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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I joined late last summer. You all told me not to rush into beekeeping, but to read, join the local bee keeping association, find a mentor, read, start with two Langstroth hives, read, attend beekeeping classes, and read all I could about honey bees. I did, and my hives are doing great, I think (with my limited knowledge). To my question, I am useing 8 frame deeps for brood chambers and supers each hive now has 2 brood deeps and one honey super that is also a deep (I will use med supers after this year) one hive has many more bees. Not that that the other has too few, just that one has more. The front half of bottom brood chamber and landing board is covered with bees, some3-4 bees deep during the late afternoo/evening. I have screened bottom boards and placed shims to lift up inner cover for more ventilation. No one uses top entrances that I have talked to, but today I gave a top entrance to the one crowded hive.It just seemed more logical that foraging tired bees not have to fight the crowded landing strip to unload their stores. How long will it take for the bees to find their new entrance and did I give them what they needed?? They are working all new foundation and have not quite drawn out enough frames for me to give them another super and I didn' t want to put an empty box of frames for them to have to protect/defend with an unfamiliar entrance. How long do I wait to give them the next super?
 

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New bees are being initiated as pilots/foragers everyday. They'll find the entrance just fine.

I have the same hive config. and have top entrances. They are heavily used.
 

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I'll bet they're already using the top entrance. Just remember, when the flow is over, close it back down, otherwise you'll be inviting robbers and wax moths.
And yes, glad you're back with us on the forum--and even happier to hear your glowing report. So it really paid to do the learning before making the plunge. :thumbsup:
 

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Just remember, when the flow is over, close it back down, otherwise you'll be inviting robbers and wax moths.
I've a lot of recommendations for the use of top entrances year round. What about farmgirls configuration do you think invites robbing?
Not challenging you. Just curious.
 

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farmgirl,
when did you start your hives? did the strong hive need dividing?
you will always find some of your hives stronger than others. bearding is common during hot weather on the landing board and on the face of the hive as you described. i believe in top entrances for many reasons, ventilation, and easier access to the foragers. the foragers will find this as eddy said, and found it before your post :grin:

about supers....add another super when the super of foundation below is drawn out, stored with nectar, and capped, about 1/2 to 3/4 full. this all depends on your flow, and the strength of your hive.

ef said: "I'll bet they're already using the top entrance. Just remember, when the flow is over, close it back down, otherwise you'll be inviting robbers and wax moths."

ef, i don't close my upper entrance on my inner cover when a flow is over, unless i have a weak hive that i suspect will be robbed, and then i use window screen over it.

nick asked:
"I've a lot of recommendations for the use of top entrances year round. What about farmgirls configuration do you think invites robbing?"

nick a top entrance does not invite robbing, it only gives the bees another avenue of entrance to rob a weak hive that cannot protect themselves.

btw WELCOME!
 

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A small top entrance, whether it is actually usable by the bees or just screened over, allows condensation moisture to leave the hive in the winter. Dripping condensation is really bad news in cold winter areas.
 

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Riverbee says: "nick a top entrance does not invite robbing, it only gives the bees another avenue of entrance to rob a weak hive that cannot protect themselves."

Efmesch adds: I'll go for that
:thumbsup:--- let's face it, the beek not only has to use judgment in each instance of hive management, but also has to be aware of the factors to be considered. Omie's comment is also a valuable aspect to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to all who responded. Riverbee I bought these two hives as nuks the second week of May. Within one week they were ready for their second deep, and two weeks later the first deep super. By this weekend they will be ready for another super. I realize (for me) honey is heavy and med prpbably make better supers. But not to worry, I will have those deeps already drawn out for next years split!! BTW the bees are kinda slow and were just exploring that entrance last evening, but I expect today will be flying in and out of it. The second hive is not as far along and won't be ready for their second super (med) for awhile, but I am watching and am ready when they are.
 

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In less than four weeks your bees went from a 5 frame nuc to two brood deeps and two deep honey supers...?!?
 

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How many frames did these nucs have? To go from a nuc to even filling out a 10 frame box would take more than a week. I also can't fathom how they would then need a second deep and a super two weeks after that.
 

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farmgirl said:
"I bought these two hives as nuks the second week of May. Within one week they were ready for their second deep, and two weeks later the first deep super. By this weekend they will be ready for another super. I realize (for me) honey is heavy and med prpbably make better supers." and "the bees are kinda slow and were just exploring that entrance last evening, but I expect today will be flying in and out of it."

omie's reply:
"In less than four weeks your bees went from a 5 frame nuc to two brood deeps and two deep honey supers...?!?
riverbee's reply is i'm with omie...:confused: !!! wow you have some very busy, industrious bees, and i want some of those bees:lol:

farmgirl, i am just guessing your nuc hive was one deep vs a 5 frame nuc box? so the bees outgrew the deep they came in, in a week, and you added a second deep as a brood chamber, and are using a deep box as a super? (your comment about 'heavy honey', and yes, the medium supers are more manageable.

you will like the upper entrances, good in the winter, good in the summer.....

whoops perry and i were posting at the same time.....so now you have our curiousity about your hives!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi,let me clarify.....I gave the person my 8 frame deep brood box, a top cover, bottom board and 5 empty frames. He used a frame feeder and he exchanged 5 frames bees, brood, etc. He then let them raise their own queen (I think I remember him saying there was a problem getting queens at that time bit not sure now). He kept them for about a month---he wanted to make sure queen was laying and all was good before I took them. Then I got them the second week of May and yes both hives are 3 deep, but these are 8 frame and not 10 frame. The strongest hive was the one I was questioning because I did not want them so congested that half my bees went looking for a new home. I just checked the deep super yesterday (whwn my husband gave an upper entrance) and they have approx 2 frames mostly capped honey, 3 frames uncapped, and 3 frames stages of drawn wax, The other hive is slower and still has 4 frames with little to no drawn wax. I did manipulate the frames around in that hive a little to encourage them. Should I also give this hive an upper entrance? Thanks for your interest/help.
 

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thanks for the clarification. very cool about how your hives were started! a big jump start!
you asked: "Should I also give this hive an upper entrance?"

well, i would, but that is just my method. what does the weak hive consist of again? 3 deeps? 2 brood chambers and 1 deep for honey, all 8 frame?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, at this point they are both 2 brood chambers and 1 super all 8 frame deeps -----3 hive boxes per hive. Also, I am not sure if the one hive is weak, I would say it is just not as robust. It did not seem to have as many bees from the onset. But I think they are doing fine anyway I have not noticed any thing amiss. So tomorrow I will have hubby notch that inner cover. And it was a big jump start------One of these threads mentioned that. I am glad I listened. Thanks
 

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a great jump start, and purchasing bees locally as you did is a great plus, especially when the queens are monitored for laying patterns, whether it is as you described, or a 4 or 5 frame nuc hive, and some hives will be more robust than others.
i think you will like the notched covers, and i think your bees will too. best wishes to you:grin:
 

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an Omie snip..
So you basically started with an 8 frame deep hive...quite a start for a 'nuc' !

tecumseh:
more like a split than a nuc.
 
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