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entrance position on chandler tbh

 
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Safronsue
New Bee


Joined: 27 Jan 2015
Posts: 9
Location: Greece

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:25 pm    Post subject: entrance position on chandler tbh Reply with quote

Hi, i'm making my first tbh and first foray into bee keeping. I'm confused about where to put the entrance. I understand Phil's central entrance position is not thought ideal, so where? Everything's still in bits and being sanded but i'd like to do drilling now before assembling. I've seen some with a gap left between bottom of end section and plank floor; is that a good idea? hmmm.
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would vote for low down on both vertical hive ends. Plug one set with some old corks. That way you can expand the new hive one way but if you need to split for some reason you can open the entrances at the other end and use that temporarly.

Cheers
Rob.
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CeeBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 16 Jun 2013
Posts: 104
Location: UK, Cambridge, Milton

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suddenly, lots of posts about where entrances 'should' be (3 different recent threads)

In my mind, there's no right or wrong, the bees will cope with anything, but maybe management will be a bit different. Just pick whatever you fancy, try it out, and then maybe vary it depending on what happens. Maybe drill lots of entrances, then you've got the choice of blocking the ones not in use.

My first two hives have entrances in the centre of the long sides (and optional ones at the ends in the other long side - not used so far). I also have a hole drilled in the follower boards - optional feeding in the area beyond it being the idea - so far these have remained blocked with corks as well. The bees expanded equally to left and right, leading to 'bits of everything' combs - some brood nearly to each end, though I harvested a few brood-free combs of honey.

Currently building two more hives. These will have entrances near the ends of the long sides, so maybe scope for two colonies, at least until too full, but I'm hoping this will result in better-defined brood near the entrance, and stores beyond. I'm still leaving room for a follower board and a bit of spare space between the entrance holes and the end of the hive - imagine you've got bars with comb right up to the end - maybe stuck to the sides - how do you get them out for inspection if there's no moveable follower board (other than by starting right at the other end), as just pulling upwards might break the comb off the bar. I might try a queen-excluder this year to avoid the 'brood everywhere' problem - I've got some standard plastic queen excluders, intending to cut them up and fit to a top-bar.

I always want to try things out and see what happens - e.g. now thinking it might be better if the stainless-steeel mesh floor wasn't nailed on so well, as it can develop 'blocked' areas which accumulate debris. So I'll probably arrange that I can remove it more easily this time. I'm very glad I made an easily removeable board/tray to go below the mesh - I like to count varroa drop.

Perhaps luckily, I didn't have to make my own decision with my first TBH. It was built at a 'course', and entrances were in the centre - at the time, I didn't have the experience to argue one way or the other.

I don't understand your comment about "gap left between bottom of end section and plank floor". Obviously don't want another gap that the bees can use as an entrance, but if this 'gap' was beyond a follower-baord, then it would be irrelevant.
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Barbara
Site Admin


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

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ CeeBee
I believe the gap that the OP is suggesting is deliberate to create an oblong entrance in the vertical face at hive floor level similar to a conventional hive entrance. I think there are some American natural beeks who use this style of entrance.

On the whole I very much agree with you about trying things and seeing for yourself what works and what you and your bees are happy with. There are no real right or wrongs, it depends a lot on your local conditions and personal preference. I have however on one of the other threads about this, given one reason why centre entrances can be detrimental to the bees in that it can lead to isolation starvation in cold winter climates and you yourself have given another that is potentially detrimental to the beekeeper as there is a less defined honey area for harvest. Therefore. provided you still use a blank bar and a follower before the end entrance, I think end entrances are probably more beneficial in both respects.

@Safronsue

Welcome to the forum.

I can pretty much guarantee that whatever you do, you will wish you had done something slightly differently and resolve to alter it with your next hive, be that entrance configuration, floor, comb guides, roof design or whatever else. I suppose building your own hive gives you the opportunity to customise it and that lends itself to lots of variation, which can only be a good thing as you learn more from how the bees respond to that variation.

Good luck with finishing your hive and populating it. The bees and working the hive with them will tell you much more about what is best than we can.

Regards

Barbara
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Safronsue
New Bee


Joined: 27 Jan 2015
Posts: 9
Location: Greece

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind welcome and advice and 2 other posts from around the globe on the same issue. Solidarity! love the Internet.

I like the idea of multiple corked accesses and will go with that. ...now that I have my perfect circle drill bit. I will post a picture when I'm done.
Cool
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:11 am    Post subject: Re: entrance position on chandler tbh Reply with quote

Safronsue wrote:
Hi, i'm making my first tbh and first foray into bee keeping. I'm confused about where to put the entrance. I understand Phil's central entrance position is not thought ideal, so where? Everything's still in bits and being sanded but i'd like to do drilling now before assembling. I've seen some with a gap left between bottom of end section and plank floor; is that a good idea? hmmm.

One (very important IMHO) consideration that many seem to miss is where will your hive be located and which direction would you prefer the bees to fly from the hive in (away from your vegetable bed? not across a footpath? away from your back-door?).

Obviously doesn't apply if the hive will be in the middle of a large field......
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Barbara
Site Admin


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

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John is right. Siting the hive in the right location and orientation is really important and actually I'm very much of the opinion that in the middle of a field is the least best option, although I appreciate that he was not suggesting it was a good location.

I think having shelter from prevailing winds is really important and midday/afternoon shade in a hot climate. Then the logistics of flight path and human traffic/access and having a good flat surface to work in (I once thought the bankside opposite my house was a great place to keep some bees as I couldn't use it for anything else, but standing on a steep incline whilst trying to carefully lift heavy boxes of bees and honey and having no where flat to put things down without them tipping over was no fun. As John points out it is also awkward trying to work your veg plot whilst ducking incoming/outgoing flights. Location is undoubtedly much more important than where you put the entrances in the hive
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