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Author Topic: entrance reducer - newby question  (Read 3484 times)
Boom Buzz
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« on: April 15, 2009, 11:53:23 PM »

I hived a package a week ago and the bees seem to be adjusting well.  The first few days were on the cool side so the bees stayed home those days.  The last few days have been nice and warm and the bees have been active.  I have a reducer in the entrance, reduced down to the smallest setting,  but there is a lot of congestion at the entrance at times.  I would just open up to a larger setting (the obvious solution I think), however my neighbor has 10 hives about a half mile away.  I can see them from my hive. 

My question - Is it better to keep the entrance reduced down and have congestion for a while until the colony builds up?  Or better to open it up a little and give the bees better access to work.  I don't think there is a honey flow going yet.  I have been putting out a feeder about 50 yards away, as well as a top hive feeder, and the bees are lapping up the sugar water.  Sorry if this is covered elsewhere, I looked to see where this might be covered but didn't see it.  Thanks in advance for any insight!

PS - you all are so very helpful - I am thoroughly enjoying learning about beekeeping from all the posters - what a great forum!!!
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RayMarler
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2009, 01:28:15 AM »

I just use some 1x2 sticks for reducers here, so don't know what size your opening is now. I'd say it sounds like maybe need to open it up a little bit tho. I have mine set at 3 or 4 inches for the smallest hives here, but mine are not packages like yours.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2009, 07:41:29 AM »

I open up the entrances based upon the congestion and temperatures at night.  Sounds like you may need to open up to the 4 or 5 inch opening.  Once temps warm up in May to where the nights are not too cool, you can remove the reducers all together.  Don't forget to give them some top ventilation later this summer when it gets really warm!
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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.
Boom Buzz
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2009, 09:55:25 AM »

Thanks for the suggestions.  We are going to get a heavy snow starting tonight - maybe 12 inches or more, so I will hold off on opening up the entrance.

My concern is that with my neighbors hives so close, and so many of them, and stronger than my hive which is just starting out, should I accept a little more congestion at the entrance to give the colony a chance to strengthen to defend its stores?  Or  is the better approach to relieve the congestion with a wider opening and just keep watching for robbing and reduce down the entrance if I see any?

Not that my hive would have much in stores yet.  But with the the lack of a flow going, and the bees eagerness for the sugar water, I am thinking my neighbors bees might be a bit aggressive toward any food they can get.

Thanks again for your comments/suggestions...
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Two Bees
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2009, 10:20:09 AM »

If you have snow coming along with cold temps, I would keep the entrance reducer on the smaller setting.

How are you feeding 1:1 syrup?

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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.
oldenglish
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2009, 10:48:58 AM »

I have them on and plan on leaving them for a while. I think the bees like em, I was using some sticks as one and had the entrance at one end about an inch or so long, most of the bees were at the other end squeezing through a small gap between the stick and box.
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Boom Buzz
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2009, 11:07:17 AM »

Mr. Two Bees you asked - "How are you feeding 1:1 syrup?"

I'm using a top feeder on the hive and also a boardman feeder placed about 50 yards away on a table.  The boardman feeder gets thronging with bees and I'm guessing many of them are from my neighbors yard.  They gulp down a quart in about two hours or so.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2009, 02:54:30 PM »

Hold,

Would be nice if you could get a gallon jar feeder on the inner cover if you are expecting really cold temps with this heavy snow.  They may cluster and not come up for syrup.  Feeding syrup in a gallon jar inverted over the oval hole in the inner cover gets the food a little closer to the bees.

Just a thought...........
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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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