Questions on hive entrance
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    15

    Default Questions on hive entrance

    1) Is it ever a good idea to have multiple hive entrances, not just one right at the bottom? I ask because I notice that, whenever there is a crack or hole in a hive where bees can fly out from, they seem to often prefer using that over go through right at the bottom.

    2) Two of my hives have a lot of bees at the front, as show here:

    https://imgur.com/a/f7aSxIE

    Is this indicative of anything? Does it maybe indicate that they're looking to swarm? If I had a second entrance at the top maybe, would this possibly help with some sort of traffic congestion problem that might be happening here?

    3) I built these hives myself and guessed the size needed for the hive entrance, as shown here:

    https://imgur.com/a/mn0NXYh

    Are these entrances possibly too small? I'm wondering if the size of these entrances could be leading to traffic congestion, or ventilation problems. I notice people talk about using entrance reducers in the winter, but I'm not sure if that's something that should be done where I live, in South Australia, which doesn't have cold winters, but gets very hot and it's almost always very dry and non-humid.

    To expand on the ventilation, here's a picture of a lid I've got:

    https://imgur.com/a/CA8jPFO

    There's four of these holes on a lid, with a mesh barrier inside. Are these ventilation holes large enough? Some of my hives do sometimes have some moisture building up inside for whatever reason.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Questions on hive entrance

    Hi, I can only offer advice on what works for me here in the mountains of NY State USA. I have drilled holes with little landing boards on many of the hive bodies, size of hole index or about inch. We get good honey production this way. Popsicle sticks are glued on the inside of the outer cover where it rests on the inner cover so there is some ventilation, all year. There is an upper entrance with our inner covers and a hole in the middle if feeding is necessary.
    Typical bottom entrance size of a Langstroth hive, during flow open all the way, then closed down to 3 fingers wide or so.
    Proverbs 16:24

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Fayette, Missouri, usa
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: Questions on hive entrance

    I have used only a 3 inch entrance (all year long) for the past four years. I think it helps reduce robbing.
    9 hives - 10 years (also had 7 hives in early 1970's) T as needed - zone 6

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Questions on hive entrance

    Yikes, my entrances are only 0.11 inches high. Is that way too short?

    I have two front entrances, some of the hives have the entrances at 2 inches wide, some are 2.2 inches wide. Should I increase their size? I haven't seemed to have an issue with robbing before but maybe my small entrances is a contributing factor to that.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Questions on hive entrance

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFuzz View Post
    1) Are these entrances possibly too small? I'm wondering if the size of these entrances could be leading to traffic congestion, or ventilation problems.
    2nd year beek- I think an important question is- how can I keep robbing down but maintain proper ventilation as you mention? In my mind if you solve one of these it can potentially create a problem with the other. In my yard I put robbing screens on all of my hives from the get go (love the BeeSmart one- great ventilation and reduced entrance as well). No robbing pressure this year at all and no wasps have been able to get in a wreak havoc like last year. But I also maintain an upper entrance for ventilation that I can screen with #8 hardware cloth or tape shut (take away smell of feeding) if necessary. I'm in high desert and made the mistake of no upper entrance through winter last year. They will always have an upper entrance now and a dry cavity. Period.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Questions on hive entrance

    I find that the bees quard all entrances pretty well especially the big colonies. I truly think that the numerous entrances help with honey production; if they don’t want it they will propoloze it. Last year we had maybe 12 truly production hives, we got over 1300 pounds of honey. This year we will surpass that. We happen to be in a good area, so that helps, and we are prepared this time regarding boxes and frames! Deb
    Proverbs 16:24

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Northeast PA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Questions on hive entrance

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFuzz View Post
    1) Is it ever a good idea to have multiple hive entrances, not just one right at the bottom? I ask because I notice that, whenever there is a crack or hole in a hive where bees can fly out from, they seem to often prefer using that over go through right at the bottom.

    2) Two of my hives have a lot of bees at the front, as show here:

    https://imgur.com/a/f7aSxIE

    Is this indicative of anything? Does it maybe indicate that they're looking to swarm? If I had a second entrance at the top maybe, would this possibly help with some sort of traffic congestion problem that might be happening here?

    3) I built these hives myself and guessed the size needed for the hive entrance, as shown here:

    https://imgur.com/a/mn0NXYh

    Are these entrances possibly too small? I'm wondering if the size of these entrances could be leading to traffic congestion, or ventilation problems. I notice people talk about using entrance reducers in the winter, but I'm not sure if that's something that should be done where I live, in South Australia, which doesn't have cold winters, but gets very hot and it's almost always very dry and non-humid.

    To expand on the ventilation, here's a picture of a lid I've got:

    https://imgur.com/a/CA8jPFO

    There's four of these holes on a lid, with a mesh barrier inside. Are these ventilation holes large enough? Some of my hives do sometimes have some moisture building up inside for whatever reason.
    I have not noticed any difference in honey production between having no entrance reducer, and having entrances reduced to the larger of the 2 settings (about 2.5 inches or so).

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