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I have a hive (2 deeps, 2 medium honey supers) that a previous beekeeper let go in the spring, and the queen got up in the honey supers and laid eggs, including lots of drones. I have a queen excluder now between the honey and brood boxes (with the queen below), but because of the drone cells up top, I offset the honey supers to give the bees an upper entrance (since the drones can't fit through the excluder).

I want to do something better than offsetting the boxes, so I was thinking about the 1 1/2" shims I made for some Formic Acid treatments. Can I put an entrance in that 1 1/2" shim and put it on the hive for an entrance? I don't want a lot of burr comb, and am afraid the extra space will encourage that. I really don't want to drill a hole in the upper body. Where would I put the shim (i.e. under the inner cover, or between the deep and honey supers)?

Any suggestions for my situation? Sounds like since the drones are up top, I am destined to have upper entrances forever (at least until winter).

-- Steven
 

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put a 3/8 thick shim between the inner cover and top super, make a migratory top with a 3/8 spacer(thats what i use-with a bottom entrance), or take the frames out and brush the drones on the ground. good luck,mike
 

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You could possibly be inviting a comb-building problem.

I have a number of 2" shims that I used for baggie feeding and last fall for formic acid. One hive had it all winter with dry sugar on top. (No entrance drilled in them.) Some of my colonies have totally ignored the cavity but some of the packages I've hived last month have tried their best to fill the space with comb.

Wayne
 

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I've got 2 inch shims with a 1 1/4 inch hole drilled in the front as an upper entrance. I use them when flow is on, during the winter with emergency feed, to clean the honey off of cappings, and as an upper entrance when I am raising queen cells on a full size deep. I put them on above the inner cover to minimize any urge they have of drawing out comb in this space. I do have them removed right now to ensure that any comb drawing they are doing is on foundation and not wasted.
 

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put a 3/8 thick shim between the inner cover and top super, make a migratory top with a 3/8 spacer(thats what i use-with a bottom entrance), or take the frames out and brush the drones on the ground. good luck,mike
Do what Mike said. All of my hives run on these types of top entrances.
 

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Wayne and D Coates,

I'm usin a spacer as well for feeding with bags and one hive ignres the space while the other has been trying to fillit. As o yeserday filled the pace wih crumpled newspaper. Have either of you tried this? Lie D said, I want them focusing on the foundation instead.
 

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I used to use paper towels to fill space like that. They chewed it up and made a very big mess with it. Dunno what they do with newspaper though.
 

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Never thought of filling up the void. The hives that were prone to filling the cavity with comb had the baggie feeders switched out with bucket feeders.

Wayne
 

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Wayne and D Coates,
I'm usin a spacer as well for feeding with bags and one hive ignres the space while the other has been trying to fillit. As o yeserday filled the pace wih crumpled newspaper. Have either of you tried this? Lie D said, I want them focusing on the foundation instead.
DCoates said they put the spacer on above the inner cover.
Is that where you put yours, or are you creating space underneath the inner cover, right over the frame tops, with your spacer?
I'm using 1 1/2" spacers (each with a 3/4" entrance hole) to feed with ziplock bags on my two new colonies now, but I am about to remove the baggies today and was thinking of moving the 1 1/2" spacers to above the inner cover just to provide more ventilation. My bees are loving their additional top entrances right now.
DCoates, is this what you are doing?
 

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put a 3/8 thick shim between the inner cover and top super, make a migratory top with a 3/8 spacer(thats what i use-with a bottom entrance)...
Mike, do you mean do one or the other, or do both? I'm trying to visualize what you mean.
Does anyone sell a 3/8" shim with entrance ready made?
 

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DCoates said they put the spacer on above the inner cover.
Is that where you put yours, or are you creating space underneath the inner cover, right over the frame tops, with your spacer?
I'm using 1 1/2" spacers (each with a 3/4" entrance hole) to feed with ziplock bags on my two new colonies now, but I am about to remove the baggies today and was thinking of moving the 1 1/2" spacers to above the inner cover just to provide more ventilation. My bees are loving their additional top entrances right now.
DCoates, is this what you are doing?
My spacers are above the hive body and below the inner cover, so that I can lay the baggies directly on the top bars. Are you having trouble with them trying to fill the space?
 

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yep, sorry, those were alternatives. go to a big box hardware store like lowes or home depot and get a small pack of "builders shims" and stick the taper under the inner cover, from the front towards the back, on the sides, and lift it up 3/8. OR get some free paint stirring sticks and stack'em up 3/8 inch and put around 3 sides of the top super and then put the inner cover/top on. you might find it easier to tape the stirring sticks together and to the top super. yep- you might be a ******* if you duck-tape a beehive together :)
 

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My spacers are above the hive body and below the inner cover, so that I can lay the baggies directly on the top bars. Are you having trouble with them trying to fill the space?
No, no trouble, I have had big baggies there. But now I am going to remove the baggie feeders, and there will be way more tempting space for them then.
So trying to figure out a new way to keep good upper ventilation plus a nice large upper entrance without giving them too much comb building space.
 

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yep, sorry, those were alternatives. go to a big box hardware store like lowes or home depot and get a small pack of "builders shims" and stick the taper under the inner cover, from the front towards the back, on the sides, and lift it up 3/8. ...yep- you might be a ******* if you duck-tape a beehive together :)
Hey that's a great idea using the tapered shims...now I have all kinds of good ideas! Thanks!

Hey you know us liberal yankee types love our duct tape too! (or maybe I should stick the shims on with tofu paste? eeeww!) :lpf:
 

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What could be better, cheaper,or less time consuming than offsetting your boxes like you did? If your not feeding anything a shim makes no sence to me.
 

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Put a stone, stick, entrance reducer, etc. on top of the inner cover to keep the outer cover propped up a little. The bees will use this as a top entrance.

Super simple to make, and super simple to get rid of if you want to close up the top entrance.

A notch cut into the rim of the inner cover will work as an entrance too.
 
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