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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    224

    Default Entering the hive from the front?

    Assuming the entrance is at one end, have you ever entered from that end (brood end) vice the honey end?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Entering the hive from the front?

    With my small colonies that still have open bars at the front of the hive, yes. I had to inspect a hive with a new package
    in it this spring like that. They all custered up on the bars at the back of the hive against the follower board.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,445

    Default Re: Entering the hive from the front?

    Actually Dr. Mangum recommends inspecting from the front moving back. Which I thought was odd since you always see everyone else do it the other way, but really, do you need to look at bars of honey, it just makes you want to rob it. He does have a couple hundred hives though, so efficiency is probably the first thing on his mind.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Postville, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: Entering the hive from the front?

    I agree with shannonswyatt -- there is no hard-and-fast reason why one has to start at the "back" end except for the idea that "everyone does it that way". On a hot summer day, it makes perfect sense to leave the honey combs in the back undisturbed unless there's a good reason to mess with them.

    If the first bar at the "front" of the hive has comb on it, just pull that bar very, very slowly STRAIGHT up to give the bees a chance to move. Better yet, intentionally space your bars to leave a 3/8" gap between the front bar and the hive wall. Yes, the bees build some burr comb there, but it's not been too bad so far (2 yrs of experience). Besides giving the bees an upper entrance, the gap gives me and the bees a bit more wiggle room when I pull the first bar.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: Entering the hive from the front?

    I attended Dr. Mangum TBH Fall Mgmt course this weekend (yes the book is out, but I don't have the URL here at work) and was suprised to hear him say he started from the entrance end. If you enter from the honey end, you can get as much room to work as you need. When I installed this package, I tried religously to insure they kept straight on the bar, but they grew so fast, I was unable to keep up, so I'm afraid I'll hit cross comb at the brood end. When I get an opportunity (maybe right after winter I'll be able to re-organize the hive) I'll get a 3/9" space between the wall and Bar#1. Wanted to take a peek Sunday, but it was raining.

    - Mike

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Worcester, MA, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Entering the hive from the front?

    that's funny... I started from the front today and thought to myself "this was a mistake... they are not happy with me!" little bugger stung me twice while looking in on the first of my tbh's. Usually I just get it once with two tbh inspections. I think I need to start wearing gloves...
    Last edited by Matt Gwinn; 09-02-2012 at 02:29 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Entering the hive from the front?

    I just don't like starting at the front, because I can't see attachments. I can't tell if it's a heavy honey comb that I might be ripping from the bar or what. Until the comb comes up with the bar you're essentially blind. I just prefer to go all the way from the rear
    (as much of a pain as it is) so, I have plenty of room and can be sure of what's going on. I can be sure the queen is safe when I'm moving the combs. For a year now I've had confidence the queens were safe when I had the hives closed up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Entering the hive from the front?

    I start from which ever end I am more interested in. The front is usually where that is. My first bar at the front is a follower board cut short just above the entrance holes. I simply pull the follower and start my inspection. I started doing this 3 or 4 years ago when I was trying to pull the first comb which was attached at the side ripped off. Since I've used a modified follower (more appropriatly "starter") board I have had zero problems getting into the brood nest easily. The problem with going through the honey storage area is they tend to be fatter, heavier and attached better along with being soft white wax making them fragile. I would rather leave it alone until I'm ready to harvest honey.

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,445

    Default Re: Entering the hive from the front?

    The short follower board is an excellent idea.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Entering the hive from the front?

    Cool! Mike that is an awesome idea. I'da never thunkt it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Entering the hive from the front?

    Glad you like it. I wish I could claim the idea but that gem was given to me somewhere along the way. Maybe even right here.

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

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