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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My bees have only been in the TBH for one week, hence I have only one week of experience. The mass in the front of the hive appear to be doing well (through the observation window). In the middle of the hive are a handful of bees that appear to be chipping away at the side of the hive. There are hundreds of minute pieces of wood laying at the bottom.

When I watch the entrance at the front of the hive, I see bees carrying out these tiny pieces. The bees in the middle of the hive come and go without the chips of wood. I have an open entry there too. Should I close this entry?

The TBH has three entries evenly spaced across the front. When should I open/close these entries? Thanks--I have so much to learn.
 

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It is my understanding that bees are obsessive-compulsive about little things that stick out. We attended a woodenware-building class in which our instructor told us to be sure all brad heads are flush or slightly over-driven into the wood. He said that if any part of a nail protrudes, some poor bee will make it her life's work to try to gnaw it off.

I'd say it is just housekeeping.
 

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And yet, I believe I read that rough-planed wood on the interior surfaces of the hive box sides was preferable to wood paned smooth on both sides. IIRC, it was because it made a better substrate for propolis deposits which are very healthful for the colony.

I agree, though, it's just housekeeping for some bee-sensible reason. My bees have reshaped some entrance holes that didn't please them.

I must say, though, that I envy observation windows!

Enj.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It is my understanding that bees are obsessive-compulsive about little things that stick out. We attended a woodenware-building class in which our instructor told us to be sure all brad heads are flush or slightly over-driven into the wood. He said that if any part of a nail protrudes, some poor bee will make it her life's work to try to gnaw it off.

I'd say it is just housekeeping.
Thanks for the reply. Fascinating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, it's rough inside.

The observation window is wonderful and fascinating.

Thanks for the response.
 

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Last year we have a little slice of silicone that pealed up on the inside by the observation window. We would watch them try to get that out pretty much every time we watched the hive from the window. I kept forgetting to remove it during inspections.
 

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If you really want to see 10 million bees going nuts cleaning up you need to come on over during package season. After shaking a few hundred packages and setting them on the tables for queens and watering the quantity of sawdust left on the table after a few hours is quite phenomenal.. Guess when your all caged up and have nothing else to do but walk in circles for a day or two the bees tend to have enough time to scrap and scrub every nook and cranny in the cages. Saw dust on the tables is more the norm than not after a day of shaking into new package boxes. Its almost enough where the local bureaucrats want us to get a trash hauling permit to dispose of all the sawdust.
 

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I noticed today the split I put into an old nuc a week or so ago has cleaned the entrance down to bare wood. This spring I put a few spare old brood honeycombs in it to be robbed out and the robbers made a brown gooey mess around the entrance hole. I noticed because the nuc bees were still cleaning at it. I wanted the combs cleaned out to put in swarm traps and didn't want to attract ants.
 

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The TBH has three entries evenly spaced across the front. When should I open/close these entries? Thanks--I have so much to learn.
In the beginning you should have only one entrance hole open on one end. When the colony builds up and it gets hot you may want to open the middle hole for additional ventilation. You should never open both end entrances at the same time.
 
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