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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Denton, NC USA
    Posts
    94

    Default Upper Hive enterance

    I would like comments of how those that use an upper hive enterance manage it. I have never used one, but have been thinking along that line. I use 2 Med 8-frame brood boxes and have a queen excluder and to medium supers on top of that. In checking my hive recently, the top brood box use full of capped honey and the bees had a larger amount of burr comb between frames than I had seen in the past. The hive is loaded w/ bees and I removed four frames of honey w/ bees and made a split adding a queen that I had available. If the bees are going to rebuild the foundation and fill w/ honey I was considering adding a top enterance so it would be easier for the bees to reach the honey supers. However, they didn't seem to be having too much problems so far since the supers were also loaded w/ bees. Thoughts and comments would be appreciated. Kilnrat

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    >I use 2 Med 8-frame brood boxes and have a queen excluder

    My colonies need at lest four or five eight frame mediums for brood.

    >and to medium supers on top of that. In checking my hive recently, the top brood box use full of capped honey and the bees had a larger amount of burr comb between frames than I had seen in the past.

    That is typical of a bottom entrance and an excluder. I use neither a bottom entrance nor an excluder.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    I agree with mike, Top entrances are the way to go/ I have used a modified erime type for years. The only difference is I use bottom entrances to start with and when the hive is ready for a super I switch to a top entrance. Drop me a PM and I can send you pics of what I made.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    477

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Drop me a PM and I can send you pics of what I made.
    How about posting your pics on here?

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    I'd like to see them too.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    Here is how I ran my upper entrances last year (directly above the brood boxes):
    dvr_x_hive.jpg


    The spacer is just 1"x2" furring strips stapled together on three sides. I don't use that garden cover anymore really, its too heavy and gets in the way. I use all migratory covers now. This year I may also slide each super back about an inch as well to see how that works.
    Jim Andersen
    Desert Viking Ranch

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    878

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    I use upper entrances on almost all my hives. My inner covers all have a 5"x3/8" opening incorporated into them. Most inner covers have ventilation too so a telescoping or migratory cover is raised enough not to block opening. In cases where the cover my block the opening I sit the cover far enough back the front edge rests on top of the inner cover.

    When I use a QE I put a 3/8" shim on top of the QE that is open across the front. This creates two entrances. I do this with strong hives and the bees usually use both entrances.

    Tom

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    I had a similar question to top entrances posted as well(when wanting to have an opening between the 1st and 2nd brood boxes). I was going to use the outer frame of an inner cover(without the masonite panel) and put a notch in it . It seems as if I am sort of creating an Imrie Shim????? Some opinions from others have been that there may be a lot of burr comb created between the 2 deep brood boxes where I was going to place this "extra entrance." What do others do when they want their bees to enter the box from above the frames that they are working on???? Since my bees enter/exist from above the 1st deep more than the bottom at this time, I would assume they will continue this once I add my 2nd deep. Thanks and sorry for adding my own question to the thread. juzzerbee

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dripping Springs, TX USA
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    I use only top entrances. I also only use 8-frame mediums for everything. Mr Bush is right. After about 4 brood boxes, I put an entrance on very similar to Desert Viking Ranch's setup. I do however use queen excluders. Not so much for keeping the queen down in the brood boxes, but to keep her in the hive. This is because I raise, catch swarms of, and do tons of cut-outs our local feral bees. The feral bees are wild as they(or their ancestors) have swarmed at some point or they would still be in a hive. Their very nature is to swarm more than most breeds of bees, thus the excluder help keep her put in her new hive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    Here is how I made mine with a shim and a 1/4" piece of wood for a landing strip.

    011 (800x600).jpg

    013 (800x600).jpg

    016 (800x600).jpg
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    sfisher- That is the approach I have been thinking about for my setup. The landing strip is creative too! What is the height(thickness) of the shim that you made? How long have you been doing that with your hives? Any problems with it where you are at? I have read that it is not good to put additional space between boxes or supers. I checked my hive today after an inspection 2 days ago(I put on my second deep today) and there were about 3 clumps of burr comb on top of my frames in both hives. I am fairly sure this is because I use my inner cover upside down with a notch in it. It seems that the bees do not like the extra space that is created when the inner is upside down Or will they always create burr comb when they are "cruising" along with comb making? Thanks, juzzerbee

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Denton, NC USA
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    Hey Jim, thanks for the photo -- a couple of questions ... the small hole on the bottom brood box --is that a bottom enterance and does it have much activity? Do you switch to the upper enterance when you add the queen excluder and supers and when do you return to the bottom enterance? Thanks for the help. Kilnrat

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Keene, NH, USA
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    I use a SBB, bottom and top entrances. I use 3/8" shims attached to the inner cover so the top entrance is always above the top super (thanks, MB). The bottom entrance is open in the summer and closed in the winter. SBB remains throughout the year. Some of the hives use one or the other entrance and some use both. I never use a queen excluder except on a hive that I'm using to raise queens...

    John
    7 yrs, 6 hives, TF for 6 years, small cell, moved to OAV this fall.
    www.honeymeadowfarm.com, www.nhbees.wordpress.com

  14. #14

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    Quote Originally Posted by kilnrat View Post
    Hey Jim, thanks for the photo -- a couple of questions ... the small hole on the bottom brood box --is that a bottom enterance and does it have much activity? Do you switch to the upper enterance when you add the queen excluder and supers and when do you return to the bottom enterance? Thanks for the help. Kilnrat
    The bottom entrance is a drone escape hole, there is a queen excluder in that picture right underneath the spacer. I don't normally run a queen excluder, but you have to have a drone escape if you do. Occasionally I see field bees using the drone escape, but not many. Here in Arizona I run SBB all year round and only switch to a bottom (reduced to 2 inches) entrance for a few months in the winter. I probably don't need to at all however as we don't have very harsh winters and there is next to no moisture.
    Last edited by Desert Viking Ranch; 05-28-2012 at 09:18 PM.
    Jim Andersen
    Desert Viking Ranch

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Lander, WY
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    I agree with mike, Top entrances are the way to go/ I have used a modified erime type for years. The only difference is I use bottom entrances to start with and when the hive is ready for a super I switch to a top entrance. Drop me a PM and I can send you pics of what I made.
    Love to see it as well.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    Juzzerbee here is a link to my hive top enterence build.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-top-enterence

    I have not been doing this very long but I have not noticed any problems with burr comb, probably because it is made with a real shim, that tapers down to nothing instead of 5/16 of a inch added to there bee space.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    Sfisher-Thanks for the link I think that will be my upcoming summer project for my hives. BTW-Muskies tremble when they hear MY name!!!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    okay, wasn't sure how, but I think I got it...

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    nothing, but a blank. haveing trouble posting yet!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,463

    Default Re: Upper Hive enterance

    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Viking Ranch View Post
    Here is how I ran my upper entrances last year (directly above the brood boxes):
    dvr_x_hive.jpg
    Any major issues with bur comb? I am thinking of putting one of these entrances between the brood chambers. (trying to get the advantages of both top and bottom entrances).
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

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