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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to know what those of you do to do a upper entrance above the 2 brood boxes. Do you leave a small spacer about a quarter inch and leave open most of it during the summer? Does anyone have any pics of how you set your top entrances up? I am confused how to do this. I had skunks a couple years ago and they wipe out a hive before you know it. Do you screen what would be bottom entrance for ventilation? I put a spacer about 1/2 inch wide with a 8 inch length opening with 1/4" high and they made lots of burr comb between frames and queen excluder. Anyone with pics could send to my email [email protected] as I don't know how to do this message stuff. Did a search on this forum and ended up just coming up with top bar stuff etc.
Carol
 

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I find the easiest upper entrance is a hole in the upper brood box right below the handhold. You get the ventilation advantage, are clear of snow, ice and dead bees and you can still have a feed rim on top for wintering or spring feeding of pollen sup or baggies of syrup. I like a warm bubble of air at the top of the brood nest. I can feel it every time I open up the hive.
 

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I'm experimenting with top entrances this year. Michael Bush's website has a great piece on it.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm

I like it because I can use queen excluders and have the foragers go directly into the top of the hive. Then I just have a small opening in the brood chamber for drones.

Alternatively, I don't think skunks bother bees if you elevate the hive a foot or so. This is because it forces the skunks to put up their front legs to get at the hive entrance, which exposes their soft underbelly. The bees do the rest.
 

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If one wanted to try an upper intrance in an existing hive, would you suggest making the hole in an empty box and transferring the frames, or just use a brace bit and go slow?
Also, what size hole?=Vance G;1074158]I find the easiest upper entrance is a hole in the upper brood box right below the handhold. You get the ventilation advantage, are clear of snow, ice and dead bees and you can still have a feed rim on top for wintering or spring feeding of pollen sup or baggies of syrup. I like a warm bubble of air at the top of the brood nest. I can feel it every time I open up the hive.[/QUOTE]
 

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I use this ventilation inner cover that has an upper entrance.
http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/store/all-season-inner-cover-frame-p-266.html
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I open the upper entrance for the winter and will close it back up when the cluster breaks here in the next couple of weeks.
I believe it provides a winter ventilation flow point and easier exit for those brief winter/spring cleansing flights since it is closer to the cluster as winter progresses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great responses, thanks. Has anyone ever done a wedge on top the hive bodies under the queen excluder and another small wedge on top the excluder. Thoughts are so bees have easy access to both hive body and honey supers. They would be open all the way across. I have a 5/8 inch hole in each hive box-do you think that is too much open with the wedges and holes when it's summer? I can plug the holes during the rest of the year.
 

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If one wanted to try an upper intrance in an existing hive, would you suggest making the hole in an empty box and transferring the frames, or just use a brace bit and go slow?
Also, what size hole?=Vance G;1074158]I find the easiest upper entrance is a hole in the upper brood box right below the handhold. You get the ventilation advantage, are clear of snow, ice and dead bees and you can still have a feed rim on top for wintering or spring feeding of pollen sup or baggies of syrup. I like a warm bubble of air at the top of the brood nest. I can feel it every time I open up the hive.
[/QUOTE]

I just use my cordless drill and a 7/8" bit and go slow. One can buy cap plugs to fill the holes. I just duct tape them if they are unwanted.
 

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I drill a 1 1/8 hole in the top and use water bottle cap to plug when needed. When I need it smaller I cut the center out of the cap. Keeps the bees in when moving the hives..
 
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