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Hi there good ol' BeeSource community,

Looking to build an entrance reducer that would in fact close off the entrance to all bees within the hive, and let forager bees re-enter the hive as well.

It would basically be an escape-board, but for the entrance of the hive.

This is my idea so far (check out the photo). The reason I am making this is because I move beehives all the time (in the city) and need to make sure I capture as many foragers as possible, so that I leave as least as possible behind once the hive is gone, AND, I am sick and tired of showing up at night to close hives, so I want to make a contraption that I can put on the hive any time of day.

My main issue is the following:
1) I need to make a gap that is the right size so that bees are able to enter, but discouraged to exit. I am thinking anywhere between 4.9mm to 5.5mm.

Materials: Stainless steel is my thinking.

Any ideas, experience or discussion is appreciated.

Best
 

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As you design your device, take care that you allow for air circulation. On a warm or hot day, heat will quickly kill the bees without adequate air circulation.

That said, it is my view that it will be extremely difficult to have it both ways, i.e., letting bees back in, but not out again. I think you are stuck with closing up after sunset. :)
 

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I'm confused. You want to capture and retain the foraging force. But you don't want to close them after work periods.

Tell me, how are you going to retain them, again?
 

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When I move hives I put them on a double screen board a few days before and put a double screen board on top, then the outer cover in case of rain, and run a ratchet strap under the hive to have it ready for the move. You can open as many bottom gates as you want, leave the top ones closed. The night before the move close the gates ( I put duck tape on gates for extra security), remove the top cover, attach the ratchet to the strap tighten it all down. The screen boards allow for a nice flush package, And allow plenty of air circulation, I put the hive on 2x4s so air gets underneath. Bring them to new location, open gates, remove screen boards a few days later or day of move if you don't want to go back. Works for me
 

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My thought was along the line of Riverderwent. make a cover for the entrance with two or three of these cones on it. I think if you make the entire thing out of hardware cloth the bees will be less likely to find their way back out. another idea was the typical triangle with an open corner escape that allows the bees a wide space to enter but restricted way out. something like that could simply be placed on the bottom board making the way in nearly as wide as the hive entrance. Simply two pieces of wood in a V shape with a single be wide gap at the bottom of the V. Again put hardware cloth over the top of it. bees inside the hive will be attracted directly to the light at the entrance but unable to get through the mesh.
 

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It's easier to just move them at night, or at least screen them in at night. You'll always lose a few, but that shouldn't affect the overall colony that much.

But to answer your question, just take a regular old escape board like the one in the pic, place it between the bottom board and the bottom deep, but upside down, and the returning bees can use the regular entrance space in the bottom board, go up through the escape board into the hive, but not get back down.

M00940-BeeEscapeBoard-10-frame.jpg
 

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Take the cover off for 20 minutes and everyone will stay home anyway. They will start nasonoving and when few foragers are coming back you can close them off.
I have not found this true when capturing swarms. I've seen it happen to a greater or lesser degree when inspecting hives. I have also seen the flight of bees increase.
 
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