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Question about entry excluder


#1

I am a NewBee. I just installed my bees in my flow hive. It was fun! I made an excluder for the entry that is working great. How do I know when to remove it.
Thanks
Patti


#2

Show us a pic. What is an entry excluder?


#3

I thought I did attach a photo. Will try again.
In any case, when you first install your bees, the hive is not robust enough to fend off all invaders that might come through the full entry so you minimize it to make it more difficult for robbers, etc. to enter and easier for the bees to protect the hive.


#4

Hi Patti,
Either when the weather warms up and your bees need more ventilation or when the numbers have increased enough that they can defend the entry. All my hives have some form entrance reducer depending on the number of bees and the weather, however I never go to full width as I have wasps and beetles.


#5

Hi Patti, that’s a great looking entrance excluder you have there. When you mention excluder, we all naturally assume you mean queen excluder. The only thing I would suggest you do as the colony expands is make the entrance wider. If the EX (entry excl.) material is soft wood, the bees will chew it out if they want it a bit deeper.


#6

Hi Pattie,

I am guessing from your posted pix you are referring to an entrance reducer. The one I
am making the hole/entrance is about 3/8" high. I make mine out of hardwoods because the narrow wood bridge over the hole can be rather weak n break pulling them out or reinstalling later to prevent robbing if you see that happening.

. Some beekeeper don’t use them at all. I do when the hive colony is small. As the colony grows n can adiquately defend its self it’s time to remove the reducer completely. Mine have a 1" wide n 4" wide entrance hole… . The one above I made specificly for Flow-hives. . The second double entrance reducer is for my 10 frame Langstroth hive. If you see your small entrance hole being too much of a bottle neck earlier it’s time to open it all the way.

Good luck n welcome to beekeeping,
Gerald.


#7

I have entrance reducers on all my hives they vary between 7 and 10 cm. They stay in all year. The bees don’t mind queuing and it’s a size that bees prefer. I consider the full length entrance is too difficult to defend. If I take the reducer out the bees all still go into the hive at the same place.


#8

Hi Dee, that’s an interesting observation that I’ve made. It kind of rules out bees drifting to neighboring hives unless it’s bees doing their orientation flight.


#9

Even my big hives have a reduced entrance. I run 8 frame hives and the entrance is about 1cm high and they are permanently shut down to half width. The bees queue a bit in the height of summer but don’t seem to mind BUT no wasps,etc get in unchallenged. Its autumn here and I am condensing the hives for winter and will close the entrances to quarter width soonish when the weather really cools down. Basically, In answer to your question, I think you open the entrance to keep a bit of a queue happening and don’t give them an entrance they will have trouble defending.

Cheers
Rob.


#10

Ah, ok, we call those reducers. That looks good. Some of my giant colonies only have a few more inches that that.


#11

Two shots of the entrance of the same hive. Note the elegant reducer. Not pretty but it works.

In the middle of the day (autumn here so they are downsizing) so there are plenty of bees.

My reducer installed after they quietened down in the afternoon. This reducer will now stay on this hive even through summer. Over winter more will be added to close the entrance down to about an inch.

Reducers don’t have to be works of art.

Cheers
Rob.