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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I've had my first bees for about a month now and everything seems to be going great. They're building lots of comb and filling it with nectar, bread and babies. Brood has started hatching and it sure looks like it's extra busy inside.

The hive has three 3/4" holes on one end and I've noticed that when foragers are coming back in the late afternoon, it gets kind of hectic outside the entrance. There are easily 50+ bees hovering around excitedly trying to get in. All three holes look filled with bees going and coming.

So, I guess my question is - do they need more entrance space, and if so, is it even feasible to drill more holes now? The first bar is full with brood, so I would obviously need to be extremely careful about drilling too far through the wood. Would it be worth it to suit-up, smoke them, and just go for it slowly?

-josh

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I had three one inch holes all last summer and that was enough for the bees to come and go. Not sure that you need any more holes. If I wanted to drill another hole, I would move all the combs towards the back of the hive and then drill. I would also leave enough room in the hive so you can clean out your wood shavings somewhat. Save the bees a little work.
I also used my cordless drill around my hives several times last summer, tightening down a couple of leg bolts, and putting one some label plates. The bees never cared about the drill.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Duncan, very good to know that if it comes to it, they may not care about the drill. Also - good call on moving the bars back, seems obvious now that you said it!

I just went out and looked and the frantic flying is done and they have plenty of entrance room now. I had the thought that maybe they were new bees just figuring things out and weren't actually waiting to get in the hive. I don't know what orientation flights look like, so maybe I'm misreading the situation.
 

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I did the same thing last year. I had 3 one inch holes and added a fourth. Probably doesn't matter much though. I saw a huge hive in a cutout and the entrance was tiny. They deal with it.
 

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Shannonswyatt - I wondered about entrance size in feral colonies. Good to know that they aren't too picky. I think that since there's still so much I don't know, I'll stick with what they have. It should help them defend in case of robbing, etc., especially since I probably wouldn't recognize it right away.

Thanks for your input - Josh
 
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