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Author Topic: Hive Top Entrance  (Read 2802 times)
ctsoth@hotmail.com
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« on: February 08, 2006, 07:48:58 PM »

This will be my first year of beekeeping, and I was wondering what the advantages are of a top entrance, and where exactly [above or below supers] to put one.  And of course, how exactly to make one...

Thankyou for your time

-Chris
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2006, 07:05:50 AM »

The bees don't care where the entrance is.  Here are the reasons I went to top entrances:

1) Skunks.  I never had problems with them before in other places, but here they have been a real problem.  Sometimes the possums too.  No bottom entrance and just the top entrance stops them altogether.

2) Mice.  These are only a problem in the winter and again, when I had bees in other locations they weren't as bad as here.  But no bottom entrance stops them also.

3) Tall grass.  The grass gets tall and blocks the bottom of the hive.  That's not a problem with a top entrance so I don't have to mow.

4) Deep snow.  In the winter here the snow gets deep and blocks the bottom entrances.  Without a top entrance the bees can get stuck so they can't fly on a warm day witn snow on the ground.

5) Dead bees in the winter.  Dead bees sometimes pile up in the winter and block a bottom entrance.  This is not a problem with a top entrance.

6) Ventilation.  In the winter a top entrnace helps with condensation on the lid and in the summer a bottom and top entrance make a world of difference in production (drying nectar goes faster) and less swarming (bees that aren't all clustered outside in the heat seem less prone to swarm).  I would not use it as your primary swarm control, but it does help.

I just prop up a lid to make a top entrance.  Shingle shims work well.  There are pictures of a lot of them on my web site.

www.bushfarms.com
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
ctsoth@hotmail.com
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2006, 03:46:07 PM »

Thankyou very much for the detailed response and information.

Peace

Chris
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firetool
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2006, 08:53:13 PM »

Hi Michael,
 Do you see a noticable difference in the discolorasion of the honey comb.Becouse of bee traffic across the comb to reach the brood chamber. Does this affect the taste of the honey at all.  Is there any disadvatages to this method that you or any one else have seen.  The benifits look very good.

Brian Nall
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Robo
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2006, 10:18:26 AM »

One other disadvantage,  is returning field bees while you are working on the hive.  

With the bottom entrance,  field bees will return as normal.  With a top entrance (that is now missing),  they tend to fly around and/or land on the top of the box you are working on.  This makes it harder to replace supers on top as the is a continue flow of incoming bees landing where you want to place the super without squishing......

For most, this is NOT a big disadvantage, but for the beginner, just be aware and be prepared for much more activity around you while you work.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2006, 09:51:53 PM »

>Do you see a noticable difference in the discolorasion of the honey comb.Becouse of bee traffic across the comb to reach the brood chamber.

If you have a bottom entrance they have to walk across the brood nest and then up across the capped comb to get to the empty top super.  With a top entrnace they just put it in the top super unless it's pollen for the brood nest in which case they have to go across all the comb to get to the brood nest.  It's six of one and half a dozen of the other.

>Does this affect the taste of the honey at all.

No.

> Is there any disadvatages to this method that you or any one else have seen. The benifits look very good.

I see no disadvantages.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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