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Author Topic: Questions on hive entrance  (Read 223 times)

Offline TheFuzz

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Questions on hive entrance
« on: September 14, 2019, 02:02:52 am »
1) Is it ever a good idea to have multiple hive entrances, not just one right at the bottom? I ask because I notice that, whenever there is a crack or hole in a hive where bees can fly out from, they seem to often prefer using that over go through right at the bottom.

2) Two of my hives have a lot of bees at the front, as show here:

https://imgur.com/a/f7aSxIE

Is this indicative of anything? Does it maybe indicate that they're looking to swarm? If I had a second entrance at the top maybe, would this possibly help with some sort of traffic congestion problem that might be happening here?

3) I built these hives myself and guessed the size needed for the hive entrance, as shown here:

https://imgur.com/a/mn0NXYh

Are these entrances possibly too small? I'm wondering if the size of these entrances could be leading to traffic congestion, or ventilation problems. I notice people talk about using entrance reducers in the winter, but I'm not sure if that's something that should be done where I live, in South Australia, which doesn't have cold winters, but gets very hot and it's almost always very dry and non-humid.

To expand on the ventilation, here's a picture of a lid I've got:

https://imgur.com/a/CA8jPFO

There's four of these holes on a lid, with a mesh barrier inside. Are these ventilation holes large enough? Some of my hives do sometimes have some moisture building up inside for whatever reason.

Online Acebird

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Re: Questions on hive entrance
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2019, 08:05:03 am »

3) I built these hives myself and guessed the size needed for the hive entrance, as shown here:


Building your own equipment is a great idea but you should stick to the Lang design.  Make the entrance much larger and then use an entrance reducer when needed.  Nature's beehives usually have more than one entrance so they can adapt to one or a bunch.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline cao

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Re: Questions on hive entrance
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2019, 10:23:52 am »
1) the bees will use any combination of entrance holes that are available.  It is up to the beekeeper and what he prefers.  I use a reduced bottom entrance all year.  Multiple entrances will work well for a strong hive.  A weaker one may have trouble defending the extra hole.

2) Bees outside the hive indicates to me a strong hive.  You have to look inside to tell whether they are about to swarm or just need more room.  It also depends on how hot it is outside and if they are outside all day or just during the hottest part of the day.

3) As far as top ventilation, I have found that holes that are screened over tend to get sealed up rather quickly. 

Offline ed/La.

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Re: Questions on hive entrance
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2019, 04:23:38 pm »
I often use multiple entrance. I always use top ventilation and screen bottom board. I live in zone 9.Hot and humid.

Offline TheFuzz

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Re: Questions on hive entrance
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2019, 04:10:21 am »
I did stick to the Lang design! I however seemed to have stumbled with the entrances. The entrances are 0.11 inches tall, and either 2 or 2.2 inches wide, and there's two front entrances. How much bigger should I make them?

I've also found screened holes get clogged up. What alternative option is there though? Would it be a mistake to have unsealed ventilation holes? If so, there will be multiple entrances for the bees at the lid.


Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Questions on hive entrance
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2019, 08:38:28 am »
You say the opening is .11 inch tall. That is less than 1/8?. It should bee 3/8?. 2-2 inch wide openings is more than enough.
I have a top opening that I can close for when I install a new small hive.
I just only use screen covered vents on my nucs/swarm traps. They are to provide more ventilation for when I catch a swarm to keep them from overheating while bringing them home.  Most of them have either screen tops or bottoms for the same reason. Once they are established, one 1 1/4 inch hole is all a nuc need.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Questions on hive entrance
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2019, 12:04:46 pm »
Bees prefer entrances on the corner to entrances in the middle.  The problem with multiple entrances is that sometimes they forget to guard one and then they get robbed.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
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Offline jvalentour

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Re: Questions on hive entrance
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2019, 12:53:18 pm »
I agree with MB.
I spent the afternoon taping over OAV holes and reducing entrances.
Had a real nice spring nuc robbed out.  (Or the OAV killed the queen).
Two entrances is enough for a healthy hive IMO.  One for a new hive. 

Offline TheFuzz

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Re: Questions on hive entrance
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2019, 12:47:20 am »
Is two openings of 2 inches width, wide enough as well?

Yeah it's 3 millimeters tall, I think it might be slightly taller than 1/8 of an inch. Why should it be 3/8 of an inch? Frankly it's a little shocking that they should be three times taller than they already are, what's the purpose of that?

It's really surprising, I thought they might not be wide enough, I had no idea that they weren't tall enough.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Questions on hive entrance
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2019, 07:52:50 am »
Your bees need to bee able to stand in the entrance and move air in and out oof the hive.
Jim Altmiller

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Questions on hive entrance
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2019, 08:11:12 am »
My hives all have one entrance.  It's 3/8" tall and 2 1/4" wide.  It's at the top built into the lid.
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/ReducedEntrance2Medium.jpg
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin