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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Marion, North Carolina
    Posts
    423

    Default Do colonies do better

    When the opening is small? I have a hive that the bottom board is so close that only a honey bee can enter, this stops larger predators, such as hornets, from getting in, and this hive was my best performing hive this year. Just wondering what everyone else experience has been with small openings.
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default

    You may have a good idea/observation there. Most wild hives have relatively small entrances/exits than what we 'provide' when a hive is the equivalent of three deeps and 2-5 supers on top. I open the bottom entrance 100% about the middle of May here and all summer thereafter. There is SO MUCH ACTIVITY and bees flying around when there is a good flow going that it's hard to imagine reducing entrances; but maybe it would be good. It can get really hot/warm when it's near 90* F. and the hive needs adequate ventilation though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    the commercial equipment I use to work had small entrances which were maybe and inch + long and a half inch deep. these small openings worked just fine as far as I could tell in hot weather and cold.

    I recently read somewhere that feral hives entrances (usually 1, but on occasions up to 5) are typically 10 to 20 cm in size.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    Not sure how much better they do. But I will suggest that a bigger opening does little more than invite problems.

    I use the entrance reducers from Dadant. The opening is 3/8 inch high and is about 5 inches long. This is my year-round opening. I use these openings in conjuction with an upper entrance or entrances in the supers that help with moisture, and dedydration of nectar. The upper entrances help with congestion.

    I know some who have a full opening at the bottom. Something like 1-1/2 inch high and the length of the box. And then the next four boxes on top are sealed tight. And they expect that one big opening to deal with temp control and moisture issues. Nonsense I say.

    In nature, there are some lower capacity and production of nectar storage due to higher rates of swarming and smaller cavity sizes as compared to what beekeeper provide. So I think that the additional openings help with the moisture and temps (boxes in full sun compared to a tree with shade and a higher "R" factor) of a very un-natural hive we give them.

    I can see additional entrance or cracking the lid. Having one oversized opening at the bottom to me at least does little.

    I don't have mice. I don't go around and screen bottoms. Seems like that works for me.

    Here is a picture of the metal entrance reducers I use.

    http://s186.photobucket.com/albums/x...ictures161.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Marion, North Carolina
    Posts
    423

    Default

    That's exactly my thinking. I like your entrance reduces, and way to go on the two queen hive.

    Looks like they have been busy.

    I think I will leave entrance reducers on all my hives and maybe even close the distance between the hive body and the bottom board. The less they have to guard, the better they can take care of themselves.

    I think that with screened inner covers and screened bottom boards, they would need very little as far as additional ventilation.
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

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