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Guard bee population


#1

I read that the number of guard bees a hive maintains is related to entrance size. Kind of makes sense.

Would there be any benefit in reducing the entrance size in order to reduce the risk of being noticed?


#2

In the past, ( I had to take a few years off from keeping) we would use a reducer to allow the bees to better protect their hives. Rather than have to guard the entire length, they would only need to worry with about a 3 inch opening. Seemed to work well. Was just a square piece of wood with a slot routed into it that fit into the gap.


#3

I don’t think there would be any advantage in reducing the entrance size so you don’t get noticed.

The main thing to be aware of are the times to be more cautious around your bees, such as: Threatening weather, thunder storms, overcast, no honey coming in, lawn mower exhaust fumes & etc.

Another issue with bees are bare feet, you have to be constantly reminding children to wear shoes when walking around near bee hives, especially after a decent patch of rain. Sometimes it’s quite easy to find bees on their last legs walking around in the vicinity of a bee hive.