Everybody has a right to own opinion, but, some are prety weak, to say the least and I continuously wonder what is there with this upper entrance thing that so terrifies people? This well known concept has been around in Europe for at lest two centuries, if not more?
Remember - beekeeping is supposed to be about bees, their needs and not needs and likes/dislikes of us, people! Until people drop their personal opinions/likes/dislikes, bees will continue to fail.
About failing queen?
But, bees are to know that first, long before beek catches on, that queen is failing and they should have dealt with it? The times where queens lasted 7 to 9 years are long gone.
That hive was only 6 months old (first year keeper?) at best and already a failing queen? Possible but not likely. I in all of my 56 years of beekeeping have only encountered a few such failures - bees catch such things long before they come to my attention. Remember; their lives depend on it!
One should safely tuck away the notion about a feral hive in a tree? Far too often I encounter such bold scenarios. We are not talking about no feral hive here. We have a dead and dying hives that are dropping like flies (pardon the pun) all over the world. The answer; in a tree is so and so... That does not help none cause we are comparing sour apples with oranges. This is not just American problem, or Canadian? It is happening all over and this is only the start. Sorry, but so it goes, the facts speak for themselves. . .
Tree itself IS an upper entrance! The trunk itself, dead or alive, is a living wick for all the moisture and ails of a feral swarm that found refuge - home in such a cavity!
The analogy of open door and open flue in the fireplace?
That is exactly the scenario one must stay away from! That is CROSS-draft of which I have already preached a lot on this very forum! Sure, everybody knows that it will suck out most of the warmth of the house?
But, it is a common knowledge that bees don't heat the hive. They heat only its own cluster. Any heat that escapes from there goes strait up and under the inner cover where it condenses and drips back if not insulated.
(There is your moisture of which some think that is not there, impossible even???)
The interior of the hive is often colder than the exterior. Tests have long ago proved, that it takes about 72 hours for the temperature to equalise in the hive with temps from outside and vice versa. (longer if hive is insulated)
Some 'house' analogy would now come handy here though? I build many a houses in my time and know all about them. Build one last summer - all alone, despite my advanced age.
You young bucks... Have you ever held a 2x6x16 feet on one end, up on the roof and nail it on exact place where a rafter is called for? I think not! Carried 4x8 play and over 100 bundles of shingles up the ladder, alone? Not many I bet. Do it when you aproach 70? Than we will talk some more...
For this "door&chimney" would have to be like this: Open door = (bottom hive entrance.
Plus: Fireplace/flue scenario?
That open flue would have to be directly above the open door to resemble real hive conditions! Than the draft would go straight up and gently draw with it the moist and dead air from the house.
Not across the whole house, from the main door, if only open a crack, and to the fireplace, wherever that may be? That would be deadly scenario, both, for people (in winter) and most certainly for bees - anytime for them!
Thomas? Didn't I tell you that people don't read and if they do, it is only what interests them - they only pick the stuff that gets surely stuck in their craw?
Anyway, don't you people fret no more, I will not disturb your piece and simple-mindedness on this forum no more. Do as you will, for that is what have you been doing until now. Learn as you will...
It is all fine with me.
I did not come here to lock horns with those who are equipped so and waiting for someone who has something real and time-proven to say and share?
I came because of the people. I came to help those who asked for it and firstly I came to help those poor bees, cause they are stuck between the rock and a hard place and such thinkering is not helping them none. I aim, I hoped to help poor bees, because they have no voice! They are stuck in those ill prepared boxes and are forced to live there - not by their own design - but simply by fate. Human hands put them in peril and human hands must help them, for they can not help themselves.
We took that choice away from them and now they suffer!
Is that fair?
I think and hope not!
Just the other day I read, on some other forum, where someone else also gave up on free help that he selflessly offered! At the end he said something like this: "Have it you ways, I have no time nor inclination to argue. Do as you will, I just pity those poor bees. On the end it comes simply down to this: "You have dead bees - I have live ones!"
And that, my friends, there in the passing wind goes all the knowledge and the difference that it could make.
Nobody even heeded: "Learn on the mistakes of others, not on your own."
We, the old timers, we already paid our dues. Nobody offered help than - like it is offered now. Free help for the mistakes that are made again now! We went through that long ago, we paid dearly, bees paid dearly. Long time ago we erred and we learned from that - does anybody think that we would still be around if we didn't? Learn right, I mean. . . .
Now I go back to lurking and shaking my old head in disbelief and sorrow. . .