A few people have asked me at this link about the metal structure at the front of my Italian hive.
From scanning through my Dad's books, it is a 'Swiss entrance' used to control ventilation. I would also imagine that it is used for prevention of access to the hive by lizards, field mice and other small creatures. They are available on Italian bee keeping sites.
What I was wondering about was those 'latches' on the two side walls of the porch at the very front?
Looks like a mouseguard to me. How much difference in ventilation would there be moving the plates apart? Absolutely none if you have a mesh floor and little with a solid floor. Definitely a mouse guardMind you it's 1956 so would be a solid floor