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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    947

    Default Bee's favor top entrance on one hive

    One of my hives really favors the upper entrance through the notch in the inner cove,r none of the other hives use there's so much . It's a split I did about a month ago , its the half that I moved out of the parent hive along with the queen . I was checking them today and they had a mild traffic jam at the little top entrance and the bottom wide open but only a few using it . I was curious if maybe something moved into the bottom and was blocking them , maybe a snake or mouse , so I yanked the top super off and in doing so a frame from below came up with it and popped out and laid on top of the frames , I picked it up quick to take a look and there was the queen looking back at me , so I tucked her and the frame back in and pushed the bottom super sideways to take a look at the bottom board and all was clear no snakes nothing blocking them from using the normal bottom entrance , anyone see this before.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Avon, NJ
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Bee's favor top entrance on one hive

    I have the same thing going on with a hived swarm. I supose they will start to use the main entrance when the populatio builds.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Greenfield, IN
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Bee's favor top entrance on one hive

    My son-in-laws hive is using the top entrance and very little on the bottom one. So he made the top entrance larger. They seem to be happy.

    Greg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Bee's favor top entrance on one hive

    Like every other animal bees are essentially lazy. The top entrance would give them the shortest distance to the comb where the honey is stored so they can can get it in and get out for some more nectar without having to go through the brood nest. I still think have a lower entrance is better for colony health but I do know a lot of people who say a top entrance is the way to go, especially in hot climates.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,933

    Default Re: Bee's favor top entrance on one hive

    I run both and find the bees always favor the top entrance.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Bee's favor top entrance on one hive

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    I run both and find the bees always favor the top entrance.
    Have you seen any difference in over-wintering success, vigour, spring buildup, moisture control, anything else between the top entrance and bottom entrance colonies?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,933

    Default Re: Bee's favor top entrance on one hive

    Much better moisture control with top and bottom entrances. I find taking honey supers off is a little more work with top entrances, more bees in the supers. Otherwise, i let the bees decide.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    947

    Default Re: Bee's favor top entrance on one hive

    Just seemed odd , they all pile up at the notch waiting to go in when the bottom is wide open !! To each his own I guess.

    Got to thinking about the frame that came up when I lifted the top super , it was the only plastic frame in the box , came from a deep nuc last year that I cut down to a med , I'm wondering if its just a tad higher than the rest and touching the frame above it , got some wax on it and out it came .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,751

    Default Re: Bee's favor top entrance on one hive

    >Have you seen any difference in over-wintering success, vigour, spring buildup, moisture control, anything else between the top entrance and bottom entrance colonies?

    "At this date (April 1949) the evidence has piled up overwhelmingly in favor of the upper entrance, either at the top or part way down..." --ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture page 236 32nd edition

    Some quotes here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#topentrance

    And more on top entrances here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bell County, KY, USA
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: Bee's favor top entrance on one hive

    I run both.
    Some hives prefer the top, some bottom, some both.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,933

    Default Re: Bee's favor top entrance on one hive

    Funny, put supers on about 10 hives that had been using the top entrance almost exclusively, today they were all using the bottom entrance. First time this has happened to me. I really don't care as long as they keep making honey.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,961

    Default Re: Bee's favor top entrance on one hive

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    Funny, put supers on about 10 hives that had been using the top entrance almost exclusively, today they were all using the bottom entrance. First time this has happened to me. I really don't care as long as they keep making honey.
    I was going to respond to your earlier post about them always preferring the upper entrance. I leave an upper entrance on most of my hives over winter. A few will start using it as the main entrance, but most (90%+) use the bottom entrance. I prefer them to use the bottom entrance. I have one hive right now that exclusively uses the top entrance and it's like standing in a cloud of bees. They land all over me and seem to backup their landing schedule into a big cloud of bees while I am in there. Also, I face the guard bees opening the top. I prefer working at the back door rather than the front door.
    Bruce

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,933

    Default Re: Bee's favor top entrance on one hive

    Also, I face the guard bees opening the top. I prefer working at the back door rather than the front door.
    When I take the cover off the bees come and go as usual. Don't notice a significant difference as long as I'm behind the hives. I have one yard where I have to work them from the front. Still not a real problem for me.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Dayton, Ohio
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Bee's favor top entrance on one hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Have you seen any difference in over-wintering success, vigour, spring buildup, moisture control, anything else between the top entrance and bottom entrance colonies?

    "At this date (April 1949) the evidence has piled up overwhelmingly in favor of the upper entrance, either at the top or part way down..." --ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture page 236 32nd edition

    Some quotes here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#topentrance

    And more on top entrances here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm
    I have visited your site and enjoy your information! I have a question about your top entrances/design. I noticed that there is only the 1/2 inch plywood cover. Do you not put any fancy tin roof or otherwise? I'm assuming you feel it's not necessary? Also, the two shims you put in (in picture where you were gluing them -what kind of glue do you use?) And do the shims interfere with bee space on the top of the frames? Thanks!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,751

    Default Re: Bee's favor top entrance on one hive

    >I noticed that there is only the 1/2 inch plywood cover.

    I prefer 3/4" but a full sheet of 3/4" plywood is getting painful to handle... so I do 1/2"

    >Do you not put any fancy tin roof or otherwise?

    No.

    > I'm assuming you feel it's not necessary?

    Not necessary.

    >Also, the two shims you put in (in picture where you were gluing them -what kind of glue do you use?)

    Exterior carpenter's glue (sometimes titebond sometimes Elmer's depending on what is available).

    >And do the shims interfere with bee space on the top of the frames?

    The space from the top bars at the back is 1/4". The space from the top bars at the front is between 1/2" and 5/8". The space in the middle is 7/16" or so. The bees don't tend to build comb where the entrance is. But sometimes they will burr the top down to the frames. If it gets in my way I scrape it off.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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