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Author Topic: Top enterances  (Read 4362 times)
nepenthes
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« on: October 07, 2006, 10:24:21 AM »

Ive gotten ahold of coppies of Bee Culture, and noticed when they were talking about getting youre bee's ready for winter ive heard of Top Enterences, What is up with this, I thought their were only bottom entrences?

Could I get an explanation on this?
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2006, 10:50:35 AM »

Top entrances provide upper ventilation that is needed in the winter.  As the bees consume the honey stores,  they create moisture. The warm moist air rises and without ventilation, will condensate on the inner cover.  If there is enough moisture, it will drip down on the bees.   It is moisture that kills a colony of bees, not the cold.  Bees can withstand pretty cold conditions as long as they have access to honey.  Once they become wet,  they can not.   I also find upper entrances make it easier for the bees to take cleansing flight and to start flying earlier in the spring.  As the bees progress up through the hive, the upper entrance becomes closer to the cluster.  Come spring, the cluster is near the upper entrance and it is much easier for bees to break cluster and exit verses having to traverse down thru the cold lower brood chambers to the exit.
Not to mention an upper entrance is less likely to be block by snow or debris or dead bees.
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nepenthes
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2006, 11:02:28 AM »

Are they usualy their in the Tops allready or would I have to make one?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2006, 12:27:11 PM »

You can get a top entrance by using an Imirie shim, a notched inner cover, a prop for the inner cover, or convert to top entrances.

I have ONLY top entrances.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#topentrance

Michael
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Michael Bush
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2006, 08:07:43 PM »

If you need a top entrance just replace the solid bottom board with a screened shim and the invert the solid bottom board and use it as a top.  That's what I call the Kiss method (Keep it simple solutions)--works for me.
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2006, 10:22:21 PM »

Brian

The screened shim you mentioned using as a bottom board - is this similar to what we were discussing earlier in the summer to use on top of the hive to aid in ventilation in hot weather? Only in this case installed on the bottom to aid in winter ventilation? When using a top entrance, is it necessary to have an opening at the bottom to provide airflow up through the hive?
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2006, 10:40:51 PM »

correction: I didn't mean as a bottom board. I meant as the first element in the structure above the SSB.
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nepenthes
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2006, 11:25:27 PM »

Could I simply just get two bottom boards and have a bottom and top opening? OR would the bee's not like this?
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2006, 08:02:45 AM »

Quote from: nepenthes
Could I simply just get two bottom boards and have a bottom and top opening? OR would the bee's not like this?


You could,  but that might be too much ventilation for the winter. Here in upstate NY,  I usually close off the bottom entrance and have a 2" x 3/8" upper entrance for winter.

You could simply use 2 entrances reducers in the winter and remove them for summer.   You might even consider turning the bottom board 180 degrees so the top and bottom entrance are on opposite sides of the hive to give better front to back ventilation as well as bottom to top.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2006, 08:28:40 PM »

>Could I simply just get two bottom boards and have a bottom and top opening? OR would the bee's not like this?

The bees will not care.  The mice on the other hand, will love it.  Smiley
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nepenthes
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2006, 08:30:20 PM »

I would get an enterance reducer for both, or just one?
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2006, 08:44:43 PM »

I would never use a bottom board for a upper entrance without modifying it, bottom boards work good as bottom boards, adds to much ventalation and putting entrance reducers up top just doesn't sound right lol , you would have to add metal or a solid piece of wood to cover all of itto keep it from leaking water when rain or snow happens, I just notch the intercover, cut a 3/8" deep x 3" long notch in one half of the intercover and put it down on the hive side and it works fine and not hard to do just use a shim to raise the outer cover high enough to expose the notch, if you have a bought intercover just look at it and take out the center part that would face above the normal entrance and cut the frame about 3" wide but dont cut deep enough to cut through the center piece of panel..... easy, not hard at all ...... just my 0.02 cents!!!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2006, 07:41:27 AM »

>I would get an enterance reducer for both, or just one?

I've never bought an entrance reducer.  You can make one out of a one by easily enough.  I usually reduce the entrnace to keep out robbers, and in the case of the bottom entrance, to keep out mice.  But now I reduced my bottom entrances to nothing.  Smiley

I don't like two entrances to the hives because if a hive dwindles they often only guard one of them and then they get robbed.  I MUCH prefer a top entrance and only a top entrance:

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

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

Anytime you have a bottom entrance these problems will arise.
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Michael Bush
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2006, 10:21:00 PM »

TwT>>I would never use a bottom board for a upper entrance without modifying it, bottom boards work good as bottom boards, adds to much ventalation and putting entrance reducers up top just doesn't sound right lol , you would have to add metal or a solid piece of wood to cover all of itto keep it from leaking water when rain or snow happens,

Not necessary inverted the bottom board works just like a migratory top.  Paint it or not is optional.
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Mici
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2006, 03:30:42 PM »

ok, it does not belong in this tread but i don't want to open a new one.

you all (or at least a few) know i have different hives. one chamber on top of the other. usually all people have the lower used for brood chamber and so, the entrance is on the bottom of the hive. for winter i divided the chambers so bees can not acces the upper chamber. the upper chamber also has an entrance, just above the lower chamber. so what i want to know is, would it be better if i closed the lower entrance and let them to use the upper one. i wnat to know, because i'm not really sure how it would affect the bees-reorintating. opening a BIG space-possible cold air leaking during winter, i mean, the warm air would go into the upper chamber and out-logicly. i'll add the pics so you'll have a better image of the whole situation.

the contrast colours indicate where entrances are, they use the lower one currently


in the middle there's a queen excludor also. i would open it just a bit, so maybe an inch wide passage would be opened. actually my biggest consern is about bees having to reorintate, but on the other hand it's very close.
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« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2009, 06:59:11 PM »

I bought some hives in the last few weeks. 

Essentially using Michael Bush's suggestions on his website I made some new top entrances that are a little more refined than my first attempt.

The first is a modified telescoping cover.  I cut out one side and then glued/nailed shims to raise it up just a tad.


This I made from scratch.  Using 1/2" plywood cut to the exact size of the box with galvanized flashing for a top and the same type of shims to raise it a little.  I used vice grips to hold the flashing on while I bent it around and then nailed it from the bottom.  Sometimes the nail still went through the top flashing but a little silicon over the spot should keep it dry.


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« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2009, 07:20:05 PM »

I've been thinking about adding top entrances and doing away with the bottom entrance for all the stated plus reasons.

I also use SBB above a solid bottom and the opening for that is on the back side. With that configuration and a top entrance, will this cause too much air flow in the winter?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2009, 07:08:34 AM »

I would plug that opening.  Cross ventilation isn't a good think in a beehive in winter.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2009, 05:20:30 AM »

Thanks Michael,

 Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2009, 05:24:09 AM »

Has anyone tried this ring around hives as in the article by Mel Disselkoen?

Image is toward the end...

http://www.mdasplitter.com/article.htm
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2009, 09:09:31 PM »

I have not, but it seems like a good plan.  But then where do I store them when it's not winter?  And I have to buy them.  And I have to make them.  And I have to put them on.  And I have to take them off.  I'm tired now, I'm going to rest...
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Michael Bush
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