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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Lakefield, MN
    Posts
    25

    Default Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    I've been looking at Michael Bush's web page and really like the idea behind the top hive entrances. Why aren't more people doing beekeeping in this way? It just seems to make sense.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lafollette,Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    Well, bottom entrances do work. And have for a long time. And, I think people in general are just resistant to change. Having said that, my new starts will all have top entrances this year, and if I like them, they will all have them next year. As you said, it just seem to make sense.

    And besides, equipment suppliers want to sell all they can. That's why they are in business.
    Integrity - Doing the right thing when no one is watching.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    >I've been looking at Michael Bush's web page and really like the idea behind the top hive entrances. Why aren't more people doing beekeeping in this way? It just seems to make sense.

    It never crossed my mind until the skunks forced me to it. I never thought of all the advantages until I was doing it...

    People need a reason to change.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,967

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    I started out with both top and bottom entrances because the bottom entrance would plug with dead bees over winter and the bees needed an escape if they happened to get a flying day. It has always worked well for me to have both. I never thought of not having one to fight skunks! I used more direct but labor intense means to deal with them. No bottom entrance might have been better. When the skunks find me, my bees may lose their bottom opening.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    The only issue I have had with top entrances is that it can be a little intimidating to the newbee when working the hive. You have all the returning foragers basically in your face looking for their missing top entrance. After a while you get used to dealing with it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    662

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    Am concerned somewhat about entrance area/opening for incoming air. If one closes or removes the front bottom entrance, trust one has to open up the SBB. Any concerns about too much draft and cooling of brood????

    Had some problems last year with fully open front bottom entrances and solid bottoms, as the bees chose to not draw out the foundation on bottom half of bottom frames.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Lakefield, MN
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    Thank you for the great discussion. I love soaking up whatever experience may help keep my bees safe, warm, healthy and happy!
    Hilreal:The bees in the face don't bother me entirely; I'm still to afraid to not suit up!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    Huber shows several experiments on the subject of ventilation and came to this conclusion:

    "We tried increasing the number of openings in the side of the box, but were not successful. One of the two candles went out at the end of 8 minutes. The other kept alight as long as the ventilator was in motion. I had therefore not obtained a stronger current by multiplying the openings."--Francis Huber, New Observations Upon Bees, Volume II, Chapter VIII, On the Respiration of Bees

    I think we are often mistaken in our assumptions on ventilation.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Edmonton AB Canada
    Posts
    705

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    I have two entrance in winter, in summer I screen off the top so they enter from bottom only, the reason for this, bees filled too
    many frames with pollen in honey super, [above two deep with excluder.]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    Konrad brings up a good point Michael, do you find more pollen in your honey supers using open top entrances?

    Konrad, can I ask how large your upper opening is?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,967

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    Some colonies put pollen everywhere but most tends to be stored low at least in my area and in my experieince. It usually doesn't spin out when extracting and if it does, it is not a problem. But it is all local. I have no idea what your bees will do.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    A number of years ago a gentleman patented a moveable hive top entrance. It is a box filled in (similar to Honey Runn's insulated inner cover) with an opening. I am a sucker to try new things and bought a few to try. The theory is that you place this box above the brood chamber and then place the honey supers on top. No bottom entrance. I tried it with mixed success. When I use it now I just keep moving the top entrance up on top of the honey supers. Does provide good ventilation. I am not sure if it is still available for purchase or not. http://www.google.com/patents/US6450858

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    477

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    I'm interested in trying a top entrance to avoid the pile of dead bees blocking the entrance during winter.

    Mike
    Beekeeper? Shoot, my bees keep me!
    100 hives in Western Wa State

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    662

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    Would the moveable entrance "super" work very well as pateneted? Seems similar to placing an inner cover separating brood area from honey supers.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,967

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    If it is a strong hive boiling with bees just offset the super so there is a 1/4 inch gap front and back. No extra equipment needed.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    Quote Originally Posted by hilreal View Post
    After a while you get used to dealing with it.
    Teaches you to be more efficient too.

    Quote Originally Posted by mgolden View Post
    trust one has to open up the SBB.
    Not necessary and not very helpful as you found out.
    Quote Originally Posted by mgolden View Post
    Would the moveable entrance "super" work very well as pateneted?
    Should I get a patent?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    >Konrad brings up a good point Michael, do you find more pollen in your honey supers using open top entrances?

    Some bees put pollen all over, most put it in the brood nest where they use it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Siloam Springs, Arkansas
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    What flaw does experience point out to have an entrance at the top of the brood boxes, and under the subsequent honey supers?

    ie in a piece similar to a top cover.
    Trying techniques that I doubt will work because I like to be right!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    I was first skeptical that the bees would go both down and up despite the inventor saying it wasn't a problem, but when I tried them they didn't seem to have any problem. Though a clever idea it was just the issue of having to deal with another piece of equipment. I still use them but just keep them on top rather than in the middle. Some strains liked to propolize the bars in the entrance similar to what they will do sometimes with the drilled holes. Maybe I will give them another shot this summer.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Edmonton AB Canada
    Posts
    705

    Default Re: Langstroth: Top Hive Entrances

    This is the top entrance, notch in the hive cover, I added a landing board.
    http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c9...G_3736_1_1.jpg

    A honey super frame with pollen, [I scraped some out]
    I surely don't like it when extracting these frames in my two frame extractor, I makes it go out of balance,... have too many wrecked frames, the pollen they don't take anymore, end up with still heavy super.
    http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c9...3595_1_1_1.jpg

    For two years now I have bottom only entrance in summer and not one's I had one frame with pollen.

    I have tried the super offset and bees wanted to glue it up.
    http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c9...G_7542_1_1.jpg

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