Entrance Reducer

You have just gotten your bees, either in the mail or you have gone and picked them up in person. Now what do you do? Covers from installation in your hive until the end of the first winter and the first blooms of spring.
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Greg H
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:49 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE

Entrance Reducer

Postby Greg H » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:28 pm

So I installed my first two nucs last weekend. One is looking good with lots of activity. The second is showing some activity, but not nearly as much. I have restrained myself and have not gone digging into the hives yet. I plan to take a good look on Saturday though. On the hive with less activity, I felt like I should put an entrance reducer to give them a little more security, although it is a honey flow right now so maybe it isn't necessary. My question is, does this cause the hive to be too stuffy since the amount of ventilation is severely restricted? I am using solid bottom boards so the entrance is the only air in or out.

Imker Ingo
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:30 pm
Location: Newport, Wales, UK

Re: Entrance Reducer

Postby Imker Ingo » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:04 pm

Probably not Greg, my bees are fanning at the hive entrances of all my hives as we are in the middle of the flow here, there is a lovely sweet smell coming from them, I can feel the air being fanned out. If you think of a natural colony in a tree, they often have a quite small entrance hole, but the thickness of the trunk mitigates against large temperature fluctuations. Here in the UK we do however not have the high temperatures seen in the US. A weaker colony will be able to defend itself better with a smaller entrance, especially in the dearth period. You could also use a robbing screen over a larger entrance.

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Michael Bush
Backyard Beekeeper
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 11:34 am
Location: Nehawka, Nebraska
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Re: Entrance Reducer

Postby Michael Bush » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:48 am

Huber did many experiments on the topic of ventilation of the hive. With a skep with only a single small opening he always found the air in the hive "nearly as pure as that of the atmosphere". This is in Huber's New Observations On Bees Chapter VIII Part III. Bees are quite capable of ventilating a hive with a very small entrance and indeed they seem to prefer a very small opening.
"Everything works if you let it"--James "Big Boy" Medlin
http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

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Greg H
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:49 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE

Re: Entrance Reducer

Postby Greg H » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:43 am

I will leave them to it then. I had to put in a new queen as this hive appears to have gone queenless. Unfotuneately that means at least three weeks till new bees start to emerge. They will hopefully appreciate the reducer during that time. Thanks for the advice.

Imker Ingo
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:30 pm
Location: Newport, Wales, UK

Re: Entrance Reducer

Postby Imker Ingo » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:01 pm

Michael I am still reading my copy of your excellent translation of Huber, haven't got that far yet as too busy with work stuff. His observations on comb construction are very interesting , a lot of present beekeepers don't know this information. Have you tried beekeeping in skep hives? I hope to make some over the winter and give them a try, Paul Hand a skep beekeeper in England has been using them for 40 years and is also completely treatment free. I hope to learn from him , some say it is hard on your hands.
Ingo

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Michael Bush
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 339
Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 11:34 am
Location: Nehawka, Nebraska
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Re: Entrance Reducer

Postby Michael Bush » Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:30 am

It's actually C.P. Dadant's translation of Huber, but I put a lot of effort into republishing it to be as readable as possible and with the best possible plates...
"Everything works if you let it"--James "Big Boy" Medlin
http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

Imker Ingo
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:30 pm
Location: Newport, Wales, UK

Re: Entrance Reducer

Postby Imker Ingo » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:56 pm

Apologies Michael, my error, it is very interesting reading considering how little was proven at the time .


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