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Starting to get organized for Spring and decided to go with upper entrances for 2019.

As is required by beekeeping law, I have made it more complicated than necessary by adding a little landing platform. It worked out pretty well, building a little platform, gluing on the wood pieces, then drilling a 1/2" hole and painting. Easy project that gives you a bit of accomplishment in the Winter.




PS: I really did it because I want to take better photos in 2019 and this will give me a target to focus and have them hesitate on!

Z
 

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I live in the south, so.. I'm thinking that an upper entrance is not needed. Up north, I think it may be required. Be sure the bees can defend the upper entrance. Im not totally sure the upper entrance can be protected in spring. Ie : robbing, ect. Also, wild bee hives entrances are on the bottom of hive/nest. Easier to defend honey stores, I'd think? Double check this, also, if you used bottom entrance in spring, make sure to plug the top entrance, or screen over it if robbing is a problem. Seek wiser advice, but my thought getting closer to spring, not a bad idea to seek more knowledgeable advice, cause this is just a common sense thing I assume may be right. Good luck with the bees !!!!
 

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... decided to go with upper entrances for 2019.Z
I would remove all those fancy landing gadgets for upper entrances - good for snow build-up and extra work - and get in way sometimes. Not really beneficial.
The hive wall IS the landing pad.
Yes - the hive wall is vertical, just like tree trunk is vertical and that is what bees use.

I only optionally use the landing boards for the very bottom entrances as loaded bees often undershoot and go under (and may then freeze in colder weather.).
 

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I would have a hard time drilling a hole in a box when the inner cover can be notched for the upper entrance. Plus, the notched inner cover puts the upper entrance right under the outer cover, keeping rain and wind from blowing into the box.
 

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No intention at all to be critical, just trying to understand why some have such a dislike for holes in their boxes.
 

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Dunno. A hole in a box makes an ideal entrance. If you make it cork-sized then it's simplicity itself to block it off when not required.
LJ
That's kind of what I've found too. The bees do a great job of polishing the holes and I've had no rotting at all. With a 3/4" hole size just pop in a wine cork and the entrance is closed off. Easy to adjust entrances when reversing, just switch the corks. Multiple holes can be left open during the flow, allowing the bees quick access to whatever box they want to return to. No fighting their way through multiple boxes to get to where they want to go. During a dearth I'll add corks to some of the holes to reduce the number of entrances and make it easier to guard against robbers.

I have holes in all of the boxes on my production colonies, but the video below of my 5 frame nuc boxes is an example of how I have everything set up. Not for everyone, that's for sure. But it works for me.

https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0B54o37w9RF4XYmhOMG1udVFfdjg
 

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My bottom boards are custom made screened bottom boards with a 3/4" opening in the back. I do my vaporizing from the back side of the hives. It is not used an an entrance.

If you are talking about the amount of total space with just the holes in the boxes, it seems to be enough to allow the traffic to keep moving. I'm not sure that having a full 14" is necessary. I've seen some pretty robust colonies in trees with just a couple of small entrances.
 

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Starting to get organized for Spring and decided to go with upper entrances for 2019.

As is required by beekeeping law, I have made it more complicated than necessary by adding a little landing platform. It worked out pretty well, building a little platform, gluing on the wood pieces, then drilling a 1/2" hole and painting. Easy project that gives you a bit of accomplishment in the Winter.




PS: I really did it because I want to take better photos in 2019 and this will give me a target to focus and have them hesitate on!

Z
lol...the perfect platform to accumulate snow/ice and rain....and little other use. :) I took all my porches off....never seen a porch on a tree entrance before...
 

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No intention at all to be critical, just trying to understand why some have such a dislike for holes in their boxes.
It's just not necessary.
1) It requires you to have corks available for all the holes. I could foresee losing them all of the time.
2) I have 30 hives and boxes are switched all the time as hives die or are split. So it would be possible that a box with the hole could end up as the bottom box.
3) Rain could be blown into the box through the hole.
 

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lol...the perfect platform to accumulate snow/ice and rain....and little other use. :) I took all my porches off....never seen a porch on a tree entrance before...
Sometimes we think we are helping but most of the time we are just goofs. I could say i was guilty of it a few times too.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I have hive top feeders in place, no inner cover. For the three hives that have upper entrances, I use Immerie shims directly under the feeder. Two of the hives use them, one does not. I do not like to cut holes in the boxes either but that is the AR/OCD in me.:D
 

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>I would have a hard time drilling a hole in a box when the inner cover can be notched for the upper entrance.

I hate holes in my boxes...
My bee boxes are made of good ponderosa pine and are not fine furniture. A one inch hole bored below the handhold in my brood boxes are important for my style of management. The one inch diameter bored hole provides all the entrance and ventilation a hive needs winter or summer in my cold country.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Vance, do you close off the regular bottom entrance? I can understand 1" holes in the bodies if that is the only means of ingress and egress. I had to steele my resolve to cut a 2" hole in a hive body I used in a trapout once. Now it is my pollen feeder so it doesn't matter.
 

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I use upper entrances on 50% or more of my hives. Eventually they will all have one. 3/4" hole with a metal entry disk closure. During the flow the bottom and top entrances are wide open. After the flows I can close both to whatever size necessary. In the winter they add the extra ventilation needed by leaving them barely open. No need for quilt boxes. I have no problems drilling useful holes in my boxes, they all have small holes in the back for OAV with the provap. Not all of the hives use the upper entrances some prefer the bottom some prefer the tops. My weather is the same as Pittsburgh I'm in northern panhandle of WV. Most days in January and February are in the 20's and teens for lows and 30's or low 40''s for highs. Maybe this doesn't work way up north idk. Not sure about the front porches that the op built. The point made about snow buildup seems valid. I've noticed that most of the bees fly right into the upper entrances without landing on the outside of the hive. The bees don't seem to like to use the notch entrance in the inner cover like they do a 3/4" hole on the front of the box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
OK, I didn't realize I was starting a hot topic.

These are honey supers, only on during the flow season, so not much snow here in July.

There are many references in literature that a top and bottom entrance during the flow can increase honey production.

I would like to try it, because I use a small bottom entrance during the year to prevent/reduce robbing.

This will be the top box just under the lid, so there is some protection from rain. Plus its a 1/2" hole.....

None of my hives ever used the top notch with the telescoping cover in the forward position.

I built the landing pads because I want to take photos of the bees - it's for me, not them.

I am a hobbyist, not commercial production, so it isn't so many hives to try it on, or fail on, or simple cork, patch or replace the box if I don't like it.

It's a silly wood box, not world peace, to the debate is rather elementary.

Z
 
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