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Author Topic: Top Entrance  (Read 1702 times)
Steel Tiger
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« on: July 05, 2013, 02:08:49 AM »

 Two days ago I put the entrance reducers back on the hives and drilled two 1/2 inch holes on the top boxes of each hive.
I've went down a few times to see if any bees where using the new entrances yet. The answer is no. Should I completely close up the bottom entrance?
 I have SBB, so they have plenty of ventilation.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2013, 02:32:29 AM »

I would close off the bottom - basically you just vented the top boxes. They will be confused for a while. They already have the entrance imprinted as the bottom. Close it at night. Force them to come out the top.
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John 3:16
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2013, 03:33:35 AM »

3 am and I'm out playing with the bees. I blocked the entrance with a couple rocks. Tomorrow I'll do some measuring and cut a piece of wood to replace the reducer. Each hive had a dozen or so bees hanging around outside. When I set the rock down and slide it into place, some threw their butts in the air waiting for me to touch them.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2013, 03:46:53 AM »

Did you use a red light. I like the ones that go on your head and have several selections of white and red lights.
Bees do not see red light.
Jim
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2013, 03:53:40 AM »

Just a regular flashlight that attracted moths and mosquitoes.... lots of mosquitoes.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2013, 04:03:39 AM »

If you use the red, they do not know you are there. Just don't make the mistake that I made one night. I was working on a dozen hives and went back to the house to get something and switched back to white light. I went back into the apiary with it still on white and had bees bouncing off my head. It took a few seconds of wondering why they were reacting so much to me before I realized I was using while light.
Try it it is fun.
Jim
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Finski
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2013, 04:10:43 AM »

so they have plenty of ventilation.

Keep proper ventilation even if you do not have beetles
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2013, 04:25:53 AM »

If you use the red, they do not know you are there. Just don't make the mistake that I made one night. I was working on a dozen hives and went back to the house to get something and switched back to white light. I went back into the apiary with it still on white and had bees bouncing off my head. It took a few seconds of wondering why they were reacting so much to me before I realized I was using while light.
Try it it is fun.
Jim

I'm not going to make it a habit of working on them during the night.

so they have plenty of ventilation.

Keep proper ventilation even if you do not have beetles

 I've found and crushed one beetle the day after I picked them up. I haven't seen any since. I keep my eyes peeled, but so far so good.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2013, 04:30:51 AM »

so they have plenty of ventilation.

Keep proper ventilation even if you do not have beetles

Yes I should have mentioned to ventilate the top huh
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John 3:16
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2013, 05:48:43 AM »


Yes I should have mentioned to ventilate the top huh

Yes I saw it.  But what ever you do, keep the ventilation proper.
Why you do upper entrances? I have those in every hive, but what is so special with your hives?

Lower entrance is necessary because all rubbish fall on floor.

You need to keep open the entrance all the time when bees start to use them.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2013, 09:12:46 AM »

In New Hampshire, I would close the screened bottom.  You just donít need that much ventilation and itís going to make it harder for the bees to keep the brood at 95F in your climate.

Lower entrance is necessary because all rubbish fall on floor.
huh  Huh?  Do bees drill holes in the bottom of their tree nests?  No, a bottom entrance is NOT needed.  My hives with mid entrances have just as clean bottom boards as my bottom entrance hives.  Plus the incoming foragers are not walking over any mites that happen to fall off the bees.   
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Finski
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2013, 09:39:58 AM »

Plus the incoming foragers are not walking over any mites that happen to fall off the bees.   

holy ship. What happens?
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2013, 10:52:44 AM »

In New Hampshire, I would close the screened bottom.  You just donít need that much ventilation and itís going to make it harder for the bees to keep the brood at 95F in your climate.
 
even in NH we have hot spells. yesterday got to 96 and it's suppose to stay in the 90s for the next few days.
________________________________________________________________________________________________
 10 AM and it's already 87 outside. I grabbed my jacket, veil and smoker and headed out to see what was going on. Apparently either I jiggled the entrance reducer on one of the hives...or the bees pushed it out enough to squeeze out the back. A lot of activity at that hive. Plenty of bees bringing in pollen.
 The other hive, not one bee was around it. I watched for 5 minutes or so and seen 2 bees exit and enter the holes I drilled. I decided to err on the side of caution and opened them back up. The bees came boiling out. Several tried to fly and hit the grass.It took them  30 seconds of trying before they got airborne.
 I'll try again when it cools off a little. My only fear is that they're filling the bottom box with honey. I looked into the top boxes and they are drawing it out. I'll find out next week if I have brood or honey in the bottom.
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2013, 11:12:58 AM »

Two days ago I put the entrance reducers back.....
I've went down a few times to see if any bees where using the new entrances yet.

Uhh, Bees are slow to change entrances. Two days is nothing in the colonies memory. Don't expect instant response, honey bees have evolved to be conservative in their responses.

I think 1/2" holes are undersize for entrances, and the bees will close them up.  I drill 1 1/8" holes (in traps and nucs) (and cork these with champagne corks).  Normal wine bottle corks are 7/8"  and that size will work in a pinch.

My experience is that the bees like to have the core (brood) population close to the traffic flow, and vice versa.  I use this propensity to fill the lower deep with brood, I entrance reduce with a 10-12" block of 2x2 on one side  of the bottom board-- the brood moves to just above the side entrance (filling the frame 1&2 with brood).  I then slide the block to the other side, and the frames 9 & 10 get brood.  Normally 1,2 & 9,10 have pollen and honey stores, but by pushing the brood out to outside, you can have a summer deep with all 10 frames going off.

The advocates of top entrances claim the bees are more efficient because foragers don't have as far to walk.  I have seen no evidence-- it sounds to me like projected (aristotelian) inductive logic.  My observed behavior is the bees are social, and want the contact with the nest, and don't care to be shuttled off to the supers to ditch their load like some beast-of-burden.

 My problem with top entrances were the bees completely abandoned the lower entrances in time -- and the brood nest move up close to the top entrance.  This contributes to robbing, and real management problems when efficient harvest assumes  taking honey supers off the top.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2013, 11:36:05 AM by JWChesnut » Logged
BlueBee
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2013, 02:53:02 PM »

Once again Iím going to have to agree with JWChesnut.  Iíve observed the same things and hence I donít use top entrances anymore.  The other thing I really donít like about top entrances is the swarm of confused bees in the air once you remove the door to their home!  Yeah the bees still survive, but why make "keeping" bees any more confusing to the bees than necessary?  Besides I find it more relaxing to work the bees when there aren't thousands of bees in the air frantically looking for their hive.   

The only really good reason I could see to going with a top entrance is to keep the entrance away from the skunks.  That problem can be solved by hive stands, or using a mid entrance. 
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Finski
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« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2013, 02:59:27 PM »

.
I have used 45 years upper entrances.

When I have 3 brood boxes and 4 medium super, super entrances are not good. They keep super too cold.

I do not use top entrances. - what ever it is...on top
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BlueBee
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« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2013, 03:05:24 PM »

even in NH we have hot spells. yesterday got to 96 and it's suppose to stay in the 90s for the next few days.
Well, the bees try to keep their brood at about 95F, so NH is FINALLY getting up to temperature. Smiley

If it's 96 out there, it might be time to forget about the bees for a few days and head to Hampton Beach or the Mountains.
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2013, 05:10:41 PM »

The only really good reason I could see to going with a top entrance is to keep the entrance away from the skunks.  That problem can be solved by hive stands, or using a mid entrance. 

Two reasons I rather have a top entrance. Animals such as skunks and mice. The hives are in an unfenced field next to woods. I'm sure they get visited by more than rabbits. The second reason is snow.
 Winter may be several months away, but it's never too early to plan for it. I'm keeping my hive stands low. Right now it's 12 inches from the ground to the hive. When I get them moved to their permanent place, I may lower them to 5 inches. I have a neck injury that makes it difficult to manage anything above my shoulders.
 After reading through these comments, I'll switch things up a bit and use the drilled boxes as their upper brood chamber. It makes more sense to keep the entrance in a spot that won't move up and down by adding and removing honey supers as needed.
 Next Saturday I'll be checking the bottom boxes that was added last week. If it's being drawn out and laid in, I'll be able to estimate when to add a third brood box and use the drilled boxes for them. I'm hoping by the middle of the month.
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Farm 779
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« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2013, 08:35:55 PM »

Yep, it sucks when you get package bees and the supplier does not say whether they are top or bottom entrance bees (or both as is my want). This year I got some bees that were top entrance, took me a day or so to figure that out. Now all is well.
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Farm 779
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« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2013, 01:57:37 PM »

Yep, it sucks when you get package bees and the supplier does not say whether they are top or bottom entrance bees

There is no such bees.
Too much imagination.
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