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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    somerset county, nj
    Posts
    60

    Default top entrance stupidizes bees?

    for whatever reason, i had the top popped on one of my hives (my biggest) pretty high all winter, and the bees started coming and going through the top as well as the bottom. they actually seemed to prefer the top.

    so this spring i bought a sundance II, and i was going to put it on this particular hive, since it's the strongest - and i figured since they were already using a top entrace it would easy to make the switch permanently. i left the reducer in the bottom, and a few days ago i closed it off completely.

    and the bees went stupid on me. there has been almost zero activity from the hive since - i haven't seen anyone leave through the top, and the few bees i've seen returning to the hive refuse to go in the top - they just buzz around the (closed) bottom entrance. checked repeatedly to make sure the top wasn't blocked, and there were bees hanging around the hole in the inner cover, but nobody was actually going anywhere.

    finally today i opened the bottom to check on them, and the instant the reducer was gone, bees came flooding out. they went nuts for awhile, bearding a little and orienting and dragging out their dead. i came back a bit later, and they were coming and going as usual - through the bottom AND the top.

    any idea what's going on? i have an open, screened bottom on the hive, is it possible the light was screwing them up somehow, leading them to think there was still a bottom entrance? should i close it up for a few days, maybe? and even so, why would they only use the top if they can also use the bottom?

    [edit by mod]
    Last edited by Barry; 04-24-2008 at 10:22 PM. Reason: profanity

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,127

    Default

    I would set it up with only a top entrance for a week or more before using a top pollen trap. It also worries me that they didn't find their way OUT of the pollen trap as it's not very difficult with the drone escapes on the Sundance II. Make sure there wasn't something keeping them from the exits.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    somerset county, nj
    Posts
    60

    Default

    no, i mean i never even put the pollen trap on - just closed off the bottom in preparation for it. they just totally (or very nearly) stopped coming and going as soon as i did. (and there was no weather issue, either - sunny and 70s all week, and all the other hives were going nuts.)

    while the bottom was/is open, they use the top also. when the bottom was closed, they just didn't go anywhere.

    i've gone and popped the top on my second-strongest hive, to try to get them using a top entrance. maybe they won't be so stupid about it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    somerset county, nj
    Posts
    60

    Default

    also, i see my original post has been edited for "profanity"...?

    uh, what?

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