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Author Topic: adjusting entrance reducer  (Read 1818 times)
heidip
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Location: eastern mass, cape cod


« on: May 12, 2006, 12:23:54 PM »

I have hived a new package of bees on 9 April..so we're just entering our 5th week. the entrance reducer has had the smallest opening used since the beginning, but I'm wondering if it's okay to adjust it to the next opening...I ask because their progress has been somewhat slow, I think that the weather up here in Eastern Mass/Cape Cod has something to do with it, really cold and rainy. I have frames 4,5,6 that are nicely drawn and full of capped brood, babies started to show up last Friday (5 May) but other than that only frames 3,7 have some comb drawn in the inside top corners, and pollen and nectar in them...but no eggs yet. I'm thinking they might not be strong enough yet to handle that second sized opening on the entrance reducer..so I look to you all for advice? Thanks!
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hp
thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2006, 12:48:00 PM »

cut yourself out a division board and shrink down the hive space.  They will only expand the brood nest when they can manage the area.  There is usually some dwindling before a package starts to show real growth, so giving them less area to manage initially is really a help to them.
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amymcg
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2006, 02:59:20 PM »

Also,

You can adjust the size of the entrance once you notice that there is a traffic jam.
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heidip
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Location: eastern mass, cape cod


« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2006, 03:08:27 PM »

thanks...things were a little backed up at the entrance today, I guess the question is how big of a traffic jam...I just don't want to open it too wide if there's not enough bees to defend the entrance. Also there was quite a bit of bee 'droppings' around the entrance..is that normal? I was away all this week and noticed this today...I know that a lot of bees were born this past week by looking at the comb, so maybe it's the baby bees? Do they go out of the hive to defecate? I've never read anywhere about that? hp
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hp
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2006, 01:21:02 AM »

Whats the droppings look like?  An excessive amount could indicate nosema.  If it looks like black, brown, or red pollin spores they're fine.
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heidip
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Location: eastern mass, cape cod


« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2006, 11:48:46 AM »

the droppings are the regular brownish yellow...pretty much the same as I've always seen and there's none inside the hive...just on the entrance board.
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hp
Patrick
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2006, 07:23:30 PM »

Hi,
I hope it is ok for me to jump in here?
I was wondering the same thing.  I have a 5-day-old package with an entrance cleat on, about a 3-inch entrance.  Near the end of the day there are about 40 to 50 bees flying around the entrance (the rest of the day about eight).  I was wondering when it is ok to remove the cleat. (presumably at 5 days it’s still too early?) All my books talk about the cleat and why you need it and when one needs to put it on, but there is no mention of when it is ok to remove it.
Thank you in advance.

Patrick
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amymcg
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2006, 08:29:10 PM »

I think it's still too early.   There is about a 2 hour time period in the afternoon when Drones will be out and new bees will be taking orientation flights, that when you'll notice the most traffic.  When you have more traffic at other times, then it's time to take it out.  

There's no hard and fast rule for anything. You could always just shove grass in the entrance, they'll make the size opening they need themselves.
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heidip
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Location: eastern mass, cape cod


« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2006, 08:44:05 PM »

thanks Amy, as usual you provide a plethora of info! many thanks!
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hp
heidip
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Location: eastern mass, cape cod


« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2006, 03:58:35 PM »

after 10 days of rain in MA...the sun finally came out yesterday! and then lo! a major traffic jam at the entrance to the hive, it was fairly late in the day too...(looked like rush hour in Boston on 93N) so I did open my entrance reducer to the 4" opening yesterday and they seem to be fine with it, I watched for quite a while today too, at various hours...and there is still a ton of activity at the entrance, even this afternoon, I will continue to monitor it. thanks!
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hp
Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2006, 08:58:33 PM »

If there is a traffic jam, open up the entrance.
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Michael Bush
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