Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Hickory, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    80

    Sad Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    I completed my top entrance conversion this weekend by closing off the bottom entrances completely. I had about a week time when I left the entrance reducers on the bottom entrances and implemented the top entrances. Well, upon checking on my hive this afternoon on my way home from work this is what I saw.

    http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...-45-13_401.jpg

    http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...-45-24_747.jpg

    And a 1 minute video...

    http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...-43-30_992.mp4

    This is the worst bearding by far on my strongest hive. My next strongest hive is the one on the far right. Did I mess up by implementing the top entrances? I also did a hive inspection and moved 3 frames (w/ nurse bees) of capped brood and 1 frame with eggs from my strongest hive to the hive on the far left because it is struggling. Please help!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Hot Springs, Arkansas
    Posts
    316

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    that looks like a honey run apiaries inner cover?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Hickory, North Carolina, USA
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    80

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingbrass View Post
    that looks like a honey run apiaries inner cover?
    What is that suppose to mean?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Hot Springs, Arkansas
    Posts
    316

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/stor...ver-p-232.html The hives in the video look like they have the all season inner cover from honey run apiaries.
    I am not affiliated with this company but it looks like you have one of those. I just ordered one to try it so that is why I noticed.
    Last edited by flyingbrass; 08-01-2011 at 07:41 PM.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    I keep both bottom and top entrances open and let the bees decide which to use. If the hive is left like pix 1 it may just leave the hive! Do you have enough ventlation to keep the hive cooler?
    Clint
    Clinton Bemrose<br />just South of Lansing Michigan<br />Beekeeping since 1964

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Hickory, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    I am using SBB and top entrances on all 4 hives but it looks like I am going to have to open the bottom entrances back up on at least the 2nd from left. It was mid 90's here today with a heat index closer to 100...

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Hickory, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingbrass View Post
    http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/stor...ver-p-232.html The hives in the video look like they have the all season inner cover from honey run apiaries.
    I am not affiliated with this company but it looks like you have one of those. I just ordered one to try it so that is why I noticed.
    If you are looking at the 6th item under my photobucket then yes, I made those vented supers myself. They look very similar to those of the company mentioned. They seem to work better than just the top entrances...

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    It takes them a few days to get the hang of it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Watauga, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    379

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    I wondered if this would be the outcome of a conversion. Keep us updated on how the bees fare on figuring it out.

    Does anyone add some sort of horizontal "front porch" like feeder to their top entrances, and if so, using what?
    6 hives of survivors. 5 seasons of experience.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,190

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    What happened is they had the ventilation of their hive all figured out, then you closed the door and put it on top, which they haven't figured out yet. Temps inside went up and the bees had to vacate.

    To avoid that, if you must change to top entrance, do the top entrance, give them a few days to figure it out, then close the bottom one or even close it in stages.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    ...i used to add ventilation whenever I saw bearding...but my thinking has changed.

    The bees are maintaining the temp in the hive....if it were overheating inside you would have cooked bees.

    In order to maintain the temp, they need some number of bees inside directing airflow, and either adding heat with their flight muscles, or removing heat by evaporating water off the surface of the combs.

    Once they have enough bees inside to keep the temp stable (in a situation where things are hot and they are cooling things), adding more bees simply makes for more work....more bees producing more heat that needs to be dissipated with more water and more airflow (and the airflow might be harder to maintain with more individual bees in the hive).

    Bees bearding is just an indication that there are enough bees to do what they need to do. If they needed more water, pollen, nectar, nursebees, combbuilders, etc, they _have_ the workforce to draw from (we know that because we can see them hanging outside the hive not doing anything specific).

    In such a situation, I don't see the point in adding more ventilation...if it clears up the bearding it means that more work is being done in order to keep the hive at the same temp it was before the ventilation was added.

    Giving them comb to draw, expanding the broodnest, or giving them something else to do is probably more productive than simply adding more ventilation...but bearding just means that all the work that needs doing is being done.

    All of this assumes that there is adequate ventilation to begin with.

    deknow

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Hickory, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    Went by to check the girls this morning at this is what I saw. The 1st hive on the right had figured it out. They were flying in and out, no problem.

    http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...-59-50_165.mp4

    The 2nd hive from the left was still bearded a little.

    http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...-00-37_338.mp4

    I did this conversion well over a weeks time, where both top and bottom entrances were open. I guess I will leave it for a few more days to see if they catch on or not. I was so upset yesterday that I was ready to pull the closures on the bottom entrances off this morning, but I am going to wait....

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    etowah,Alabama
    Posts
    453

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    This is going to help me make entrance reducers. I think all my bottoms are off a 1/16 one way or another.I see yours are what I would call dog eared. This is a great place for information.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Hickory, North Carolina, USA
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    80

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    Guyross,

    Don't be confused by the bottom entrances in these last vids/pics. I have put black foam tape across the bottom where it may look like it is an openeing but actually is not. You could make entrance reducers similar to this though, just not the case here.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Hickory, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    Everything looked bbetter this afternoon when I went by to check on the girls... Take a look.

    http://s1191.photobucket.com/albums/...4-51_126-1.mp4

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    >Does anyone add some sort of horizontal "front porch" like feeder to their top entrances, and if so, using what?

    Mine fly directly in the entrance. I see no advantage.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Watauga, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    379

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    Heh-- I meant "feature," not "feeder"-- but I see you got my point. XD
    Thanks for the info.

    Glad your bees are getting the hang of it , Gardenside.

    And excellent points, deknow. They make me think a bit differently about bearding.
    6 hives of survivors. 5 seasons of experience.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    722

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    Not sure, if this has been mentioned.
    I did read a British article about top entrances. It said the possible downside is that water condensation collects in the bottom causing issues. They said it is important to have an open screened bottom board so air flow is present. Without it the moisture can cause mold and other big issues.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Hickory, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    I found out I lost Hive 2 today. Noticed no action at the entrance and a foul odor. Took the hive apart to find a bizillion bees dead on the SBB. No slimy mess, no honey, no webs, etc. There was some brood that was just emerging. Not sure what happened, but I opened up the bottom entrances on the other three hives to the same odor and many dead bees that they began to houseclean as soon as the bottom entrances were opened. Any comments? I need to now what to do with two deep full of pulled comb, as far as storage. Here are some pics...







    Last edited by Gardenside Beehives; 08-09-2011 at 08:51 PM.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: Help! Top entrance conversion completed but...

    I don't know. Extremely hot or cold weather can complicate any change in a hive. It's also possible that it's unrelated to entrances and the result of pesticides and the rest is coincidence. When I've found hives in that condition it was pesticides.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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