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Question for Barbara on entrance

 
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jjodie
House Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 11
Location: USA/Georgia/Lyons

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:06 pm    Post subject: Question for Barbara on entrance Reply with quote

Barbara, I have my top bar hive built but I haven't drilled any entrances yet. Would you explain how you have your entrances set up?
I think that I read that you have an entrance in the hive and an entrance in your follower? Is one high and the other low? How much space between the follower and the end of the hive? What size entrances in each? Thanks.
Jodie
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jodie

I like to have my entrances in the vertical ends of the hives so that the first comb effectively acts as a curtain across the entrance.... of course the inner follower now achieves the same result. I believe that colonies in the wild and in skeps often do this, even if other combs are in a different direction, although in my TBHs I prefer all the combs to be in the same direction. Wink

I initially drilled my entrance holes low down in the hive end, but then Phil came up with the idea of a periscope entrance which I liked, but I didn't want to plug the existing low holes and drill higher ones and then make and fit the periscope box over the top. It occurred to me that I could achieve the same result by placing a follower board inside with holes drilled near the top, thus creating a "vestibule" between the outer low entrance and the higher inner follower entrance. I spaced the follower board one top bar in and this also then enabled me to inspect the colony from both ends, as I could just remove the blank bar, slide back or lift out the follower and check that first comb.

I have 3x inch diameter round holes in the outside and the same in the follower, I think, although there may be just two in the follower. I reduce the outer holes with corks when necessary.

I like this arrangement although mostly for the benefit of baffling wasps rather than helping prevent varroa transfer, but I am not totally committed to it. I find my bees push their dead under the follower at the back of the hive and leave me to vacuum them up, which may be because it is easier than lugging them up and out of the top holes, so I haven't decided where the entrance holes in my next hive will be yet.
I don't like housework at the best of times, so having do do my girls' work as well rankles a bit! Rolling Eyes

Anyway, good luck with your hive. Do you have bees ordered or are you hoping to attract a swarm?

Regards

Barbara
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jjodie
House Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 11
Location: USA/Georgia/Lyons

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Barbara! Now I know exactly how I want to do my entrances.
Actually I hope to obtain bees both ways. I have two packages ordered, but they won't arrive until late May. I saw bees working yesterday so my plans are to build three bait hives and hopefully catch a swarm soon. It is to be cold here for a few days, but should really warm up here after that! Thanks again!
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mannanin
Scout Bee


Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 259
Location: Essex. UK.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like that arrangement that Barbara has there. Coincidentally, mine is almost identical except that my follower has a one inch hole at the top and a one inch hole at the bottom. I did this to give the bees the option of either top or bottom entry. I also hoped the bottom hole would assist them in dragging the dead into the vestibule area. I cant say if its really needed but I do see them flying out with the dead and the vestibule is normally free of dead bees.
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Kdxzoom
House Bee


Joined: 15 Jun 2012
Posts: 12
Location: USA, Yakima, WA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello

Glad to find this thread.

I too plan to place the entrance on the vertical side of my new hive, but pondered how to place them. I like the idea of having the follower board inside for easy inspections.

What about this idea? Drill 3x one inch holes on the outside vertical at the bottom, 3x one inch holes on the top of the inner follower board and then 3x one inch holes on the top of the outside vertical in line with the follower board holes, with mesh over theses hole. This seems like it would 1. Provide some vertical ventilation from the inside of the hive out the mesh vent holes, 2. Act as somewhat of a robber screen, with confusing honey scent coming directly from the mesh screen, and 3. Provide some benefits of a periscope type entrance.

What do you think? Too much?

Good luck Jodie! Your bees will be here before you know it.

Jennifer
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara aren't your colonies at risk of clogging the entrance that way in winter? I assume they will throw out the dead bees in front of the follower board and not out of the hive which can clog the entrance.
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mefgbee
Guard Bee


Joined: 10 Jul 2014
Posts: 57
Location: UK, Cheltenham

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:


I like this arrangement although mostly for the benefit of baffling wasps rather than helping prevent varroa transfer, but I am not totally committed to it. I find my bees push their dead under the follower at the back of the hive and leave me to vacuum them up, which may be because it is easier than lugging them up and out of the top holes, so I haven't decided where the entrance holes in my next hive will be yet.
I don't like housework at the best of times, so having do do my girls' work as well rankles a bit! Rolling Eyes


Hi Barbara,

I'm about to drill the holes on my new TBH and was going to follow your suggestions. But I wondered if you were still happy with the high level holes in the follower, given the dead bee build up? Do you think it's worth having any holes lower down in the follower (as well as the high up holes) to try and help them remove the dead?

Thanks Mike
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mike

It would be pointless making holes near the top if you put holes at the bottom as well as the bees will almost certainly just use the bottom ones. It would also not have the benefit of providing a baffle both for wind and potential robbers.
I've just had a really, really weak colony survive from August until now with this set up, so they have managed to defend against wasps whilst I was feeding them in late summer/autumn and maintained sufficient warmth through the winter despite their very small cluster size and limited rations. So yes, I am pretty happy with this set up for my situation. I haven't done more than a cursory glance behind the follower since Sept and I was so amazed to see live bees last week that I didn't think to look for or notice dead ones, but undertaker duty will be low on their list of priorities right now and since this hive has a deep litter floor I won't be able to vacuum it out, so hopefully any earwigs etc living in that will clean up whatever the bees don't remove.

Nothing is set in stone though and I reserve the right to change my mind on this if a problem arises that warrants the removal of the follower. In fact I believe I did remove that follower on my other TBH hive when I needed it to use as a second divider after I split them following swarming.
I think the key is to watch your bees and be prepared to adjust anything that isn't working out right.

I'm not saying this set up is any better than a slope side end entrance with a "periscope" arrangement, it's just a personal preference that I have for "warm ways" comb arrangement.
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 447
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:

Nothing is set in stone though and I reserve the right to change my mind on this


This could,and should be our attitude to any problem.When your mind is closed you cannot expect to be open to change. Its a common problem where we cannot say "I was wrong on that one."

Cheers
Rob.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apologies Dusko I only just saw your question regarding the entrance clogging with dead bees. As I said, they seem to prefer to push their dead bees under the follower board at the back of the hive rather than drop them into the "foyer". Even so, as the outside entrances are about 2-3 inches above floor level, and the area is 5-6 inches long and about 2 inches deep, it would take most of the winter cluster to fill up that much space with dead bodies, in which case they wouldn't survive anyway. But so far I haven't seen any evidence of that being a problem.
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greengage
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have just completed my TBH and have done as Barbara, I have two entrances on each end and one on sloping side near end two are blocked wit corks, I also have a type of poarch inside with entrance in follower board oppp the hole outside. i didnt introduce an observation window. Cannot figure out how to put up pic here.
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mefgbee
Guard Bee


Joined: 10 Jul 2014
Posts: 57
Location: UK, Cheltenham

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply Barbara. I have just finished my TBH and went with 3 holes in one end (also higher holes in follower at that end to create internal periscope). Then I drilled 3 holes at the other end of the hive but this time in the sloping side, low down. These have corks in currently. Any more I should drill?!
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That should be fine. Is there any reason why you opted for sloping side entrance at the other end? Just curious if you are hedging your bets (nothing wrong with that) or if there is some other logic behind it?
If you do need extra holes at a later date, I have drilled hives with bees in and it hasn't been a problem.
Removing the mesh floor and trying to retrofit a deep litter floor with bees in situ, is altogether a much more challenging matter. Having tried it, I wouldn't recommend that, so do make sure you are as happy as you can be with your floor arrangement before bees arrive.

Best wishes

Barbara
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mefgbee
Guard Bee


Joined: 10 Jul 2014
Posts: 57
Location: UK, Cheltenham

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:
That should be fine. Is there any reason why you opted for sloping side entrance at the other end? Just curious if you are hedging your bets (nothing wrong with that) or if there is some other logic behind it?


There's no particular logic behind it, other than I figured I may have a need of an entrance at the other end in due course (split, nuc etc) so thought I would see how a side entrance compared . Had wondered about drilling three holes in the end panel too, but that seemed too much in addition for something that would likely be a small colony if at all. I guess I was hoping the main colony would occupy up to 3/4 of the hive so the other part would necessarily be small/temporary. The hive is 1.2m long. I shall post some pictures if I can work out how to.

@Barbara what do you have entrancewise at the other end of your longer TBHs; do you have the same sort of 3 entrance holes with periscope/another follower, as you do at the main end?
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just been out to check.

My first top bar hive, I drilled 3 holes in both vertical ends, but you are absolutely right in that, if the other end is used, the smaller colony is unlikely to need more than one hole.
My most recent hive just has 3 holes in one end and none in the other, which may have been an aberration on my part, as it was a rush to get it finished in time to use it. That colony is small at the moment, so I may rectify that situation and drill it today. Then I can utilize that other end if I need it, maybe for a small cast swarm that I wouldn't be happy giving away.

The only time I had two colonies in the one hive, I only had 2 followers, and to create "no mans land" in between them, I needed both of them, so the "periscope effect" follower was utilised in the middle with corks in it. I subsequently made a third, so I could replace it, but not a fourth. In reality having 2 colonies in the same hive is always going to be a temporary situation, so it wasn't worth while making another.
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