BBKA Forum

British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • What are you currently making in the shed/garage/kitchen/patio/living room that's bee related

  • Bee Hive building & a place to share howto's on equipment
Bee Hive building & a place to share howto's on equipment
 #5714  by Patrick
 11 Feb 2020, 16:09
Not used underfloor entrances, sure they work fine.

Regarding wasps, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, restrict your full colony entrances down all year round to around a bee space high and a couple of inches wide maximum. Keep colonies strong and wasps will simply be a non issue, promise.

Nucs or mini nucs need even smaller entrances. Bees robbing aren’t much better than wasps and they too need keeping out.

Bees really really don’t need a normal full width entrance and will struggle to defend it. So don’t oblige them to have one. Simples. 👍
 #5716  by MickBBKA
 11 Feb 2020, 16:33
Patrick wrote:
11 Feb 2020, 16:09
Bees really really don’t need a normal full width entrance and will struggle to defend it. So don’t oblige them to have one. Simples. 👍
Image

Very true for the most part and Tom Seeley has done some great work around this.
I am making some modified floors so I can install and remove varroa boards from the front under the entrance. My entrances are also bee space height but are hinged at each end so I can open to full length. This is because in the Spring in my area sudden changes in temperature have had devastating consequences on foraging bees. Having found mountains of bees laden with pollen dying on the ground in front of the hives one year I thought they had been poisoned. I returned the next day to find the same but noticed they were trying to cluster in small groups. So I scooped a pile up, put them in a jar and stood it on top of my smoker. 10mins later they were buzzing like mad and once released flew straight back into the hive. They were cold shocked and returning on mass couldn't get into the small entrances in the hives before they became immobile with cold. I opened out the entrances and never had any issues after that as they could get straight in. It can go from 15C to 7C in minutes at my out apiaries.

Sorry to hijack the thread a bit but just trying to explain the rationale behind my floor design.

Cheers, Mick.
 #5719  by AdamD
 12 Feb 2020, 09:31
I generally keep small entrances on my hives all the time; even large double brood colonies and have never seen any issue. But then I'm not in the NE!
Mick, you have often highlighted the difference in beekeeping practice between your part of the world and others. Maybe you need to write a book!
 #5724  by NigelP
 13 Feb 2020, 11:48
To calm your nerves Patrick :) I do go down to a much smaller entrance come end of summer and wasp season and the flows drying up.
Don't quite go as far as mouse guards though.

Mick before I had landing boards used to see pretty much what you describe. Lots of dead bees near entrance. Watching them they seem to be coming back on their last legs/chilled and their aim is rotten. They hit the sides of the hive and drop down.....now a days onto the landing board (rather than the ground) and manage to crawl back in. Some say the large cavernous entrances on the under floors also prevent this happening, but have me doubts as I've seen bee strike quite high on hives.
 #5725  by AdamD
 14 Feb 2020, 12:49
Maybe the large landing board that people complain about that are part of the Paynes polyhives are worthwhile?

And Brother Adam used to have a ramp down to the ground at his hive entrances which would have been there for a reason rather than just for fun.
 #5726  by NigelP
 14 Feb 2020, 16:18
Those Br. Adam's landing boards that went from entrance to ground where there because he used to clip the queens and they could climb back up. after attempting to swarm....not that Buckfast swarm often....but he did have quite a menagerie of different strains of bees.
At least that is the reason I was told.

Image
  • 1
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8