Honeyflow.com | FAQ's | Community |

My bees are only using one corner of the entrance


#1

Has anyone else seen this? It isn’t obstructed at all but they only like using one small corner on my flow hive. On the polystyrene hive they use the entire entrance. I don’t have reducers in as they are both new colonies and there’s nothing here to rob them (Alaska)

You can see what I’m talking about here…


#2

Yes…mine do this …


#3

Looks like they are all left-handed! :smile: Just kidding. I think it is normal bee behavior. Reducing the entrance isn’t just for robbing, by the way. It helps improve the efficiency of warmth retention and ventilation, restricts rodent (mouse etc) access, makes it easier to defend against hornets and wax moths (although they seem to prefer access via the roof) and it really doesn’t impede the bee traffic, as Michael Bush repeatedly posts. Thomas Seeley did some work which shows that given a choice, bees prefer an entrance of about 15 square centimeters, or about 1/2" by 5"


#4

indeed! southpaws the lot of them. I haven’t found a reducer for the flow. I have seen other use other materials. Any suggestions on something i can stuff in there for a reducer?


#5

Foam. Cut a car washing sponge up


#6

As you are an Alaskan, I imagine you are pretty good at improvising… :smile:

@Gerald_Nickel made me a very nice entrance reducer from hardwood (for which I sent him a donation! :wink: ). But if he hadn’t been able to do that, I would suggest going to your local hardware store, and buying a piece of “one by” lumber. Best of all would be a 1 x 1" square cross-section trim strip, if you can find it. My local Home Depot has 1" x 2" lumber, which is what I would use:

The entrance is about 12.6" wide, so I would cut a 7" length of the trim, and then cut it in half to make two 1 x 1" blocks. You will then need to sand them down to fit the entrance, which slopes slightly. Mine is a little over 11mm at the inside and 12mm at the outside opening. So I ended up with a piece which looks like this when viewed end on:

Just push it into the entrance until it wedges firmly, as some bees like to try push them out (including mine! :smile: )


#7

Ahhh very nice i’ll do that thanks :slight_smile:


#8

My bees are right handed. They mostly use about 1 inch only on the very side.

Could it be something to do with the way they circulate the air?
Or could it be its the most efficient place to land and carry in the Nectar/Pollen? eg. nearest to the frame they are currently doing the most work on.

Maybe the security guards inside the entrance decided where new arrivals should enter.

Its all very interesting. I am loving it.


#9

I made this reducer for my flow, the pine is 12 mm x 20mm ( a neat fit) ,

the red wood is jarrah and adds some weight to keep it in place. You can slide it to be open one end or the other or as I do, put it in the middle so they have entrance either end as my bees also like to use the corners. I also think it might help shelter the brood from the cold wind A bit, not sure if does or not, but can’t hurt😊 The wood is cheap from Bunnings, so I made up different length reducers, some for robbers etc. this one is 245mm long. Cheers Tim.


#10

Cardboard rolled up works for a temp.


#11

just installed it. We’ll see how this helps I’m sure it will though.


#12

I was thinking a similar thing, having somehow a sliding entrance reducer where you could control the size via a sliding mechanism. In summer you could slide it out and then in winter, slide it closer in. I need a handyman to make it! :wink:


#13

my bees like the East side of my boxes… whether its a standard box or the flowhive…


#14

Interesting! I have been noticing the same thing. Mine seem to prefer the West side.


#15

Well I don’t know if this the answer but I did my first inspection today. When I opened up the brood box the bees had been working hard on a frame with only a wooden starter strip on the right hand side. This is also the side where they had been almost entirely landing. They built a full depth Langstroth out with wax and stores in about 5 days. Amazing


#16

If its warm and there is a flow on their productivity will absolutely amaze you. When the temperature drops you can try almost anything and they will only build comb VERY slowly, if at all.


#17

I’m not sure if this is appropriate, however I see this a lot with weaker colonies & I always figure that the part of the entrance that is used the most is directly in front of where the most brood activity is.

It’s fair to remember that when a bee comes out to do her orientation flight, she will remember the precise location, probably within a square inch. So that’s the part of the entrance she will use when she starts foraging.

In a case where the bees are using one side of an entrance, if you were to place a piece of cardboard over that half of the entrance, you’ll get a buildup of bees on the cardboard wanting to go in. It wont take them long to go to the other side. That illustrates how accurate the bees “gps” is.


#18

If they are not using the whole entrance then close it down. This allows the guards to do a better job. I like a busy entrance, not crowded, just busy.

Cheers
Rob.


#19

yeah blocked it with some cardboard they seem happier now to have a 5 inch hole it seems.


#20

Yep. I usually only have my hives half open, even in summer. By now I would usually have them closed down to a couple of inches but the weather is very warm and they are still really active. When it gets cooler and their activity drops off I will close it down more.

Cheers
Rob.