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Author Topic: Top entrances  (Read 1859 times)
wvbee
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« on: June 21, 2007, 12:38:10 PM »

Just a quick ? on top entrances.  Is it better to close the bottom entrance and open the top in the evening when most of the bees are home?  I blocked the bottom the other day and observed, the bees coming back to the hive just piled up in front of the entrance.  It was a hot day so I reopened the bottom entrance.  I don't imagine that it would take them long to learn the new way in and out, but wasn't sure.

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doak
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2007, 08:41:58 PM »

Leave the bottom open, how much depends on the strength of the colony. Strogger colonies can defend theirselves good enough to leave it all the way open.
doak
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2007, 09:07:07 PM »

I'm converting a few hives to top entrance in order to collect pollen via sundance II (top entrance) pollen traps.  For this application I require the bees to acclimate to the top entrance exclusively.  What is the reason you're adding/switching to top entrance?  If you want to use top entrance only (& can't leave the bottom open also, per Doak's advice) then I would follow an incremental switch-over.  First have both entrances open 100%.  Then gradually close off the bottom via a reducer.  Finally, close off the bottom altogether.  An important note - if you're using screened bottom boards (as I am) you should put in a board as it has been reported that the bees may cluster below the screen as opposed to finding the new entrance.  I'm right in the midst of this process and have the bottom closed off 90% as of today.  Still, they are mostly using the bottom entrance but I expect next visit I'll see the top gaining popularity (& will be closing off the bottom then as well).

Best of success!

Cheers,
Dane
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2007, 09:46:58 PM »

I use top entrances and have the bottom entrance permanately closed.  In fact, 2 of the packages I hived this spring were put in hives that I made with no bottom entrance at all. 

The bottom entrace, unless blocked, tends to become an unlocked back door that lets the burglars in. 
If you're using SBB, like I am, there is no reason for the bottom entrance, period.
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2007, 09:55:20 PM »

the only problem i have with a permanent top entrance is the weather.  when the rain comes sideways, as it often does here, a bottom entrance is much easier for me to protect.  i do use the top entrance during the summer especially when it gets hot.

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Potlicker1
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2007, 10:16:57 PM »

Can you tell me how a top enterance works. I'm not familiar with it and it might be something I should be using.

Thanks
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2007, 11:04:42 PM »

The easiest way to make a top entrance is to turn your bottom board upside down and put it on top of the hive.  It makes a top entrance and functions like a migratory top. 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2007, 06:27:00 AM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#topentrance
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Potlicker1
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2007, 08:12:25 AM »

I can see where that would be a great idea especially to give the workers a place to go in directlly without having to push thougdh the entire colony to deposit necture. I may have to try this out. Thanks.
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Mici
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2007, 10:53:20 AM »

do you guys put any landing boards (the ones that use exclusevly top entrances) or do they do ok?
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imabkpr
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2007, 01:14:59 PM »

Without a bottom entrance how does your bees keep the bottom board clean?  Charlie
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Mici
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2007, 01:18:01 PM »

Without a bottom entrance how does your bees keep the bottom board clean?  Charlie

most of times-as mentioned, beeks use only top entrance in combination with SBB, meaning, most of dust and stuff falls throug, bigger parts are dragged by bees. but i think that it doesn't matter all that much to a bee, once she picks up a grain of some sort, where she goes, up, or horizontaly..
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Potlicker1
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2007, 01:26:59 PM »

Would you block off the old bottom enterance right away or let them adjust somehow?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2007, 09:51:49 PM »

Blocking the bottom entrance forces them to adjust.  It is very interesting to watch hives with different types of entrances.  The conventional bottom entrance has bees approaching like they were fighter jets landing on an Aircraft carrier.  Top entrances have bees coming in above the hive then dropping down to land just below the entrance and then walk up the hive and inside.  You'll see 10 bees in the grass from a bottom entrance verses 1 for a top entrance. 
IMO the bees are more efficient in exiting and returning to the hive with a top entrance.
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