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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Ft Luaderdale, FL, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default side entrance or end entrance?

    I'm a newbie with my first hive and it's a TTBH. I put three 1/2 inch holes(instead of one larger one) on the front of my hive towards the side and a fellow beek was telling me that I should put the entrance on the side of the hive in the middle, so the bees can fan with the entrance in-line with the comb instead of across the comb. The beek told be that the bees won't be able to fan properly with the holes on the end of the hive. He also said that it is more natural for the bees to start in the middle and work outwards. What's everyone's thoughts on the subject?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,030

    Default Re: side entrance or end entrance?

    To me, it seems most "natural" for the bees to use whatever space and entrances that nature provides for them.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: side entrance or end entrance?

    Bees are experts at setting up their own ventilation system. They will adapt.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,957

    Default Re: side entrance or end entrance?

    My TBH hives have the entrance at one end. I simply place the first bar 3/8" back from the front edge. I modeled it after Michael Bush's design.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm

    My bees did fine this past summer.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: side entrance or end entrance?

    My long hive has its entrance at one end and has done just fine this summer with LOTS of very hot weather.
    Cheers
    Rob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,972

    Default Re: side entrance or end entrance?

    I have 5 ktbh's and all of them have end entrances.

    Adam

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: side entrance or end entrance?

    My hive originally had the entrance in the middle of the side at the bottom, which worked fine until I needed to expand and then they didn't like it when I tried to move the brood nest away from the entrance hole. (They let the brood hatch out of the comb farther away from the entrance and abandoned that comb.) I ended up putting new entrances on the South facing side near the hive end at the top. The bees were much happier with that arrangement and I never had a problem with bearding or ventilation even on 100+ degree days with the bottom board on.

    I've seen pictures of comb from a hive that had end top entrances and the bees had left access holes through the comb where the entrance holes were. Seems like they worked it out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Elmira, NY
    Posts
    937

    Default Re: side entrance or end entrance?

    The bees don't care.
    I've seen wild comb in cutouts oriented both ways; sometimes the entrance is near the comb ends , but I've also seen the entrance open to the face of the first comb.

    Nearly all of the wild hives that live between ceiling/floor joists hace the entrance anc comb oritnetatioin the way you describe yours is now.
    Some of those colonies get quite big.

    The bees don't care.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Ft Luaderdale, FL, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: side entrance or end entrance?

    So far they are thriving and building up well, I was just worried about the Florida heat which usually doesn't get above 95f, but can stay in the 90s for several months. I tend to think that bees have been putting up with less than great living conditions for a million or so years and can figure out how to make things work. I'm trying to be a hands off beekeeper but I can't help peeking in a lot as this is my first hive.

    Rader Sidetrack - When I build my next TBH I'll probably do what you suggested and leave the 3/8" space, it works, it's simple and no drilling or filling of holes. I know a top entrance works well in cold climates, but I imagine it's good in hot climates too (right?).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,957

    Default Re: side entrance or end entrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by nathan-D View Post
    I know a top entrance works well in cold climates, but I imagine it's good in hot climates too (right?).
    It gets plenty hot in Tennessee too! I did see bearding on a few occasions, but have had no problems.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,593

    Default Re: side entrance or end entrance?

    With an end entrance my bees put all of the pollen just inside, then the brood, and most honey goes behind that, then in winter the cluster moves toward the back as honey is consumed.

    With an entrance in the middle of the side you could end up with the (starving) cluster at one end and the honey at the other sometime during the winter. If the side entrance were at one end it probably wouldn't matter.
    5Y-25H-T-Z6b

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,077

    Default Re: side entrance or end entrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    To me, it seems most "natural" for the bees to use whatever space and entrances that nature provides for them.
    Guess that means we aught to place a bunch of mice and squirrels in with the bees and let them chew their way out in whatever fashion and manner " nature" chooses.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    635

    Default Re: side entrance or end entrance?

    The hives we sell, and the ones I use (around 15-30 most of the time) have side entrances toward the ends (http://www.beethinking.com/top-bar-hive)

    top-bar-hive-with-stand-fro.jpg

    I think either end entrances, or side entrances toward the end, work just fine. I like side entrances with 2 dividers/follows because I find I can more easily access either side of the brood nest. You can, of course, do the same with a shorter divider at the end with the entrance if you use an end entrance.

    Best,
    Matt

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: side entrance or end entrance?

    Since I want the brood nest at one end when they go into winter, and I find its very likely they will already be there with an entrance on the end I prefer an end entrance. Plus, I put no holes in the hive, just a gap between the end and the last bar.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/TBHEntrance1.JPG
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Ft Luaderdale, FL, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: side entrance or end entrance?

    I like the idea of no holes but they are already there, if I build another tbh I will put a gap up top. As it stands now I can always give them a gap if they need more ventilation. I just added two follower boards so I can get in easier from each side. since it's straight sided and 11" x 11" x 48" I also added some dowels to the center of the bars so I don't have comb collapse. The bees seem to like it, they haven't absconded, they're building comb, making brood and bringing nectar and honey. I installed the package Jan. 2 and they have build out maybe 8 partial combs so far, as they build I've been inserting an empty bar inbetween decent size combs to encourage more comb building. So far so good, thanks for everyone's responses so far.

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