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Author Topic: top entrance  (Read 4313 times)
zan
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« on: January 31, 2006, 08:57:37 AM »

Why some beekeepers prefer top entrance?
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bassman1977
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2006, 09:17:05 AM »

One keeper I know uses both top and bottom.  The top in his, is basically a hole drilled in one of the supers just above the excluder.  He does this so the field bees don't have to crawl through the excluder when bringing in their load.  It seemed to have worked well for him.

In the summer I crack the top cover to allow for more ventilation.  My bees use the oval in the inner cover as an upper enterance.  I'm ok with it if they are ok with it.  I am going to do the hole in a box idea this year on my two established hives.
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wmarkjones
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2006, 02:57:26 PM »

zan,

Additional external hive entrances are generally bad because it encourages robbing from external hives.  This can not only decrease your honey reserves, but it definitely will make the bees more aggressive over time, and therefore harder to work with.

You can have the ventilation without an additional entrance.  Just make sure it's SCREENED ventilation.  See the information at http://www.beecare.com/Hardware/Brood-box.htm for detail on how you can retrofit your existing boxes to provide this very critical, year-round ventilation.
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Mark Jones, beecare.com
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Finsky
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2006, 03:12:02 PM »

I have used upper entrances 40 years. They are good.
At winter they are necessary. Without upper ventilation bees get nosema.

We had  last summer hot (32 Celcius !) and I had every entrance open.  

http://bees.freesuperhost.com/yabbfiles/Attachments/Kuva_049.jpg

Towards  autumn I close most of them.

Main reason is that bees need not walk so much inside hive and they get out and in easily. They like to use entrance in the middle of hive.
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TwT
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2006, 03:51:05 PM »

I have both , top and bottom entrances, the top entrance is mainly for ventilation, I proped up the top cover and cut a 3/8 high and 3 inches long notch out of the intercover's front, the notch is on bottom of the intercover. I also have screen bottom boards and never close them off, leave all open all year.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2006, 07:09:12 PM »

I have all screened bottoms with no bottom entrance and only a top entrance.  I can open up the SBB to get air coming in.  I went to all top entrances because of :

Mice,
Skunk,
Opposums,
Snow,
Grass

I don't think I'll ever go back to bottom entrances.  I've lost too many hives to possums, skunks and mice and I don't like cutting the grass or clearning the entrances of snow.
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Michael Bush
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wmarkjones
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2006, 07:33:02 PM »

Of course, each beekeeper will decide what works best for them.  I take this position because of long experience with beekeeping and observing their behavior in an apiary with many hives.

Every non-migratory hive should ideally have an elevated hive stand.  This solves the problem with raiders like skunks, possums, etc.  It also helps making lifting hive boxes and general maintenance easier.  When used with a screened bottom board, it automatically decreases varroa population.  It avoids the constant weed-cutting maintenance.  And it has many other uses.  See http://www.beecare.com/Hardware/Elev-Hive-Stand.htm for more detail.

In summary, a hive with a good elevated hive stand, screened bottom board, and ventilated hive components, solves all these issues without unnecessarily introducing additional entrances and the potential problems they can present, especially with weaker hives.
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Mark Jones, beecare.com
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2006, 09:08:15 PM »

>Every non-migratory hive should ideally have an elevated hive stand. This solves the problem with raiders like skunks, possums, etc. It also helps making lifting hive boxes and general maintenance easier.

Your hives must be shorter than mine.  I had elevated (on top of 8" concrete blocks) hives and got very tired of lifting that top super off when it was full.  I had to stand on a box just to reach it.  Mine are all on treated four by four rails now.
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Michael Bush
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Finsky
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2006, 10:24:34 PM »

Quote from: wmarkjones


Every non-migratory hive should ideally have an elevated hive stand.  .


A little suggesition to stand: The lenght of vertical support should be at the level of horisontal support. So weight of hive will be directly on vertical boards.

Here is construction of mine http://bees.freesuperhost.com/yabbfiles/Attachments/Kuva_051.jpg


You have nice selection of pictures and easy to look. Tongue
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zan
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2006, 01:10:39 PM »

I go to Austin soon,
wmakjones, it seems to me your place is not so far from Austin?

Finsky,
Why your upper entrances are not in center?

Michael,
Do you  have some kind of landing board on top entrance?
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Finsky
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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2006, 01:23:17 PM »

Quote from: zan

Finsky,
Why your upper entrances are not in center?


When I put my hand into handle of box, and if entrance is very near, bees will sting into hand.

But really I do not know why holes are where ever  Tongue

.
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wmarkjones
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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2006, 01:47:35 PM »

Quote from: Finsky
Quote from: wmarkjones


Every non-migratory hive should ideally have an elevated hive stand.  .


A little suggesition to stand: The lenght of vertical support should be at the level of horisontal support. So weight of hive will be directly on vertical boards.

Here is construction of mine http://bees.freesuperhost.com/yabbfiles/Attachments/Kuva_051.jpg


You have nice selection of pictures and easy to look. Tongue


The elevated hive stands I build have a 16" height from the ground to the bottom board.  The weight is distributed properly, and the stand is reinforced.  See http://www.beecare.com/Getting%20Started/Assembling%20Hdw/Elev%20Hive%20Stand/Assemble%20Hive%20Stand.htm for some detailed pictures.  These stands have stood up to many years of very heavy weight (often 300+ lb) and have not shown any signs of weakening or instability.
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Mark Jones, beecare.com
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wmarkjones
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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2006, 01:51:42 PM »

Quote from: Finsky
Quote from: zan

Finsky,
Why your upper entrances are not in center?


When I put my hand into handle of box, and if entrance is very near, bees will sting into hand.

But really I do not know why holes are where ever  Tongue

.


If the ventilation hole is actually an ENTRANCE, you will have this problem.  Guard bees protect an entrance.  They do not protect a screened ventilation hole.
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Mark Jones, beecare.com
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Finsky
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2006, 02:13:47 PM »

Quote from: wmarkjones
[
If the ventilation hole is actually an ENTRANCE, you will have this problem.  Guard bees protect an entrance.  They do not protect a screened ventilation hole.


So it is.

And hole is real entrance. Often big hive use more middle entrances than than major bottom entrance.

Usually I keep honey box entrances pluged because boxes would be  too cold.
.
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Finsky
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2006, 02:18:54 PM »

Quote from: wmarkjones
many years of very heavy weight (often 300+ lb) and have not shown any signs of weakening or instability.


Well, so it is good and tested! It seem to be impregnated wood.
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wmarkjones
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2006, 02:43:49 PM »

Quote from: Finsky
Quote from: wmarkjones
many years of very heavy weight (often 300+ lb) and have not shown any signs of weakening or instability.


Well, so it is good and tested! It seem to be impregnated wood.


Only the wood for the legs is treated chemically, to prevent rot when in contact with the ground.  The primary frame structure of the stand can be a soft wood, such as pine, if painted properly.  Ideally, you should use a high-quality, exterior acrylic latex.  See http://www.beecare.com/Hardware/Instructions/Painting/UBB/PaintUBB%20-%20Paint.htm for an example.  Also, it is critical that you use screws designed for outdoor use that will not corrode and rust, such as deck screws.
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Mark Jones, beecare.com
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taw
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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2006, 09:54:33 PM »

Quote from: Michael Bush
I have all screened bottoms with no bottom entrance and only a top entrance.  I can open up the SBB to get air coming in.  I went to all top entrances because of :

Mice,
Skunk,
Opposums,
Snow,
Grass

I don't think I'll ever go back to bottom entrances.  I've lost too many hives to possums, skunks and mice and I don't like cutting the grass or clearning the entrances of snow.


You ever have issues with dead bees collecting on the bottom board? I suppose if the hive is nice and healthy it is not an issue, but if the hive is not as strong as it should be, do the bodies and other debris ever get out of hand?
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Finsky
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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2006, 11:25:52 PM »

Quote from: Michael Bush
I have all screened bottoms with no bottom entrance.....I don't think I'll ever go back to bottom entrances.


Taw is right? Why bees dont defence their nest?

Is Michael the only beekeeper on globe who does not use bottom entrance
 huh
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2006, 07:11:40 AM »

>You ever have issues with dead bees collecting on the bottom board? I suppose if the hive is nice and healthy it is not an issue, but if the hive is not as strong as it should be, do the bodies and other debris ever get out of hand?

With a bottom entrance the dead bees often block the exit in the winter.  They accumulate to some degree with a bottom entrance or not.  But the bees haul out the dead with a top entrance about the same.  I usually dump the bees off of it in the spring and fall if there are any.  Sometimes tehre are.  In the fall they are usually drones.  In the spring they are usually workers.  But it's the same with a bottom entrance.  Usually between spring and fall the bees keep it clean.

>Taw is right? Why bees dont defence their nest?

They do fine agains mice until winter sets in.  The skunks are another matter altogether.  it's defence that gets them eaten.  They scratch on the hive until a bee flies out, catch it, roll it on the ground and eat it.

>Is Michael the only beekeeper on globe who does not use bottom entrance

Not at all.  I've had corespondence from many beekeepers who have only a top entrance.  Lloyd Spears's new top Sundance II trap requires only a top entrance.

BTW you can't use a queen excluder and only a top entrance. The drones have to have some kind of escape from the brood nest.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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zan
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« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2006, 02:54:40 PM »

And what about landing board?
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