Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    In the latest Jan, 2003 issue of Bee Culture on page 13 there is an ad for moveable top entrances. It is a box frame with a landing that is placed inbetween the brood chambers and the supers. Says it has an internal baffle that needs no excluder and usualy the queen will not cross it. Also is used with a removeable bottom tray to clean out debris. Maybe a SSB with tray? Also no need for an inner cover.
    It sounds like a reasonable concept to me, anyone here have any experiance with it?
    Bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Post

    After researching upper entrances as they pertain to natural colonies and also the constant temp and humidity in the broodnest as well as the bees getting to the supers efficiently, I have just this afternoon designed an upper entrance that is almost exactly the same as a bottom entrance and even still uses the standard entrance reducers. I plan to implement them on all my hives this spring. My theories include increased brooding and brood space as well as increased honey production. We shall see.

    Sol Parker

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    I received today two of the top hive entrance kits. It comprises of the following;

    The bottom is a regular bottom with an aluminum tray with an attached block of wood with a pull handel. The block seals the entrance closed.

    The entrance box is about a four inch deep box with an oval entrance 1 x 4 inches. It has metal bars driven vertically making apoxamatly 3/8 spacing. There is also a metal landing pad which is inserted between the brood box and the entrance box, not permanently attached. Inside the entrance box is a baffel, (box) that fills the interior leaving 3/8 inch open space between the box and the baffel on all sides except the front which is a bit wider. This also creates a queen barrier that discourages the queen from traveling upwards. The baffle also has 3/8 inch bee space below it.

    And lastly, a telescoping top that extends another four inches forward to create a porch over the entrance during the winter.

    I like it. Except the bottom. So here is my idea.

    I am going to all mediums for brood and intend to use permacomb exclusively for brood. So what to do with all those deep brood boxes? I don't relish the thought of using them for supers, so I will cut them down to mediums. With the part I cut off I will make a screened bottom box with a clean out tray and drill a 1/2 inch hole for the bees to use for a dead out above the screen.

    My thought is to be able to utilize the best of a number of ideas.
    1. A clean out tray, coated with crisco to make it easier to clean and to trap varroa.
    2. A screen above the tray for the mites to fall through.
    2A. (optional)Two screens, one above the tray for the mites to fall through. One below for added ventilation that would require another slide in piece of thin plywood to close for winter.
    3. A hole that the bees could use for hauling out the dead. I would make it small enough to restrict their movement to janitorial duties so as not to congrigate and become skunk food and small enough to keep mice out. I would use a rubber stopper in the winter to keep out cold drafts.
    4. Enough space for clustering below the bottom brood box.

    Another idea instead of a second screen below the clean out tray would be to have a screen that would close off the slot in front where the clean out tray slides in, and in the winter replace it with a block to seal it off.

    Before I start cutting wood, is there anything else that I might plan for or take into consideration?

    [This message has been edited by BULLSEYE BILL (edited January 21, 2003).]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Post

    Sounds like a great design. I always thought it was more effecient to not have the bees traverse the brood chamber on there way to the supers, not to mention hygenic. Who needs a bunch of bees who might have mites trapsing through the brood chamber for every trip to the supers?

    I'll be interested if it makes a noticable difference. Of all of the things I've tried, only ventilation made much difference to the bees, they always seem to do well no matter what, if the mites don't get them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    Well here I go thinkin' again...

    After I cut the deep down to med. size I will have about a 3" box. I will attach screen to the bottom of it with 1/4" x 3/4" strips. Drill a 1/2" hole just above the screen. Optional corking of it during winter.

    Set the new box on a standard bottom board. Cut a piece of 1/8" plastic to fit the BB full length with a finger pull hole. Insert a wood block the same size as an entrance reducer (less 1/8")for winter use, and a screen roll for summer use. The screen roll will flex to fill the space and still let air flow through.

    In addition, I will use an Imire shim below the telescoping top cover with no inside cover.

    And of course using the main top entrance between the brood and supers.

    That's three entrances for summer use, one for winter use. Good ventilation in the summer, no drafts in the winter.

    I'm liking this, what do you think?
    Bill

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Post

    I'm not sure about the imire shim with no inner cover. It depends on the time of year how it will work, but over winter, it would probably work well. An inner cover with a notch might provide better bee space, ventilation and an upper entrance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Big Grin

    Here is my idea on a Movable Top Entrance.

    Start with a piece of 1/4" exterior grade plywood, 16-1/4 x 22". On three sides, add 3/4 x 7/8"h rim. (Like a basic bottom board).
    Cut 3/8 wide slots, along each side and across the back, approx 1-1/4 from rim, thru plywood bottom. Finished! (Except painting)

    Now you have a device that can be placed between any suppers. You have a 2"+ landind board. The "entrance" can be adjusted w/ a std. entrance reducer. A solid (no holes) center area, may help keep the queen below and provide cluster area for moisture removal above. And by making the rim taller, say maybe 2", you can add a std lay-in type slatted rack.

    So, what do you think? (Don't be shy!)

    Dave W

    [This message has been edited by Dave W (edited January 22, 2003).]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Post

    >So, what do you think? (Don't be shy!)

    If there's top bee space on the super it should work, if not you'll need to add some space under this to allow the bees a bee space. Something that leaves between 3/16 and 3/8". I always go for 1/4" because it gives me that 1/16" for mistakes. Just like the bottom side of an inner cover. Sounds like it should handle the traffic.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Question

    Good point! Beespace is required underneath. Since my frames set in a 3/4" deep notch (rabbet), I already have 3/8" clearance, but if the notch is 5/8 or maybe 3/8, an adjustment should be made.

    Do you think the bees will still fill the brood (lower) supers adequately w/ honey?

    Will the brood chamber overheat?

    How much 'travel-room' thru the slots, do you think is needed?

    Dave W

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Post

    >Do you think the bees will still fill the brood (lower) supers adequately w/ honey?

    I think so. My only worry is they might lose pollen dragging through an excluder.

    >Will the brood chamber overheat?

    Will you have any ventilation from the bottom? Screened bottom board? Screen part of the bottom entrance? I think they need some air coming in through the bottom without getting a draft.


    >How much 'travel-room' thru the slots, do you think is needed?

    A bee space will do, and probably will do the best. I assume you mean the width of the slots. I wouldn't go over 3/8" and actually I think 3/8" would be just right.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    Michael,
    I see your point about the Imerie shim. There would most likely be burr comb built up in that area. It would probably be better to just wittle a hole in my inner cover like the ones you have.
    With the top entrances I bought, that are ment for use inbetween the brood and supers, there is no need for an innercover between it and the top cover in the winter. I would only use one during the summer for extra ventilation and ease of egress.
    Thanks for the POV.
    Bill

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    Dave,
    I'm with Michael, I think you would need a spacer on the bottom to create enough bee space above the frames.
    I don't think that there would be any advantage useing a slated rack in this configuration. The 1/4" plywood with the passageways should keep the direct drafts from chilling the brood and you don't need cluster space above the brood.
    The comercial top entrance I bought had the passageways for the bees to travel up through it along the sides of the box. Above the frames was solid, that is what keeps the queen from moving up, it is advertized not to need an excluder. Perhaps she does not crawl around on the walls much? At any rate, I would make the passages near the walls.
    One of my goals is to have a main entrance in the middle of the hive, between the brood and the supers, with small openings at the top and bottom. My concern is that the guard bees be able to protect the hive from robbers, thus the need for small openings above and below.
    Bill

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Big Grin

    Michael,

    >Something that leaves between 3/16 and 3/8".

    I thought correct bee-space was 1/4 to 3/8. Do you mean 5/16?


    >My only worry is they might lose pollen dragging through an excluder.

    What excluder? The slots?


    >Will you have any ventilation.....

    What arrangement do you thing would be best?


    >...width of slots.

    Not only the width, but also the length. I envision a rear slot approx 14" long and side slots approx 16" each.

    Bulleye Bill,

    >I think you would need a spacer on the bottom.

    My frames set in 3/4" notch (rabbet) and that provides the required 3/8 bee-space above my frames. Any other size notch will require some kind of change.


    >....dont need cluster space above the brood.

    I think you are right about direct draft protection being provided to the brood area by the plywood.

    Would a slatted rack encourage the bees to fill the honey area completely. Maybe this only applies to the queen filling brood frames? I need your help here!

    Would a cluster area under the honey frames and above the plywood (brood nest), be used by the bees to ripening the new honey?

    Dave W

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    Dave wrote;
    >Would a slatted rack encourage the bees to fill the honey area completely. Maybe this only applies to the queen filling brood frames? I need your help here!

    The traditional place to put a slatted rack is below the brood area. As I understand them, they are intended to keep direct drafts from chilling the brood and to encourage the queen to lay closer to the entrance. Another benefit is that it also provides space for the bees to hang out and an area for them to set and flap their wings providing more ventilation.

    >Would a cluster area under the honey frames and above the plywood (brood nest), be used by the bees to ripening the new honey?

    Maybe so, or it could be filled in with comb. I won't know until YOU try it. Be sure to let us know how that works.
    Bill


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Post

    >I thought correct bee-space was 1/4 to 3/8. Do you mean 5/16?

    You are correct, I mistyped it in a moment of not thinking. Beespace top everywhere execpt the bottom board is 5/16" +- 1/16" which is, as you say, 1/4 to 3/8".

    >>My only worry is they might lose pollen dragging through an excluder.
    >What excluder? The slots?

    If you don't have a queen excluder then it's not a problem, but if the bees come in the top and have to travers a queen excluder to get to the brood chamber, I'm concerned the escluder may act as a pollen trap and they may loose some pollen squeezing through the excluder. I could be wrong on this, but that would be my guess.

    >>Will you have any ventilation.....
    >What arrangement do you thing would be best?

    I don't know. There are people using Screened Bottom Boards and not closing them in the winter. There are some people reporting loses this way also. Personally I think you only need a very small amount of ventilation coming in during the winter, but quit a bit during the honey flow. It takes air to evaporate nector and it needs to flow through the hive. It also takes air to cool the hive on a hundred degree day to keep the wax from melting and combs from collapsing. If you wanted to close the bottom you could use something like the screened enrance from Brushy Mt. that closes the entrance but allows ventilation. If you wanted to use a Screened Bottom Board anyway, you could just adjust the board under the screen to allow more or less ventilation for winter and summer. I'm thinking there might be too much draft with an SSB without some kind of baffles to break it up a bit. On the other hand, the bees always seem to figure a way to make anything work.

    >>...width of slots.
    >Not only the width, but also the length. I envision a rear slot approx 14" long and side slots approx 16" each.

    I would definietly use the side slots, and I think the rear slot would be fine too. Of course there will have to be something left to hold it together.

    >>I think you would need a spacer on the bottom.
    >My frames set in 3/4" notch (rabbet) and that provides the required 3/8 bee-space above my frames. Any other size notch will require some kind of change.

    If you have a 3/4" rabbet for the frames then you have hives with top bee space and you are correct, you won't need a spacer. I've often wondered why this isn't standard, as it would simplify inner covers greatly. An inner cover could just be a scrap of plywood the right size with a hole in the middle. Or a piece of plexiglass the right size with a hole on the middle, which would be useful for checking on hives without disturbing them as much.

    >....dont need cluster space above the brood.
    >I think you are right about direct draft protection being provided to the brood area by the plywood.

    True but I think you need cluster space below the brood chamber. It's where the field bees like to cluster when they come home for the night. I think they like the smell of momma and the young brood. Gives them hope.

    >Would a slatted rack encourage the bees to fill the honey area completely. Maybe this only applies to the queen filling brood frames? I need your help here!

    I think it only applies to filling the brood frames with brood. It helps spread the venitlation out evenly so there aren't cold spots by the entrance that don't get layed in by the queen. And it helps with swarming by giving the bees someplace to cluster at night and a place to ventilate from in the day.

    >Would a cluster area under the honey frames and above the plywood (brood nest), be used by the bees to ripening the new honey?

    If the spacing is such that they don't fill this space with comb, then I would assume they would use it to their advantage to ventilate. But who knows. I would think you could get by with a 3/4" space under the botom super, above an entrance in the middle and they would treat it like the space at the bottom of the hive. Only the bees will tell.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    McAlester, OK
    Posts
    101

    Post

    Dave W posted:

    >>Here is my idea on a Movable Top Entrance.
    Start with a piece of 1/4" exterior grade plywood, 16-1/4 x 22". On three sides, add 3/4 x 7/8"h rim. (Like a basic bottom board).
    Cut 3/8 wide slots, along each side and across the back, approx 1-1/4 from rim, thru plywood bottom. Finished! (Except painting)<<

    Has anyone fabricated and used a Movable Top Entrance board as discussed by Dave W? If so, what were the results and were there any further modifications? Thanks


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Post

    I've used an imire shim for a top entrace and got a lot of burr. I've used a notched inner cover for a top entrance with the notch enlarged and the notch down. Again, you get burr comb. My best luck has been using tapered shingle shims under a migratory cover.
    http://incolor.inetnebr.com/bush/ima...pEntrance1.JPG http://incolor.inetnebr.com/bush/ima...pEntrance2.JPG

    The burr comb is a nusance but not that big of a deal.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads