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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Polk, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Entrance Reducer?

    With cooler weather on the way, should I use an entrance reducer? What setting do I use?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    I think that winter time use of an entrance reducer, or some means to keep mice and cold drafts out is a good idea. I'm not sure what you have for a reducer, but probably the larger (about 3 inches?) opening would be fine.

    It seems early yet, at least for my area.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,337

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    I keep my entrance reduced to 3/4" x 3" at all times, I have found no need to have the whole front of the hive open. The smaller opening helps the bees fight of invaders as well as provides adequate circulation of air inside the hive.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    Fixin,
    You don't have to worry about that yet. Still have a few months before you do.

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

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    WWW,
    It is good to know another "small entrance" enthusiast Mine are 1/2 by 5. Smaller if need be. I put 1/2 hardware screen for mice in the winter. JMHO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,337

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    Rick 1456, hey cool, I use 1/2" hardware screen in the winter also and I do reduce my opening further as well when I have a weak hive.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    JMHO, but I think the smaller entrance reduces/solves lots of problems. I haven't seen a SHB in a long time. Rare that I have robbing. Wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, etc. do not get in. I also use a small landing board. It is ferociously guarded. Even in the 100 + plus temp days, they did fine. I have often wondered if it is harder for the bees to vent a larger opening vs a smaller one. Volume vs air speed kinda thing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    486

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    For me i will place entrance reducers on about the 3rd week of september and place 1/4 in hardware cloth. I dont use the 1/2 as it will let small young mice in.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Parker, CO
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    Another newbee here.

    I've read several mentions to mouse guards but don't completely understand how much of the entrance you cover...

    If you cover the entire entrance (reduced for winter I guess) then how do the bees get out?

    If I misunderstood the entire concept, please illuminate me. I can't visualize what is being discussed.

    Thanks,

    BannonB

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,337

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    brannonb, I have included an image for you of one type of reducer that I use, the 1/2" x 1/2" hardware screen ( which is a metal wire) is placed into the 3/4" x 3" opening in the middle during the winter to keep out the mice, the bees are able to pass through the mesh to go on their cleansing flights. I have never had mice pass through the 1/2" screen and it is large enough for the bees to drag their dead counterparts through without any trouble.

    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    I use the 1/2 inch because in jan/feb round here, bees will start bringing in skunk cabbage pollen on mild days. 1/4 IMO, will strip the pollen off their legs. I've had no issues with Juv, mice and 1/2 inch. when I cut the 1/2 inch mess, I cut on the joints. The end result is the bottom wire fit flat on the entrance. The bees have a full 1/2 inch opening. Hope that helps

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Parker, CO
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    WWW, I like your method of entrance reducing...The wedges look heavier than a strip of wood which warps and could be easily dislodged. I'm a woodworker, so recognize the simple elegance.

    I wasn't sure if I was limiting them with a small opening, so after about two months of that with new nucs, I opened my hives all the way. It's so hot here I figured it would help with airflow if nothing else.

    What is the philosophy that keeps you with a small opening at all times?

    I don't see any hardware cloth in your pic. Is it inside in the shadows? How do you attach it?

    Thanks for the guidance,

    BannonB

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,337

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    I use the reducers even when the temps are a degree or two from 100 and have not seen any problems with the hives, my philosophy behind using the reduced entrances is that the entrance is easier for the bees to defend and if you look at hives in the wild you will find bees using a knot hole in a tree or a small crack in the siding or bricks of a house, if you were to open these wild hives you would most likely find a large nest, and as Rick 1456 has stated there is probably a lot to be said for the volume and speed of air passing through the smaller opening but I am not knowledgeable enough to comment on that. The inside of the hive is kept at a certain temperature / humidity and I feel the bees can more easily manage these conditions if they do not have to contend with a large opening, smaller openings are natural for the bees but I suppose one can go too small and cause congestion at the entrance as well. During the late summer and fall these reduced entrances also help to prevent robbing of the weaker hives.

    I did not show the hardware cloth in my pic because I have never taken a pic of one in place but you can easily use your imagination to figure out how to attach it to the opening, using a staple gun has been a good method for me in the past however this year I may bend it to fit the opening and let friction do the holding. I hope this helps you.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    WWW awesome entrance. I don't use std lang bb any, all homemade but the entrance and landing space is pretty much they way mine are. I do not have shb issues anymore. Never give bees more real estate than they can defend, entrance wise and inside wise. I have a 5 frame nuc that I started bout two mnths ago. My nucs have two entrances. One is 3/8, the other 3/4. The 3/4 has a cork in it. When the hive pop gets to the point where they start chewing to make the 3/8 bigger, I open the 3/4 entrance. After that, they need more room and they are moved or space added. We had 100 + heat and no issues. I can't comment on the airflow other than it makes sense to me. Small fan big opening, vs small fan small opening. The bees orient themselves to maximize the air flow. Amazing stuff. The other thing I ponder, is hive chemistry. So much of the bees activities orient around queen pheromones and much much more. Seems a large entrance drafts/dissipates that, interrupts balance maybe, with unknown consequences. Something to think about

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,337

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    Rick and bannonb, thanks for the compliments on the entrance, the above pic is a hive that I completely handmade myself and my second hive I made some of it myself but this year I went from two hives to six so the rest of them I bought and assembled because I could barely keep up with the need for more hives and hand making them was out of the question.

    I am including here a pic of two pairs of entrance reducers in case you wish to see what they look like out of the hive.

    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,545

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    Quote Originally Posted by WWW View Post

    I am including here a pic of two pairs of entrance reducers in case you wish to see what they look like out of the hive.
    Ahh, the original entrance reducer. This is what Langstroth used on his movable frame hive. They also included wax worm traps on the bottom. These consisted of channels on the bottom, created by drilling a series of holes into the entrance blocks and then ripping blocks in half through the center line of the holes. The worms would pupate in the channels created between blocks and bottom board. Of course, that didn't really work. The answer to the wax worm problem was keeping colonies strong.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,337

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    Michael, yes mine are similar to Langstroth's design, but I will have to say that his wax worm traps that you describe are hard for me to envision, I find it interesting that even Langstroth struggled with some of the same problems that we have today. It would have been interesting to hear his take of Varroa mites.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Polk, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    WWW, Thanks for the info and pics of your entrance reducers. Would you post the dimensions of your entrance reducer?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,337

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    Yes, no problem, I will have to go down to the hive and measure them.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,337

    Default Re: Entrance Reducer?

    FixedToBee, I do not have a drafting program or a pic at the moment but I can give you some dimensions, The wedges are 5 1/2" long x 2 7/8 in depth with the small inner edge being 3/4" x 3/4". I will be able to take a pic of a drawing later tonight as time permits. A pic would be the best way to show you these dimensions. Till then
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

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