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I have medium supers, inner covers and telescoping top covers.

How do I go about making a Top Entrance for the bees to work the supers from the top rather than going in at the bottom and crawling all the way to the top?
 

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I have a couple of inner covers that I inherited that have a small notch cut into one of the short ends. It's about the same size as the smallest notch on a wooden reducer (sorry, can't get up to the bee barn to measure right this minute). I've never used one, so I'm not sure of the placement, but I would suspect between the deeps & the supers.

One of our local beeks built a really cool inner board with little doors on each side. He places this above the hive body & below the supers, and his stated purpose was to let the foragers go in & out without the trek thru the entire hive. All I know is he gets tons of honey each year.
 

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Stagger [by about 3/8 to 1/2"] the first honey super right above the brood area. This should only be done on a strong colony and nectar flow. I like the super to over hang at the back and be open at the front. I have staggered supers like this many times and it works just fine.

Now I have never done this, but if you are concerned you might cover the overhang in the back with a piece of duck tape where they only come and go from the front [the side of the bottom entrance].
 

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I just use migratory covers (or a piece of plywood), then I shim the migratory cover with shims used to shim doors, providing them with a large entrance at the top ...and providing ventilation since I use screen bottom boards. Migratory covers are cheap, i think i got mine from dadant for $7.50 a piece, I use no inner cover.
 

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My inner covers have a board 3/8x1/2 inch around the edge on one side to allow you to flip it upside down when feeding P-patties, the trim boards have a 1/2 notch cut in the center of them for ventalation and they also allow the bees to use them as top access. Jim
 

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Following was pm between beekeeper 1756 and DRUR. With permission from beekeeper 1756 I have posted the quesions and my reponses.

KIndest Regards Danny

Quote:
Originally Posted by beekeeper1756
I've been told that a queen excluder inhibits the workers from building comb and storing honey.


I have used queen excluders and have gone without them. I didn't really notice that the use of the queen excluder inhibits comb building or storage of honey, but it probably does to some degree. However, I used the metal excluders with wooden frames, and it seems to me that the plastic may be more inhibiting.


Quote:
Originally Posted by beekeeper1756
I don't want my queen laying brood in my honey supers and so I've done some research.


When I went without an excluder the queen will usually move up and lay in the honey super [lower parts] as the comb is being drawn, but then after the brood emerges, then bees will fill it with honey before she lays again. I didn't really find this issue to be a problem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by beekeeper1756
Other folks mention that if you have a top hive entrance, they'll use that and never have to go "thru" the queen excluder. That was why I asked the question.


I sometimes [when I still used an excluder] put the excluder directly above the brood boxes and then staggered the first honey super. Theoretically so that they would not have to pass through the excluder to access the honey super. However, more bees will use the original entrance and I suppose then climb completely through the colony [including the brood boxes], while some will use the staggered supers. I also, believe the staggering of the supers will assist in evaporation of the moisture from the nectar.


Quote:
Originally Posted by beekeeper1756
Do you ever have a problem with robbing when you offset that first super above the brood chamber?


It seems to me that robbing is not a problem when bees are on a strong nectar flow. After the nectar flow begins to wain, then of course I would always replace the colonies to their original position.

Currently on most of my colonies now I have both upper and lower entrances, as I have made some tops with the upper entrances built in.

Kindest Regards
Danny
 

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I use metal excluders and put 3/8 by 1/2 shims on sides & back above the exluders. That leaves a 3/8 entrance all across the front and they are bringing in the nectar above the excluders. I have made alighting boards to fit just below the upper entrances. I leave them open all year long. When there is no flow, I put an empty super on top so the outer cover will fit. About 1/3 use the bottom only, 1/3 the top only and 1/3 use both.

I wouldn't use duct tape on painted wood-it will rip the paint off. Use masking or painters tape instead.
 

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My inner cover, oddly, has a 4-inch long notch cut along the border edge. I'm not sure what function this would serve when used with a telescoping cover.

Use alone, it would not make for a good top entrance... It's too big for a reduced entrance, and too small for a regular entrance. I think I'm going to fill it with a piece of wood and then drill top entranes into my supers.

Question: Can I have both a top and a bottom entrance at the same time, such as a fully-open bottom entrance, and then a 1/4 inch hole top entrance bored into a super?
 

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Question: Can I have both a top and a bottom entrance at the same time, such as a fully-open bottom entrance, and then a 1/4 inch hole top entrance bored into a super?
All of my strong colonies [which is all but 2 nucs I have going] have both an upper and lower entrance, which are open the full width [methinks about 16+"] of the colony. The upper entrance should also assist in evaporation of nectar.

Last comment: After the nectar flow I will be only using one entrance, the top entrance. I have noticed with a screened bottom board and oil tray that much pollen is lost by the bees crossing the screened bottom board. My hope is that by using only top entrances, that there will be a reduction in pollen loss. Also, after the nectar flow I will probably try harvesting pollen.
 
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