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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Columbia, Missouri
    Posts
    47

    Default Upper/ top entrance design -- Korschgen

    Frequently there is discussion about upper/top hive entrances and their benefits on this forum (and now detailed in Michael Bush’s book on page 329). Last summer I converted my nine hives to upper entrances and finally had a decent honey harvest from my older hives.

    I built upper entrances with a landing board that can quickly be placed between the hive bodies and the supers -- I do not use queen excluders. During the process of coming up with a design I looked at several of Joe Clemens designs (boy do I appreciate his CAD expertise!), the Imirie shim, and in the bee supply catalogs for options. My design is different than most that I have seen. It is constructed from 5 pieces of wood per the attached graphic. I make the opening about 20” in length, slightly longer than the standard 19 7/8” hive box, so that it fits easily on the hive box and there is a crack for a rain gutter on the front edge. As long as the two long shims are cut from good wood the frame is very sturdy.

    Contact me if you have questions or need additional information.

    Carl Korschgen
    carlkorsch@a0l.com
    573-819-8516


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,122

    Default Re: Upper/ top entrance design -- Korschgen

    That's almost exactly the 'Parker Shim' I came up with 9 years ago. The main difference is mine has no back support.

    http://parkerfarms.biz/equipment.htm...ized_Equipment

    How have you liked it? I started using mine upside down to form an 'awning' rather than a landing board. Works great for snow and gives a good place for bearding. http://parkerfarms.biz/equipment.html#The_Parker_Shim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    902

    Default Re: Upper/ top entrance design -- Korschgen

    Has anyone tried placing a full width entrance above the two deep broods? And say bee space between the frames is maintained by using a deep super shortened. Another way would be to place a 3/8 round piece of plywood on top of frames(queen excluder of sorts) of top brood frames that fits inside of entrance shim?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    medina, NY
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Upper/ top entrance design -- Korschgen

    This is the upper entrance I use, it is the same dimension as a super/hive body, except it is short, 1/2 or so. I made new ones that are right around half inch. I have not had any of the hives try to fill in under the lid, but when i open the lid there is always a big cluster of bees sitting there. The hives with the top entrance(5) out produced the bottom entrance hives(5) in honey produced, so all my hive will have top entrances this year. But i am going to try/experiment with several top entrances like shown on M. Bush's site.(shims)

    upper entrance.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,122

    Default Re: Upper/ top entrance design -- Korschgen

    That looks like a thicker version of the Imrie Shim.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Upper/ top entrance design -- Korschgen

    That looks great. I was looking for an easy to build little addon that they could land on and go in. Like others have said, if the hive gets 5-6 boxes tall then they have to crawl through all that and time is honey.

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Upper/ top entrance design -- Korschgen

    Carl, what do you use for a top cover?
    "Someday we will look back and realize someone was right...and conveniently forget we were the ones that were wrong."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Jefferson County, WA, USA
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: Upper/ top entrance design -- Korschgen

    With an upper entrance like these, do bees build comb on top of the frames up to the migratory cover? I have telescopic covers and have been thinking of trying a few top entrances because of condensation problems. However, I worry that rain entering could be an issue. How about having an entrance shim like this one, then an inner cover, and then a top cover that only had three vertical sides on it with an extra over hang on the front (if that makes any sense)?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Jefferson County, WA, USA
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: Upper/ top entrance design -- Korschgen

    Or how about instead of a Imrie Shim or 'Parker Shim', a inner cover with an thicker than normal rim that basically has only 3 sides. Similar to a notch inner cover only with a bigger opening. Then the modified cover to sit on top of that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Paducah, KY, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Upper/ top entrance design -- Korschgen

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    That's almost exactly the 'Parker Shim' I came up with 9 years ago. The main difference is mine has no back support.

    http://parkerfarms.biz/equipment.htm...ized_Equipment

    How have you liked it? I started using mine upside down to form an 'awning' rather than a landing board. Works great for snow and gives a good place for bearding. http://parkerfarms.biz/equipment.html#The_Parker_Shim
    I noticed that your lid looks like strips on 1x4 that has two cleats nailed to it for warp prevention. What about rain/snow? does in not get in the hive with this design?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Vauxhall, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Upper/ top entrance design -- Korschgen

    Quote Originally Posted by carlinmo View Post
    Frequently there is discussion about upper/top hive entrances and their benefits on this forum (and now detailed in Michael Bush’s book on page 329). Last summer I converted my nine hives to upper entrances and finally had a decent honey harvest from my older hives.

    I built upper entrances with a landing board that can quickly be placed between the hive bodies and the supers -- I do not use queen excluders. During the process of coming up with a design I looked at several of Joe Clemens designs (boy do I appreciate his CAD expertise!), the Imirie shim, and in the bee supply catalogs for options. My design is different than most that I have seen. It is constructed from 5 pieces of wood per the attached graphic. I make the opening about 20” in length, slightly longer than the standard 19 7/8” hive box, so that it fits easily on the hive box and there is a crack for a rain gutter on the front edge. As long as the two long shims are cut from good wood the frame is very sturdy.

    Contact me if you have questions or need additional information.

    Carl Korschgen
    carlkorsch@a0l.com
    573-819-8516

    Hello Carl,

    Thanks for your detailed plan on the top entrance frame. I build one yesterday and installed it today.

    Top Entrance-2.JPG

    Top Entrance-3.JPG

    How soon did you see the bees use the top entrance after installation?

    Did you reduce the bottom entrance right away?

    I would appreciate any comments.

    One note for future 'builders' make sure you don't make the distance between front entrance board and back board to tight or it may not fit all supers because of this lack of tolerance and the rain can't run off.

    Cheers, Joerg

    bee happy (now I am!)
    Summ Summ Bienchen summ herum

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Paducah, KY, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Upper/ top entrance design -- Korschgen

    Do you ever have any problems with it breaking from getting glued down with propolis?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Columbia, Missouri
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Upper/ top entrance design -- Korschgen

    To answer the questions:
    I never completely close the bottom entrance. I believe they need some lower access to be able to clean the hive out from the bottom. I reduce the bottom entrance with a reducer to about 2 inches. In most of my hives 99% of the bees use the middle entrance..

    I place the middle entrance between the 2 hive bodies and the supers. The bees will definitely propylize the entrance to the hive bodies. I can usually crack off of the supers without damaging the entrance frame. However it is still a thin shim and will not last forever. I know that I have had some hives for at least four years .

    You should expect to get some burr comb (usually drone comb) between the supers and hive bodies when you use this entrance. I believe this is beneficial in that it acts as a queen gap. Last year I pulled 130 frames from my supers and had brood in only four or five. Last year I averaged 70 pounds per hive -- a great year.

    Carl Korschgen

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Vauxhall, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Upper/ top entrance design -- Korschgen

    Thanks Carl, much appreciated. I installed it between honey super 2 & 3 and have two deep brood.

    It seems the bees just suntan and dance on top and do a lot of propylizing. Maybe they just need a little time.

    @jgrizle - one mistake I made was build the frame to tight, the next one will be a little more 'sloppy' and one has to be careful, but once installed it can stay until removal of the honey supers, so I don't see to big of a problem. Once one is made, it only takes 10 minutes to make a bunch from left over wood.

    Maybe it should have a handrail to avoid bee injuries it is deep!

    Cheers, Joerg
    Summ Summ Bienchen summ herum

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Vauxhall, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Upper/ top entrance design -- Korschgen

    Hello,

    I will try to add a short video clip showing what my bees do (or not do) I have only a few seen flying away and landing on the upper entrance.



    Should the entrance opening be higher? If compared to the bottom, it is only 1/2 the height.

    Joerg
    Summ Summ Bienchen summ herum

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