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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cambridge, MD, USA
    Posts
    110

    Question Hive entrance size.

    I'm wondering about the hive entrance size. I built my Langstroth hives to spec off of plans here, with a 3/8" gap between the bottom board and the hive body, however, I noticed that my friends commercially purchased hives have a " "entrance" gap with a " reducer. The " reducer does have about an inch by 3/8" entrance. Seems to me I read somewhere that you should have about a 3/8"4" entrance for the summer and reduce it to 3/8"2" in the winter.

    I might be over thinking this again (have not been able to find out what "acebirdian" means yet) but my plan was to build a reducer to have 2" for winter and 4" for summer but most of the pics I have seen the entrances are much smaller; more in the 1" range.

    Should I go with the 1" entrance?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,866

    Default Re: Hive entrance size.

    The size and shape is only critical in being an area adequate for their needs in ingress and egress. 3/8th is fine and a couple inches loing to start. As the population increases, they will need it larger until all the way accross is appropriate. My entrance is 1/4" to slow down mice from entering. The bees like it just fine and use it and a top entrance as they have both available.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,487

    Default Re: Hive entrance size.

    There are, as always, a variety of opinions on entrances and sizes, but the 3/4" deep entrance was originally intended for use in the winter, so that the only entrance (on the bottom of the hive) would not get clogged up with dead bees on a solid bottom board. The reducer is made so that the smaller slot could be set to the upper side, allowing the bees to climb over the layer of dead bees on the bottom board to get out.

    The board was reversable, with the shallow (3/8") side for use in the summer.

    3/8" by 2" is fine for the winter, but I would also leave a similar sized opening at the top of the hive for ventilation. Cold condensation dripping into the cluster is a very bad thing in cold winters.

    Any opening that lets the bees get in and out as the wish while being easily defended against robbers and pests is fine. When you have 60,000 bees in a hive with two deeps and four shallow supers, the whole slot a the bottom board may hardly be enough, when you have a newly installed package, an inch is probably all they need.

    Acebird is the name of a member of this board with, well, highly individual opinions.

    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cambridge, MD, USA
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Hive entrance size.

    Thanks everyone!

    You know, I looked at the design after I built the bottom board and said to myself "Hmm, wasn't that cleaver of someone;, making the rails 1-7/8" makes it reversible, 3/8" on one side and 3/4" on the other" but I never even put 2 and 2 together that it was intentional and for dead bees.

    I lernt me somefin nu today.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Hive entrance size.

    Just me, I have mine 4 by 1/2all year. Reduce as necessary. JMHO but my experience has been, little to no SHB. Can't say how this plays into the mite game. Unusual for robbing to occur . That is usually nipped quickly an easily by further reduction if it occurs. So far, no ventilation issues.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,198

    Default Re: Hive entrance size.

    3/8 is a little tight for summer. the 3/4 is for summer and the 3/8 is for winter. In the summer the bees need a larger area for ventilation and evaporation. we use a 2 inch entrance with a slatted rack as seen in the comb honey book by killion. there are many opinions but provem methods may work better. good luck.

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