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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a newbee starting my first colonies this spring. The entrance reducer that came with my solid bottom board looks really small. You can see in the picture a penny for scale. My question is, when I install my package should I keep it like it's shown in the picture or (and this is what I'd like to do) can I cut that whole cleat section out? I would leave the rest of the wood but the bees would have twice as much room and it would still be small enough to defend, etc? Would that be ok? Thanks in advance!
entrance.jpg
 

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The entrance reducer is used to regulate the hives temperature and restrict the opening so that a new or weak colony can better defend it.

If your colony is a package and no drawn comb, the population is decreasing every day for the first about 28 days.

Beekeeping for Dummies recommends a narrow opening of 1 finger(3/4 inch) by 3/8 high for first six weeks, and then 3 inches by 3/8 high for next two weeks and then can consider wider/full width after that. This is for a new package of bees.

This is a guideline only and you need to monitor the congestion of bee traffic at the entrance to advance or delay going to a wider entrance.

Think max width needed for bee traffic for a full bee hive is 5-5 1/2 inches. If you want more ventilation, then go wider to fully open in hot weather.
 

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Most cavities chosen by swarms have no bigger entrance than the reduced one! New colonies trying to get organized are best served by a small defensible entrance.
 

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One thing, Justin. Some folks prefer to flip the reduce upside down to the way you have it depicted so that any dead bees don't block the entry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Michael, if I flip the bottom board over, the gap will be big enough to fit the entrance reducer flush under the first deep (in my case a slatted rack) but after a few weeks when the hive gets full of bees and I completely remove the entrance reducer, should I flip the bottom board back to the smaller 3/8" opening or just leave the larger 7/8" opening?
 

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If you got that from a bee supply company it should be fine. I have a similar one. But take a look for yourself, see how your bees use it.
 

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Justin,
Leave the reducer in on the largest opening all year round. No need to remove it unless there is a large backup of bees entering and exiting.
The smaller the entrance, the easier it is to defend against robbers.
Some commercial beeks just have one 3/4" hole in the bottom deep as an entrance.
 

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Michael, if I flip the bottom board over, the gap will be big enough to fit the entrance reducer flush under the first deep (in my case a slatted rack) but after a few weeks when the hive gets full of bees and I completely remove the entrance reducer, should I flip the bottom board back to the smaller 3/8" opening or just leave the larger 7/8" opening?
Don't worry about flipping the bottom board over even if the reducer is out it is not worth the trouble. These bottom boards are a hundred year old design made to be reversable but I don't know of one person who uses the 3/8th side.
 
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