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Author Topic: Transitioning from Bottom to Top Entrances, Request for shopping lists and PICS!  (Read 2829 times)

Offline Daddys Girl

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Hello All,

I am becoming sold on the idea of just starting out with a top entrance to begin with.  I can make a top entrance easy enough, provided some good pictures, diagrams, and instructions.

Do you need a hardware cloth screen?  Size of the mesh? Inner cover?

What about the bottom board?  My bottom board is the standard bottom entrance board you get with a starting hive kit, and I'd rather just buy/build something straight up and be done with it.  I have a couple of weeks before my bees get here, so it's just a matter of going out to buy the stuff.

DG

Offline BeeHopper

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Hi Daddys Girl,

I am too, transitioning from traditional bottom entrances to the Hive top this year with advice from Brian D. Bray and Michael Bush ( Distinguished Forum Members here). I am taking my cedar reversible bottom boards, cutting them to match the length of the deeps, turning the 3/8 side down for the front opening, sealing the joints and painting the exposed areas. For the bottoms, I am using the Slatted Rack with #7 hardware cloth or wire mesh stapled to the bottom of it. The Brood Deeps will then sit between those two components.

The hive will sit on a concrete slab ( homemade) elevated by 4 concrete bricks which are about 4 inches high. I have completely removed the Telescoping outer cover and the the Inner Cover. With the new setup, The girls will have better ventilation, protection from skunks, less traffic for the foragers to the supers. Winters will have the ventilation which will eliminate condensation and the top entrance should be clear of any accumulation of snow.

Hope this helps,

BeeHopper  :-D





« Last Edit: April 05, 2008, 03:20:05 PM by BeeHopper »

Offline Wes Sapp

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Here's a link to Michael Bush's website complete with pictures.
http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm
Wes Sapp

Offline Daddys Girl

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I am too, transitioning from traditional bottom entrances to the Hive top this year with advice from Brian D. Bray and Michael Bush ( Distinguished Forum Members here). I am taking my cedar reversible bottom boards, cutting them to match the length of the deeps, turning the 3/8 side down for the front opening, sealing the joints and painting the exposed areas. For the bottoms, I am using the Slatted Rack with #7 hardware cloth or wire mesh stapled to the bottom of it. The Brood Deeps will then sit between those two components.

So basically you took your existing bottom board, turned it over, and set the hive on top of it?  Or are you flipping it over and putting it on top and stapling mesh on the bottom of the hive(brood chamber) itself?  Or am I missing something?  I have looked at Michael Bush's site and it simply wasn't clear enough for me to start construction.

DG


Offline BeeHopper

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I am too, transitioning from traditional bottom entrances to the Hive top this year with advice from Brian D. Bray and Michael Bush ( Distinguished Forum Members here). I am taking my cedar reversible bottom boards, cutting them to match the length of the deeps, turning the 3/8 side down for the front opening, sealing the joints and painting the exposed areas. For the bottoms, I am using the Slatted Rack with #7 hardware cloth or wire mesh stapled to the bottom of it. The Brood Deeps will then sit between those two components.

So basically you took your existing bottom board, turned it over, and set the hive on top of it?  Or are you flipping it over and putting it on top and stapling mesh on the bottom of the hive(brood chamber) itself?  Or am I missing something?  I have looked at Michael Bush's site and it simply wasn't clear enough for me to start construction.

DG



The Bottom Board is flipped with the 3/8 side down and placed on TOP of the Brood Boxes, deeps or whatever you like to call them, it is NOW your Hive Top. The Slatted Rack is my BOTTOM with wire mesh stapled to the underside of the Rack so that the bees can utilize that space. Basically what we have starting from the Bottom of the hive and work your way up is the Screened Slatted Rack, Brood Box #1, Brood Box #2 ( depending where you live) and then the Reversible Bottom Board which is again, your Hive Top with the 3/8 inch opening ( keep in mind, you can cut the BB to length ). As you require honey supers during the flow, just add the super between the uppermost Brood Box and the Hive Top.

Essentially, I have eliminated the Telescoping Outer Cover, Inner Cover, the Screened Bottom Board which was a component of the original Bottom Board.

I hope this makes it a little clearer to you  :)

Offline Daddys Girl

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The Bottom Board is flipped with the 3/8 side down and placed on TOP of the Brood Boxes, deeps or whatever you like to call them, it is NOW your Hive Top. The Slatted Rack is my BOTTOM with wire mesh stapled to the underside of the Rack so that the bees can utilize that space. Basically what we have starting from the Bottom of the hive and work your way up is the Screened Slatted Rack, Brood Box #1, Brood Box #2 ( depending where you live) and then the Reversible Bottom Board which is again, your Hive Top with the 3/8 inch opening ( keep in mind, you can cut the BB to length ). As you require honey supers during the flow, just add the super between the uppermost Brood Box and the Hive Top.

Essentially, I have eliminated the Telescoping Outer Cover, Inner Cover, the Screened Bottom Board which was a component of the original Bottom Board.

I hope this makes it a little clearer to you  :)

Just so I am clear on this: 

Slatted rack with #7 hardware cloth stapled on it to stop rodents from entering the hive. (Does #7 allow bees to pass in and out freely as well?)
Brood chambers
Bottom entrance flipped over to make a top entrance(or some approximation thereof).

Does anyone then apply sheet metal to the top entrance in the fashion of the telescoping top?  Pros and Cons?

DG



Offline BeeHopper

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The Bottom Board is flipped with the 3/8 side down and placed on TOP of the Brood Boxes, deeps or whatever you like to call them, it is NOW your Hive Top. The Slatted Rack is my BOTTOM with wire mesh stapled to the underside of the Rack so that the bees can utilize that space. Basically what we have starting from the Bottom of the hive and work your way up is the Screened Slatted Rack, Brood Box #1, Brood Box #2 ( depending where you live) and then the Reversible Bottom Board which is again, your Hive Top with the 3/8 inch opening ( keep in mind, you can cut the BB to length ). As you require honey supers during the flow, just add the super between the uppermost Brood Box and the Hive Top.

Essentially, I have eliminated the Telescoping Outer Cover, Inner Cover, the Screened Bottom Board which was a component of the original Bottom Board.

I hope this makes it a little clearer to you  :)

Just so I am clear on this: 

Slatted rack with #7 hardware cloth stapled on it to stop rodents from entering the hive. (Does #7 allow bees to pass in and out freely as well?)
Brood chambers
Bottom entrance flipped over to make a top entrance(or some approximation thereof).

Does anyone then apply sheet metal to the top entrance in the fashion of the telescoping top?  Pros and Cons?

DG




#7 mesh will keep critters OUT and Bees IN, they cannot enter or exit thru the bottom, but will allow mites to fall thru.
Sheet metal would be a pain to do unless you find someone who is a sheet metal worker like HVAC, but a good exterior paint and caulk will do.

Offline tillie

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In the South, we often prop the top (meaning the telescoping cover) with a stick to increase hive ventilation.  If I made a hive like this and needed in the July/August heat and humidity to give the bees more ventilation than the screened slatted rack on bottom and the top from an upside down bottom board provides, could I prop the top or would I then need an inner cover to protect the bees from intruders?

Linda T in Hotlanta
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Offline UtahBees

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I'm also doing top-entrances this year.

The #7 mesh at the bottom is a good idea for ventilation. I was planning on using screened mesh in front of the original bottom-entrance. But, to have screened mesh all on the bottom would be good to let mites drop.

I am planning on using the telescoping cover in a fashion that Michael Bush describes on his page with the bottom-board, so that the metal on the telescoping cover is still in use. I'd just add a shim or two to make it prop up permanently and let water run off the back.

Thanks for the idea on the bottom. Much appreciated.

Scott

Offline BeeHopper

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Thank Brian D. Bray & M. Bush, both have been influential in the way I have been changing my hive setup  :-D

Offline Brian D. Bray

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I have gone to bottomless hives.  I use the old solid bottom boards at top entrances.  For bottoms I use slatted racks and have decided not to use screens on them.  The hives are about 10 inches off the ground on top of double stacked 4X4s--the hive spans the distance between the 4X4s.  The slatted racks allow the bees in the bottom if they need it and everything can fall out the bottom.  With screens too much debrie (dead bees) was being caught and rending the slatted racks ineffective.  The spacing of the racks keeps the critters out.
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Offline buzzbee

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Brian,
Does going bottomless set you up for a robbing situation or am I missing something. Seems like a large area to defend.

Offline BeeHopper

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I have gone to bottomless hives.  I use the old solid bottom boards at top entrances.  For bottoms I use slatted racks and have decided not to use screens on them.  The hives are about 10 inches off the ground on top of double stacked 4X4s--the hive spans the distance between the 4X4s.  The slatted racks allow the bees in the bottom if they need it and everything can fall out the bottom.  With screens too much debrie (dead bees) was being caught and rending the slatted racks ineffective.  The spacing of the racks keeps the critters out.


I am currently tinkering with ideas of a removable screen below the Slatted Rack to solve the debri issue. I cannot live with the idea of an open bottom such as your setup, but it does have merit.  :)

Offline johnnybigfish

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Ok,
  Ive seen it mentioned a dozen times but it never really got my interest till now.......What is a "slatted rack"?

your friend,
john

Offline buzzbee

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Offline johnnybigfish

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Thanx Buzzbee for the link!
 I may have to look into those a little closer.

your friend,
john

Offline tillie

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Nobody ever answered my question: can you prop the top up for ventilation when you are using an upside down bottom board as a top??? or does it leave the hive undefended since there is no inner cover?

Linda T in Atlanta, still wondering
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Nobody ever answered my question: can you prop the top up for ventilation when you are using an upside down bottom board as a top??? or does it leave the hive undefended since there is no inner cover?

Linda T in Atlanta, still wondering

The upside down bottom board is the top and the entrance, no inner top and it is more like a migratory top.  No need to prop it open.  Take a bottom board and turn it upside down on a super then look at the from end--that will explain everything.
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Brian,
Does going bottomless set you up for a robbing situation or am I missing something. Seems like a large area to defend.

Using the old solid bottom boards as top entrances allows for continued use of the entrance reducer.  The set up is not any more prone to robbing than the convention setup.  The bees hanging out on the slats of the slatted rack actually increases the number of guard bees by hundreds. 
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!

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