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northernbee

top entrance trial

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im sure its been tried before and failed before but i wanted to see for myself

after watching some of michael bushs vids and recovering hives from inside trees i thought id give it a go

i will post a pic up later but i nailed some 12mm flat strips to under side of top feeder and added an adjustable door, screwed and eve over the evtrance to stop rain driving straight in.

initially when i did it the bees took 15mins to work out where the new opening was

on hot days there will be a quarter of the bees fanning compared to the hive next door

wet days there quite happy sitting under the eve

i did bout 3 weeks ago and thoughgt they may change their brood pattern around a bit but no change at this stage

the benefits that i can see so far

-you dont need to remove supers to get at the brood chamber, off with the lid and your in so no lifting heavy boxes (if you managed to get any)

-less energy needed for temp control as not needing to pull warm air down and create air movement as much

- better humidity control as warm damp air rises

-might be imagining it but seem to be out of bed earlier

-grass cannot impede entrance unless you live in a jungle

so far i havent noticed any difference and may be slightly ahead of comparison hive but no food about here at the moment

 

winter will be the real test, i think by having feeder on top will trap certain amount of heat in and with entrance closed down the should be able to maintain inner temp

 

i would be interested to hear what anyone thinks, im sure there is a big downside in there somewhere but when i have seen bees in trees they dont seem to care wether they build up or

down and seem to have been able to do ok for a couple million years or so 

 

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45 minutes ago, northernbee said:

im sure its been tried before and failed before but i wanted to see for myself

after watching some of michael bushs vids and recovering hives from inside trees i thought id give it a go

i will post a pic up later but i nailed some 12mm flat strips to under side of top feeder and added an adjustable door, screwed and eve over the evtrance to stop rain driving straight in.

initially when i did it the bees took 15mins to work out where the new opening was

on hot days there will be a quarter of the bees fanning compared to the hive next door

wet days there quite happy sitting under the eve

i did bout 3 weeks ago and thoughgt they may change their brood pattern around a bit but no change at this stage

the benefits that i can see so far

-you dont need to remove supers to get at the brood chamber, off with the lid and your in so no lifting heavy boxes (if you managed to get any)

-less energy needed for temp control as not needing to pull warm air down and create air movement as much

- better humidity control as warm damp air rises

-might be imagining it but seem to be out of bed earlier

-grass cannot impede entrance unless you live in a jungle

so far i havent noticed any difference and may be slightly ahead of comparison hive but no food about here at the moment

 

winter will be the real test, i think by having feeder on top will trap certain amount of heat in and with entrance closed down the should be able to maintain inner temp

 

i would be interested to hear what anyone thinks, im sure there is a big downside in there somewhere but when i have seen bees in trees they dont seem to care wether they build up or

down and seem to have been able to do ok for a couple million years or so 

 

In a season when my hives get large I do a top entrance, makes sense.
If a hive gets some sort of damage or defect at the top I leave it also

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I’ve tried it but didn’t stick with it . 

While it appears to work , it’s all a bit backwards and becomes a bit contradictory when trying to check how full honey supers are , or if you need to add another one 

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I take it you are putting the brood on top with and excluder under. I tried it last season with several hives.

As predicted by @faz the bees like to store honey above the brood and they did. They choked the top

of the brood and it reduced brood development. Under supering the brood was fine but the hives did not

produce as well as traditional hives. They tended to draw frames striaght down through the centre and leave light frames outside.

Not something i will repeat, i had hoped it would make brood checks easier and save my back. 

 

 

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Been keeping an eye on my trial and seems to be going into winter well, I would say brood are 1/3 of a frame lower down compared to my others, laying well, plenty of stores, my plan come honey flow is to go excluder on top, the super then entrance, if I goes pear shaped I can just open bottom entrance again and shut top

 

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On 20/05/2018 at 5:06 PM, northernbee said:

Been keeping an eye on my trial and seems to be going into winter well, I would say brood are 1/3 of a frame lower down compared to my others, laying well, plenty of stores, my plan come honey flow is to go excluder on top, the super then entrance, if I goes pear shaped I can just open bottom entrance again and shut top

 

Have you got a plan for the Drones to get out, they don’t fit through excluders?

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14 hours ago, dansar said:

Have you got a plan for the Drones to get out, they don’t fit through excluders?

i usually put a smaller excluder over the brood, i cut a rectangle of the plastic excluder so it covers about 2/3 of the brood, queens so far have stayed below, the idea is it allows easier flow of traffic up and down

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What nonsense the bottom entrance for bee hives is.  Why do humans force other animals to live like we do?  If I had wings Ii would not walk into the ground floor front door to get to the bedroom upstairs.  Nowhere in the natural world of the honey bee do bottom entrances exist. 

Why suck cold air straight into the middle of the brood, why have the forage travel through the brood to get to the supers? yes the queen need stimulating but give the bees both options and they will manage it.

https://twitter.com/BeespaceX/status/1181994151539281920

Check this out, at last something that replicates what bees do in the wild and no wasps, no mice, no wax moth as this internal entrance "Intrance" is replicating what bees do naturally, defend their colony from within the small round entrance.  The same intrance is fitted to the supers so drones can get out.  You can’t see it but checkout www.beespace.xyz as there is an internal entrance that fits in the bee space, making cold way, warm.

Langstroth's patent of 1852 was taken out in a hurry as Europeans had observed the beespace but he patented the whole hive and since then the brilliance of the removeable frames has masked the nonsense that is the bottom entrance, which has given rise to other questionable devices like the mesh floor.

And this on how to keep hive records with your phone.

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Must be the effect of you being on the wrong side of the equator, as here, I have never seen a feral colony where the bees enter and descend to the colony, only ever go up.

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When given the choice, as mine always are with entrances in the queen excluder above box two or three, the vast majority enter and exit through the bottom .

 

I’ve tried mid entrances and the bees hated them ( from what I could tell). The bottom entrance was one drone size space and the whole lot still insisted on trying to use it for the main entrance .  I cleaned out the shed last weekend and threw them in the bin .

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If this is based on what Michael Bush does, realise that he 1. likes to be different, 2. has not harvested honey in years, 3. his hives can get buried in snow so a top entrance is a safety measure.

 

Wild hives fit where they can. if the only option is an entrance at the top, they will live with that. If they have a choice, such as for example, a hole in a wall where they can go up or down from the hole, they will have the brood around the entrance, and honey will be higher up, there will not be much lower unless they run out of room above.

 

The traditional langstroth hive with entrance at the bottom fits pretty closely with the bees natural urges. 

 

For those who want to try top entrances go ahead but there are a few things to be aware of. The biggest risk of all is robbing in autumn after the flow. The bees will retreat from the top boxes leaving the honey relatively unguarded and if there is an entrance up there it's a risk.

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9 hours ago, Norm said:

What nonsense the bottom entrance for bee hives is.  Why do humans force other animals to live like we do?  If I had wings Ii would not walk into the ground floor front door to get to the bedroom upstairs.  Nowhere in the natural world of the honey bee do bottom entrances exist. 

 

Why suck cold air straight into the middle of the brood, why have the forage travel through the brood to get to the supers? yes the queen need stimulating but give the bees both options and they will manage it.

 

https://twitter.com/BeespaceX/status/1181994151539281920

 

Check this out, at last something that replicates what bees do in the wild and no wasps, no mice, no wax moth as this internal entrance "Intrance" is replicating what bees do naturally, defend their colony from within the small round entrance.  The same intrance is fitted to the supers so drones can get out.  You can’t see it but checkout www.beespace.xyz as there is an internal entrance that fits in the bee space, making cold way, warm.

 

Langstroth's patent of 1852 was taken out in a hurry as Europeans had observed the beespace but he patented the whole hive and since then the brilliance of the removeable frames has masked the nonsense that is the bottom entrance, which has given rise to other questionable devices like the mesh floor.

And this on how to keep hive records with your phone.

 

Ok if you have phone reception but most beekeepers do not have phone reception of wifi at thier sites.Then what do you use.Good old pen and paper or write on lid

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10 hours ago, M4tt said:

When given the choice, as mine always are with entrances in the queen excluder above box two or three, the vast majority enter and exit through the bottom .

 

I’ve tried mid entrances and the bees hated them ( from what I could tell). The bottom entrance was one drone size space and the whole lot still insisted on trying to use it for the main entrance .  I cleaned out the shed last weekend and threw them in the bin .

 

i just had my home hive setup as two queen hive and with a top entrance to let drones out of the top hive. most bees(~99%) used the bottom entrance.

the other issue to watch is returning queens. they may come in the other wrong entrance and make brood where you don't want it.

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The early commercial beekeepers were hard practical men. They had to be to survive. I learned my beekeeping from men like these and the longer I keep bees the more I realise that they had already worked out the best and easiest ways to keep bees.

Bees are very adaptable and will put up with almost anything you do to them and I have tried a lot of different things but those old beekeepers had it worked out before I was born ..

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