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Author Topic: Clogged Entrance to the hive  (Read 691 times)
The Bix
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« on: May 05, 2009, 04:54:27 PM »

Hi all,

I'm new to beekeeping so keep that in mind.  The bee package was installed a week ago and the colony's progress was slowed by unseasonably cold weather...but things are looking up now, weather-wise and the bees appear to be busy.  The entrance reducer is in place doing its job of restricting the flow in and out of the hive.  But, there always seems to be a bee just inside the entrance further blocking the bee traffic.  I watched a bee with her pollen sacks jammed full trying to get into the hive and the traffic jam prevented her getting inside...took at least four attempts for her to get in that I saw...perhaps more.  Is this normal, something to be concerned about?  Thanks in advance for your help.

--John
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2009, 05:42:39 PM »

If you're into the spring flow you should open up the entrance more.  The entrance reducer is to reduce the space the bees have to guard, but during the spring flow there are less of a threat for them to guard against.  It is not unusual to even put an upper entrance on as well during the flow... of course, a new package that's not built up probably won't need that yet.
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buzzbee
Ken
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2009, 06:21:07 PM »

The bee inside is a guard bee. If the traffic is backing up greatly,open the reducer to the next size opening.If the colony is still not very strong and there are other colonies around,don't remove the reducer completely. honey bees are opportunists,if they can rob another weak colony easily,they will.
 The reducer can also help amintain heat for brood rearing if the colony is small.
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Hethen57
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2009, 06:50:44 PM »

I doubt it is too crowded, but on nice days it will be very busy (like airport screening on a holiday..haha). However, it will take nearly a month for the hatch to add to your bee population and the smallest entrance will work until then.  If it really looks like a problem, go to the middle opening on the reducer (or put a block in front of it and make it 1/2 size, because the middle one is pretty big), but remember that if the temps drop into the 30's and 40's at night there, like they have done here, that big opening may make it harder for them to keep the brood at the incubating temperature..which is in the 90's.
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-Mike
The Bix
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2009, 09:05:38 PM »

Whoa, what a rush!!! After about 20 minutes of fiddling with it, I got the entrance reducer pulled out and replaced at the next setting which is approximately 5" wide.  When I pulled the reducer out just a little, a flood of workers emerged from the hive.  It was quite intimidating.  I didn't have the veil or hat on...just long pants and a short sleeve shirt.  There were hundreds of bees that spilled out and flew around the hive.  They were a bit agitated, but they didn't come after me and I didn't even get stung.  I just slowly and gradually replaced the reducer and finally got it properly positioned.  It was a big boost to my confidence and it was very exhilarating.  Thanks for the advice everyone.
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EasternShore
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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2009, 05:37:59 AM »

BRAVO Bix!

Another small step from Bee Haver to Bee Keeper...
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