>but I am mainly with this question concerned about temprature.
As long as it's not drafty and there's no excess space, it shouldn't be a problem. If you have a strong hive space isn't an issue, but with a weak one, I'd reduce it to just what they can manage. Remove all the empty frames and all the boxes that don't have bees in them.
> I realize it will help keep heat in. Heat however in south Florida is not a problem. Right now I am going through my two week winter and temps will not get above 75F / 23C (maybe 80F for one or two days) after that things will get back to normal and stay in the upper 80's and then in summer easily hit the high 90's with 100% humidity(just the way I like it).
What exactly is your worry then? Too much heat? Then I'd try to provide ventilation. If robbing is part of the concern some Popsicle sticks on the inner cover will provide some upward ventilation.
> So at what temp range do you use your reducer
I don't use a reducer because of temps. I use it because of robbing. For ventilation I try to have a SBB and an upper entrance. In fact my bottom entrances are all now complete blocked with just a SBB for bottom ventilation and a top entrance for top ventilation.
> and what opening size?
If there is a traffic jam, it's too small. If there's not, it's not too small. If they are being robbed, it's too large.
> Also on a silly note should the opening face up or down or does it really matter? Right now mine is facing up and the bees are doing fine, but I will ask for knowledge sake.
I always faced mine down, but after some research I have discovered that many people face them up so the dead bees are less likely to block the exit. Since I have a top entrance and I closed the bottom one, dead bees in the winter are no longer a concern.
>Welcome to WBEE radio traffic report, looks like Brendhan has screwed up the entrance reducer again causing massive traffic jams at the entrance to the hive.
Exactly. If there are traffic problems, make it bigger.
>Right now, the hive is in a weakened state and I want to keep heat in the hive so the entrance reducer is in place. There are bees on the outside of the box but they are bees either guarding or moving in and out.
Didn't you say the temps are in the 70's? What are the lows? How strong is the hive?
>I also want to keep predators and robbers out.
If predators are a problem, I'd close it all together and prop the top up for the entrance. What predators are you concerned with? Mice? Skunks? Are they already a problem or you're trying to prevent a problem.
> So the reducer right now is good. I am thinking of the next several months as "spring" comes and then summer. Remember south Florida has only two seasons hot and hotter.
Which is why I'm a little confused about your concern about warmth.
>I saw a cockroach the other day run out of the hive I almost burst into the hive at that moment. The last thing I want in the hive are roaches.
One roach wouldn't panic, me but if you get in the hive and there are alot of roaches, that's a sign the bees have more room than they can take care of. The roaches aren't actually the problem, just a symptom of too much hive for the number of bees.
>However please note these are Florida Palmetto bug roaches and they are just huge and tough. I think I am liking the lizards more and more. They eat them.
I don't think the Palmetto bugs are a problem, but if there are a lot of them in the hive, it's having problems and will soon be full of wax moths.
>There are differing opinions on the way the entrance reducer should face, down or up. Some say if it's up, then the bees can walk over the dead bees at the entrance and still get out. Mine got clogged up anyway, so I really don't think it matters.
I always faced them down and did fine, but the argument for up makes some sense. once in a while you do get dead bees so thick that the bottom entrance gets clogged.
>Also today i discovered that I am a renegade bee keeper.
You are suppose to register your hives in the US with the department of Agriculture, but local county codes don't allow for bees in a residential area (let's just go straight to a thorazine drip shall we).
The front page of the newspaper in my area has an article about Africanized bees that have moved into our area (I think treppaning is starting to make sense)
I would argue that me having bees helps keep the AHB out. Nature abhors a vacuum. AHB will move in more quickly to a place where there are no bees. I had unregistered hives for years. I never had them inspected until the inspection process was discontinued and I was trying to sell queens. NOW I have to pay to get them inspected. :)
>Now I have slanting bottomboards. Does anybody have such?
I have a couple of 12 frame boxes with sloped bottom boards. I like the bottom boards. The water runs off nicely.
>Many say that ventilation deminish chalkbrood. I noticed that when I shut upper entrances and deminished ventilation, 90% of chalkbrood went away.
I'm sure it depends on your climate what will help with chalkbrood. Some places the cause seems to be high humidity which more ventilation takes care of. Maybe humidity isn't a problem in Finland but chilled brood is?
>I have started heating hives with electrict at spring . Here some say that it is worst I can do to bees. They love they bees as they say and I don't.
I tried your terrarium heater on a queen bank. The bees seemed to like it a lot. :)
>I MEAN : Everyone should learn to see signs of overventilation and under ventilation. No one else can do that.
Yes. You need to know the signs.
>I try to get average yield 200 lbs per hive.
That's never been my average. But I have gotten it before. On four hives. Once. :)
> It is only what means Rolling Eyes
It's a facial expression. It could mean a lot of specific things. Incredulity (disbelief) would be one of those.