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Author Topic: How big should the entrance to the hive be?  (Read 664 times)
House Bee
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Posts: 56

Location: NY

« on: July 22, 2012, 04:53:29 PM »

I blocked most of the entrance when I first received the packages, leaving about a 3-4 inch wide opening for the bees to come and go through.  But, I was wondering if I should just open it up entirely?  The reason for the smaller entrance was to make it easier for the new packages to defend the hive, but now that the hatches have improved population I was wondering about the hive entrance size.  It seems to me the hive would have better ventilation with the entire entrance open, (esp. in the summer heat!) but will it bring on other, unforeseen problems?

Thanks in advance!


Galactic Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 4499

Location: Mid Michigan

« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2012, 05:41:52 PM »

The bee entrances in trees around here are typically not very big; 3 inches.  Assuming the au natural habits of bees are worth emulating, it seems a 3 to 4” entrance would not be a hindrance to your bees.  That is just a pure guess on my part though!  I have hives with entrances anywhere from 2 bee widths to slots about 15” wide.  If you have enough bees around your entrance to keep it protected, I would probably open it up a bit wider, especially in this heat. 

Potential problems with a bigger entrance are:  robbing, wax moths, small hive beetle.
L Daxon
Field Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 669

Location: Oklahoma City

« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2012, 05:50:05 PM »

I always keep mine wide open during the honey flow (robbing is not as likely to be a problem then) and during times like now when we are having 100 degree plus days.  If a dearth sets in you may want to reduce the opening as robbing can become an issue.

I am a hobbyist keeper with 3 hives in my yard so I take honey off as soon as it is capped, sometimes a frame at a time, so there is not so much of a honey smell to tempt the robbers and not as much for them to rob.

linda d
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