Kia ora, this is my first post. I have had an interest in beekeeping for a few years now. I joined the hobbiest club a couple of years ago, been reading lots of articles/books and have finally purchased my first nuc at the end of January.
I am all about having my garden pollinated by a fine group of wahine! And about sharing some honey amongst my whanau.
My hive appears to be doing reallly well so far. I have built a long langstroth hive with 22 f/d frames, like on trevs bees channel. I have it split down the middle, with a divider and placed my nuc in the centre with a couple of spare frames on each side. I plan to keep the brood box this size, and let it grow stronger to help get through winter this year. I checked last week and they had built comb/drawn out over 50 percent of the new frames and were storing pollen in a couple of them. I am using foundationless wired frames (just trying to keep things natural) there are all different stages of larvae within the brood. Good brood patterns and honey stores.
The thing i am a little uncertain on is my hive entrance. I have a metal disk. I have kept it on the slots that are like a queen excluder. Was worried about my hive been a little weak and the bees from the community garden 100 metres away coming to rob my hive. Should this be to much of a concern, or should i spin the disk around to about half fully open to allow for drones to exit(not sure if they can through those little slots?) And for the bees to clean out the hive. When i opened it last week, bees were flying out the top dumping dead bees and saw one taking a chunk of something twice the size of itself and dumping it over the fence!
Is there certain times of the year that this entrance should be changed?
I will try and put a pic or vid up of my hive entrance.
Appreciate any advice or help.
Nga mihi (thanks)