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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone.

I am sure this question has been asked and answered many times before, but I can't find it here.

I want to convert my hives to top entrance. Should I just do it all at once, or do it gradually by reducing the bottom entrance and reducing the new top entrance until the bees are used to it?

Thank you!
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I wouldn't exactly call my plan sudden or gradual. I would do it in two steps. I would put the top entrance on at the same time I reduced the bottom entrance to 3/8" wide. Then after a few days, on a night predicted to be above 50 F, I would close off the bottom entrance. The first step creates a traffic jam but still allows them in so they don't get stuck outside at night. The second step is the final one and the reason for above 50 F is so if they don't figure it out they don't get paralyzed and die. By the second night they should have figured it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Michael, I did what you suggested. I guess I should have mentioned that this hive has a screened bottom board and is 5 mediums full to the top with bees. Last night when all the bees came home it created such a traffic jam that a lot of bees went under the hive. It is not very cold here so I didn't worry about it. They were still there and alive at 6:00am when I looked. Tonight the same thing started to happen. At about 3:00pm there were many bees under the hive and the landing board was overflowing with bees trying to get in. I felt sorry for them and it looks like were in for some fog / rain so I took the reducer off and hundreds of bees boiled out. Most of the bees that came out were doing what looked to me like orientation flights. After about two hours all the bees including the ones under the hive were inside.
I have not seen one bee use the top entrance yet.
Maybe not so small of a bottom entrance? Solid bottom board?
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.:)
 

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Michael, I did what you suggested. I guess I should have mentioned that this hive has a screened bottom board and is 5 mediums full to the top with bees. Last night when all the bees came home it created such a traffic jam that a lot of bees went under the hive. It is not very cold here so I didn't worry about it. They were still there and alive at 6:00am when I looked. Tonight the same thing started to happen. At about 3:00pm there were many bees under the hive and the landing board was overflowing with bees trying to get in. I felt sorry for them and it looks like were in for some fog / rain so I took the reducer off and hundreds of bees boiled out. Most of the bees that came out were doing what looked to me like orientation flights. After about two hours all the bees including the ones under the hive were inside.
I have not seen one bee use the top entrance yet.
Maybe not so small of an entrance? Solid bottom board?
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.:)
My girls are new and after I took my top feeder if I put in an inner cover and propped up the telescoping top (my inner doesn't have a notch, yet). I didn't reduce the lower, but I don't think I saw a single bee using the top. Though the did cling to the top cover through the inner cover.
 

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>Michael, I did what you suggested. I guess I should have mentioned that this hive has a screened bottom board

Yes, you'll have to close off the screen or they will keep hanging on the screen. Often foragers will pass nectar in through the screen and not even go in the hive...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Success!
All of the bees are using the top entrance now and the bottom entrance is closed.

Thank you!
 
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