What size hive opening for new hive?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by ASTMedic, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    What size opening should I be using on the new hive I just got. Nuc strength so I want to be sure they don't get over run. Right now I using the smallest opening on the reducer board. Should I step up to the 6" one or pull the reducer all together and build a robbing screen? Temps are 90's during the days and 50's at night.
     
  2. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Some folks don't use the reducers at all. Some use the estimated 2-1/2" opening until the hive is stronger in numbers...or, when temps are really hot and then fully remove them. I have found this topic to be wide ranging in answers like most other hive management questions. Michael Bush prefers to use only top entrances http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm. I am just a second year keep so I will let the salts direct you to one of the many options they think is best. I would hate to steer ya wrong. Personally, I kept the smallest opening until the packages I installed doubled. And, kept them on all winter on all hives.
     

  3. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    Ya I noticed the fully open front when reading about making robbing screens. I just don't want to cook my hive with too small of an opening
     
  4. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    use an opening commensurate to the traffic and strength of the colony. for example, if you see your bees getting jammed up in front, open it up. also if you are in the 90's i would give them more of an opening for ventilation. i use top and bottom entrances.
    btw astmedic, where are you in northern california?
     
  5. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    Loma Rica, 15min into the hills from Marysville.
     
  6. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Whether you have a screened bottom board should be a consideration, too. It helps with ventilation. You can also put Popsicle sticks under your telescoping top for a little more air flow, too. :)
     
  7. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    Good idea with the sticks. Might try that.

    Just checked on them when I got home from work at just shy of 11:00pm my time. I was surprised to find them milling around the opening this late. 60 degrees out and I thought that temp slowed them down a fair amount.
     
  8. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "Loma Rica, 15min into the hills from Marysville."

    thanks astmedic. another ventilation tip vs popsicle sticks under the t cover......prop it up so the front edge of your telescoping/outer cover sets on top the edge of your inner cover.
     
  9. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Give credit where credit is due

    I don't know if he is collecting royalties, but at the very least, he deserves recognition for his "patented" ventillation system. Check back in earlier forum posts on Tecumseh's patented stick ventillation system, propping up the telescoped roof or an upper super by using a stick.:grin:
    Try this link: http://www.beekeepingforums.com/thr...ic-hive-ventalation-device?highlight=patented
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Thanks for bringing that back Efmesch. I got to have a good laugh again after going through that thread. It's timeless. :thumbsup: :lol:
     
  11. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    Well I swapped them over to the 6" opening this morning before work. They were up and out first thing. Looks like they are happier with the larger opening. I also put the Popsicle stick between the covers too since its going to hit 97 degrees this week.

    Not the best pic with my phone

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    In a bee tree they don't have the joy of sizing their opening.

    on new hives I always use the smallest opening, and as soon as hot temps come about I prop the lid too. Until plenty of bees that is the way I leave them , helping them defend their hive.

    At the end of last season we had a debate on solid bottoms vs ventilated ones , and it is my goal this season to use ventilated bottom boards during honey season , and go back to solids in winter.

    Right now half and half on my hives.
     
  13. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    Watching them still fanning at 11 last night had me thinking they might be really hot in noon time sun so I figured they could use a touch more air flow. After letting things sit for a while they seemed to like that better so we'll see how it goes.

    Feeder should be here in a few days so I'll start them on syrup this week.

    Noticed a few drones hanging out on the front like they were drying their wings in the sun. Not much activity from them at first and then later they were moving around looking good.
     
  14. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Can use a Baggie feeder if you feel you need it, just need a 1" spacer and a quart Baggie with a razor slit on top of frames.