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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi all i am just finnishing of a home made tbh the question is where is the best place for the entrance holes i have a observation window on the front are they ok below this window or on the side of the hive plus should i make two entrances ither side it is a 4 foot hive hope this makes scence
 

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You'll have lots of opinions on this one from lots of different people. Mine are no better than most but....
I would recommend not putting your main entrances on the side where the viewing window is so you can use it without obstructing traffic.

You need to decide whether you want a middle entrance, using two follower boards OR an end entrance using a single follower board. For end entrance you can then decide warm or cold way :) fun isn't it!

For a new beekeeper I would recommend a middle entrance using two follower boards (one at each end of the colony). This makes things much easier for inspections as you can easily check each end of the colony without have to jiggle things around too much and bees entering the entrance aren't disrupted as much.

I would also recommend you drill some spare entrances on each side at each end and cork them up. This is just in case at some point you want to use the hive for splits or a little queen rearing. It is MUCH harder to add entrances once bees have moved in :)
 

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As Michael states, use an etrance gap in the bar at one end or the other of the hive. You will have an easier time getting the bees ready for winter too, as they will store their honey to the far end, and normally keep the brood nest closer to the entrance. Bees have at times a hard time deciding which way to go toward the honey, if you start your hive in the center it will keep the brood nest there and if you were not to manipulate the combs till it was all at one end and the brood nest at the other, it would possibly cause the hive to fail from starvation through the winter. Read more about it on Michael Bush's website. LOTS of great info there..
 

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I agree that you won't want the window and the bee entrance on the same side. My window is on the opposite side of the entrance holes. The holes help to illuminate the other side of the hive when I open the window so I'm fairly happy with that. My kit happened to have 3 predrilled holes evenly spaced along the long side. For the first year, with a small population, I only opened one hole. This spring I opened the middle hole so they have and use 2 entrances. (brood nest is still in the front where it started). And just this month, I opened the third hole, but only for ventilation. Yesterday the high was 95 degrees and the bees were hanging out all 3 entrances.

I do have a second hive with a periscope top entrance on one of the short ends, because I was trying what Michael Bush recommends (and I have supered that TBH). That hive has been fun to work with the observation window on the front (easier for me to get to) and the bees on the side don't bump me too much. I have noticed (only because I have a window to watch), that the mortuary bees seem to struggle to haul out the dead bees to the top entrance. The bee has to take multiple trips up the side before finally gaining the top and I frequently find expired bees stashed behind the follower board in the un-used area of that hive.
 

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The bees will usually only expand in one direction anyway so if the brood nest stays in the middle and the colony is enclosed by follower boards the wintering affect is the same as when the entrance is at the end. In fact the colony is better insulated as there is an air pocket between the follower board and the external wall.

Personally, when I made decisions about entrance locations I looked at what successful beeks in my area where doing and roughly copied them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for the replys i think ill bee going down the drill holes both sides and cork one side up option it seems nice and straight forward thanks
 

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This is what I do, add a spacer with a notch so you can reduce/expand the entrance as needed.

Here's a picture of what I've got. The one on the right is the old entrance and you can see the newly installed one. Takes about 10 seconds to swap them once you break the propolis loose.

Screenshot_2014-06-11-10-12-54.jpg
 
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