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Author Topic: Entrance Reducer  (Read 1184 times)
Two Bees
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« on: April 26, 2008, 10:01:54 PM »

I am new to beekeeping and have found a lot of useful and interesting information on this forum.

I installed two new packages last Sunday and everything went well.  I installed the entrance reducer using the small opening.  Yesterday, I noticed that a lot of bees are hanging out on the front of one of my hives, pretty much covering the whole front of the deep hive body.  I noticed it again today after I went into the hive to see if the queen had been released (she had....yeah!) and to remove the queen cage and burr comb.  The hanging out seems to occur during the warmest time of the day (mid afternoon).  In NC we are beginning to have 80s highs and 50-60s for nighttime lows.

I am wondering if I should increase the opening to four inches.  I researched the topic of increasing the hive opening on this forum and in books that I have been reading but I am confused.

General consensus on this forum appears to be that if you have a "traffic jam" increase the opening.  I don't know if the gathering of bees on the front of the hive is a traffic jam or if they are just having a smoke and a beer!  Being so new at this stuff, I don't know if I could recognize a traffice jam if I saw one.........on the hive that is!  The Dummies book says to leave the reducer in the smallest entrance for six weeks after installing a new package.

What are the thoughts from you veterans?

Thanks!



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Shizzell
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2008, 10:13:09 PM »

Well, Two Bees, this, I'm sure is when you'll start the beginning of interpreting things for yourself. Your going to get 10 beekeepers give you 11 different opinions.

My Opinion: If you notice bees (3-4 of them) having to wait when they fly in, because the hole is being used, then its too small. Usually I leave the entrance reducer on for a good week to two weeks when I first install them. The reason they are crowding the front entrance is because its too warm in the hive. (AKA they are having a smoke and a brew on the deck) So, go ahead and open it up to that second opening.

Its all interpretation - its not like you'll kill the entire hive because you don't open it up at the right time. If you think the bees are not ready, then don't do it. Use YOUR judgement, because a lot of people from hundreds of miles away cannot always be right. (Although we mostly are Wink)

Enjoy.

Jake
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poka-bee
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2008, 10:23:30 PM »

Not a vetran, this is my 1st time keeping bees but I forgot I had them & used granite slivers to make the opening about 3in..when I found them I put em at the big opening. Today there were tons of bees coming & going so I took it off altogether. The girls got such a slow start w/the weather that I made it easier to come & go now that it's nice..well, for today anyways..tomorrow could be different! huh  I keep a close eye though for wasps or other bees that don't belong.  If I see any tussling will put it back on small pronto! Jody
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Two Bees
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2008, 07:54:50 PM »

Thanks for the info!

I had probably 200 hangin' out front when the temps were 85.  Today, it was cooler (72) and I didn't notice that many hanging around, probably 25 or so.  So, you must be right.......they were just cooling it!

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annette
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2008, 08:01:05 PM »

Do you have enough ventilation for them?? They may just be hot and if you open up the entrance reducer to 4", you may see the same thing.

Annette
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rast
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2008, 08:54:58 PM »

 As Annette said, probably lack of ventilation. A screen bottom board, slat rack and venting the cover stopped mine from covering the outside front of the hive. With a screen bottom board the entrance reducer opening no longer controls the air flow unless the bottom board is directly on the ground.
 
 
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Two Bees
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2008, 07:43:02 AM »

Thanks for the input!  I believe you're right about the temps and I'll try a SBB to see if this stops the girls from hanging on the front of the hive.

What's the best way to vent the cover?

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J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
rast
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2008, 04:07:09 PM »

 "What's the best way to vent the cover?"
Michael's way, just prop the top cover open a little with 2 sticks.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2008, 07:17:05 PM »

Thanks, Rast!   Sometimes I think I try to over-complicate stuff!

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"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
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