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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am sold on the idea of top entrance.

Being a newbie I am wondering how to "convert" a hive set up to top entrance.

Do you simply board up the bottom entrance?

Do you alter the top cover for entrance??

Any pics or plans out there?

Thanks
 

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Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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54,120 Posts
I boarded up the bottom entrance by cutting a one by two to fit for an entrance block and nailing it down into the bottom board. On some I just widened the notch on the inner cover. On some I put a migratory cover on with two shingle shims (from the lumber yard) to prop it open. You could also use the shims on an inner cover.
http://incolor.inetnebr.com/bush/images/MigratoryTopEntrance1.JPG http://incolor.inetnebr.com/bush/images/MigratoryTopEntrance2.JPG

For the Migratory ones, this means I also turned the hive 90 degrees.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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54,120 Posts
Mine are usualy the lid or inner cover, so it moves up as the hive grows. You can put a hole in a super and leave it or move it up depending on what you want to do. Bjorn drills a hole in every super and uses corks to plug the ones he wants to close, so the entrance can move up without moving boxes.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What are the advantages to a top entrance? And MB what do you mean when you say you turn the hive 90 degrees?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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If you look at the pictures above, you'll see that the entrance runs on the long side of the hive, paralell to the frames. A typical Langstroth hive had the entrance running across the short side at right angles to the frames. So the hive has been rotated 90 degrees so that what used to be the side, is now the front.

Advantages to a top entrance:
No problems with the skunks.
No problems with the mice.
No problems from not mowing the grass. On a bottom entrance the tall grass can severely limit traffic in the hive.
No problems from dead bees piling up in the winter and blocking the entrance.
No problems from snow piling up in the winter and blocking the entrance.
Good ventilation.
Less swarming because of less traffic and congestion in the brood nest.

Caveats:
Be sure you either don’t have an excluder or there is a drone escape below (a hole at least 3/8” in diameter in the brood chamber)
A top entrance works well for ventilation with a SBB. Without the SBB you might have some ventilation problems.

Skunks were my main motivation for going to top entrances.
 
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