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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first hive is just a few weeks old and my frames are filling up with brood and looking good. I added a second deep box with 8 frames. It seems to me that everyone has different opinions on every topic I research. The guy I got my hive from recommended I drill a hole in the upper brood box for a second entrance. Do most of you do this or is it not necessary. Interested in the pros and cons of a second entrance.
 

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I use a notched inner cover with the outer cover pulled back. Does that count as another entrance? I know It really keeps the moisture off the inside of the outer cover for me.
 

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I made a 3/4" tall upper entrance "spacer" with a 4" wide 1/4" deep notch for the entrance. I put a flat plywood roof over that. This way I can keep moving the opening up each time I add a box and don't have to cut any holes.

 

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If you want holes in your boxes, wait a few years and moisture coupled with Mother Nature will accomplish that for you. Plenty of ways to establish a top entrance without drilling holes in your wooden ware. Slide the inner cover (or your lowest honey super) back a quarter inch or so and just leave the gap open where the very ends of the frames show. If there is an open gap at the back of the hive, you left more gap open than you needed to. If at the very top, remember like mentioned above to keep the outer cover pushed forward. Plenty of other good suggestions here, but remember that a top entrance can be established free of cost and without modification or destruction of your equipment.
 

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I made a mistake and edited and dug clarified it without realizing... if you go with notched inner cover, the outer telescoping cover gets pulled back allowing the notch in inner cover to act as an opening and breathe/vent as well. Pushing it forward would close the hole. Sorry bout that.
 

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I'm with trottet1 on this. Notched inner covers make good small top entrances. I don't see too many bees use it though as they seem to prefer the bottom board landing strip.
 

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the only two reason that i can think of for not doing it would be. If you have lost hives to beetles in late summer, and robbing.
 

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The bees use the 7/8" holes I have drilled in the corners of my brood boxes a great deal. I do have some concerns with the hole allowing rain into the hive. I have never seen a bee use the notched inner cover as an entrance/exit without having something to lift the telescoping cover off of the inner cover. In the winter I place blue insulation on my inner covers and bees do use the exits. (For winter I reverse the inner cover so that the notch is down.)
 

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I have noticed that I have some hives use the top opening as much as the bottom and the others very little.
I have notches in the inner cover with the lid up a little.
 

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My first hive is just a few weeks old and my frames are filling up with brood and looking good. I added a second deep box with 8 frames. It seems to me that everyone has different opinions on every topic I research. The guy I got my hive from recommended I drill a hole in the upper brood box for a second entrance. Do most of you do this or is it not necessary. Interested in the pros and cons of a second entrance.
I hope you don't drill the hole between the hand hold and the top of the box, or in the hand hold, or at all. I don't know why your advisor thinks its necessary, I don't. I have equipment that I bought that has holes drilled in one face. Some times it gets used, some times it doesn't.

Once bees start using an entrance they pretty much all use the same entrance, most of the time. Move the entrance and they will still try to use the old entrance even though it is blocked off. I can only imagine what is going on inside the hive. Heads banging against the entrance block trying to get out.

Maybe your advisor has a reason?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the advice. Getting away from the fact of "drilling" the hole it sounds like most of you use a higher entrance of some sorts? I will try to rig something up. I was more asking if the 2nd entrance was OK, recommended, or actually required. Sounds like it is a good idea to have an upper entrance, weather or not it is an actual drilled hole or some type of off set is up to the beek.
 

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I don't see much point in having an upper entrance other than if grass is growing so tall it hinders the bees comings and goings. More entrances might mean more guards guarding them against robbing. Trees and walls may have more than one hole by which bees can enter and exit, but from what I have seen they usually mostly use only one.
 

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Michael palmer does it to avoid being suffocated in deep snow. It also allows them to bring nectar directly to the honey stores without initially storing it in the brood area.

mine don't bang their heads against the wall.. they have choices. there is a 3/4" wide bottom entrance that some use.. 4" top entrance that they "re-found" when i raised it a box yesterday with little trouble. some hover a bit near the old level but quickly follow the smell up to the new one.
 

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There is a difference between an upper entrance and an upper vent hole to allow moisture out during the winter.

Stick with the entrance you have already. You can add upper ventilation if you want to. Realize that there will be guard bees at all entrance.

Tom
 

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Michael palmer does it to avoid being suffocated in deep snow. It also allows them to bring nectar directly to the honey stores without initially storing it in the brood area.
That's during the Winter, when bees don't fly. It's a vent to allow airflow as much as anything.

Bees don't simply store honey in the first hole they come to when they are traveling through the hive.
 

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I don't remember where I saw it now so i'll edit it out.

well for an experiment I opened up my bottom entrance to 4" and made the top entrance 3/4". my boxes have bee space on the bottom so if i don't have something below the cover it would be flush against the tops of the frames.
 
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