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Is there any reason to not use a mid-hive entrance, instead of a top or bottom entrance?

I intend on using a mid-hive entrance location. The configuration is a screened bottom board with no entrance (leaving 3/8” between the SBB and the bottom of the first brood box, then 3 ten frame mediums for brood and bee stores, topped with a ¾” entrance, then 3 ten frame mediums for honey harvest (or more if needed), topped with a migratory cover.

I live in Northwest Florida so I figure 3 10 frame mediums should be adequate for brood and stores for over wintering in our rarely freezing weather.

I assume the bees will build burr comb on the bottoms of the first honey super frames, since there will be 1 1/8” gap instead of 3/8”. This is my main worry with using a mid entrance is this extra space. I think this will allow for the foragers to go into the honey supers and not the brood chambers. There are several reasons that seem beneficial to me for mid entry. I will not have to worry about the bees coming and going when checking the supers, etc. The bees will not have to traverse over the filled comb, as much as they would with a purely top entrance, the entrance will remain in the same place at all times, less upset to the bees. I may leave the queen excluder out as it seems doubtful that the queen will move up into the honey supers unless it becomes absolutely necessary
 

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I've wondered this as well.

In my warped perception, I had in mind topping the brood chamber with a queen excluder, then adding a three-sided shim over the excluder and under the honey supers. Would the bees come right in and head up to store the nectar while the queen lays eggs down below?

Maybe I'll give it a try next summer.

Grant
Jackson, MO
 

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That sounds like a lot of hassle keeping the entrance in the middle. Having an entrance at the top of the stack of boxes, or at the bottom of the stack of boxes is easy.

Sometimes during a heavy nectar flow, some beekeepers will offset boxes to leave a gap so the bees can have quick access to the honey supers.
 

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jbeshearse,

Yes, my setup is very much like yours. Instead, I have 3/8 space and haven't had trouble with burr comb. Also, I have an excluder under the 3/8 shim. The theory being that once the foragers enter laden with nectar, they will be encouraged to go up into the honey supers rather than have to squeeze through the excluder. It looks like a 1 1/8 gap might discourage the bees from moving up.

I like the idea of having an alighting board. I've seen too many bees that had trouble landing when laden with nectar.

I leave a normal bottom entrance also and let the bees decide when to start using the upper entrance. They usually do when a heavy flow starts.

After honey supers are removed, the outer cover will not fit because the alighting board is in the way. That's why I put an empty on top. Your way of using migratory covers would solve that problem. But then, I've found that leaving the exluder and empty super on all the time makes feeding easy.

I have a few exluders attached to the 3/8 shims and these are much easier to get off when checking below the excluders.

I've been doing this variously for 5 or 6 years. 15 to 20 hives. I almost thought I had invented this configuration, but a couple of years ago I read an old article by Jerry Hayes that described his doing this. The article is on Beesource under Point of View.

Let me know your thoughts.

Heaflaw
 
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