Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a beginner. Determining entrance size and reducing top entrances is difficult.

There are many great devices for reducing bottom entrances. Top entrances have many advantages, but seem more difficult to reduce. I would like to either have tiny bottom entrances or not have them. My top entrances are in my inner covers.

I have reduced top entrances with a putty I made from wax and coconut/olive oil. Unlike a lot of reducers, these ones don't get stuck, break, and fall out much.

Do you do any of these?
  1. mold entrances out of wax
  2. use reducers that the bees can modify
  3. use a cheap, disposable, or recyclable reducer material
I designed an inner cover that is like the common one, with these differences:
  1. simpler
  2. The rim is on one side.
  3. no hole in the middle
  4. The entrance is about 2 or 3 inches long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,800 Posts
Soft paper plugs work great - toilet paper/paper towels.

Clean.
No work/material needs.
Wet the paper and shape it into anything.
Bee chew through it easily OR propolize as needed.
All it is to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,832 Posts
I'm a beginner. Determining entrance size and reducing top entrances is difficult.

Needn't be (imo)

Do you do any of these?
  1. mold entrances out of wax No
  2. use reducers that the bees can modify No
  3. use a cheap, disposable, or recyclable reducer material No
I designed an inner cover that is like the common one, with these differences:
  1. simpler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . \ Top bee-space system
  2. The rim is on one side. / therefore no rim - doesn't get any simpler
  3. no hole in the middle How do you feed ? My full-sized hives have four holes, nucs two.
  4. The entrance is about 2 or 3 inches long. All of my boxes have 22mm holes drilled in them.
I edited the above, for simplicity.

Drilling holes in every box then allows those holes to be used as entrances, except during the robbing season, when only the bottom entrance - which is protected by an anti-robbing screen - is used.

"I think paper is better for entrances that are not in the inner cover. Wax edible entrance reducers have been working. Do I need non-edible ones?"
Dunno - if your system is working ok - then stick with it. I'm a great believer that there's no such thing as a 'one size fits all' solution to the keeping of honeybees. Whatever works for you is perfectly ok.
Good luck,
LJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When I make a big change, I reduce the entrance smaller than they want, and they chew it to size.
holes in every box
I might do that. I always use a top entrance. Sometimes I have a bottom one. I thought fewer entrances are easier to defend.

A top entrance is furthest from obstacles and pests.

The reasons I like top entrances for venting are based on 2 assumptions that might not be true.
  1. They have the highest venting/area ratio.
  2. When bees make the entrance bigger, they are trying to get a certain amount of venting. They make top entrances smaller.
venting pros of these entrances:
  1. closer to top: small, easy to defend
  2. closer to bottom: large, reduced traffic jam
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
4,875 Posts
not sure you want to make book on assumptions...
the brood nest is close to the air source, so the bottom entrance was a tradition to keep the nest low so the top would be for harvest.
with top entrance I have see brood all over, not sure if that is better or not.
agree with LJ do what works for you.

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,201 Posts
Regulating bee access to your inner cover notch is easy.
In winter,notch down,tele cover forward for max ventilation and min draft through the brood nest.Bees have immediate access to the colony but it could facilitate robbing.

In the summer with notch up,access is controlled by position of the tele cover. Slid back,tele cover blocks hole and access.Slid forward,access allowed.The bees must travel half way across the inner cover to actually get into the colony,providing an area for guard bees to challenge robbers.
During the hottest months,I lift the front edge of the tele cover and slide it back about an inch and a half to provide max ventilation.Robbing is generally not an issue unless I am sloppy with burr comb.

Personally I don't allow my colonies to become accustomed to using the top hole as the main entrance and will immediately block it.There is nothing more aggravating than having all of the foragers returning to the top box while I'm working the hive.There also seem to be more guard bees and a nastier temperament.

Some claim that upper entrances increase yield but I'm not convinced.
Years ago,George Imrie tried to promote multiple entrances during the honey flow through shims with access holes between honey supers, claiming greater honey yields.I tried this one season and it was a disaster.The bees built burr comb between the boxes and filled it with honey,creating a huge mess and,if during the dearth,a massive robbing frenzy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,800 Posts
After much experimentation, I would block the upper entrances for the summer.
Soft paper plugs or painters tape works fine for this.

Indeed, the lower entrance will pull the brood down and direct the honey to be stored above.
Done it.
It works as prescribed.

Cold season entrances have different priorities vs. the warm season entrances.
 

Attachments

1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top