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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a subject that has been beat up before. But I have another idea that I want to discuss. I am talking about a variation of the Imirie shim. Mr. Imiries' shim was a full 1/2" high. I can see that there may be burr comb built in this much space. I know some beeks just drill holes in the boxes. But I just hate to drill holes in my expensive equipment. If you built shims only 3/8", tapered to nothing on the length of the super. With a 3/4" opening in the front or wherever, held together with strips of 20 gauge sheet metal, do you'll think that they would still build burr? Or what other problems can you see?
Thanks
Brent Cook
 

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At that point, why not just cut some 1x into thin strips about 3/8" wide, like the pieces that are on the bottom board, and place it on all 4 sides except with a little missing to serve as a reduced opening?

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good ideas, but are they going to make a mess. I sorta believe some will and some won't. I can't help but believe that it is more efficient for them to enter close to where they are going, instead of having to come thru the brood boxes.
 

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Why bother with shims, at all. Just do as the title of this thread says. Always keep at least two supers together for each hive and move the top super(s) back 1/4" to 3/8", this creates a top, front, entrance. Wow, top entrances without unnecessary space, that the bees might put to no good use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mr. Clemons, what about the rain that will get in the opening? I think you may be on to something though. You could take a piece of inexpensive flashing, bend it so as to fit under the edge of the super above. Thereby making a roof over the opening. So much better than burr comb opening anyday. It wouldn't take much skill to fabricate the roof. What do you think?
 

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Bees aren't so helpless that a little rain can ruin their day. Colonies that establish completely in the open, without any protection from the elements, except sometimes a little foliage, aren't common, but they can be found wherever bees live. They also usually do just fine.

Here in Tucson, rain is not often a weekly occurrence, but we usually get a few storms, and some of them can really drop a lot of rain. I've had my colonies configured with the supers slid back for upper entrances for several years now and there has yet to be a problem with rain.

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Or you could make roofs of flashing, but I think you should try some the way I do it, before you spend any money or time making them. I don't think you'll see much difference between those with flashing roofs and those without.

 

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A handy spot to store your entrance reducer is between the inner cover and lid. This props up the outer cover, creating an upper entrance for easy access to the supers.

Storing the entrance reducer right there at the hive eliminates hauling them to and from the beeyards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What I'm getting from these answers is that there are ways to let them in the supers without giving them room to build burr comb, which is annoying to say the least.

Also all of you that have answered agree with the idea that they are more efficient by not having to come thru the brood box. Or do you?
 

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When using upper and lower entrances, do the foraging bees return with pollen to the lower and take the nectar to the upper?

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When I changed my hives from traditional bottom entrances to upper ones (primarily to keep toads from eating my hives to death), I replaced the bottom entrances with a screen of #8 hardware cloth (wire mesh). I then placed queen excluders immediately above my brood supers, then, except for a small hole to permit drones/queens to exit the brood supers (if they so desired), I placed a rim (about 1/4" thick/6.35mm) above the queen excluder which served as the first, primary entrance for the colony. Then honey supers are added above this rim. Additional honey supers are staggered, as they are added, by sliding them back, just enough to create additional upper entrances at their forward, bottom, edges. As soon as the honey flow ebbs, I use a bar clamp to realign the honey supers, eliminating these auxiliary upper entrances.

Considering the above configuration, the majority of foragers must pass through the queen excluder to enter the brood supers. But can easily enter any of the honey supers without encountering a queen excluder. In these circumstances I have seen almost no pollen deposited into the honey supers. Nearly all pollen is taken through the queen excluder and deposited into the combs of the brood supers. However, most of the brood comb remains free of nectar, yet full of brood. I use all 8-frame, medium depth supers, throughout, and most good queens keep those bottom two supers almost completely occupied by brood through our main honey flows. I have attempted to utilize a third brood super, yet every time I added a third super below the excluder, the bees quickly filled it with nectar, perhaps I should try adding an additional brood super below the existing brood supers, but I have found that just the two medium supers keep the hives quite well populated with bees:

 

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We also just set back the honey boxes it's surprising how small a gap the bees need to enter.
We get rain but there's never a problem with it getting into the hive much.
Easy to do and no extra equipment needed.
Cheers
kiwi
 

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I tryed what your talking about last year. The 3/8" shim between deeps and the supers worked just fine with little built-up (no more than I get on the upper cover). I added a little over an 1" to the long sides and attached a 4th strip on the bottom to make the shim 4 sided and more stable(rigid). This also allowed a platform to slide in a 3/8 thick entrance reducer. No queen excluder and reduced bottom entrance. Ya, I know more stuff to fool with, but this is a hobby and 4 or 5 hives to fool with.:)
 

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Check out Michael Bush's website. I believe he uses tapered shims for an upper entrance like the ones you are talking about.
 

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For a top entrance, has anyone just raised the front edge of their telescoping cover 3/8" or so? And if anyone has done this, how has it worked out for you, and did you leave the inner cover on or remove it?

Thanks
Blueline
 

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When the weather warms, we set back the supers. The roof gets raised and set back, with the inner cover still below it, until it is flush with the front of the super below it.

Roland
 
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