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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Started with a three pound package this spring. I had a one inch opening beside my entrance feeder. I removed the entrance feeder and left the opening which is now about 4 inches. I went over today after beeing away for two weeks on vacation. There was a lot of bees coming and going and they did not seem to be too crowded but I was wandering if I should removed the reducer completely or leave it as is? I have 2 eight frame deeps and a super on right now and I have a screened bottom board.

I took a couple videos but when I uploaded them to photobucket the quality went to hell, but you should get the idea. The first video is when I arrived and it was more active. The second video is one I took after my inspection as they were setteling back in.



 

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I have robbing problems this time of year, so I put the reducers back on as soon as the spring flow is over and activity slows down.

Unless the bees are piling up badly trying to get in and out or are bearding excessively, leave the reducer in place. They will let you know if they want more opening, and we have had bees close the entrance up with propolis in the fall!

Peter
 

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I had them wide open earlier this year and just reduced the smaller colonies due to robbing. My robbing indicator is when the bees start spending a lot of time in my barn (and getting stuck inside the third floor window trying to get out). When there's little or nothing to gather a few adventurous forages find my stacked supers on the second floor. There's always a good smell coming from them and maybe some honey here and there. Within a day, the barn is busy with bees. When that happens, I know the situation is ripe for robbing and I check the hives. We had a good rain the last couple of days and that slowed the robbing down pretty good.
 

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I use the 1" reducer opening until they have a waiting line on the landing board. Then I move to the 3" opening, and when that gets crowded, I use the Mann Lake stainless mouse guards over the entrance. I leave them on year around, once the hive is strong. They seem to have plenty of openings for the bees to come and go, plus I keep any mice or other rodents out of the hives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Right now it is my only entrance and I hadn't planned on another. I have the two deeps and a medium which they are filling. My plan was to not harvest any honey this year just to help them through the winter. If they end up filling multiple medium supers I might take one, if they fill the one I have now and start on another is it recommended to have an upper entrance?
 
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