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Author Topic: Hello from Durham NC  (Read 1370 times)
Bee1
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Location: Durham, North Carolina

1st & only hive installed Friday April 13th, 2007


« on: April 25, 2007, 11:08:47 AM »

Hello out there.   I am a very new and inexperienced beekeeper in durham nc. 

I drove 6 hours round trip to pick up one package of bees and one queen on friday april 13th.  Installation went well enough.  But I have lots of questions and am happy to have found an active forum.

Todays questions is about entrance reducers. 
Background:  New hive, weather is warm to hot (81o in the day). 
My question is -  should I use an entrance reducer?  If so,  which entrance?  Small hole or Large hole? 

Never having done this before I am confused from reading this and that about protection, weather and strenght of hive.

Thanks In Advance!

Bee1
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tillie
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2007, 01:53:16 PM »

Welcome, Bee1.  My sister is an attorney in Chapel Hill so I'm up there often to visit.  My daughter went to law school there and my son-in-law went to grad school at UNC - so lots of time spent in your area.  Nice restaurants in  Durham - I like Dad's Garage (I think that's the name) and another maybe called Magnolia Grill??

Anyway, in hot weather I don't use an entrance reducer.  Now I'm relatively new at this (my second year) so someone else will probably chime in differently, but I use the entrance in the winter to make sure no critters decide to take up residence in the bottom of the hive like a mouse and the only other time I used it was when robbing was going on last summer.

Hope that helps and welcome to this incredible forum of helpful people and good information,

Linda T an Atlanta beekeeper with Chapel Hill connections
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Bee1
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Location: Durham, North Carolina

1st & only hive installed Friday April 13th, 2007


« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2007, 02:35:02 PM »

Hi Linda,  thanks for the reply.    I have family in Cumming ga.   We do have some fine resturants in durham and magnolia grill is one, but you may be thinking of Georges Garage as the second, though Dad's Garage has a  nice ring to it.

So, probably the entrance reducer should come out... I don't want to roast the bees. 
Other opinions still welcome. The bees have only been in their new house 12 days...and to be honest, at this point I don't know how to recognize robbing. 

later,
Bee1







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tillie
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2007, 03:51:16 PM »

Yes, it was Georges Garage - we have a theater called Dad's Garage in Atlanta.....comes from being an over 50 beekeeper! 

You won't experience robbing probably at all, and if you do it won't be until your bees have honey for others to rob - it's not the usual.  I never figured out why robbing was going on in my hives last year.

In addition to taking out the entrance reducer, you might want to add top ventilation.  I do this by putting a stick under the telescoping cover that opens it up a little at the back.  This keeps air circulating through the hive and provides the bee with a back door, which they seem to like.

Linda T in Atlanta
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TwT
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2007, 08:05:04 PM »

Welcome to the site, you want to leave the entrance reduced until they have enough population in the hive the are causing a traffic jam coming and going, then it is best to make the entrance larger at this time instead of just opening it wide open, when the entrance is larger just wait for traffic jam again and then open the entrance wide open;;;
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Bee1
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1st & only hive installed Friday April 13th, 2007


« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2007, 03:12:45 PM »

Hello Twt.  Thanks for the reply. 

I was observing the bees all day yesterday and there definitely was a traffic jam at the small entrance.  Last night I took the entrance reducer all the way.. and this AM I placed it back in with the larger opening - based on your advice.    I think this will work for a while. 

The bees were so bottlenecked yesterday that as I was observing the hive, I began to get anxious that maybe the bees were being robbed.  Bees were tumbling over each other and there was lots of activity in front fo the hive.   Some would walk up the front of the hive a couple of inches before flying away (this behavior was described somewhere as robbing behavior), some would just dart out.  I could see bees coming in with pollen but did not see any bees leaving with pollen.  I have no idea if they are coming and going with nectar, I can't see it.  I don't/didn't find any dead bees in front of the hive and I saw no behavior that I clearly felt was fighting ..
Today,  I'm assuming this was activity caused by a bottleneck at the door and not robbing.  Things seem much more calm this afternoon.

Bee1, Durham NC
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tillie
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2007, 03:26:47 PM »

Bee1,

Sometimes in the afternoon, notoriously around 3 - 4 or so, the bees do orientation when the new foragers are learning how to recognize the hive.  They dart out and up and turn around and go back and do it all over again.  This can look a little frantic and is sometimes interpreted by us newbees as robbing or swarming.  You probably don't have much for robbers to be interested in yet and you probably are observing bee orienting behavior.

Linda T
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Jason1324
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2007, 04:05:05 PM »


Durham?  Cool.  I live in Raleigh and am also a brand new beekeeper.  I'll be getting two bee packages each with italian queen shipped May 9. 

Are you going to the Beginning Beekeeping Workshop run by the Wake County Beekeepers Assoc. this saturday? 

Jason
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Jason
Bee1
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1st & only hive installed Friday April 13th, 2007


« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2007, 04:46:03 PM »

 

Are you going to the Beginning Beekeeping Workshop run by the Wake County Beekeepers Assoc. this saturday? 

Jason
Hi Jason... No, unfortunately I won't, I didn't even know it was happening. I'm sure I could use it but I will preparing for a backpacking trip in the Shenandoahs. 

and welcome to the forum.  I will look forward to hearing about your journey.  You're lucky to have found this forum before your bees arrive. 



Linda T,   Thanks for this tidbit. Very helpful.
 
Bee1,

Sometimes in the afternoon, notoriously around 3 - 4 or so, the bees do orientation when the new foragers are learning how to recognize the hive.  They dart out and up and turn around and go back and do it all over again.  This can look a little frantic and is sometimes interpreted by us newbees as robbing or swarming.  You probably don't have much for robbers to be interested in yet and you probably are observing bee orienting behavior.

Linda T

Thats all for now,
Bee1, Durham NC!
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