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Author Topic: Hives with top entrances  (Read 3665 times)
Dr/B
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« on: September 14, 2007, 12:01:30 AM »

Question:

When using a top entrance, is the order of the boxes different vs. the usual bottom entrance hive?

(ie. do you still put the brood in the bottom two boxes?)


Just curious if it's the same as the bottom entrance hive.  If so, this means the bee traffic is such that the bees are traveling thru your honey supers to get down to the brood.  Or are the top two boxes brood, and the honey down below?


Dr/B afro
(not used top entrance yet, but like the idea)
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rdy-b
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2007, 12:13:37 AM »

I am sure many people do it different but the way i use a top entrance in combination with a bottom entrance is to use a wood bound queen excluder with a notch cut in it bees enter top of brood box but bottom of honey super (many people dont use queen excluder) so more to be revealed i am sure  RDY-B
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2007, 07:06:52 AM »

>When using a top entrance, is the order of the boxes different vs. the usual bottom entrance hive?

You can put them however you like.  Most hives I have the brood at the bottom and the honey at the top because I keep adding boxes to the top.  When queen rearing and I need to find the queen or brood every week for grafting or for confining the queen in a Jenter box, I put an excluder under the top box and the brood nest in the top box.  That way I don't have to lift boxes to get to the queen.  The brood nest in any hive (top or bottom entrance) is where you put it.  I also put the honey in the bottom box when doing a cell starter/finisher so I won't have to lift it all the time.

>Just curious if it's the same as the bottom entrance hive.  If so, this means the bee traffic is such that the bees are traveling thru your honey supers to get down to the brood.  Or are the top two boxes brood, and the honey down below?

But you don't have all that traffic through the brood nest to get to the honey...
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2007, 07:54:03 AM »

Just curious if it's the same as the bottom entrance hive.  If so, this means the bee traffic is such that the bees are traveling thru your honey supers to get down to the brood.  Or are the top two boxes brood, and the honey down below?
With a top entrance, you get more pollen in your honey as well (makes it cloudier).

Quote
(not used top entrance yet, but like the idea)

If you're only using a top entrance, than you're in for a treat next summer when you go to do an inspection and you have a hundred bees returning every minute looking for the entrance which you have removed to do your inspection.  It doesn't take too long to be standing in the middle of a swarm of disoriented bees that keeps growing.   Then try to reassemble the hive when you have hundreds of bees crawling up the front of the hive, looking for the entrance, ending up right where you want to re-install the super.  Been there, done that.  I'll stick with bottom entrances.  Have fun grin
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Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2007, 09:50:53 AM »

Rob, ha, now that would have been a funny sight for surely.  I think that the bees need two entrances as well.  For example, what would happen if a colony only had one entrance and that got plugged up, for whatever reason, no way out.  Two entrances and there is always a way out.  Have a wonderful day, best of our great lives.  Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2007, 10:45:02 AM »

>what would happen if a colony only had one entrance and that got plugged up, for whatever reason, no way out.

Which happens every winter with a bottom entrance and sometimes during the flow with a pesticide kill. However it never happens with a top entrance.

>It doesn't take too long to be standing in the middle of a swarm of disoriented bees that keeps growing. 

But that happens anytime you open any hive no matter where the entrance.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2007, 09:13:17 PM »

I use top entrances, I like their convenience and ventilation.  You can't open a hive w/o a swarm of bees buzzing around.  The only difference is that with a top entrance that swarm is right infront of your eyes instead of all over the yard.  I like the perspective of being inside a live tornado of bees.
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Dr/B
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2007, 09:45:55 PM »

Thanks for the replys.

I'm going to try several stands w/ single top entrances next season. 

I'm also building screened bottom boards.  I've read the material on increased honey production in hives with additional ventilation. It would seem that all I'd have to do is put on the screened bottoms, and the hive would vent itself with these entrances at the top of the hive.  I'm gonna try a few of these too.



Dr/B
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2007, 06:08:53 AM »

>It doesn't take too long to be standing in the middle of a swarm of disoriented bees that keeps growing. 

But that happens anytime you open any hive no matter where the entrance.


I have no problems with my bottom entrance hives.  I can disassemble right down to the bottom brood chamber and the majority of bees returning from the field continue to use the bottom entrance without issue.  Yes some do get disoriented, but it pales in comparison to all like with a top entrance.
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2007, 11:31:24 AM »

Rob, again I am with ya.  I see nothing wrong with the top and bottom entrance, both.  I see all the bees that can come and go, using both entrances.  I really believe that it helps to elliviate any congestion.  I see hundreds of bees sometimes coming in the bottom entrance, and if they only had one entrance at the top, I think that the amount of time for them to wait turns to go in and out would decrease the amount of time that they could spend foraging out in the field.  My opinion on that one.

I put entrance reducers on several of my colonies, leaving the large opening open.  There was extreme congestion, even after several hours, so many bees coming and going, I couldn't imagine them all trying to get in only in an entrance at the top, unless it was a really large entrance, and I can't quite understand that concept, yet.  Have a wonderful day, best of our wonderful life.  Cindi
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« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2007, 11:48:08 AM »

I just recently opened up notches in the top giving them another entrance. Surprisingly, they still use only the bottom entrance for flying in and out, and the top entrance for just hanging out. They seem to really like that top opening.

Annette
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2007, 02:41:45 PM »

>I see nothing wrong with the top and bottom entrance, both.

That's because you don't have skunks.  Smiley  And the mice haven't moved in yet.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2007, 06:57:30 PM »

>I see nothing wrong with the top and bottom entrance, both.

That's because you don't have skunks.  Smiley  And the mice haven't moved in yet.


You also don't have half the hive working on cooling the hive because all the hot air is stuck at the top. Screened bottom boards and top entrances all the way.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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jimmy_in_texas
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« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2007, 11:00:40 PM »

I was just out looking at my hive after dark tonight and noticed just how much air the bees can move through the hive,  I have a bottom entrance with no reducer at all,  I was picking up an odd looking honeybee crawing in front of the hive and my arm passed close to the entrance and I felt warm air coming out.

Interested I took a dial thermometer and measured the temperature outside which was 72 Deg, but in front of the hive opening it was 81.
I also needed to take a quick look at the top feeder to see how much they had used this week, I briefly lifted the top long enough to check the level and took around 15 seconds total when the cover was back on,  I looked back down at the thermometer and in that short amount of time the temp dropped to 75 deg out of the hive,  another thing I noticed was that warm air was only coming out of the left front side of the entrance, the bees must be organizing themselves in a fashion that causes air to be drawn in on one side and blown out of the other, I apologized to the bees for messing up their air conditioning or heating whichever they are doing tonight and wonder how these bugs with such a small brain can do so many things,  interesting not even the most powerful computor in the world today can equal the little brain of the bee. (if it had to mimic the bee to decide all the things bees decide in the life of the hive).

the strange bee has me wondering what Im seeing, not a drone and not a queen (at least I dont think), about 25% larger than the workers but not with the bald spot on top of the head, maybe a stunted queen?    the bottom chamber has foundationless frames filled by the bees, the top chamber has standard foundation that is drawn out, could I be seeing the difference due to cell size?  I havent been able to do a good inspection since the hive got a little testy after filling both chambers, I have a suit getting here this week hopefully and will know more when I feel safe enough to get in there and see firsthand.

Jimmy
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2007, 06:17:27 AM »

All bees have about the same kind of head.  Perhaps you mean their thorax?  All older bees have shiny ones and newly emerged bees have fuzzy ones.

Some drones are different sizes, some so large they look like aliens.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2007, 07:30:31 AM »

You also don't have half the hive working on cooling the hive because all the hot air is stuck at the top.

You don't need a top entrance to provide proper ventilation.  The DE ventilation box provides much more ventilation and has no issues with potential robbing.
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« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2007, 08:09:49 AM »

Most beekeepers don't use the DE ventilation box. I have no robbing issues with my top entrances.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2007, 08:19:45 AM »

I just recently opened up notches in the top giving them another entrance. Surprisingly, they still use only the bottom entrance for flying in and out, and the top entrance for just hanging out. They seem to really like that top opening.

Annette


all my hives do the same thing...
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« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2007, 08:22:01 AM »

I close bottom entrances. Or put the reducer on it's smallest setting it will take about 48 hours for them to switch over.

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Brendhan
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« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2007, 08:32:25 AM »

Most beekeepers don't use the DE ventilation box.

Most people don't use Linux, but that doesn't make Windose better, does it?  tongue


Don't get me wrong,  I have nothing against top entrances.  My issue is with having ONLY a top entrance in the summer.  I find it quite unmanageable when trying to inspect and that the honey is cloudier due to more pollen stored with it.

I do use only top entrances in the Winter as it provides the needed minimal ventilation and unrestricted (less likely to have dead bees blocking) exit for cleansing flights.
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