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I had a nuc swarm and I believe something happened to the queen that emerged so last week I dropped in a mixed frame of eggs/ larva and went out of town this week. I figure yesterday or today is the day any new cells got capped so I don't want to open the hive during this sensitive time to see whats going on, but I'm am confused because when I returned home yesterday I noticed they have closed up the entrance with propolis ( which was already reduces to about 4 in wide) They closed it completely off except about one bee width the entire 4 in span. This is there only entrance. When I put the eggs in last week, there were plenty of bees to cover brood and do other activities so what are they thinking? I'm inclided to think they are better bee keepers than me so I will let them do what they do, but I am just wondering if this is some sign they might be in trouble?
 

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Im like Vance, and your thought, The Bees are the real Beekeepers, I just try and manage. I know after a massive robbing frenzy last week, one of my hives is happy as a clam that I reduced their entrance to a single bee width in the middle of the robbery attempt. Maybe yours had some rouges showing up and fortified the entrance assuming the real army was on the way. Who knows.....possible I expect. Good luck. G
 

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It might mean something. It might mean nothing. Trust that the bees know in their own way what is best for them.
 

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There are a large group of beekeepers in North Florida that live by reduced entrances. I believe they are following research Jerry Hayes did that showed increased honey production when there were less guard bees.
 

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A couple of years ago I had a bunch of hives all right next to each other. All had ventilating top (inner) covers with a top entrance. Two of those colonies closed the entrance down with propolis until it was the width of a single bee. This, with open bottom entrances too. The other colonies never bothered. Go figure.
 

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My brother had a hive a couple years ago that reduced the bottom entrance down to about an inch before winter and closed off the Porter Bee Escape hole in the inner cover with the exception of two holes the size of a bee.

They know what they want, let them have at it.

I do put reducers on my hives after the main flow is over, I have lots of robbers around (several apiaries within flight distance). The bees seem to manage quite well.

Peter
 
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