Just wanted to share my experience of adding a 2nd deep and opening the entrance reducer a bit. Experienced beeks, please feel free to critique and offer advice. I have 2 hives from package installs on May 24. I live in the woods so thatís where they are. Mostly jack pines so it is not a heavy canopy. I found a spot that does get some early through midday dappled sun light but thatís as good as it gets.
One hive is struggling a bit but starting to catch up. I have seen 2 SHB but that is all. I am expecting more especially with the soft sandy soil the hive table sits on.
The other hive I think is doing very well. I inspected yesterday at the end of week 5 and the stronger hive was packed with bees. Frames 2-8 drawn out and the insides of 1 and 10 drawn out. And bees covering everywhere. In fact There were so many bees between every frame I only checked a couple. I thought it was a really good sign and I didnít want to roll a lot of bees and maybe the queen. So I just added the 2nd deep, removed the feeder and buttoned it up. I may put the feeder back on as they were still taking syrup.
Then I opened the entrance from the 1finger wide opening to the 4 finger wide opening. I just flipped the reducer a quarter turn. This meant that the finger sized opening on the right that was facing down and open was now facing out effectively closing off that entrance and the 4 inch opening on the left was now open. But the bees were not getting it. They kept piling up at the little notch facing out but couldnít get anywhere. But eventually they starting walking across the front porch single file to the 4 inch opening on the left and into the hive. But returning bees continued to pile up at the old dead end location. It was comical but I started to feeling sorry for them. I knew theyíd eventually get used to new opening but I took pity. I flipped the reducer around so that the 4 inch opening was now on the right side, where the small one used to be and that made it much easier for them. They immediately started using the full width of the bigger entrance.
Within about 10 minutes though, there were more bees flying in front of the hive then Iíve ever seen. At first I was concerned with robbing because I had just pulled the feeders but as I watched there were no fights. The bees seemed more to be orienting. And I wondered if maybe I stimulated a lot of youngsters to come out for the first time. Of course I had just added the 2nd deep and shook up their world so maybe they were just figuring out what the heck just happened. They did settle back down after a short time.
In any event, it was very assuring and enjoyable. Iíve been concerned about the bees being in partial shade and at 5 weeks I think the one hive is doing well and the other is showing signs of catching up.