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Author Topic: Time to revolutionize the bee industry again.  (Read 5809 times)
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« on: May 17, 2006, 09:49:52 PM »

Well my efforts to keep feral hives may not have been the best. However it gave me a chance to experiment. What I want want was a slanted roof for my hive. What I also wanted was a top entrance hive. What I wanted was air to circulate in the hive boxes. I wanted to use an entrance reducer and not completly ruin my ideas on air circulation.

I have managed to do all of the above. Well there are some negatives this inital idea has some possiblities.

I have built a slanted top bee hive entrance. I have to take some pictures but I have completed the drawings and instructions. There are three pages to the  slanted top bee hive entrance. They are in pdf format. I also have them in AutoCAD format (.dwg) If you are interested in that format message me and I will send them to you.

page  1
page 2
page 3

So constructive comments are welcome. Cash is preffered. Wink
Queens and packages will do in a crunch.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2006, 12:01:50 AM »

I would love to see some pictures...
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Apis629
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2006, 07:38:34 PM »

What reason would you have for a top enterence?  I realize heat rises and, if we have anything, it's heat in Florida but, is that really necessary.  Probably the biggest headaches that can come of this are either (a) the bees will build bridge comb and solidly attach it to the frames or (b) supering when the honeyflow comes as, bees like to have thier brood nest near the enterence and, store their honey in a verticle fassion.  However, this would probably be a great ventilation aid if used, in conjunction, with a standard Bottom board so that they have ventilation and an entrance at both hive extremeties.  I debated about trying something like that once but, I decided it'd be easier just to drill holes in the supers.
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2006, 10:24:53 PM »

Quote from: Apis629
What reason would you have for a top enterence?  I realize heat rises and, if we have anything, it's heat in Florida but, is that really necessary.  

Reasons for top entrance:
Air circulation.
No mice, skunks, possums, or dead bees blocking the entrance.
Slanted roof to also allow rain run off (and work with air circulation).
Mike has his reasons but he lives up north. http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

Quote from: Apis629

Probably the biggest headaches that can come of this are either (a) the bees will build bridge comb and solidly attach it to the frames or (b) supering when the honeyflow comes as, bees like to have thier brood nest near the enterence and, store their honey in a verticle fassion.


I didn't say it was perfect(but close). I expected the burr comb. I already have to deal with it between the permacomb frames, but burr comb does not bother me. I kinda like it. Burr comb attached to the roof isn't strong enough to really lock it in place unless you let the box build it up for a couple of months without looking in the hive. I check every other day. It doesn't have time to get strong enough because I keep breaking it.

Where the brood is and the honey is doesn't bother me, I doubt it will bother bees. As bees in the wild can have top, bottom, or middle entrances. If the comb is built on a branch they will have all the entrances they want.

Quote from: Apis629

 However, this would probably be a great ventilation aid if used, in conjunction, with a standard Bottom board so that they have ventilation and an entrance at both hive extremeties.  I debated about trying something like that once but, I decided it'd be easier just to drill holes in the supers.


I think a top and bottom entrance would be fine if that is what you want and your hive is strong. A weak hive would not be able to protect to many entrances. I wanted a screened bottom for better air circulation. Some people also use the screen bottom for mite control. I didn't want to make swiss cheese of my supers.

I thought about this also. Bees tend to make air circulate if the hive gets to hot by fanning the hive by flapping their wings near the entrance. It can cause many bees to work the entrance instead of doing other things, like make honey and encourage the queen to lay eggs. I wanted to try to reduce the amount of bees that had to do that.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2006, 11:02:18 PM »

Quote
What reason would you have for a top enterence? I realize heat rises and, if we have anything, it's heat in Florida but, is that really necessary. Probably the biggest headaches that can come of this are either (a) the bees will build bridge comb and solidly attach it to the frames or (b) supering when the honeyflow comes as, bees like to have thier brood nest near the enterence and, store their honey in a verticle fassion





OK I'm going to make pic's of my top entrances but there really not top entrances, there just top vents in the inter cover, no comb is made than any other hive, just they may put some propolise in the entrance........ coming tomorrow or the next day.....
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Galactic Bee
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Ted


« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2006, 11:03:29 PM »

ooooohhhhh since i got the camera out i might as well take pic of my extractor for another post!!!!! the one below....

http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=4967
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2006, 12:14:04 AM »

>What reason would you have for a top enterence?

1) I never have to worry about the bees not having access to the hive because the grass grew too tall. I also don't have to cut the grass in front of the hives. Less work for me.

2) I never have to worry about the bees not having access because of the snow being too deep (unless it gets over the tops of the hives). So I don't have to shovel snow after a snowstorm to open the entrances up.

3) I never have to worry about putting mouse guards on or mice getting into the hive.

4) I never have to worry about skunks or opossums eating the bees.

5) Combined with a SBB I have very good ventilation in the summer.

6) I can save money buying (or making) simple migratory style covers. Most of mine are just a piece of 3/4" plywood with shingle shims for spacers. But some are wider notches in inner covers that I already had.

7) In the winter I don't have to worry about dead bees clogging the bottom entrance.

Cool I can put the hive eight inches lower (because I don't have to worry about mice and skunks) and that makes it easier to put that top super on and get it off when it's full.

9) This works nicely for long top bar hives when I put supers on because the bees have to go in the super to get in.

10) With some Styrofoam on the top, there's not much condensation with a top entrance in the winter.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2006, 06:41:40 AM »

Yeah but Mike , what did you think of the design?

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Apis629
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2006, 02:21:39 PM »

Maybe I'm being "stuborn-minded" but I just don't see top enterences working well on a verticle oriented hive.  I suppose it does varry with the management style.  However, I will admit that I use an upper and bottom enterence on my TBH.(I'm going to pretend that was intentional and not an error in measurement.)   cheesy
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2006, 11:45:50 PM »

>what did you think of the design?

It will work fine I think.  Mine are mostly just 3/4" plywood the size of the box propped up with shingle shims.  They work just fine and are much easier to build.  Smiley  You could probably use thinner plywood, but I like the weight and stiffness of the 3/4".
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Finsky
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2006, 03:39:30 PM »

I use here on 60 north latitude middle entrances in summer. In every two box entrance is open.  It is easy to se from ventilating bees what is good.

Bees like to use them.
.
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2006, 12:13:06 AM »

Okay the photos are here:






Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2006, 12:17:39 AM »

very cool.... I may consider it...
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Finsky
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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2006, 03:38:45 PM »

You should go to benchmark to Brasilia and spy how they handle overheating -- or to Dead Valley.
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SherryL
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2006, 08:08:47 PM »

I started operating with top entrances last summer - the bees, given a choice, actually prefer it.

I run ross round comb supers.  I simply created a top entrance with regular hardward store shims.  I placed the shims between the brood box and first comb box, leaving the bottom entrance completely open.  I did this initially to alieveate the 'traffic jam' at the bottom entrance (running a single deep brood box cut down).  After a week or so the bees had all moved up to the top entrance, nearly completely abandoning the bottom one.  I had no burr issues or queen-laying issues.  I'm planning on doing the same once I start supering.  I would like to make something a little less 'make-shift' than the shims though.  Was thinking I'd just nail some trim board together - leaving the majority of one side open.  

My only comment Brendhan is the landing board - is it necessary?  I didn't have one on any of my hives and the bees didn't seem to care.
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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2006, 08:45:08 PM »

The landing board in this case is needed. That is to prevent the top from sliding backwards off the top of the hive. It acts as a cleat.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2006, 01:06:31 AM »

Well today I built three prototypes of my top entrance hive so that I could tweak the design and make some templates.  Things I have learned.
I need to get a tounge & groove bit for my router.
I need to get better with my router, a lot better.
Soak the wood in water before using the screws and the screws work better and the wood doesn't split.  
Leave a slight gap 1/8" between the underside of the roof and the piece of wood that is used for the front entrance piece. The bees may fill it with propolis but it can be easily cleaned out.

I am wondering if I should use small wooden dowels and gorrila glue instead of screws?

I have revised the plans to to show some of the minor changes I made. If you click on the links in the first post. You will get the revised plans.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2006, 06:32:07 AM »

do you have a router table? i built one many years ago and it has held up quite well although i havent done much woodworking lately.
and what kind of router do you have?
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« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2006, 10:16:28 AM »

I have a Black & Decker Firestorm router. I need a router table I will work on getting one in the next couple of weeks.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2006, 10:21:43 AM »

google router table plans. they are very easy to build.
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