Reducing entrance

Basic beekeeping, this is beekeeping after the first winter until about the third or fourth year. You are a beekeeper, but you still have a lot to learn. Talk about normal everyday beekeeping here.
Grappling Coach
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Reducing entrance

Postby Grappling Coach » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:14 pm

I have 3 strong hives with 2 deep brood boxes and a deep super on them just full of bees. 2 hives have 10 frames filled out with good bee density, and one is a little weak. I put a robber screen on the weak one and reduced the entrance on the 2 hives with 10 frames down to about 1.5 inches to hopefully curtail any robbing. They are very active right now and there is a pretty good pile up at the entrance at times. There are also fanners crouded around the entrance, which adds to the traffic jam.
How much and when do you reduce your entrances?

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Re: Reducing entrance

Postby Grappling Coach » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:20 pm

Here they are
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SiWolKe
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Re: Reducing entrance

Postby SiWolKe » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:42 am

I have reduced entrance all year through to 15cm.
This year I have closed floors and robber screens on all hives.
No problems so far, all advantages.

I would cover the metal lid with something if I was you. The metal lids get too hot. A piece of old carpet perhaps. I have a wooden board on top of the metal.

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Rurification
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Re: Reducing entrance

Postby Rurification » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:27 am

Beautiful hives!

I keep my entrances reduced all the time. During the flow, I add a small top entrance, too, on colonies with 3 or more boxes. I put robber screens on just before the flow ends - for me that's when the white sweet clover starts blooming - and take off the second entrance on the smaller colonies.
Robin Edmundson
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Beekeeping since 2012

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GregV
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Re: Reducing entrance

Postby GregV » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:24 pm

Consider the additional ventilation box under your hives. Details are posted under the "Ventilation" topic.
Simple and effective method, and you are free to reduce your entrances at any time to any size while still providing maximum bottom-based ventilation.

PS: sorry for repeating myself, just it seems as-if the solution was mostly ignored/not understood.

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GregV
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Re: Reducing entrance

Postby GregV » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:48 pm

But also, really, why do you care?

You have robbing screens installed on your smaller hives (if not yet installed - then do so).

This makes the issue of entrance reduction irrelevant.
Keep them wide as-is behind your screens.
This provides for better bottom-based ventilation.
Do nothing.

Grappling Coach
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Re: Reducing entrance

Postby Grappling Coach » Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:10 pm

Thank you rurification. I enjoy making them. They are made from spruce.

Time to make some more robber screens

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Re: Reducing entrance

Postby Grappling Coach » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:02 pm

Robber screens on and reflective insulation on top.
Welcome to mass chaos.
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SiWolKe
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Re: Reducing entrance

Postby SiWolKe » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:09 pm

What´s your temps just now Greg?
My hives look the same, 28°C, high humidity. Part bearding, part traffic.

Seems to me not much chaotic. They must learn about the robber screens. This changes the normal traffic.
Civility is strength. http://www.VivaBiene.de

Grappling Coach
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Re: Reducing entrance

Postby Grappling Coach » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:24 pm

There was an immediate pile up on the screen and mass confusion, but they are figuring it out. 90 degrees Fahrenheit 32 C right now with high humidity.

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GregV
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Re: Reducing entrance

Postby GregV » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:40 pm

SiWolKe wrote:What´s your temps just now Greg?
My hives look the same, 28°C, high humidity. Part bearding, part traffic.

Seems to me not much chaotic. They must learn about the robber screens. This changes the normal traffic.


My current weather forecast is attached.
Robber screens create a temporary challenge and it will pass by.
Better do it now; they will pay back in August.

Overall, those commercial Lang hives are sub-optimal in many ways.
One of the standard short-comings - no air buffer under the nest as-if it is not needed.
Then you hear non-ending chatter about ventilation/moisture/swarming/blah...
Just add some sort of air buffer under the hive (slatted rack/swarm pocket/call it whatever).
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SiWolKe
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Re: Reducing entrance

Postby SiWolKe » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:53 pm

Oh sorry greg I meant GC,
but thanks anyway. :)

GC at what time of day did you install the screens?
Civility is strength. http://www.VivaBiene.de

Grappling Coach
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Re: Reducing entrance

Postby Grappling Coach » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:24 am

I was leaving for the weekend, and wanted to get them on, so I installed them late morning/early afternoon right before I left. I would have rather done it late in the evening when most of the bees were home, but it did not workout that way. I just got home and looked,and almost all of the bees are inside the screens. A couple of the stronger hives still have bees on the outside. I don't know if this is bearding or that some still have not figured it out, or a combination of the 2

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GregV
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Re: Reducing entrance

Postby GregV » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:16 am

There is one important disclosure about the screens (from experience) - it is best to get the bees trained to them during the warm weather.

Saying this because I learned of screen usage during September robbing onslaught.
The nights were too cool for the bees to be stuck outside and they would die.
I ended up going outside with flashlight to collect the stragglers and dump them in the hive.
This took place for a few days; then they got trained.

If is July/August, the least smart ones will just sleep it off on the outside.


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