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Author Topic: Transitioning to top entrances.  (Read 701 times)

Offline RHBee

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Transitioning to top entrances.
« on: September 10, 2013, 05:54:16 AM »
I remember a post recently that described how a member experienced a sizeable loss of population when they went to top entrances.
I would like to know if this is common and if there is some method to prevent this from happening.
Later,
Ray

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Transitioning to top entrances.
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2013, 10:41:58 AM »
Give them some time to get used to things.  First open the top entrance for a few days.  Then reduce the bottom entrance for a few days.  Then close off the bottom entrance.  Don't do any of these changes when the nights will fall below 50 F.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline sc-bee

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Re: Transitioning to top entrances.
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2013, 11:26:41 AM »
I am not a comb honey producer but for those that are or plan to be. Will top entrances promote more comb staining?
John 3:16

Offline 10framer

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Re: Transitioning to top entrances.
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2013, 12:37:13 PM »
I am not a comb honey producer but for those that are or plan to be. Will top entrances promote more comb staining?
that's a good question sc. 

Offline T Beek

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Re: Transitioning to top entrances.
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2013, 01:20:57 PM »
When collecting honey you just have to beat them to it.  A queen excluder can keep the queen below the honey super (s) to be pulled which will help limit excessive traffic.  Pull the frames (supers) as soon as they are capped.  I pull individual frames instead of supers.

I never experienced any noticeable losses when I went to top entrances.  I use both top and bottom entrances year round, closing the bottom to its smallest opening for winter.
"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."

Offline sc-bee

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Re: Transitioning to top entrances.
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2013, 01:58:28 PM »
A queen excluder can keep the queen below the honey super (s) to be pulled which will help limit excessive traffic.  Pull the frames (supers) as soon as they are capped.  

How exactly do you limit excess traffic over the comb when they enter the top and egress over the comb. How would excluding the queen with an excluder in the bottom change anything as bees enter the top  :?
John 3:16

Offline RHBee

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Re: Transitioning to top entrances.
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2013, 02:00:23 PM »
I just want to thank you all for the responses. The reason I'm wanting to go with top entrances is to eliminate water in my bottom SHB oil traps. To work well these traps have to be level so when it rains heavily some water gets in the tray and displaces the oil causing a mess.
I know that the best defences against SHB are full sun and strong colonies. I'm wanting to be able to run 3 frame mating nucs. I feel pretty sure SHB would have a field day with those down here.
I just want to give my bees a fighting chance.
I also know that there are many ways to approach these goals. I'm just looking for something that works for me.
Thanks again
Ray

Later,
Ray

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Transitioning to top entrances.
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2013, 04:52:23 PM »
>Will top entrances promote more comb staining?

If they keep coming in the top and you keep adding empty supers to the top where is all the traffic?  Just the ones headed to the brood nest but not the ones putting honey on.  If you put supers on the top and the bees are coming in the bottom every trip to store more in the supers has to cross all the capped comb to get to the supers at the top that aren't drawn yet.  I don't see that there is any difference.

The main issue for color and toughness has to do with time.  If the bees get time they paint the wax with some secretion that turns it yellow and makes it tough.  For comb honey you don't want that to happen, so they need to build it all quickly and you need to pull it quickly.

Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline OldMech

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Re: Transitioning to top entrances.
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2013, 10:18:58 PM »
That was me......    I put the top entrances on and didnt give them time to adjust in 95 + temps... I saved one hive by re queening and combining, but god.. what a heartbreaking mess to clean up....
   Do what Mr. Bush says. Leave the bottom entrance open for a time, and slowly reduce it..  I am going to try again next spring. After i get done kicking myself over the course of the winter.
39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.

Offline T Beek

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Re: Transitioning to top entrances.
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2013, 07:50:44 AM »
>Will top entrances promote more comb staining?

If they keep coming in the top and you keep adding empty supers to the top where is all the traffic?  Just the ones headed to the brood nest but not the ones putting honey on.  If you put supers on the top and the bees are coming in the bottom every trip to store more in the supers has to cross all the capped comb to get to the supers at the top that aren't drawn yet.  I don't see that there is any difference.

The main issue for color and toughness has to do with time.  If the bees get time they paint the wax with some secretion that turns it yellow and makes it tough.  For comb honey you don't want that to happen, so they need to build it all quickly and you need to pull it quickly.



Yeah, like MB said;  You have to be ready to pull them asap when capped.  All my hives have top entrances and all we do is collect "comb" honey.
"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."