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TBH question

 
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greengage
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:42 pm    Post subject: TBH question Reply with quote

Now that I have nearly completed my TBH where should i put the entrance the end or middle, I have seen a suggestion of putting it at one end and a follower board inside making a kind of porch, should there be a landing board at entrance and how should i weather protect it. Tks.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1582
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

I think most would agree that an entrance near or at the end is better than centre, but whether you put it in the long sloping side or the vertical end is entirely a matter of choice. I prefer the vertical face because I like the idea of the comb running perpendicular to the entrance (this is called warm ways) as I have read that in many fee comb hives the bees build a comb across the entrance like a curtain. This may just be a matter of statistics but my bees are happy with it. Sometimes I use a follower board with a hole in it to create a "porch" but I sometimes I just leave it with the comb right up to the end. The advantage of the follower and the space is that it makes it easier to inspect the colony from both ends and can be used to create a "periscope" effect entrance. If you go for a sloping end entrance, it is still a good idea to make it a few inches from the end and have a follower and then a blank bar between it and the end of the hive for the same reason..... ie. take the blank bar out and then move the follower back to create space to inspect.

As regards a landing board, whilst bees are very agile and don't necessarily need them, they do still miss the entrance due to collision or strong gusts of wind and fall to the ground where they may get chilled (particularly at this time of year) before they summon the strength to become air born again. To me, anything that makes life a little easier for them in this respect is worth doing. I have a small 2 inch landing board on my free standing hives and those that are set up on a platform have a few inches of the platform jutting out below the entrance to catch fallers.

Best wishes

Barbara
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have hives that have end entrance and I have hives that have middle entrances. I have had no trouble with either so broadly speaking it is preference.
The end entrances do allow for a more efficient use of the hive space though. Depending on the size of the hive you could even store two colonies in the same hive. I echo Barbara's advice though in having a follower board and spacer inside to allow easier access to that end of the colony. You will regret it otherwise, especially if you end up with a colony with a 15+ bar brood nest.
Whether you put the entrance on the sloping or flat side is again preference. I think is easier on the flat end but it does stop you from standing there to inspect.
Landing boards are a good idea if only because you can more easily observe the bees. It is easier to note pollen going in and to see any fighting resulting from robbing. It is also easier to judge activity.
Remember though, drilling holes in your hive and corking them now (in case you change your mind) is easier now than when there are bees living in it.

good luck
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greengage
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Posts: 62
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great tks for the info
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 586
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one with end entrances, one with an entrance in the middle of one side, and one with entrances 3/4 of the way along one side. They all work fine, but I prefer the one with entrances 3/4 of the way along one side. One follower board then stays put around 7/8s of the way along. The bees only expand and contract in one direction, like they would with an end entrance, but it also allows easy "inspection from both ends" as with holes in the middle. Having holes near the bottom of the sloping KTBH sides means they are shaded, which I think is a good thing, but of course this can easily be achieved with a bit of extra woodwork with end entrances.

I agree with the comment that it's much easier to put holes in when you make the hive and fill them with cork if you choose not to use them. Both "side entrance" hives have holes at both ends of one side in case I want to house two colonies after a split or a swarm, like you would do with an end-entrance hive.

Adam.
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