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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    159

    Default When do you take out the entrance reducer?

    HI...

    I got one person's advice on this, but I'd like to get another person's perspective.

    So far, in my strong hive, I took out the entrance reducer. The bees seem to cover most of the entrance, and don't seem so squished as with the 4 inch entrance reducer. Am I taking a chance? So far, there seems to be no robbing or attacking.

    Any advice?

    Thanks! -Lori

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    706

    Default Re: When do you take out the entrance reducer?

    That sounds fine. Keep in mind as the season progresses, and the Summer/Fall dearth arrives, you may need to reduce the opening again.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    862

    Default Re: When do you take out the entrance reducer?

    How old are the hives?
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: When do you take out the entrance reducer?

    I placed the nucs in their hives just about 2 weeks ago. I had the nucs for one week.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,243

    Default Re: When do you take out the entrance reducer?

    a large yellow jacket nest or bald-faced hornet nest (or even my thieving italian honeybees) could kill every bee in a nuc with that wide an entrance in 20 minutes. once robbing starts its often over for a nuc or weak hive before you are aware of it. better to err on the side of caution with an entrance they have a better chance of defending. once a few robbers are successful and recruit the rest of their hive....
    the downside (and there is always one) is a little slower develpement/expansion of your nuc.
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Creek County, OK
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: When do you take out the entrance reducer?

    I heard someone say (maybe on this forum) that they leave the reducer on year around because beehives you find in the wild usually have an entrance about the size of the entrance with a reducer.

    Any truth to that?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: When do you take out the entrance reducer?

    Lots of natural hives have small openings but I prefer more traffic with less congestion which in theory = more honey.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,267

    Default Re: When do you take out the entrance reducer?

    When the congestion of bees is such at the entrance that they install traffic lights, it's time to open up the entrance.
    When the congestion has reduced, and they have uniformed traffic cops ticketing the speed demons entering the hive, it's time to reduce the entrance.

    Now, on a serious note, let the traffic at the entrance be your guide....you'll get a feel for it... I usually move from the very narrow entrance, to 4", then to wide open, and reverse the process late in the season. it all depends on the amount of traffic, and each hive is different.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    832

    Default Re: When do you take out the entrance reducer?

    I don't have robbing this time of year. It is more late summer early fall.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,821

    Default Re: When do you take out the entrance reducer?

    I keep the entrances small when they are booming and smaller when they are not.
    I think that I'm doing the right thing! Not sure? Works so far. I prefer to see some congestion.
    Different climate, different bees.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: When do you take out the entrance reducer?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike haney View Post
    a large yellow jacket nest or bald-faced hornet nest (or even my thieving italian honeybees) could kill every bee in a nuc with that wide an entrance in 20 minutes. once robbing starts its often over for a nuc or weak hive before you are aware of it. better to err on the side of caution with an entrance they have a better chance of defending. once a few robbers are successful and recruit the rest of their hive....
    the downside (and there is always one) is a little slower develpement/expansion of your nuc.
    Hey Mike! One of my hives has 7-8 frames full of bees and built-up foundation. This is the one I had removed the entrance reducer on, but today, I just re-added it with the 4" opening and put a medium deep on the initial deep hive. Hopefully, I am making the right choices!

    I have yet to reduce the opening to my weaker hive to the 1-2 bee opening. I am using the 4" entrance. There are at least half the amount of bees in this second hive as my first stronger hive. Should I reduce the entrance?

    -Lori

    PS. In regards to the age of my hives...I was suppose to pick them up on April 28th, but it was delayed till May 5th due to poor weather disturbing their proper growth.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,243

    Default Re: When do you take out the entrance reducer?

    yep, i would reduce the entrance to the weak hive to the smallest hole until they fill 7 or 8 frames.
    good luck,
    mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

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