I purchased a hive that a fellow built and he sold me a bottom board with the hive. When I place the deep on the bottom board there is 3/4 of an inch of space for the entrance across the front. This seems like way too much space would be hard for them to defend. Is there some kind of entrance reducer I need to get or build to fix this?
Bottom board entrance space:
Also the under side of the top cover has some gunk on it is this normal? Should I burn this off somehow or just wash it with some bleach looks like a bit of mold:
build or buy an entrance reducer. 3/4" by however wide your hive is so it fits into that space with a 1/4"-3/8" high small gap on one edge and a larger gap on another edge so you can rotate it for what you want.
As far as the entrance just cut some strips that will slide into the opening , I just use piece's that I have trimmed of 1 x 4 lumber , its 3/4 of a inch thick . Now if you have access to a table saw cut a opening what ever width you want maybe 3'' across and cut it 3/8 of an inch hi , you will end up with a notch , some like the up in the winter so dead bee's won't get in the way , I usually put the notch down , seems like the bee's find it and use it easier. Hers a link so you can see what I'm talking about . http://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1237
That bottom board is set up for a 3/4" entrance reducer. Easy to make out of a small piece of pine. During robbing season or winter you can change the size of the hive entrance from 3" to 3/4". Very handy and this is a standard set up. Some bottom boards can be flipped over and function with a 3/8" opening. The top looks like it had some wax moth damage. Not a big deal. Alot of people are aprehensive about using older gear for fear of spreading disease. This is why they will use a torch to sear the inside of boxes before using. Ask your selleer if there was any previous issues.
Most solid bottoms are reversible so one side is 3/4" and the other is 3/8". You can make a reducer/baffle by cutting a piece of 3/8" plywood 4" by the width of the opening and put three 4" long 3/8" thick laths on this. It will slide in the opening and it keeps the mice out and lessens the draft at the entrance so the queen will lay all the way to the front.
Scrap wood will work, I prefer to reduce down all my hives most of the year. I make the L-style reducers ripped out of 3/4" square stock. Looks like the previous hive the top cover came from had a wax moth infestation, hate those darn things!
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