A couple of weeks ago I added top entrances to my two second-year hives. The top entrances are simply 3/8" notches cut 6" wide in the bottom honey supers. These hives both have two honey supers which are very nearly full.
You can view a couple of pictures here:
The idea was to allow for easier access to the honey supers for returning foragers and to improve ventilation.
I've noticed, however, that the bees don't seem interested in using these entrances. Every once in a while I'll see a bee fly into/out of the top entrance on each hive, but otherwise they prefer the usual bottom entrances.
A few questions:
1) Any idea why the bees don't seem to care much about using the top entrances in these hives, even though presumably using them would involve less work for a returning forager to gain access to the honey supers? Just hard to break old habits?
2) I was thinking of harvesting the two honey supers, replacing the capped honey frames with foundation, adding queen excluders, and closing off the bottom entrances. Any problem with this that you can think of?
3) If I do #2 above, I don't need to provide a drone escapes right now, correct?