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Discussion Starter #1
:s

Here is my dilemma. My bees are clustered outside the hive (they've never done this before). I'm assuming it is because of the heat (94 f) and humidity and only having the small entrance. I want to remove the cork on the hive body but we were told in class to NOT go to the 2nd largest opening in the entrance reducer or pull the cork until the 2nd hive body is added. Reason being: the colony is too small to protect themselves from intruders.

My questions are: does this look like a serious cluster needing more ventilation? and
would removing the cork put them at risk?

Here is a pic:
http://mylifewithbees.blogspot.com/2010/05/my-bees-are-frying.html
 

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Pull your entrance reducer and add a top entrance if you can. (shim under the top will do.) They need to circulate the air...don't make it too difficult on them.

Just looked at your pic. It doesn't look too bad, but pull the reducer anyway. They will be fine.
 

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It doesn't look serious to me but I'd make sure that you have ventilation going through the top. Alpha6 recommended a shim and I agree along with opening up that reducer. Sometimes, I just pry the reducer forward a little rather than swapping it around to use the longer entrance. That way, they get more air in and the bees send more troops to the front to flap their wings. Still, the hot air has to rise up and out of the hive so a shim is good.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
When you say shim, is that just something tucked under the sides of the outer cover to create some ventilation?

Would I recover when it gets dark?
 

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Shim...like a little piece of flat wood under the two front edges of the outer cover. You can leave it like that for the summer, it won't hurt anything.
 

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Here's a nuc that was hot one afternoon (May 2nd, 2010).

http://www.ravenseye.net/hot_nuc.jpg

No real ventilation except for a small, screened hole in the back of the box and the small entrance you can see in the front. No screened bottom and no top ventilation. So, the bees gather on the outside and cool off. I moved this colony to a ten frame box...standard set up....a week later. It was VERY crowded in there. As an aside, this nuc started just about month or so earlier as a split from an off-site hive that I thought was going to swarm. I pulled two frames of eggs / larvae from it, a frame of stores and added two frames of foundation. I added a queen exactly one week later. She took off and this is a booming colony.
 

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heres what i do find a small stick about as big as your pinkie finger,about one inch long will work,place under the lid on the back of the hive air will vent out
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just went and opened the top cover and a ton of bees were inside between the inner and outer cover. It didn't help that their sugar syrup was empty and they were probably very hungry. I replaced the sugar syrup with a newbie.

I propped the outer cover open (as suggested) and already the cluster has diminished a bit. A storm is suppose to hit in the morning. Should I close the outer cover when the sun goes down or just do it just before the storm hits?

We are planning on checking the hive wednesday (better weather) and then possibly adding a 2nd hive body.

Thanks for the rescue everyone. So far so good!
 

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My hives are about 4.5 weeks since I installed the nucs, they've almost drawn the first 10 frame deeps, I'm now getting ready to add a second deep to each box.

After 2 weeks, I felt sorry for them trying to get in and out of the tiny opening, what a traffic jam. I yanked the reducer out and let them have a 4" wide main lower entrance. They love it. I have a screened bottom which i plan to just leave totally open, no tray.

I also bought these inner covers to add more air circulation:
http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/store/all-season-inner-cover-p-232.html
The usual telescoping cover goes on top of them. I stapled a small screen (which they provide) over the center hole since I stopped feeding after the first 2 weeks (plenty of good nectar and pollen for the girls is out there for the gathering, why substitute sugar water I figured), so the bees do not get inside that space area (the side holes are already screened). Lots of air circulates in that big empty 'attic'. The sides of the top telescoping cover just hang over the tops of the side holes, helping to keep rain and sun out.
Notice the nice added 1 1/2" top entrance as well. You can see the little guard bee faces peering out, checking out everyone coming and going.
In the winter I will insert the foam board insulation.

My bees are loving all the fresh air and easier entrances. They seem to be using both top and bottom entrances equally enthusiastically. Not having any robbing problem, but that's just my own experience. My bees were a bit slow the first two weeks (I figured that was normal), but they are multiplying and bringing in food like mad now. :p

Before I bought those special covers, I had chiseled an upper entrance 1.5" wide in each of my inner covers to both add an upper entrance and to increase air circulation. I guess I'm a big believer in fresh air.

(I had another hive last year and I kept them closed up a lot more and they died over the winter, so I'm taking the opposite approach this time just to see how it goes.)
 

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I'd do it before the storm hits. If it's just some rain and not much wind, I'd probably just leave it propped open.
 

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My hives are about 4.5 weeks since I installed the nucs, they've almost drawn the first 10 frame deeps, I'm now getting ready to add a second deep to each box.

After 2 weeks, I felt sorry for them trying to get in and out of the tiny opening, what a traffic jam. I yanked the reducer out and let them have a 4" wide main lower entrance. They love it. I have a screened bottom which i plan to just leave totally open, no tray.

I also bought these inner covers to add more air circulation:
http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/store/all-season-inner-cover-p-232.html
The usual telescoping cover goes on top of them. I stapled a small screen (which they provide) over the center hole since I stopped feeding after the first 2 weeks (plenty of good nectar and pollen for the girls is out there for the gathering, why substitute sugar water I figured), so the bees do not get inside that space area (the side holes are already screened). Lots of air circulates in that big empty 'attic'. The sides of the top telescoping cover just hang over the tops of the side holes, helping to keep rain and sun out.
Notice the nice added 1 1/2" top entrance as well. You can see the little guard bee faces peering out, checking out everyone coming and going.
In the winter I will insert the foam board insulation.

My bees are loving all the fresh air and easier entrances. They seem to be using both top and bottom entrances equally enthusiastically. Not having any robbing problem, but that's just my own experience. My bees were a bit slow the first two weeks (I figured that was normal), but they are multiplying and bringing in food like mad now. :p

Before I bought those special covers, I had chiseled an upper entrance 1.5" wide in each of my inner covers to both add an upper entrance and to increase air circulation. I guess I'm a big believer in fresh air.

(I had another hive last year and I kept them closed up a lot more and they died over the winter, so I'm taking the opposite approach this time just to see how it goes.)
Omie,
I just made a couple of these for myself yesterday:thumbsup:
 

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Speaking for myself- I am new to bee keeping so I tend to take the word of people that have been doing it for some time,,,,but then I (and others) also check with others with more experiance for differing opinions OR clarifacations on a point,,just as was done in this thread,,,that is why this site is such a valubel resource,,,also got to see a neat top cover (that I will build tommrowsupposed to hit 90) to boot,,Thanks!!



And as for your signature,,we all learn diffrently,,I have read 3 bee books so far,,yet retained littel of the info,,have to keep going back over spacific points,,, I find asking questions on this site and searching old threads more educational,,,,
 

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here in chemung county my survivor hive i checked tonight (70 degrees @ 1930) had bees jam packed at the entrance to the point the field bees were having issues getting in, have had the outer cover propped w/ small stick. panicked a bit, so i removed one frame of honey from the 2nd deep replaced it w/ a foundation frame, after reading this thread i fear i may have acted too soon as i mistook cooling off for swarm prep. also they are intent on drawing wax on the excluder between deep and super. i strayed from my intent of minimal interference with the bees...how bad did i hose things up?
 

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Since it looks like the bees have to take a number to enter the hive from the looks of your pic, you ought to open the reducer to the larger opening... then when the congestion reappears, remove it entirely. Of course there are different opinions, but lete the bee population determine what you do. That helps them defend against robbing, and shb entering the hive. You make your move based, not on the calendar, but on the behavior of the bees at the entrance.
Regards,
Steven
 

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Not to worry ajs32. They tend to pull wax on the excluder. You'll need to scrape it off now and then. Is your entrance open all the way? Sounds like it could be if it isn't already. If you have a super and a lot of bees, you don't need the reducer right now. I tend to pull reducers if they are lined up waiting to get in during normal foraging flights. The reducers usually don't go back on until robbing season or unless something happens to the hive and they lose "strength". Sounds like you'll be fine!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I am amazed at how somebodys opinon can be constured in to fact. in three to four weeks your hive can do with out a reducer.
As a new beekeeper I have to trust the knowledge of those with experience. My instructors were Dr. Marla Spivak (professor of Entomology), she's worked with bees since 1975 and Gary Reuter whose father was a beekeeper and he himself has been a beekeeper his whole life (and a well respected one here in MN).

So although what they say might be considered opinion it is an opinion based on thousands upon thousands of hours in research and years and years of experience. Something I don't have.
 
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