Entrance Reducers

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Dbure, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    Hello all! I can't begin to express how hot it is here in Texas as many of you already know. Over the past few months I have had my entrance reducers in place on the hives opened up to their largest settings. To increase ventilation and allow for more air flow I was wondering if it is alright to remove them completely or should they remain in place to help the bees guard their homes? Each of the hives is bearding, and one seems to be overun on the front with bees more and more as each day gets hotter. In the morning I plan on inspecting them and thought I would make any changes then. The roofs are all on but I have ventilation screens on under them with wooden bars to raise the roof slightly for more air. Any thoughts on the entrance reducers I would much appreciate. :confused:
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I would remove them completely (unless you start to see signs of a problem like robbing) I'm waaaaay up north (in the tundra :mrgreen: ) and haven't had reducers on for a couple of months now.
     

  3. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    Thank you PerryBee. I had been wondering, but seeing that this is new territory for me I figured to ask and see what is recommended. I will remove them in the morning and let them have more air flow. I know that these high temps are not a problem in your area, but with these crazy weather patterns always changing you never know what to expect anymore. :dontknow:

    I also would add that I no longer have a bird bath in my yard. It is now a glorified bee bath complete with barside seating, classic statuary, and fresh daily afternoon refreshments. Talk about being spoiled! :mrgreen:
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I think I have a couple of reducers around here somewhere. Maybe bouncing around in the bed of my truck. Haven't seen them recently.

    As far as putting them on a hive, NAH! Unless I actually see robbing. Then I would most likely go to a robber screen rather than a reducer.
     
  5. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    Iddee, what and how does a robber screen work? Does it go at the entance where the reducer would go? I have ventialtion screens at the tops in place of the inner covers. They don't allow bees to enter, but provide a wide area for ventilation.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Making a robber screen.

    Take a 1X, which is 3/4 in. thick, and cut it the width of your entrance.
    Rip 4 pieces 3/8 in. X 3/4 in. Cut 2 of them 6 in. long.
    Cut a piece of 1/8 in. hardware cloth 6IN. X the width of your entrance.
    Staple the 4 pieces to the wire to make a rectangle frame. Put the two long sticks on one side of the wire, the 2 short ones on the other side.
    Staple the frame over the entrance with the 6 in. pieces next to the box.
    This will give you a wire covering 3/8 in. away from the box, which the bees can only go into or out of along the top.
    The house bees will adjust to the new entrance. The robber bees will not.
     
  7. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    If I may;
    Plain ole window screen will work also in an emergency;
    the robber bees go to the entrance/bottom were the hive/honey smell is coming from, the hive bees learn to go to the top of the screen to exit/enter.

    Murrell
     
  8. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    Thank you Iddee and Murrell. These are now new projects for me. Or should I say my husband. He'll thank you later after I have him make me some. :mrgreen:
     
  9. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Iddee, :goodpost:

    Do you think you could post a picture of the robber screen you described? I think it would be a great help.
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a robber screen (sometimes called a Florida Moving Screen) is also a good thing to consider if you have bees around people and pets. they have the tendency to make a hive less 'jumpy'.

    ps.... if I had a hive around population and I had any kind of issue with bees being defensive it is the first thing I will change (add) to the hives in question.
     
  11. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I'm wondering if a robber screen is also a good way to reduce skunk problems.

    Of course the easiest way to solve skunk damage (easier even than killing the skunks) is just to switch to top entrances.
     
  12. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    We have skunks, I'm presently trying to discourage Mr. & Mrs. Pepe Le Pew from taking up residence under our house.

    Anyway, I have a roll of chicken wire in front of each hive. It's not my idea, I picked it up from the Essex County Beekeepers. Theory is that the skunk has to expose its underside when getting at the hive, making it suseptible to stings.

    Haven't had any skunk problems with the bees, and have noticed some wire slightly "rearranged" from time to time.

    Walt
     
  13. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    Since I have robber screens on, I took some photos. It's a slightly different design, but the same principle. You can bet that the next ones I make are going to be the way Iddee described.

    [​IMG]
    This shows the top entrance. The "frames" are 1 1/2" and the top frame is 3/4". The bottom is cut at 45 degrees to allow hive entrance.

    [​IMG]

    Walt
     
  14. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Walt,
    You've set me thinking--maybe I can use an arrangement like this as protection against wasp attacks later on in the summer when they become a real problem. I think I'll give it a try.
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    nice pictures Walt B. I will add that Iddee mention of robber screens long ago certainly has save me a lot of grief (not to mention robbed out hives and mad neighbors who only wanted to mow their yards).
     
  16. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

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    i like that too....new project (to add to the list of projects) these bees are gonna get spoiled big time :)