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Discussion Starter #1
I hope I am splitting hairs about this as I'm a rookie and didn't see any threads on this, but would gladly be redirected to one

I closed my bottom entrance at dark thirty tonight, as my new sundance II top mounted pollen trap just arrived. The past two days I had slowly reduced the bottom entrance, hoping to encourage bees to move out the top, and avoid mass confusion. The top cover (plywood) is shimmed with some old cedar shims I ripped down. I'm awful at reading a tape measure, and figure its about one third inch(1/4 plus two ticks):s. The bees can move in and out, but seem reluctant just yet. Is that big enough to get 'em moving out the top entrance? They have little choice come sunrise...
 

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"...Is that big enough ..."
should be fine. you might consider a cheap (china) caliper wih digital readout- but as long as you can reproduce your measurements "1/4 plus two ticks" that works fine.
good luck,mike
 

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You might want to hold off a few days before putting the pollen trap on to give them time to really get used to the top entrance before you throw in the added confusion of having to go through the trap - they won't like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
LOL, China can keep those calipers, no offense. As long as I work solo, I'm good to go. Communicating my fractions is always a laugh when doing a group job.

I was planning on waiting two weeks (per instructions with the trap) to put the pollen trap on.

Not too much activity out there this morning. I suppose they will figure it out:s. Plenty of bees crawling around the top cover, but no real flight activity. A few foragers are hovering around the old entrance.

I'm supposing if I open the bottom entrance a bit, to keep traffic going, they'll not eagerly accept the top entrance?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, it appears a number of bees- maybe as much as 2cups worth, are on the underside of the SBB and either trying to chew through the screened bottom board or are building comb. Some of the bees are headed out the top entrance, but still a number of confused flyers.

Any thoughts on the bees hanging under the hive?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
First attempt at posting a pic, see if I got it. This is the SBB after trying to spray them with sugar water and gently brush them into a pan, with the intent to drop them into the top box. I got abaout half the bees before they got a little cranky

 

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I don't know if the picture posting works, as you must have a Facebook account to see it and I don't have one.

Pugs
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Roger that on the photo. I'll look into the pic's more in the morning. I don't do facebook either, was bogarting my wife's.

No comb under the hive, just a group of bees, so maybe they are feeding through the screen. They'll either figure it out, or leave- I suppose it's a game of hurry up and wait.:waiting:
 

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I would definitely close off the bottom completely and have them used to the top entrance before putting a pollen trap on top. They will just see it as a blocked entrance at first and keep trying to get in the bottom.
 

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I would definitely close off the bottom completely and have them used to the top entrance before putting a pollen trap on top. They will just see it as a blocked entrance at first and keep trying to get in the bottom.
Get a google account (free) and set up a picassa web site. Anybody can view pics on them.
 

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Mr. Bush is right on. I have used the Sundance II traps for a while now and I really like them, but there is a learning curve. Both for me and the bees.

Let me tell you what happened to me. I put the trap on during the day, and went back and closed the bottom entrance after dark that night. I figured if they come out the top, they'll figure their way back inside, right? WRONG! Lot's of bees ended up underneath just like yours. I saw them and thought - hey they'll figure it out. The 2nd or 3rd night it got quite cold and they fell broke cluster and all were dead. I felt awful. I killed a small swarm of several thousand bees.

After having done this a number of times I have learned a few tips: 1) that you gotta give them a week or more to get used to the idea of a top entrance before ever putting the trap on there. 2) You gotta use a solid bottom for another week or two after installing the trap or the bees will just hang out underneath and NEVER go back inside. Their sisters will feed them through the wires and they never go back in.

Just now I was thinking that during the hot weather, you need a screen bottom for ventilation. What if we use a double screen bottom? This way the bees could not have any direct contact, but still get the benefits of ventilation and mite drop. I think I will try this - I'll just staple a 2nd screen on the bottom of my bottom board.
 

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Will switching to a top entrance help them draw comb on my second deep? It seems that getting more bees up in that box will only help.
 
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