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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Top Entrances and Robbing?

    I've just started playing with top entrances this year. I ran a couple of hives with wide open top and bottom entrances. Here in Texas with the blistering summers I wanted to see if it would have a noticeable effect upon how the hives operated. It took about a month for the hive to really use the top entrance, but once they did, they tend to favor that entrance for nectar and the bottom entrance for pollen. I only had robbing occur once early in my season, but nothing past the one incident I witnessed. I did not notice the bees avoiding storing honey near the top, in fact they went so far to build comb attached to the top (I left too much space, about 5/8") and they filled that with honey too. This coming season I will try the mid entrance as well and reduce the space I gave them.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,832

    Default Re: Top Entrances and Robbing?

    Joe C, how do you build those entrance rims so that they have some strength to them, I mean if they are only 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick material, how do you join the corners together and end up with them being somewhat strong so they don't just fall apart. Thanks.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    725

    Default Re: Top Entrances and Robbing?

    I always get too carried away with new ideas so maybe I will also try JC’s top entry on a side by side test of a couple of hives. Do you use window screen for your robber screen (cheaper and easier to work than #8 hardware cloth). The last experiment I tried with the top entry I just had a hundred bees guarding it for the month and nobody seemed to used it. Maybe if I start them in spring between the deeps and supers as a middle entry?
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,832

    Default Re: Top Entrances and Robbing?

    I find that to get bees to use a new top entrance, you can't have a bottom entrance open, you have to eliminate it and force them to use the new entrance. Once they get used to it real good, it might take a week, then you can give them a small bottom entrance if you like in addition to the upper.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,320

    Default Re: Top Entrances and Robbing?

    jmgi,

    I've tried different joining techniques. The back corners are half lapped, glued and fastened with staples driven in at an angle. Small, pieces of metal, can be used to reinforce the joints (best if used both top and bottom). In the front, I fasten a piece of wood, across the entire rim/shim where it would rest against the front of the super above it, then staple a piece of #8 hardware cloth on top, also this functions as a robber screen. Small pieces of wood, the right thickness and various lengths can be placed in the opening thus created, and function as entrance reducers.

    When I'm running a colony for honey, after making sure there is a small entrance somewhere in the brood area (so drones can get out), I place a queen excluder over the brood supers, and place the entrance rim/shim immediately on the excluder. This necessitates the workers to go through the excluder to access the brood area. They've always taken most of the pollen through the excluder and into the brood area. Hopefully they will do that for you, too.

    You've also given me the idea to fasten my metal rimmed wire excluders to these entrance rim/shim's, making them into a single piece of beekeeping equipment, which should create a much more durable piece of gear. I will be making some, like this, soon, and plan to use them this coming season.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,320

    Default Re: Top Entrances and Robbing?

    I've just been using #8 hardware cloth for the robber screen parts of these entrance rim/shim's. I use it because it's what I have available. I don't see why window screen wouldn't work just as well.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    725

    Default Re: Top Entrances and Robbing?

    Triangles build strength and stop racking. Maybe if I use as solid piece of wood for the corners with a 3/8” rabbit and glue the ends in? I built some of the entrances just like Joseph mentioned (but without the screen) and they are really delicate. Just thinking out loud here as the reinforcement portion of the thread triggered a thought. I should have bee space on either the top or the bottom of the box so I could get by with a wider piece of wood for the triangle part. (no SHB in these parts to worry about additional hidey holes).
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

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