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Poll
Question: Do you use top or bottom entrances on your hives or both?
Top - 4 (8.7%)
Bottom - 21 (45.7%)
Both - 19 (41.3%)
I don't know - 2 (4.3%)
Total Voters: 46


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Author Topic: Entrance Location, Top or Bottom?  (Read 3717 times)
contactme_11
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« on: February 23, 2009, 09:19:09 AM »

 Also please post your location.
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2009, 09:36:56 AM »

I use both,  (southern Il)   the top entrance always    between the supers and the deep.  I even have my own little landing pad spacers made up.   As an efficceny engineer,  I know it increases honey production.  in a full hive the foragers don't have to travel thru the congestion.   I also usually leave the bottom open also,  more because I am lazy than anything else.  no need in the summer to close it.
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2009, 10:13:50 AM »

gmcharlie

Can you post a picture of your top entrance?
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Stephen Stewart
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JP
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2009, 10:26:52 AM »

Bottom. Southeast, Louisiana.


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Robo
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2009, 11:19:37 AM »

As an efficceny engineer,  I know it increases honey production.

Typical bean counter approach all about quantity and not quality Wink


I'm a bottom guy,  I hate standing in the tornado of bees while inspecting.
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2009, 11:38:59 AM »

quanity  not quality? I thought honey was honey...    Undecided   Actually I am trying to save wear and tear on my poor little bees....  instaed of makeing them climb up thru the whole hive   I let them start at the top!   

And who says efficency  is for humans only....!   cheesy
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Robo
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2009, 12:01:06 PM »

I thought honey was honey...    Undecided   

Absolutely not.....

With top entrances you have the bees hauling pollen coming in thru the top and crawling down to the brood and even storing pollen in the honey supers.  All of which causes contamination of the honey and makes is cloudy to some extent.  Comb honey producers remove the comb honey as soon as it is capped because bee traffic acrossing the cappings make it darker (dirty),  and that is just from bees carrying nectar and that have already "wiped" their feet across the brood combs.     Which rooms in your house ends up with the dirtier floors?  The ones by the door or upstairs? 

BTW,  I'm not trying to give you a hard time, just playin a little with you.  I don't have an issue with some pollen in my honey, and some folks think it is beneficial.  But it definitely clouds the honey and you won't be winning any honey competitions that way.   My issue with top entrances is when you only have a top entrance and all bee traffic needs to pass thru it.   I find it very difficult to inspect a hive when you have a continuous stream of bees returning form the field and frantically looking for their entrance that is now gone.   Not to mention trying to put a hive back together with bees pouring in and out the top without squishing a bunch of them. 
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iddee
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2009, 12:58:59 PM »

Thanks, Robo, for saving me all that typing.

Bottom entrance practitioner in NC.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2009, 01:10:19 PM »

I use bottoms for all my hives. Then, I also use upper entrances, which are NOT top entrances.

Upper entrances are entrances on the second brood chamber, or on the supers above the excluder, keeping mind the importance of trapped heat.

It may not be as important during honey season when the temps are high anyways, but having an upper entrance in the brood chamber the rest of the year allows for the bees to regulate moisture and air flow better, provides a secondary entrance for snow/ice issues, etc. The upper entrances in the supers allow bees to enter the hive without going through the brood chamber.

Upper entrances, taking into account trapped heat and the benefits of such for early brood rearinf, etc., ....a good thing.

Top entrances....I see nothing beneficial.
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2009, 01:29:18 PM »

 interesting thought about the honey and tracking pollen,  but I would have to disagree..  although the cappings may suffer a bit  the diffences in pollen content of the honey itself is the same.  Honey is processed by the be such that contamination from things like pollen content are not a varible.   the differences in the honey itself is what it comes from.   
If I read your note properly I could place a doormat on my perch  and my honey will be clear..... (yes  I know your kidding)  and  I am too about the mat...

The color of the cappings doesn't bother me a bit.  I do suppose they "wipe their feet" in the brood chamber,  but my cappings are as clean as any other spot in the hive.   The bees themselves are so meticulous  there is no lose stuff running around.   the wax color depends on age and temp....

There are a cpl of scenitific  documents and experiments on top entrances and they match what I see  15% more honey out of simalar hives in the same spots..........

BTW   I never strain honey anyway....  If I wanted strained honey its cheaper to buy.....(less stings)

The cloud of bees coming and going  for me is the same   I don't notice the difference myself.... 
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jdpro5010
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2009, 02:00:04 PM »

Bottom only here.  I get stung enough walking in the path of one entrance.  I don't need another entrance to help out.
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Robo
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2009, 02:25:05 PM »

interesting thought about the honey and tracking pollen,  but I would have to disagree..  although the cappings may suffer a bit  the diffences in pollen content of the honey itself is the same.  Honey is processed by the be such that contamination from things like pollen content are not a varible.   the differences in the honey itself is what it comes from. 
Quote

Not true, you will get more pollen stored, not just tracked, in your honey supers with top entrances
 
Quote
There are a cpl of scenitific  documents and experiments on top entrances and they match what I see  15% more honey out of simalar hives in the same spots..........


I would be interested in seeing these.  Not that I necessarily disagree, but unfortunately with all things "scientific"  data can be interpreted many ways.  If there was indeed a 15% increase, I would bet every commercial beekeeper out there would be using them.

What I find interesting though, in my experience,  when I lift a cover for ventilation,  the bees won't use it for an entrance, but will continue to use the bottom entrance.  They will congregate on top of the inner cover, so they know it is open, but still prefer the bottom entrance.


Quote
The cloud of bees coming and going  for me is the same   I don't notice the difference myself.... 


How can that be, unless you are standing in front of the hive?   With bottom entrances,  the bees come and go without even knowing you are there.  Granted it is not as bad when you use both top and bottom than just a top entrance.   
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2009, 03:10:26 PM »

"But it definitely clouds the honey..."

I think (Robo correct me) what Robo is talking about with regard to honey cloudiness, is when the honey is extracted you would get pollen mixed in with it causing a change in color.  That is, the pollen stored along with the honey on that frame.  Some of the discoloration of the honey would also be due to a small amount of capping getting in there too.  He's saying with a bottom only entrance they stop at the brood frames and deposit the pollen, with a top entrance they might deposit it away from the brood with the honey.  Is that right?
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Stephen Stewart
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Robo
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2009, 03:17:10 PM »

You got it!   Now if I could only better articulate what I mean  grin   Good thing my wife won't see this tongue
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mherndon
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2009, 03:46:27 PM »

Hive is in Allardt, TN. I'm in Chattanooga, TN.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2009, 04:10:29 PM »

Some of my hives have a tendency to use both top and bottom even if my intent is not for them to use top.
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annette
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2009, 04:22:36 PM »

I have screened bottom boards with entrance on bottom. Also a honey run top cover that has a smallish opening for the bees. Sometimes they use both entrances, sometimes just the bottom.
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2009, 04:26:28 PM »

Top Entrances  Smiley
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JhnR
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2009, 05:04:05 PM »

     I use a lower entrance at the top of the bottom brood hive and a top entrance below the upper honey supper. I let the bees decide where they want to store food. I also use a SBB with a slide-in panel to adjust the opening, depending on the temps. In winter I close the lower entrance...leave a very small opening below the SBB....and a small opening above the top super to release water vapor.

John
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2009, 05:09:43 PM »

as of yet  I have not had any issues with pollen in the honey stores...  maybe my bees are smart???  Laughing of course,  as for not being in the way,  they bees that are coming and going just land on the open hive instead of the bottom board.   I honestly cannot notice a difference in the amount of flying bees,  but I can also say that I am used to a lot in the air and they don't bother me a bit.    only bugs me on a hot hive....  which I will genarly close and work later.
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