Should I take the entrance reducer off or not? The producer that I got my hive from said he leaves his on. I have read to take it off. The reducer that came with the hive only has about 2 inch width. x 3/8 height. Bees are working like crazy lots of white dutch.
I'm a newbie, but I had mine on a while, worried about chilly temps, and my beekeeping mentor said TAKE IT OFF! They'll be fine. And they are.
ETA -- These were chilly for summer temps, sometimes down to the 40's at night. And I have carniolans, if it makes a difference.
Unless your hive is weak and you're worried about robbing take it off. It allows for easier access for the bees (both in and out), better ventilation, and will allow honey to get capped sooner. I usually take them off in April/May.
I tell by the crowd in front. If they're lining up to get in, take it off. If not, leave it on. You'll know after you watch them for a while. Don't count the orientation flights....it looks crowded but it's really not.
I sometimes don't take it off but either open it up some, or switch it with a reducer that allows more access to the hive.
Originally Posted by Ravenseye
Anytime you have a traffic jam, you need to take it off.
I use the metal entrance reducer from Dadant. Its probably 3/8 by 6 inches long. It stays on all year round. Bees don't seem to need more. But I also provide upper entrances as I add supers.
And if you have five boxes on your hive, I doubt that much ventilation difference is seen with bees trying to fan five stories congested with bees and comb. Crack your tops or provide upper entrances.
I wonder who goes around opening and closing all those entrances on the feral colonies... ;)