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About a week ago I came up with a genius idea. I put a spacer between the hive bodies and super above the excluder. I cut a half inch slot about 3/4 across the width with the brilliant idea to allow bees easier access. I removed them yesterday. Here is my experience. No, I did not get much comb between the excluder and super like I thought may happen and some others thought would happen. I removed them because one of the two hives had energetic bees fill the slot with propolis. They worked their little stingers off filling in the gap. In the other hive they did not use it much. In the end I don't think it helped with access. I do have a 1/2 inch diameter hole drilled through the front of the super and they do use that.

It was a fun experiment and I learned that they are smarter than my observations and ideas.

I'm not sorry i did it but also believe that the bees plastering with propolis could have used their time better getting nectar.

I will be extracting about 6 frames or so this weekend.

Pife
 

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Good idea.
I plan to provide a entrance above the brood nest. I have been told that it will reduce traffic through the brood nest - also the bees don't need to travel through the excluder.

Strange you had the problem you did. This idea is used by a few.
You may also want to temporary close the bottom entrance until they are trained to use the top.


Just some ideas,
Mike
 

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You may also want to temporary close the bottom entrance until they are trained to use the top.
If you do that, remove the excluder until you open the bottom back up.

I have never had a lot of luck with upper entrances. I don't know why. A lot of people seem to have luck with them, but my bees just post guards there and continue to happily use the bottom. Now I just let them. I do still have a couple of holes drilled in honey supers. I noticed today that even though the supers are about half full they aren't using them at all.
 

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I guess some kind of rim that allowed an entrance below and above the excluder would work better then (the one below the excluder could be smaller to encourage the use of the top one).

I would think that if excluders caused so much trouble in a hive (as some people say they do) the bees would take happily to an entrance that avoided having to go through one.

Mike
 

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Congratulations! You just invented the Imirie shim... Thinking the same! ****!
I have been using one (3/8" thick) for several years and do not use excluders. When things start filling up below,they use it alot. In anyevent I think the shim helps ventalation.;)
 

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Or you can just purchase just the frame of an inner cover, make the vent larger and use it for an upper entrance. I use one above all my exluders and sometimes and additional one or two between supers. They use the heck out of them during the flow. Never had any problems.
 

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I have mixed luck with the shims. Some of mine end up just like yours with propolis covering the entrance. Others have no problem with the entrance but the comb that gets built between the boxes is amazing and often filled with honey that I'd rather have in the super. Still others are perfect in all regards. I've found that a thinner shim and a smaller entrance hole seems to work better for me although in some cases, nothing works well. Bees will be bees!
 

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Yes. I couldn't remember the proper name for it. Does it seem to reduce some sarwming since the field bees are crowding into the brood area to get the nectar in?

Mike
 

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I put 3/8 strips of wood above the excluders on back & 3 sides and leave the entire front as an entrance. This is sort of an Imirie Shim, but the Imirie Shim is 3/4 thick and causes too much burr comb. I've had good success. Sometimes they use the upper entrance and sometimes they keep using the lower, but at least it adds ventilation. I made the side strips 4 inches longer and let them stick out the front with a 1/4 board nailed under what is sticking out for an alighting board.
 

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http://www.beesource.com/point-of-view/jerry-hayes/queen-excluder-or-honey-excluder/

Hopefully this link to Jerry Hayes Queen excluder or Honey excluder point of view works. IF not you can find his study on the beekeeping home page under point of view.

This is the set up that I am working with. The first twist I ran into was having to reduce the lower entrance to get the bees to use the upper entrance. It took them a couple of weeks to get the hang of it.
 

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Concerning top entrances, does anyone put a small landing board under them. It seems like, if you drilled 2-3 holes near the top and put a a small piece of wood along the bottom of the holes, it would be much more useful. I have not done any shims or other top entrances, but I was curious. The bees certainly use the landing board at the bottom to good effect.
 

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>Concerning top entrances, does anyone put a small landing board under them.

Once... I see no advantage. The bees just fly in the top. Trees don't have landing boards...

> It seems like, if you drilled 2-3 holes near the top and put a a small piece of wood along the bottom of the holes, it would be much more useful. I have not done any shims or other top entrances, but I was curious. The bees certainly use the landing board at the bottom to good effect.

If you want to work that hard. Bees certaily use no landing board to good effect as well...
 

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Didn't George instruct folks to put his shim above two shallow supers, and every two supers thereafter? Don't put it right above the brood nest, but two shallows up?
 
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