darlington entrances

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Drone Bee
Beekeeping Sponsor
May 12, 2009
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North Wilts
Hive Type
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Lots and lots
Hi Guys

Anyone that has used Darlington underfloor entrances, would you rate them over standard national type entrances?

Whilst building my hives I made an error. I made the brood box to size, with the correct beespace.
However, I then placed it on a home made floor that is 24mm deep (duh!) due to the size of the entrance.

I now how the choice of modifying the broodbox design by shortening it 24mm, or making new floors with underfloor entrances...

I made the brood box to size

Yes, but what size? I am assuming you made them oversize?

You have just 3 brood boxes at present? If they are wrong, I would suggest you put them right or your kit will forever be a mixture of right and wrong, be incomparible with standard National kit and will be harder to fix if you make more of them.

With regards the Dartington entrances - they are perfectly OK, thanks.

My floors are 20mm deep, some wooden and some omf. About 4 or 5 of each irrc.

I have used some standard DN4 frames in XDN BB's (14x12) and the bees usually build about 3" of drone comb under the bottom bar on the DN's. It doesn't touch the floor.

Brace comb between the floor and the frames doesn't seem to occur. Would the extra 1/4 inch depth of PiW floors really make much difference ?? (just my thoughts as requested).

It would seem that the space between the bottom of the frames and the floor is an exception to standard bee space.rules.
I have a mixture of 14 x 12 and BS National brood frames in 14 x 12 boxes and more often than not the extra comb built on the bottom of the standard frames is to the same size as the 14 x 12. My experience is drone, worker, nectar or a combination in this extra space. Mostly nice and neat.
my floors are like the attached diagram.
"Anyone that has used Darlington underfloor entrances, would you rate them over standard national type entrances?"

Dartington tunnel entrances are a must if a hive is to be called a Dartington.
The Dadant family tried 40 double length brood boxes in the 1920's with entrances above a solid floor midway down the long sides and found they did not keep a compact brood nest as the queen wandered. My theory is that the wind blowing in from one side made one half of the box cold and the queen moved to the upwind side as it was warmer. Then the wind direction changed....So I devised a tunnel entrance in which any wind is deflected vertically right at the end of the hive and the brood nest is never cooled. The brood nest then generally starts 3 frames from the end and extends to 5 to 8 14x12 frames as needed, but always compact. Problem avoided.
The space under the brood frames is nominally 20mm to induce the bees to build out right to the bottom bars and then in spring to build a strip of drone cells under the bottom bars. Bees will draw drone at the at that time somewhere - better to provide empty space than have thenm break down worker cells within the frames. The strips of drone brood are easily sliced off as part of varroa control.
The 20mm gap also allows the 9mm division board to be slipped horizontally under the winter brood nest if you feel bees on a windy hillsideneed extra protection from draughts .

Hi Guys

However, I then placed it on a home made floor that is 24mm deep (duh!) due to the size of the entrance.

my floors are thornes and are 21mm entrance block with a floor to top of runner of 22mm .this plus 7mm bees space in the underside of the brood give 29mm floor to bottom of frame ( more if i put in a super frame to induce drone comb)

your 24mm just gives 31mm so to bees 2mm extra drone comb space....what diff is that going to make, its not 7mm beespace limits between floor and frames . they normally treat this area differently and do not biuld brace

OK am i mis reading your query?
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