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Author Topic: Hives with top entrances  (Read 3730 times)
Understudy
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« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2007, 08:47:07 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
grin grin grin grin
Point taken. I am going to install FreeBSD on all my hives.  Wink

Quote
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.

I have wildflower honey it's naturally dark. Almost like tea. My bees have been very good about not mixing pollen in the middle of my honey frames.  The hives here in S. FL are hot.
Beekeepers took what they learned up north and brought to the south. It works but it is very hard on the bees. I have no bearding issues. My inspector is still not sure what to make of my hives.

I have a question though, you mentioned that you use top entrances in winter. Wouldn't you want to do the opposite so the heat would stay in the hive?

Since heat rises it would be trapped at the top. If you open the top wouldn't they have to work harder to keep the heat levels? I am not being critical, just looking for enlightenment.


Sincerely,
Brendhan


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« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2007, 10:08:59 AM »

Michael, right about the size of the drones.  I have seen some in my apiary too that look like they are some kind of alien!!!  Enormous!!!  Fat drones, they must eat alot, and I wonder if they can fly as well as a smaller drone!!!  Have a wonderful day, enjoying our life.  Cindi
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annette
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« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2007, 10:51:46 AM »


"I have a question though, you mentioned that you use top entrances in winter. Wouldn't you want to do the opposite so the heat would stay in the hive? Since heat rises it would be trapped at the top. If you open the top wouldn't they have to work harder to keep the heat levels? I am not being critical, just looking for enlightenment."

 Brendan

I also had this question because I originally wanted to keep my top inner cover hole open on my honey apiary cover, for ventilation, but the forum members said that this would act like a chimney and the hot air would be sucked right out the center of the hive. So the solution is I have a 1/2" x 2-1/2" notch in the side - front of the top cover. (I have one of those honey apiaries top covers and they come with the notch already there, but I had closed this up when I received the top, but now have opened it back up)
The heat now leaves from the side and not the top. Apparently this is supposed to work for releasing the condensation, but still allow the hive to keep warm. This will be my first winter trying this so I will see how it works.

Annette
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« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2007, 01:38:53 PM »


I have a question though, you mentioned that you use top entrances in winter. Wouldn't you want to do the opposite so the heat would stay in the hive?
Condensation is the main problem here in the North,  not the cold.  As the bees consume honey it produces warm moisture that rises to the top.  Without a top entrance/vent,  the moisture condenses on the underside of the cover.   If you get enough of it,  it will even drip.  The bottom line is it will elevate the humidity level of the hive and greatly increase the chances of dysentery.
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Since heat rises it would be trapped at the top. If you open the top wouldn't they have to work harder to keep the heat levels? I am not being critical, just looking for enlightenment.
Yes heat does rise, but by completely closing off the bottom of my hives,  I am basically doing the same thing as you described above about not having an upper entrance, but only in reverse.  So yes they do loose heat,  but without any bottom ventilation,  the air flow is minimized.

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I am not being critical, just looking for enlightenment.

No offense taken, the open discussion is beneficial to everyone. I think you hit the nail on the head when you discussed Northern hive management methods being used in the South.  The bottom line is local climates differ so within the USA that there is no right or best method that covers everyone.  Everyone must keep that in mind and use the management techniques that work best for them in their location.

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kansas
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« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2007, 04:48:52 PM »

A top entrance does make sense combined with the bottom entrance being closed off.  Now, where is the best place to locate the top hole, and how big should it be?  Has anyone ever tried drilling into the top box with the hive intact?
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Understudy
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« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2007, 04:56:50 PM »

kansas,

Please read:
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=5176.0
http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm

Mike and I do it slightly differently but for the same result.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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kathyp
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« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2007, 05:27:39 PM »

i won't use an upper entrance because of the sideways rain, but i use an inner cover.  the inner cover seemed to help a lot with the condensation problem.  gave a warm air space and any moisture that did accumulate went on the cover rather than raining into the hive. 

i think it just depends on where you live.....
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« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2007, 12:22:08 AM »

For next spring, I'm going to try screened bottom boards + top entrances on all my hives.  I like the ventilation it seems to give, plus the mite drop issue with SBB.  I've made a few screen BB last year that seemed to work well.  For the few feral hives I've dug out of walls, they all seemed to all have had a top entrance and went all the way down the wall of the building.  It didn't seem to cause any problems.  The brood was way deep down in the wall, and only one entrance/exit at top.

I've got an 85ish year old bee keeper friend, that keeps the bottom entrance open during winter.  He
places a small rock in each top cover of each hive, that slightly keeps the top lid to the hive opened enough to vent the moisture during the winter.  He always winters his 100 hives this way and does well.  His 35 + years of beekeeping speaks for itself. 
 afro
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« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2007, 07:58:32 AM »

A top entrance does make sense combined with the bottom entrance being closed off.  Now, where is the best place to locate the top hole, and how big should it be?


Don't now if it is best,  but I put mine in the middle right above the top super.   As far as size,  I make them as small as 1"  up to 2-1/2".

I've started putting the upper entrance on my hive for winter,  but won't close off the bottom until the daily high temperature gets into the 40s and flying becomes minimal.


Quote
Has anyone ever tried drilling into the top box with the hive intact?


Just be careful not to drill too far or you will hit the sides of the frames.  There is only a bee space clearance on the inside.
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kansas
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« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2007, 10:15:57 AM »

Robo-
It looks like your entrance is in a platform insert between the top and middle box.  Is the top entrance apart of one of the boxes?
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Robo
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« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2007, 10:52:31 AM »

No,  it is simply cut into a piece of rigid insulation.  Here are some better pictures.  It is from a double nuc so it shows 2 entrances, but the principle is the same.  I add an entrance tube made out of flashing to keep them from chewing the entrance out.





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