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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 2 hives set up - these are nucs moved from 5 frame nuc boxes into 10 frame mediums.

Both hives have boardman feeders and I'd like to remove them now. Bare with me because I'm pretty sure all of this would only make sense to fellow Beeks.

My entrance reducers are on the largest opening, it's this one here from Mann Lake.

But my boardman feeders are in that opening meaning the actual opening into the hive is about 1.5 inches. Pretty small.

So, if I remove the feeders today...do I flip over the reducers so the bees have the small entrance? Or do I give them the full 4 inch opening without the feeder in the way? I don't have a robbing issue at the moment, but my nucs have only been here a week and half so I'm worried about too big of an opening being hard to defend.

Thanks for any help!
 

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You won't be unable to change it if you start with the smaller size opening...right? Try it...your instincts and what you've learned from reading seem 'on the money'. When the colony gets bigger, it'll be appropriate to give them a larger opening.
 

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If you can't achieve the opening you want given the setup, one approach would be to cut lengths of scrap wood to be laid in front of the entrance. Voila, custom entrance size. With two pieces, you can put the reduced entrance anywhere you would like.
 

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For what it's worth, I have 1 3/4 openings on six frame NUCs. It gives them more than adequate space to come and go, easy enough to defend from robbers, and provides adequate ventilation.
 

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OR....you could convert your boardman feeders into water sources. Wash out the sugar syrup traces. Fill with water. Leave them right where they are. Your bees will never need to go searching to find a birdbath or swimming pool. Your entrances remain the size that's currently working for you, the bees have water, no neighbors complain about being buzzed by your bees at poolside. Win-Win.

:D

Rusty
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I doubted whether or not I was going to remove the darn feeder so many times that I ended up upturning the mason jar on the inner cover over the hole in the center, placing a super on top of that to protect it, and being done with it. An alternative to the feeder idea on scientificbeekeeping only I didn't have to cut my own board by using the inner cover. I'm sure I've seen someone else do that anyway...I digress...Out of sight, out of mind, right? Oh internet, how you help uneasy Newbs publicize their indecisiveness.

On another note, I'm totally using the entrance bases to supply water! Quick, someone give Rusty a cookie. Great idea.
 

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I doubted whether or not I was going to remove the darn feeder so many times that I ended up upturning the mason jar on the inner cover over the hole in the center, placing a super on top of that to protect it, and being done with it. An alternative to the feeder idea on scientificbeekeeping only I didn't have to cut my own board by using the inner cover. I'm sure I've seen someone else do that anyway...I digress...Out of sight, out of mind, right? Oh internet, how you help uneasy Newbs publicize their indecisiveness.

On another note, I'm totally using the entrance bases to supply water! Quick, someone give Rusty a cookie. Great idea.
Does it cover the whole inner cover hole or are you giving them a nice place to build some of the drone comb they've been wanting to build. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There is a little bit of space there where they can get through the opening. I know they'll build on it. But both colonies get through a jar in 2-3 days, so each time I refil I'll scape everything clean. I still like it more than the jars outside!
 

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I haven't had or used an entrance reducer for, at least several decades. They're probably good for something - maybe to help start the barbecue grill. No, really, they're probably a handy tool - if and when they're truly needed. I just haven't needed any for as long as I can remember.

I do remember they and those entrance feeders came with my first two beehives (which were beginner kits), when I was 9 or 10 years old. I did use them, then.
 

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I started my first hive this year from a package. After the first round of capped brood started hatching and I felt my numbers were climbing I removed my entrance feeder and left the opening as is, so I went from about an inch to about 4 - 4.5 inches. So far so good. I had stopped feeding after the first couple weeks and just left the empty jar in the feeder so if it rained it would not run water into the hive.
 
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