless, useless, detrimental, and destructive of hive equipment. 
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Old Timer
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2007, 02:51:20 AM »

if a middle entrance worked well enough all the big manufacturers of woodenware would mass market them as they do bottom boards.
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UtahBees
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2007, 11:15:53 AM »

I do not like, nor do I recommend, extra holes in the hives regardless of the reason or justification.  For entrances, I recommend top entrances for ventilation solutions, but if you're like Robo and can't stand standing in a tornado of bees then the only other acceptable option, IMO, is the conventional bottom entrance.

Every extra hole means one more place the bees need to guard or it lets parasites in.  As a rule if the bees are not using an entrance/access then they are not guarding it either.  Why open your hive to invasion by doing something that is not really a solution to begin with?  I consider the boring of holes in boxes needless, useless, detrimental, and destructive of hive equipment. 

Thanks Brian. I'll keep the holes covered during Winter.
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Robo
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2007, 11:20:32 AM »

Thanks Brian. I'll keep the holes covered during Winter.

I don't think that is what Brian was suggesting.   If your going to use them at all,  one at the top during the winter would be the time to use it.  You definately need some ventialtion at the top during winter.  I believe Brian's point was don't drill them in the first place.
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UtahBees
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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2007, 12:16:56 PM »

Thanks Brian. I'll keep the holes covered during Winter.

I don't think that is what Brian was suggesting.   If your going to use them at all,  one at the top during the winter would be the time to use it.  You definately need some ventialtion at the top during winter.  I believe Brian's point was don't drill them in the first place.

Thanks Robo
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Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2007, 11:14:52 AM »

I wish I could understand the logic behind this type of lid that you are using Utah Bees.  I think it is called a "migratory cover".  But....it looks like it would allow rain and wind to come in the side of it. 

Can someone describe the pros and cons of this type of lid?  I use the telescopic lid and it works great, wonder why these types of lids are used.  Just another curious forum friend.  Have a wonderful and beautiful day, in the great ol' world.  Cindi
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UtahBees
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« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2007, 11:26:09 AM »

Hi Cindi -

I use that lid because it's just what was bought for me. I received the initial hive as a Christmas present.

I'm thinking of putting a metal cover on top just to make sure snow doesn't leak through, but I haven't had any problems with rain so far. It is a treated wood.

Regards,

UtahBees
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2007, 03:51:15 PM »

Cindi,  being just a 100 miles south of you I use and prefer migratory tops over telescopic tops.  Since I prefer top entrances migratory tops are easily converted.  Also when entrering the hive you only have 1 top to deal with and it is easy to incert the hive tool to pry the top up.  I still have 1 telescopic top I use to collect swarms with, but for working in the beeyard I will take a migratory over the telescopic every day of the week. 

I don't think I've ever lost more bees to cold & condensation with magritory tops over telescopic tops--just the opposite, migratory tops are easier to vent for release of condensation.
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« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2007, 12:51:55 PM »

Brian, oooooh.....I think that I have missed the point of how the migratory top works.  Does it replace the inner cover?  That sounds interesting if that is the point of it and I am going to have to do some research.  I have seen pictures of these lids on our forum, but now I am heading down a new avenue to explore.....ain't life with the bees something else?  I have never in my life done as much studying and followup on ideas and topics as I have since entering this beautiful place, the forum.  Even with my adventures in horticulture, I have never studied so much.  Have a wonderful and excellent day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2007, 02:05:53 PM »

>Brian, oooooh.....I think that I have missed the point of how the migratory top works.

If you put one on without any top entrance it doesn't really provide ventilation, but with a top entrance it does.

>  Does it replace the inner cover?

Yes, and the outer cover.

Mine are now just flat covers with shims, but I used to put cleats on the ends like a typical migratory cover.



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Michael Bush
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