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The bees need humidity at a certain level for the brood to be happy.

Upper entrances (are vents) will dry out the brood and the bees may need to bring in water to keep the humidity high enough for the brood.
 

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they do that. They are hitting my ponds like crazy. But that's ok, dry air, they humidify with water and drop their temperature. Straight humidity right now is like 105 degrees this afternoon. This way is better
 

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Humidity important to bees to prevent young larva from drying out/or being otherwiise damaged; maintaining fermentation to process bee bread and to concentrate honey from nectar. Another reason is that varroa do not reproduce well in high humidity hives; thus, humidity matters to a colonyu. Hope this answers part of the original question.
 

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I found this topic very interesting as I was scrolling through the forum this morning. After reading the posts I am starting to rethink my opinion of top entrances. I have read of others not liking top entrances on their hives. As for me and this only being my second year, I have had top entrances and this year, I kept the notch up instead of down like last year. Last year with the notch down, I seen that robbers benefited mostly from it and this year with the notch up, I rarely even seen any of my bees using it so what good is it ?
I am still on the fence about screened bottom boards vs. solids and I do have both throughout my 7 hives. With the screened bottom boards, I have now begun to keep the plastic insert fully closed, thinking that the bees can adjust the ventilation through the entrance better. I built my stands so that I can easily slide in a 1-1/2 inch piece of insulation under the screen for the winter. The only reason I like the screened bottom boards is the ease of checking for verroa after a treatment. Then, I find them beneficial. I have noticed less bearding when I had them open to more air, however.
 

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No upper vent/entrance can behave like a queen excluder, as the atmosphere in the upper boxes is not right for rearing babies.
The queen is more likely to stay/lay down near the entrance for fresh air.
 
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