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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed this in one of our hives this morning. This colony was a feral swarm capture from the springtime (made the BEST honey) and have been very healthy with only minimal SHB activity and were well below 1% Varroa counts in early August and did not require treatment. I did notice what appeared to be robbing activity one day earlier this week but it was over in minutes and the robbers moved on to a weaker hive in the yard. I would appreciate any thoughts you would like to share about this structure they have created. Wall Wood Furniture Plywood Floor
 

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SMARtBees - Great photograph! I have emulated this entrance with a thick plastic plate with holes for entrances which slides up and down. The bees can vary their creation as well. I have no top vent. Does this hive have a top vent?

I imagine robbers sticking their heads into a hole to peak-in and are well greeted. I have been so pleased with the reduced entrance concept I have not changed the entrance design in three years.
 

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My brother had a hive close off the entrance down to an inch or two AND the Porter bee escape hole in the inner cover down to two holes the size of a bee.

Should be a hint for what amount of ventilation the bees actually want for winter!

My brother's ripped it out in the spring. Saved us the effort of supplying an entrance reducer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
SMARtBees - Great photograph! I have emulated this entrance with a thick plastic plate with holes for entrances which slides up and down. The bees can vary their creation as well. I have no top vent. Does this hive have a top vent?

I imagine robbers sticking their heads into a hole to peak-in and are well greeted. I have been so pleased with the reduced entrance concept I have not changed the entrance design in three years.
Yes it is currently ventilated. Thanks for sharing, would love to see a pic of your entrance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mostly a great article! The history of it is interesting. Bob Binnie has a video on YT about Caucasian bees and their propensity to produce copious amounts of propolis. With the record this hive has for this season, I'm thinking that it will be good to take as many splits as is practicable next year. Thanks!
 

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That is why I use 3/8" high entrances and not 3/4" high entrances. When I started 50 years ago I remember bottom boards coming only with 3/8" entrances.

I don't remember when and why it changed.
 

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I noticed this in one of our hives this morning. This colony was a feral swarm capture from the springtime (made the BEST honey) and have been very healthy with only minimal SHB activity and were well below 1% Varroa counts in early August and did not require treatment. I did notice what appeared to be robbing activity one day earlier this week but it was over in minutes and the robbers moved on to a weaker hive in the yard. I would appreciate any thoughts you would like to share about this structure they have created. View attachment 58603
Love it! I’m impressed.
 

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Very interesting. The obvious question is: why not all bees reduce their entrance like that even if the entrance provided is seemingly to big?

I also often wondered whether a series of small holes is better than one continuous entrance.
 

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the name along gives the OP there answer, its greek. pro ‘before’ + polis ‘city’ so at one point this was a fairly common and well known trait

The obvious question is: why not all bees reduce their entrance like that even if the entrance provided is seemingly to big?
sure local race traits play a part, but movable frame hives causing beekeepers to select against lines that use large amounts of propolis for 100+ years is likely the key.
 

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beekeepers to select against lines that use large amounts of propolis for 100+ years is likely the key.
Agreed. But my dilemma is whether the bees that were genetically selected to use less propolis, were inclined to use less of the stuff for a reason? Maybe they like more ventilation?

I'm not arguing for more ventilation here, I just find it interesting why certain bees propolise more than others and what may be the reason behind it.
 

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Had a hive that did that. Within a week of moving in they had the upper entrance down to a few bee-sized slots. They even propolized the outside seams of the hive, which I have not seen other bees do. They proved very vulnerable to mites and I wondered if it might not be a reaction to that.
 

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I'm in my 10th year as a beek and I'd never seen any of my hives do that before until this summer. One of my hives did the same thing and I am thinking I won't need the reducer this winter since they already installed one for me!
 

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My top shims have 1.25 inch holes cut in them. I'm not surprised anymore to see a few hives completely close them off or close them off to a single bee sized hole. The first time it happened was a year we were having really bad wasp problems and I was pretty amazed. Now I see it pretty regularly. I'd have to check my records to see if the hives that do it are related genetically through splits. Would be interesting to know.
 
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