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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Plantsville, Ct.
    Posts
    177

    Default Too many upper entrances??

    I'm not sure if I over did it with the upper entrances?! The bottom entrance is wide open- I have 2 deeps that are filled solid with bees, a queen excluder and the 3 medium supers. The top box is full of capped honey, 2nd is 1/2 full and the bottom one they are drawing out comb.
    I flipped the inside cover so that they have a top entrance and slid back the telescoping cover so they can get in and out. I also put 3/8" shims under the front side of the top super to create another opening in front.
    I hope that it's not too much. Any thoughts from out in bee land??
    I'll try to post a pic of it under the same name in the picture section.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bon Aqua, Tn USA
    Posts
    330

    Default Re: Too many upper entrances??

    Watch them for a little while and see how many are coming and going in and out of those upper entrances and you will know for sure. But I have 1 entrance in the center of each of my supers above the bottom deep and I have noticed that very few bees actually go in and out those entrances. I was told and it seems to be true by what I have seen that when the bees start going in and out they usually will keep using the first entrance they take their orientation flight from. And mine the great majority still use the bottom ones. I use the holes I cut mainly for air flow. Whether it does it any good or not I can't really said but it doesn't seem to hurt anything either. I have small plugs to put back in come winter for all of them, I will probably leave the top out at first.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,020

    Default Re: Too many upper entrances??

    At this time of the year I don't think you need to prop the top cover. A notch in the inner cover is all you need. I am not in favor of the shims right now either.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,722

    Default Re: Too many upper entrances??

    It's still August in Connecticut...

    The notch in the inner cover is insignificant in my opinion. I have mine "down" year round. I rarely see bees flying from there.

    To me, you have a single upper entrance with the shims, and it isn't excessive. Beware of robbing and multiple entrances. Be prepared to reduce and close things up.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Too many upper entrances??

    If they can defend them there is nothing wrong with multiple entrances. I have seen strong hives in very old equipment that had about 15 entrances due to supers having lots of gaps. They seemed fine.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Plantsville, Ct.
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Too many upper entrances??

    I was thinking the same way. The hive is very strong and they seem to be guarding the uppers very well. Almost too well, they are practically plugging it up! No bees seem to be flying to and from the upper entrances though. The main entrance was jam packed but they were still coming in & out on average 1 every second.
    What Nantom670 said seems to make sense about the entrance that they are used to from their orientation flight. That said, I heard that if you block the bottom for a few days it will force them to use the top?? I don't want to mess them up though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,020

    Default Re: Too many upper entrances??

    Is it your intention to convert your hives to upper entrances or are they ventilation ports? The bees will find a way into the hive if there is at least one entrance. However a small entrance can cause a traffic jam. Where ever you place the main entrance it should be variable in size. For some reason this spring the bees switched to the top vent holes in my hive even though the bottom entrance was available to them. It was a leap frog contest to get into the small hole for all the bees so I taped it up and in the few days they were all using the bottom entrance again. A month later I opened the hole back up for ventilation.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Too many upper entrances??

    JonnyBee,

    I still have all of my hive shimmed open and reaching 92 degrees in my part of the country. I'll remove them as fall approaches.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Plantsville, Ct.
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Too many upper entrances??

    What are your thoughts on stormy weather and having the hive shimmed open? Should I close it when expecting bad weather?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Too many upper entrances??

    That's up to you but I just keep mine open all the time. If I know a big storm is coming and expecting heavy rain to be blowing sideways, I'd consider shutting it, but 90% of the time I don't.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,020

    Default Re: Too many upper entrances??

    If you shimmed it so the prevailing winds can not enter the opening there should never be a problem. Bees can stand a little rain just like you can.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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