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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Escanaba,Mi, USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Entrance reducer

    We just installed our New package of bees on 5-3-13, it is 5-6-13 now and the bees seem to be really road blocked with the entrance reducer in, when we check for the queen on 5-8-13, would it be too soon to switch that reducer to the wider setting? Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Entrance reducer

    i have three hives started this year from 5-frame nucs. two of them are on the small setting and one of them i went to the alrger setting on day 3 as they seemed to be pretty congested at the entrance. i don't think there are any hard rules about when to switch them. just go with what you think and I'm sure it will be okay. This is my first year with bees as well, so keep that in mind when reading my advice

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Entrance reducer

    If your bees are getting congested in the entrance, then you should have enough to guard it at the next larger setting.

    Also, one thing you can do for an "experiment"...set out a tin pie-pan (the disposable kind) with some gravel in it, and pour in some sugar syrup. Set the pie pan at least 100' or more away from your hives, then check on it an hour or so later. If the pie pan's covered in bees, then you don't have much nectar flow, and I'd be concerned about opening up entrances too early; if the pie pan's full of ants, but very few bees, then there's a good nectar flow on & robbing shouldn't be too much of a concern anywise

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default Re: Entrance reducer

    You can probably pull the reducer. I use the reducer more in the fall during robbing episodes than I do in the spring. Right now, all my colonies have wide open entrances.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Entrance reducer

    just move one end of it out to remve conjestion... simple enough to do... I would not be a bit worried about robbing this time of year bee populations are low, and nectar is avalible.... fall is bigger issue.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,489

    Default Re: Entrance reducer

    Since the temperature seems to dip down to near freezing every week or so this Spring, I've left mine on longer than normal. I'll pull them this week as we aren't supposed to have any really cold nights for at least a while -- congestion doesn't bother me (or the bees) as much as an icy cold draft does.

    Peter

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Entrance reducer

    First year beek here too. I kept mine to the smallest for the first few days. Then opened to the larger hole where I've kept it. Had to cut and notch my reducers also as I am using a Boardman feeder. On the only 3 or 4 days that we had decent weather (temps above 60 and sunshine) I could see the traffic jam going at the front door. So for those few days, and only during the day, I removed the reducers only to put them back in at night. It was dipping down into the 30's and I was worried about them keeping the brood at proper temps. I made a special wire hook tool to pull the reducers in or out, sting free.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,326

    Default Re: Entrance reducer

    I haven't used entrance reducer blocks since the late 1960's.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Windsor, Maine, USA
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Entrance reducer

    Bbuck,
    I'm a believer in entrance reducers, especially with a package, as I have had robbing problems in the past.
    According to your post, you're only three days down the road from your package installation. Sure, you've got a lot of bees right now.
    But you have to take in to consideration that that your bee population is going to decrease by about half over the next 25 days, which is the earliest that you're going to get any new bees, even under ideal conditions.
    As the population decreases, the colony gets weaker, and more prone to being robbed by a stronger colony.
    Give them the smallest entrance that they can get in and out of without a huge backup. It's easier for them to defend.
    Maybe you'll get lucky and not get robbed. But maybe not. It's not a pretty sight. Lots of fighting and lots of dead bees when you can't afford it.
    I wouldn't open up that entrance for at least six weeks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Escanaba,Mi, USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Entrance reducer

    Quote Originally Posted by Albatross View Post
    Bbuck,
    I'm a believer in entrance reducers, especially with a package, as I have had robbing problems in the past.
    According to your post, you're only three days down the road from your package installation. Sure, you've got a lot of bees right now.
    But you have to take in to consideration that that your bee population is going to decrease by about half over the next 25 days, which is the earliest that you're going to get any new bees, even under ideal conditions.
    As the population decreases, the colony gets weaker, and more prone to being robbed by a stronger colony.
    Give them the smallest entrance that they can get in and out of without a huge backup. It's easier for them to defend.
    Maybe you'll get lucky and not get robbed. But maybe not. It's not a pretty sight. Lots of fighting and lots of dead bees when you can't afford it.
    I wouldn't open up that entrance for at least six weeks.
    I hadnt thought of that Albatross, that is good info, thank you. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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