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Author Topic: top entrance and entrance reducer  (Read 2004 times)
wisconsin_cur
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« on: June 24, 2010, 08:26:40 AM »

Nothing really new here but this is how I am applying some of what I have learned from others on this board and elsewhere:

I think using top entrances has a lot to recommend it.  There is, however, also the need for an entrance reducer for top entrances up here due to blowing snow in the winter.  Nearly anything will do, even stuffing in straw in the fall but because we like things to look a little nicer and there is some benefit of standardization I have worked out a system for top entrances by modifying commercial equipment.

First I take a standard migratory cover and glue a shim to either side to make the entrance.  I also drill out the edges to receive bolts which will hold the entrance reducer.  I keep a piece of drilled out trim (see below) handy when I set the bolts the proper depth so they will hold a reducer snugly.  I then apply a small amount of glue to help keep the bolts in place.



The entrance reducer is made by cutting a piece of trim to length and making 3, 5/8" holes with your standard drill.  One to receive each bolt and third for an entrance.  The entrance is off to the side so that any snow that might blow in stays off of the center of the hive where the cluster is most likely to be.



This ought to work as well as standardized equipment in keeping bees alive through the winter.  I guess I would need a ten year double blind study to say for sure.  Or perhaps you see a problem and can save me some heartache?
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2010, 05:43:35 PM »

I'm not expert at it, still playing with my hive configurations myself.  The only issue I see that jumps out at me is the lack of adjustment.  The entrance is either all the way open or all the way reduced.  A fist full of shingles a little thicker on the end than your shim wedges would do the trick though.  You could just stuff them in until the entrance was as small or as large as you like.  Thanks for sharing

Adam
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wisconsin_cur
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2010, 09:44:34 AM »

I am only using this for winters to keep out snow and slow the heat exchange.  @ other times in the year I just use weeds or folded cardboard to reduce the entrance for week hives through out the growing season.
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alfred
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2010, 09:56:34 AM »

Nice!
My Top Entrances are so much more.... Shabby and Basic.
I have been using broken peices of shim for entrance reducer. just break to desired length and stuff it in.
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harvey
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2010, 11:29:38 AM »

Do you use a top and bottom entrance in the summer or just the top?
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wisconsin_cur
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2010, 06:44:28 PM »

Do you use a top and bottom entrance in the summer or just the top?

I generally close up the bottom but do a rough job of it so sometimes there is enough room for a small entrance @ the bottom.  I find that nucs will start by using that bottom crack and later move to the top; even quicker if the top is facing south and the closed up bottom is facing west.
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PeeVee
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2010, 07:07:22 AM »

That is a nice clean setup. And I like the entrance to one side - had not thought of that before.

I see the trim piece just slip over the bolts. What keeps the wind or something else from dislodging or knocking it off?
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wisconsin_cur
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2010, 08:51:48 PM »

That is a nice clean setup. And I like the entrance to one side - had not thought of that before.

I see the trim piece just slip over the bolts. What keeps the wind or something else from dislodging or knocking it off?


TY

I set the bolts so that the trim piece goes on and then slides down tight between the top of the hive and the head of the bolt.
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CountryBee
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2010, 09:20:58 PM »

When you use a top entrance instead of the bottom entrance do the bees put a lot of brood in the top of the hive, does the queen move up or stay in the bottom two deeps?  Still learning, thanks. Smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2010, 11:23:01 PM »

>When you use a top entrance instead of the bottom entrance do the bees put a lot of brood in the top of the hive

Their instincts are to store honey over the brood nest, so not really.

> does the queen move up or stay in the bottom two deeps?

The queen goes where she wants in my hives.  Top or bottom entrance I've seen queens laying in four boxes.  She doesn't "stay" anywhere, but the brood nest is usually consolidated together and not scattered.  But it does expand up through the middle sometimes.  But this has to do with no excluder and nothing to do with top entrances.
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Michael Bush
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CountryBee
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2010, 07:25:09 AM »

So with a top entrance it is a quicker and easier path for the workers to store the honey?  They do not have to walk all the way thru the 2 deeps to get there?  Faster buildup?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2010, 02:23:53 AM »

>So with a top entrance it is a quicker and easier path for the workers to store the honey?

Yes.

>  They do not have to walk all the way thru the 2 deeps to get there?

Yes.

> Faster buildup?

That has been my experience.  Yes.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
CountryBee
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2010, 07:35:56 AM »

Thanks!
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CountryBee
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« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2010, 05:58:04 PM »

<a href="http://img821.imageshack.us/i/1001141zi.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/5669/1001141zi.th.jpg" border="0"/>[/url]
<a href="http://img411.imageshack.us/i/1001135o.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/2007/1001135o.th.jpg" border="0"/>[/url]
Here is a pic of a top entrance that I am trying out.  Mike Bush talked to me about it.  I just put a deep super on top, will fix that tommorrow.  All my other hives are bottom entrances.  When I converted this one it took them 4 days to learn how to leave and return into their hive.  I still use a reducer because this hive is this years nuc.  The tape on the front is covering an old round escape hole (I got an old hive body from my dad, he always help me when I run out of stuff)
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CountryBee
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« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2010, 08:29:36 AM »

<a href="http://img31.imageshack.us/i/1001154y.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/361/1001154y.th.jpg" border="0"/>[/url]
<a href="http://img844.imageshack.us/i/1001152.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img844.imageshack.us/img844/9714/1001152.th.jpg" border="0"/>[/url]
<a href="http://img824.imageshack.us/i/1001151u.jpg/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/4474/1001151u.th.jpg" border="0"/>[/url]
Just got done making another top entrance.
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