Quantcast

size of hive entrance

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

tonybloke 

Queen Bee
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
Messages
3,480
Reaction score
0
Location
Gorleston-on-sea, Norfolk
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
3 Commercial hives with National supers, Top Bee Space. + 2 Nucs
Why do folk enlarge the size of the entrance on their hive?

true, the returning foragers may have to queue for a minute to get in, but that happens at all popular venues.

With the entrance kept small, cannot the bees better regulate the temperature of the brood area?

I am not aware of any instance when bees increase the size of the entrance on a feral colony?

Would keeping the entrance small reduce the threat of robbing, thereby reducing the number of guard bees needed, and make for a more peaceful hive?

Clive De Bruyn mentions this in his book 'practical beekeeping' when he refers to a colony in a steel 45 gal drum.

Any thoughts on this?
 

Polyanwood 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
2,203
Reaction score
1
Location
London
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
45
Big colony with a flow needs a big entrance. It can defend it. Why would you want to slow down foragers... remember they will queue on the inside and outside if the entrance is too small. You also lose more pollen when entrance is restricted and there is a lot of jostling... on the other hand to make robbing harder, I don't take the entrance blocks out until the colony starts to queue.
 

jimbeekeeper 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
2,470
Reaction score
1
Location
East Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
With the entrance kept small, cannot the bees better regulate the temperature of the brood area?
But the entrance size is irrelevant if you have open mesh floors?



I am not aware of any instance when bees increase the size of the entrance on a feral colony?
And thinking about it (and progressing from above) I have seen many pictures of colonies that are built simply under an overhang of some description, so not in a "box" with any entrance to speak of.

Like these

http://www.flickr.com/photos/esneri/

But bees will reduce enetrances down, like when they proplise oer mesh in crown boards, or do they also restrict the entrance with their bodies?

Is Everything realy is just for the convience of the beekeeper?
 
Last edited:

Midland Beek 

Drone Bee
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
1,969
Reaction score
0
Location
South Staffs
Hive Type
none
I am not aware of any instance when bees increase the size of the entrance on a feral colony?
Bees will increase the size of their entrance hole. Assuming they aren't in a home made out of steel.

Likewise, they can also reduce the size of their entrance hole with propolis.
 

Bcrazy 

Drone Bee
Joined
Nov 14, 2008
Messages
1,491
Reaction score
5
Location
Warboys, CAMBS
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
nil bees given away all colonies
So do I and I find they are better for all round beekeeping.
 

Hivemaker. 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
14,310
Reaction score
8
Location
Exmoor.
Hive Type
national
So do i,and i believe they are much better,but i believe its good to have a few mesh floors.
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
1,436
Reaction score
0
Location
Nr Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
8
So why do you two believe solid floors to be better?

As a relatively new beek, I have no experience of solid floors so would welcome your opinions :)

Frisbee
 

grizzly 

Drone Bee
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
1,106
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6
Bees will increase the size of their entrance hole. Assuming they aren't in a home made out of steel.
I left an entrance block in far too long last year and the bees had chewed it to try an widen the hole.
 

wilderness 

House Bee
Joined
Dec 8, 2008
Messages
416
Reaction score
1
Location
South Oxfordshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4 + 1 nucs
I made an entrance block (that's another thread) but cut it too short for the hole :redface:. The bees seem to prefer the gap at the end rather than the beautifully made entrance hole
 

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
13,655
Reaction score
3
Location
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9 and 18 Nucs
Ok here.

I observed at Craibstone the experiment they did there when it was running as a Scientific establishment.

That was to increase the floor ventilation in combination with over crown board insulation.

Note this was in Aberdeenshire, not famous for mild winters or very hot summers.

The over all finding was that bees wintered better on ventilated floors.

Poly hives of course have ventilated floors.

PH
 

Hivemaker. 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
14,310
Reaction score
8
Location
Exmoor.
Hive Type
national
Fris
i like them because the bee's seem to build up faster in spring,plus i dislike the wind blowing up into the hives, and from my own point the sloping solid floors are fast to build and stick a lot of hard wear.I see no benefit in mesh floors except for testing of the mite treatments to see that they are effective.
 

admin 

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
6,392
Reaction score
3
Location
Hampshire uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
I made an entrance block (that's another thread) but cut it too short for the hole :redface:. The bees seem to prefer the gap at the end rather than the beautifully made entrance hole
Thats an intersting point,why do we have an entrance in the centre of the hive when bees seem to prefere to use an end.
 

Rosti 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
1,750
Reaction score
0
Location
North Yorks, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
I am on mesh floors and have seen no problems with condensation or the like over winter, even with no top vents open and seem to be getting as good a build up as others posting here. I think it was RAB who suggested that side walls below the floor was a good idea to reduce wind turbulence and possible cooling (my stands are now built to achieve this). But even then our winters are mild compared to some countries and I understood condensation to be the bigger killer than cold?

The issue I have with mesh floors is mite drop - or the lack of it. Even accepting an argument about slower build up or any other claimed OMF disadvantage are any of those more significant than sustaining a higher varroa population? Alternative views much appreciated. I am about to purchase another couple of floors.

The one place I have used my old solid floors is for my bait hives.
 

Bcrazy 

Drone Bee
Joined
Nov 14, 2008
Messages
1,491
Reaction score
5
Location
Warboys, CAMBS
Hive Type
none
Number of Hives
nil bees given away all colonies
I have my floors in all year round and i'll explain why later. I have OMF on my Langstroths.
 

victor meldrew 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
6,422
Reaction score
57
Location
Wigan
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
How about using an OMF with the tray left in ?
Ok but check regularly for evidence of wax moth !!.
Perfect breeding ground for them as bees don't have access:cuss:
Plenty of used/chewed wax to feed on .

John Wilkinson
 

Latest posts

Top