Upper entrance holes - an experiment

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GingerNut 

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Hi All,

A while back I said that I was going to put additional entrance holes in all my supers this year..................well I did...........and here are the first results.........

Each super has a 12mm hole drilled in the front centre.
Five hives used, each with only one super on.

One super - hole completely blocked by bees
Two supers - hole reduced in size, but still usable
Two supers - inside of hole tidied up by bees, but left original size

Although there are wasps around, no wasps were seen entering or leaving via these holes.

In only one hive were the bees using this hole, but not the foragers, it was mainly drones that wandered out and sat having a beer & and a fag on the front of the hive.

More to follow later, when I look again.

Yours Roy
 

oliver90owner 

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I fear there is little to add. Fill in the holes permanently. It would appear that they are a waste of time and a potential risk to the colony. Not sure what you would have done if any needed 4 supers.

RAB
 

GingerNut 

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I fear there is little to add. Fill in the holes permanently. It would appear that they are a waste of time and a potential risk to the colony. Not sure what you would have done if any needed 4 supers.

RAB
They are all new colonies this year, so I knew that would not be the case, but I would have put the holes in all the supers.

After my visit today, there are six hives with supers with holes in (one is still blocked), and I will continue to monitor them to see if there is any benefit.

Yours Roy
 

Hivemaker. 

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And how are you going to decide if they are of any benefit? Do you have control colonys for comparison......of whatever.
 

GingerNut 

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And how are you going to decide if they are of any benefit? Do you have control colonys for comparison......of whatever.
Nope, but if the bees don't use them they are a waste of time, if they do and there is not sign of robbing/wasps/etc, then I will probably keep them.

Yours Roy
 

oliver90owner 

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Not sure about the joined-up thinking here.

You wrote: In only one hive were the bees using this hole, but not the foragers,

then: if they do

Seems they don't. How long have these holes been there?

End of experiment, I reckon. Fill up holes and forget them.

RAB
 

Hivemaker. 

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I rekon a way to get the bee's to use them would be to put clearer boards under the full supers,and leave these super holes open.....bet they would make full use of them then....:party:
 

GingerNut 

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I shall leave the holes in there until I remove the supers.

Maybe they will use the holes later..............who knows.

You will find that I like to challenge the traditional UK thinking about beekeeping...........

Other Counties use upper holes very successfully, same as most of Europe have been using poly hives for years, and we are only just getting around to it.

My real radical thing is I have have successfully built my own poly hives withouth the bees eating their way out (as everyone said they would), I am still improving them, but so far they have been very successful................

I'm such a heretic, daring to do these things in the UK :)

Yours Roy
 

oliver90owner 

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Other Counties use upper holes very successfully

Hampshire is not the only one then? Which other counties are they used in?

Don't know of any in Lincolnshire, but there may be, of course.

Would be better if the bees actually used them?

I am sure you are not the first to try it. I wonder why it did not catch on before?

BTW are these holes in polyhives or wooden hives?

Not a heretic, keep up the good work, but fill in those holes, or put them into you tool box - you never how where a hole, exactly that size, might be useful.

I'm going to stop at this point or you legs will be far too long, or perhaps you may fall over.

RAB
 

GingerNut 

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Other Counties use upper holes very successfully

Hampshire is not the only one then? Which other counties are they used in?

Don't know of any in Lincolnshire, but there may be, of course.
Typing too quick..............trying not to burn my lunch.........Countries....it's just one letter extra :)


Would be better if the bees actually used them?

I am sure you are not the first to try it. I wonder why it did not catch on before?

BTW are these holes in polyhives or wooden hives?
Both :)

Not a heretic, keep up the good work, but fill in those holes, or put them into you tool box - you never how where a hole, exactly that size, might be useful.

I'm going to stop at this point or you legs will be far too long, or perhaps you may fall over.

RAB
I can't get all those holes in my box............it's already full of advice :)

Yours Roy
 

Finman 

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I have had 40 yeas upper entrance holes in every hive. -nothing robbing risk or wasp risk.
Enemies will be killed on comb surface if they go in.
I think that it is shorter way to move in the hive. It is efficient.
In supers upper entrances keep hives too cold.
Hole is at its best on upper part of brood area.
 
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Peter Cox 

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All my inner covers have slots in them for upper entrances. One good use is that the foragers will use them when bringing nectar into the honey supers and so long as the new super is at the top it will stop some amount of dirt being tracked across the capped honey in the other supers.
 

justme 

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Hi Finman,
Yes my thoughts for over here (most of the time) also. I know they use holes in supers in warmer climes such as New Zealand though. Having said that I think they're colonies are perhaps bigger than ours and kept much busier, more forage, warmer weather, longer season, much, much ,much less tarmac, houses and other manmade monstrosities.
 

drstitson 

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poor drones?

hi - you say you have seen drones but not foragers using some of the holes.

as far as i see it this won't be a problem in stable colonies but any which are in the throws of supercedure etc. will need a decent pool of healthy drones around for when new queens head out for mating flight.

if the drones get into the habit of using the upper entrance they will soon find themselves trapped above the queen excluder and away from easy access to the nurse bees who sustain them although presume feeding through the grid would continue.
 

malawi2854 

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I can't get all those holes in my box............it's already full of advice :)
:hurray: :smilielol5::smilielol5:


I for one am always interested to hear about people "experimenting"... who cares if it doesn't work/has no benefit - at least you'll know, and thanks to your willingness to share your experiments, so will the rest of us.

There are far too many people so stuck in their own ways of doing things (which, of course, aren't wrong), that they are unwilling to listen to anything anyone else is trying.

Thank you! :cheers2:
 

RoofTops 

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Here's an upper entrance in use. It is part of an anti-swarming system and has been in place on this hive for 4 weeks. The normal lower entrance is closed off and a new entrance opened above the queen excluder. The two supers were drawn comb which had been extracted once and the bees are currently trying to fill the upper box. Down below the queen is happily laying away as normal in a double brood box of 3/4 Langstroth frames. PS: Don't paint your bee hives blue - it is ucky. I'm going back to green. And yes the hive doesn't fit the stand properly - I need to make some cross rails or move the hive 90 degrees.
 
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Mike a 

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Here's an upper entrance in use. It is part of an anti-swarming system and has been in place on this hive for 4 weeks. The normal lower entrance is closed off and a new entrance opened above the queen excluder. The two supers were drawn comb which had been extracted once and the bees are currently trying to fill the upper box. Down below the queen is happily laying away as normal in a double brood box of 3/4 Langstroth frames. PS: Don't paint your bee hives blue - it is ucky. I'm going back to green. And yes the hive doesn't fit the stand properly - I need to make some cross rails or move the hive 90 degrees.
RT can you explain what parts you are using to get that upper entrance slot please. Some sort of alternative floor spacer that attaches to the QE ?
It looks like it has two slots for the entrance block to slide into.

Cheers

ps. like the blue ! :bigear:
 

RoofTops 

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Mike - it's all unique to the type of hive which is Langstroth. The QX is held in a frame open at the front and there are a couple of supports - the hexagonal bits which either hold the entrance reducer horizontally as shown, so it makes a flight board or vertically to close off the uper entrance. However, it won't fit on any other hive from a different supplier. It will go on sale in the UK soon though there is nothing I think to stop someone knocking up a wooden equivalent for their own type of hive.
 
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Hebeegeebee 

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Rooftops, the colour scheme would attract attention if on the side of a field for example - especially the yellow which might attract unwanted interest. Looks like a Little Tykes colour scheme!

:)
 

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