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Author Topic: Entrance reducer  (Read 5854 times)
Mia2
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« on: June 06, 2004, 09:30:30 AM »

Hi, just wondering if someone can give me the details on entrance reducers.  What EXACTLY are they used for, when do you leave them on the larger setting and when do you change it to the small.  Do we need them on there all the time or can we take them off entirely for the summer?

Thanks in advance!
Mia.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2004, 02:27:46 PM »

(Only one person's opinion, hopefully others will reply too.)

Hi Mia-
I don't use an entrance reducer, though at times I know I should be. An entrance reducer helps the hive by: 1) giving it a smaller space to have to guard, 2) keeps mice out during the winter. I'm not sure why the two different sizes. I'm thinking the larger for most of the year, and the smaller for winter.
What I did instead, since I made my own hives, bottom boards, and lids, is I made the bottom board reversable. One side makes the opening 3/4 inch, and if I flip it over it's 1/2 inch. So far I haven't had mice get in the hive, so maybe I've been lucky.

Beth
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beefree
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2004, 02:46:18 PM »

i'm only using the small hole in my wooden reducers for my two new hives till they are established enough to defend the larger hole... probably this week i will turn them around to the larger hole and by midsummer i'll remove it completely.  i'll put it back (using the larger entry) at the end of September.  i'm not using the smaller hole in the winter because i'm concerned that it might get blocked by dead bees.  i do need something for fall/winter though, because the mice will get in otherwise (with the reducers, they just make nests under the bottom board instead of living in the hive...which only freaks me out when i lift it in spring and they run at me.).
the established hives that i'm caring for while their real keeper recuperates all have metal strips with bee size holes in them all the way across the front of the hive.  they seem to do fine with that, too.  no mice problems.  just ants.
beefree
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Anonymous
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2004, 09:18:29 AM »

I started out with a 3/4 inch opening them about the first of Jully opened it to a couple of inches but was told a week latter to remove it completely. about the first of Oct I replaced it with the 3/4 one again with 1/4 inch hardware cloth to keep the mice out for winter. Now with the screened bottom boards they have a 4 inch opening till about the first of Oct then I have a part made wich the 1/4 mouse guard that has a 1 inch opening.
 Cheesy Al
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2004, 09:45:19 AM »

I use three different wood blocks cut from heavy 1x1 stock - not sure of the wood but bees are not pushing them out of their way. I have one that leaves an 8 inch entrance, then a 4 inch, then a 2 inch entrance and finally an entrance blocker.

I use them basically according to hive size (the ability for the hive to protect itself) and to completely block them inside the hive if the neighbors are spraying trees, etc.

But once the hive is fully up to bee count, with two supers going full swing - I remove all reducers and give them the full benefit of the landing board and ventilation.
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B DOG
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2004, 12:49:44 PM »

I think a reducer would almost be necessary in the winter. i can't imagine how much heat would be lost with out one. i my self have made my own since i have a front enterence feeder. i simply cut a pice of wood 7 in long 3/8 in high (with of my front enterence) for the summer. in the fall i will replace it with one that i bought ( or came with my hive) where it is a very little enterence, 3/8 by 3/8 of an in. - i can only assume it is for heat reduction, and to limit what comes in, like not leting in mice. whatever you do i think it would be a good idea for the winter.
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2004, 03:21:10 PM »

Winter Reducing:

Sure enough B Dog, I leave a 1 iinch opening for Cleasing Flights, that is MORE than enough room and restricts almost all air flow into the hive. You can't close the, although plenty enough oxygen gets into the hive even with the entrance blocked, but moisture can be a killer if some flow isn't allowed.

Cleasing flights (to new beekeepers) are short poop flights for the workers who HOLD IT all Winter Long rather than "go" in the hive and contaminate the food source. Drones do poop in the hive as does the queen, workers clean up these messes all season long.

Most (if not all) the drones are TOSSED OUT in late Fall (the tossing of the drone is a very comical thing to watch - to us, not the Drones) it basically dooms them to die as Winter comes.

To expand a little, I have mentioned many times I use entrance feeders which take up about 4 inches of entrance, then using the blocks I use I basically go by flow rate of the bees and the UNPROTECTED space the beea are left with in the hive. Having a full entrance early on (especially with new packaged bee) makes protecting the hive dificult - the big problem comes when supers are added to fast and WAX MOTH can make their way into the colony.

Careful reducing can be really assistive to your colony.
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