Under floor entrance.

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Joined
Dec 26, 2021
Messages
29
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Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
6
Hi.
I’m considering converting my shop bought National hive floors to underfloor entrances, as per Laurence BMH instructional YouTube.
My question is, and apologies if this has been covered previously but I did do a thread search and couldn’t find a great deal, is it worth the effort?
The advantages I can glean so far are that it’s harder for the wasps to get in, reduces draughts and acts as a mouse guard but are they actually effective in doing those things?
I know that opinions will likely be divided, as with most things bee-related, but if the under floor entrances really are a lot better, why do they not come as standard on hives, instead of the regular entrances.
Thanks in advance! 🙂
 
One reason why they aren't available from retailers is an unwilingness to chnage a design and cost, they certainly would charge more.

There should be a few threads on here regarding UFE's many of us have built our own or converted floors.
 
One reason why they aren't available from retailers is an unwilingness to chnage a design and cost, they certainly would charge more.

There should be a few threads on here regarding UFE's many of us have built our own or converted floors.
Thank you. I’ll have another look.
 
Have a look in the Beehive & diy sub forum , you may have to go back 2 -3 years. One shoul dfind pics and plans etc, etc of members floors I know I have posted pics of mine and JBK has detailed plans.
 
Have a look in the Beehive & diy sub forum , you may have to go back 2 -3 years. One shoul dfind pics and plans etc, etc of members floors I know I have posted pics of mine and JBK has detailed plans.
Thank you!
I’m looking more for advocates of using them, as in, experiences of the benefits and disadvantages but thanks for the heads up!
 
With a UFE one can decide where / how far back to position the entrance , how much mesh to use or even go the whole hog and have no mesh floor.
Advantage though of a 3/4 mesh floor for me is I can vape my bees form under the hive and in winter /spring see where any uncapping of frame occur from debris on the ground underneath
 
I have used them now for three or four years , not had any wasp issues though a weak hive may well do. One can always reduce the entrance with a foam block.
No blocked entrances caused by mass bee die off , acase to point my CBPV hive thought the floor was like a shag pile carpet and the front pile thick with bees the entrance neve became blocked or ineffective.
Mouse guards not needed if one maintains a 8- 9mm max gap.
 
Entrance is indirect so wasp have to search for it , they usually like a direct in/out route.
 
I made some nuc floors with frontal ufe's and they appear to work really well with no wasps found inside the boxes
However I will have to revisit the design as I made no provision for detachable easily sterilizable components.
After an albeit mild cbpv outbreak I take no chances anymore.
 
Tbh there isn't really any real good reason not to use them over the conventional flimsier front face entrance type floors, if one builds their own from ex 4 x 2 treated wood then they will be much stronger and beefier.
 
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All I've used almost from the outset of my beekeeping when I was looking for a mesh floor design a bit more robust than most on the market, when I realised how good they were, I shared my designs on here, I never claimed to have 'invented' them, just made modifications so they are simpler to make and use, by sharing on here everyone could have a go at making them
why do they not come as standard on hives, instead of the regular entrances.
People don't like change, even if it's for the best, there are a few retailers who make them - only one (Thornes) spoke to me and acknowledged they'd 'pinched' my design as I had said it was for free use.
One reason why they aren't available from retailers is an unwilingness to chnage a design and cost, they certainly would charge more.
:iagree:
 
I use them too and have been very happy with them so far. Some of mine are solid floor and some are mesh from the slot back, with a tray underneath that fits very snugly, meaning I can use them for monitoring if I wish, but should the weather get wet and windy the bees won't get damp bums (because no-one likes a soggy bottom).

The wasps around here haven't been doing that well since I started using them so I can't say how effective they are at repelling attacks, but not having to deal with mouse guards and being able to easily close down the entrance partially by pushing in a lump of wood, or even completely with a strip of foam for transport are definite benefits.

I've made mine with a 10mm rim on top. Once I switch to OA vaping my intention is to drill a suitable size hole in the back of the rim through which to vape, allowing the entire process to take place without opening any of the boxes. When not in use I'll plug the hole to stop it being used as a way in or from being propolised up. It is alleged that golf tees are good for such a purpose which would at least mean they have some benefit to humanity.

In some cases I also extended the "landing board" part beyond the front of the hive, purely because sometimes it's pleasant just to watch the bees going in and out and for me it makes them easier to see. If the back rail doesn't go all the way to the bottom, allowing another such landing board to slip underneath it, then they can even fit tight up next to each other in storage or when being moved.

I mentioned a few days ago that I have some 25mm PIR board that I intend to use for making some nucs. Those will also have UFEs rather than a hole in the front. Once I get that far :D

James
 
Mine are a hybrid. Lansing board and fill width front entrance low down, then into a small covered area and up an internal board, about 4", to the nest. Best of both worlds, easy to add mouse guards, block, reduce entrance, but gives them immediate shelter when landing. Also its a bit of a chicane for wasps so they get a do-ing before they get anywhere near the inside of the hive.
 
Mine are a hybrid. Lansing board and fill width front entrance low down, then into a small covered area and up an internal board, about 4", to the nest. Best of both worlds, easy to add mouse guards, block, reduce entrance, but gives them immediate shelter when landing. Also its a bit of a chicane for wasps so they get a do-ing before they get anywhere near the inside of the hive.
Mouse guards not needed in JBM's design: the slot allowing entry into the hive is 8-9mm wide.
 
I made my own, using Lawrence at BMH as my guide. They are great, I keep by bees on pallets have the small gap and have never had a wasp issue, even when there are many about. I would now make it with a removable slot to put my vaping stick in when I want to OA treat them, otherwise, great.
 
honey bees evolved with tree knot holes as entrances to their nests. These give the nest a long narrow narrow entrance. Giving them an entrance they have the behaviours tuned for seems a good plan to me.
 
Thank you!
I’m looking more for advocates of using them, as in, experiences of the benefits and disadvantages but thanks for the heads up!
I've bought a couple (Thorne's), converted one standard OMF floor and bought some wood to make my own. So far all good - hives are much less bothered by wasps as they can't seem to figure out where the bees are disappearing to and no issues at all with mice even in my out apiary in a field.
I'm also in a windy part of the country so it's a great draft stopper in the winter. I made a bent hook thingy to clear the entrance every now and again in case it gets blocked.
Only disadvantage I can think of is not being able to easily see what pollen the girls are collecting as they whizz in.
 

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