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Author Topic: Top entrances  (Read 6173 times)

Offline alfred

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Re: Top entrances
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2013, 12:22:21 AM »
Here is how I have been doing it:







Just shims stapled to a piece of ply. In the winter I reduce the entrance with more shim material. Works great! I would never go back to bottom entrances.

Alfred

Offline JWChesnut

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Re: Top entrances
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2013, 10:37:02 AM »
How do folks get surplus honey supers with top entrances?  I tried these because to the advocacy of the proponents, but the brood nest moved to the top.  Most hives were 3 or 4 stacks (deep, deep, medium) or (deep, medium x 3).  In all cases, the bottom of the hive was abandoned (during summer dearth), as the brood nest moved up.   

Practically, it seems difficult to get solid honey supers that can be lifted off, and can be cleared of bees easily.   I don't want to unstack whole hives and poke through frames looking for brood-free, capped honey.  My bees are defensive, aggressive in the late summer, and unstacking a hive was asking for unpleasant chaos.

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Top entrances
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2013, 11:25:47 AM »
Hence my mid entrance :-D

Offline Dr. Cricket

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Re: Top entrances
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2013, 11:30:31 AM »
I suppose it matters where you live.

Here in south Florida, the hives get hot. I keep mine in partial shade and with screen bottoms all years round. The bees seem to do alright. Anyone here ever measure the temperature in their hives with a thermocouple? Anyone know what the ideal temperature range should be?

Just curious.

Offline alfred

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Re: Top entrances
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2013, 03:14:29 PM »
Use all Mediums. Then when it is time to harvest just take the frames with honey and move the frames with brood down. All mediums allows you to move anything anywhere.

Alfred

Offline gdoten

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Re: Top entrances
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2013, 06:16:05 PM »
Bees evolved in heavily insulated trees and  have behaviuor to seek out bottom entrances if they can get them

The other night I was reading Seeley's Honeybee Democracy, and after much study he came to the conclusion that bees prefer a top entrance out in the wild. Also, Gallop in the ABJ way back in 1867 ( www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm ) concluded also that top entrances have better outcomes in the wild. Is that not the case?

I'm just starting my second year as a beek, and am considering converting over to a top entrance based on these observations, and comments in this forum (of course).

-glenn-

Offline JWChesnut

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Re: Top entrances
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2013, 07:20:19 PM »
Alfred suggested going through frames one-by-one to harvest honey.  **Boggle**  This means you hare handling individual frames at least twice in the field surrounded by summer dearth angry bees as you tear into their brood nest, as opposed to fuming off a super (I use cheap artificial almond extract), and moving a full super to the honey-house.  Imagine doing this 100 times.  The work is at least 20x that of moving a full super, and the aggravation to man and insect is 100x times.   Fine in theory, but get real folks-- thats not honey production, that is insect and human torture.
Use all Mediums. Then when it is time to harvest just take the frames with honey and move the frames with brood down.

Offline RHBee

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Re: Top entrances
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2013, 12:33:07 AM »
Alfred suggested going through frames one-by-one to harvest honey.  **Boggle**  This means you hare handling individual frames at least twice in the field surrounded by summer dearth angry bees as you tear into their brood nest, as opposed to fuming off a super (I use cheap artificial almond extract), and moving a full super to the honey-house.  Imagine doing this 100 times.  The work is at least 20x that of moving a full super, and the aggravation to man and insect is 100x times.   Fine in theory, but get real folks-- thats not honey production, that is insect and human torture.
Use all Mediums. Then when it is time to harvest just take the frames with honey and move the frames with brood down.


Limit the queen with a queen excluder. Returning bees will use the top entrance and go straight to the honey stores. Just my unproven idea, I'm thinking hard about top entrances.
Later,
Ray

Offline phill

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Re: Top entrances
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2013, 08:47:39 AM »
I have one colony in a 2-deep hive, and the bees almost ignore the 'normal' entry at the bottom. Most of the traffic goes in and out through a ventilation hole on the super. I can't find a reason. There's no obstruction. The bottom box is pretty full. I've swapped some frames, top to bottom deep, to see if that made a difference. It didn't. I'm puzzled.

Whatever makes them happy, I suppose. But when we have a strong flow there's going to be a huge traffic jam at that little hole, if I can't convince them to use the front door.

Offline alfred

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Re: Top entrances
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2013, 09:02:20 PM »
Quote
Limit the queen with a queen excluder. Returning bees will use the top entrance and go straight to the honey stores. Just my unproven idea, I'm thinking hard about top entrances.

The problem with that is then the Drones can't get out. I don't use excluders, I like allowing the queen to go where she will. Except when I have some particular reason for confining her to some area.

I hear what you are saying JWChesnut . I have not had any problems with it. But then I am a small hobbyist. Not sure how I would handle it if I was going big. Maybe Michael Bush might have some ideas, since I believe he is a proponent of top entrances.

Alfred

Offline RHBee

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Re: Top entrances
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2013, 10:28:47 PM »
The problem with that is then the Drones can't get out. I don't use excluders, I like allowing the queen to go where she will. Except when I have some particular reason for confining her to some area.
Alfred

That's what I mean "unproven idea". Thanks for the check. :-D Looks like I gotta come up with another idea.
Later,
Ray

Offline Duane

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Re: Top entrances
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2013, 05:10:38 PM »
I switched over this spring from a solid bottom board to a screened bottom board.  It took some time for me to do that and by the time I got the screened bottom board leveled and the bottom box on, there was a bunch of bees flying around.  I didn't get stung, and I don't switch bottom boards often, but it was a little unnerving to me.  I recall someone likening inspecting with a top entrance with a cyclone of bees around you.  Could those with top entrances describe how inspections are compared to a bottom entrance?  Are the bees any more likely to be angry towards you or is it just a mental thing you have to get used to?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Top entrances
« Reply #32 on: June 18, 2013, 12:19:54 PM »
>The other night I was reading Seeley's Honeybee Democracy, and after much study he came to the conclusion that bees prefer a top entrance out in the wild. Also, Gallop in the ABJ way back in 1867 ( www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm ) concluded also that top entrances have better outcomes in the wild. Is that not the case?

There are a variety of opinions on the subject.  In my opinion that is the case.  Top entrances have better outcomes.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline derekm

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Re: Top entrances
« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2013, 07:41:26 AM »
Bees evolved in heavily insulated trees and  have behaviuor to seek out bottom entrances if they can get them

The other night I was reading Seeley's Honeybee Democracy, and after much study he came to the conclusion that bees prefer a top entrance out in the wild. Also, Gallop in the ABJ way back in 1867 ( www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm ) concluded also that top entrances have better outcomes in the wild. Is that not the case?

I'm just starting my second year as a beek, and am considering converting over to a top entrance based on these observations, and comments in this forum (of course).



page 56  honeybee democracy the table 4th row  shows a Preference " Bottom>top of cavity"
where did you read the contrary?
If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?