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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Campbellsville, KY
    Posts
    12

    Default New Top Entrance Question

    Hello, all

    I just my new package 4.9mm bees in today from Wolf Creek apairies.

    This is my 2 or 3rd year at beekeeping, and i thought about trying a top entrance i've made (images attached).
    It's seems like a good idea to have a top entrance to reduce brood congestion during honey flow and to keep it cooler in summer since heat rises.

    Can any experts see any potential problems with this design?

    This is 3/8''s think and the plan is to have this on top of the brood chambers, and the supers will be on top of this, so it's kind of a top/middle entrance depends on if supers are on.

    If I decide to use a queen excluder this would be on top, so it would not allow the queen through, but since the entrance would be on top to the excluder the bees wouldn't have to go through the excluder to the honey supers.
    But after thinking about it I would still need to let the drones in and out of the brood some way.

    Thanks in advance.

    side view.jpgtop entrance on brood.jpgTop-side.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,661

    Default Re: New Top Entrance Question

    First off, let me commend you for taking the initiative.

    1. You will have problems with burr comb, no doubt.
    2. Bee space will be rather large between supers, may give the bees a hard time moving up and down.
    3. I am NO expert by any stretch of the imagination.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,759

    Default Re: New Top Entrance Question

    The trouble is a bee will use what ever entrance it used the first time unless you eliminate that option. So if you add another entrance no bee will use it until you prevent them from using the entrance they were using.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: New Top Entrance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    First off, let me commend you for taking the initiative.

    1. You will have problems with burr comb, no doubt.
    2. Bee space will be rather large between supers, may give the bees a hard time moving up and down.
    3. I am NO expert by any stretch of the imagination.


    Actually 1 and 2 are a little off, they won't burr comb the additional space, and bees move fine, but with the perk that teh queen will very seldom cross the gap.... I have been doing this for about 5 years and wouldn't do anything else.. but as mentioned you will need to close the bottom up, or they won't switch

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default Re: New Top Entrance Question

    I say let the bees decide. Nearly all my hives have both a top and bottom entrance and they do just fine. I like your design. I'd only worry about robbing. When that happens you'll need to be prepared to close them both up to just a very small entrance.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Default Re: New Top Entrance Question

    More work than is necessary. All you need is a twig or a shim under one corner of the existing top.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,320

    Default Re: New Top Entrance Question

    That is really a mid entrance... a flat cover with shims is much simpler. Bees have no need for the ramp...

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Campbellsville, KY
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: New Top Entrance Question

    Thanks for the replies, I guess it is a bit much overkill. A middle entrance is what I was looking for so I could use a queen excluder if i wanted to.
    I don't see how an excluder could be used on the shimmed top hive.
    I think in this more while the hive builds, i might go to a shimmed top or back to bottom entrance, they seem to be doing fine now though.
    IMG_0143.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,407

    Default Re: New Top Entrance Question

    What I do is cut cedar shake to 3/4 in wide and than take 2 strips place on top of the bottom deep. When you replace the top deep you have an entrance about 3/8 high across the front of the hive, between the deeps, that is also sealed on the sides. You could easily do the same thing between the brood and honey boxes. There is not much problem with bur comb.

    I only do this for colonies that are large enough to protect the larger entrance.

    PS that is a nice build.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,759

    Default Re: New Top Entrance Question

    Buzzenbee, if you put a few supers on that hive will the stand take the weight? It is hard to see what that is made of and what the legs are standing on.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,653

    Default Re: New Top Entrance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Buzzenbee, if you put a few supers on that hive will the stand take the weight? It is hard to see what that is made of and what the legs are standing on.
    Acebird,

    If you open the image in another window you can see that it's made from angle iron. 1 1/2"?
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,320

    Default Re: New Top Entrance Question

    >I don't see how an excluder could be used on the shimmed top hive.

    IF you use an excluder (and I wouldn't) you will need an entrance BELOW the excluder, regardless of what other entrances there are, as the drones will have to have a way out. This could be as small as a 3/8" diameter hole, but you need some way for the drones to escape. So whether you have a mid entrance above the excluder or a top entrance, you need that additional entrance. If the mid entrance is below the excluder you won't need it, but then the bees still have to go through the excluder to get up to the supers...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,759

    Default Re: New Top Entrance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    Acebird,

    If you open the image in another window you can see that it's made from angle iron. 1 1/2"?
    Now that you mentioned it I can see it is metal, what metal I am not sure. I presume there are good size pads on the bottom of the legs or patio blocks.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Campbellsville, KY
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: New Top Entrance Question

    The hive stand is 1 1/2" angle iron and there are pads on the feet. Attachment 6087

    Update,
    I check today to make sure queen is laying, everything looks good.

    They did build 1 small part of burr comb between top of the frames and the bottom of the top cover, but I noticed it was built to the syrup can that came with the package (I have the can of syrup in the upper chambers so they can finish it off).

    I'll need to trim the back edge of the middle entrance down to 3/8, i left it 3/4" wide on the back and couldn't get the frames out without removing the middle entrance part. I noticed when I removed the middle entrance the returning bees didn't know where to go and were flying around, but as soon as i put it back on they landed and went down in the hive.

    Does just having the top shimmed for a top entrance disrupt the returning bees when inspecting or do the bees know just to land on the side and go in?

    My russian hive is bursting at the seams and looks like I'll get a good harvest off it.

    What's the best way to add another super once 8/10th's of the frames are drawn out and capped?
    1. On top of the existing super?
    2. Under the existing super?
    I'm still complicating using a queen excluders, this might be my first year of a real honey harvest, besides the fact it keeps the queen from laying in the supers, it just seems safer to have a queen excluder just to make sure she's not in the supers when harvesting. I plan on using BEEGO to get the bees out of the supers. I'm not sure if it reduces the honey volume or not, i ready somewhere someone had called them "honey excluders".


    P.S. I just caught my first swarm, I hope they'll make it and I don't think they were from any of my hives, unless it's the on that absconded last fall.
    I'm pretty sure now I'm going to build this bee vac I've seen in Bee culture magazine with 2, 5 gallon buckets, it would have made it much simpler.

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