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Center or End entrance?

 
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Adam B
House Bee


Joined: 24 Mar 2019
Posts: 16
Location: St Albans UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:15 pm    Post subject: Center or End entrance? Reply with quote

I have been researching top bar hives and at this point that I'm curious about is the entrance design choices.

I've noted that the Philip Chandler design has the entrance in the middle of the side.


Other designs, such as this one from Michael Bush strongly suggest having it at the end:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm


The other item of note, is the PC design has the entrance at the bottom and the MB design, clearly on the top.

Is there a strong reason for either of these designs? Or is this merely personal preference?
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SWbee
New Bee


Joined: 16 Feb 2019
Posts: 8
Location: SW England

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Center or End entrance? Reply with quote

Adam B wrote:
I have been researching top bar hives and at this point that I'm curious about is the entrance design choices.

Is there a strong reason for either of these designs? Or is this merely personal preference?

Hi, like you I am not yet a beekeeper so I cannot advise, but I have also been reading up on Top Bar Hives,
I think I read that Phil ( @biobees ) had later opted for end entrance as being better for managing a TBH in northern climates.
So I did some searching and have come up with these refs. (but not yet found the Phil ref and it looks like he has not been here since June last year Sad )

http://forum.biobees.com/viewtopic.php?p=105699&sid=5e5c4dabf85a93e59caf5ee4ce41f78f#105699
Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:03 pm Post subject:1 follower board & end entrance Q's
Che Guebuddha wrote:
Carlos as far as I know Phil has moved away from middle entrances and two follower boards to end

periscope entrance and one follower board.


http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=109582&sid=1989ddbdcb5733323d3e339e3ddc2787#109582
Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:05 am Post subject: entrance position on chandler tbh
Barbara wrote:
I have however on one of the other threads about this, given one reason why centre entrances can be detrimental to the bees in that it can lead to isolation starvation in cold winter climates and you yourself have given another that is potentially detrimental to the beekeeper as there is a less defined honey area for harvest.


This website has FAQs on the management of follower boards in TBH and (half way down this page) has
http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
" The need to have the cluster at one end of the hive at the beginning of winter (at least in Northern climates) so they don't work their way to one end and subsequently starve while leaving stores at the opposite end because of indecision. This is easily done by simply moving the bars containing the cluster to one end and putting the bars they replaced at the other. With the entrance on the end this is almost never a problem. With the entrance in the middle you are almost guaranteed to have this problem. "

hth.
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imago
Nurse Bee


Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Posts: 29
Location: Switzerland, Rhone valley

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

I have made two hives with central entrances and two with border entrances, although not directly on the border, rather on the front but at both ends with an entry sas as depicted before.

I'm happy with the later because :
- easier temperature control when it's cold
- less wasp and other bees attacks
- honey reserve are stored at the opposite of the entrance
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Adam B
House Bee


Joined: 24 Mar 2019
Posts: 16
Location: St Albans UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting! Thanks for the replies.

I feel I may have found a spot close to my house which will accommodate a few hives.

I'm currently pondering hTBH vs Warre.

Certainly removing the need to lift boxes gives one point for the hTBH.

I also need to be able to build these myself, as I don't have the budget to buy.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1549
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't do splits myself and rely on swarms if I want to increase hive numbers but another practical reason for end entrances is you can with a follower board (or two depending on how well they fit) have two colonies in a TBH and use half of the hive for doing a split or for swarm control. (I don't stop my bees swarming either but if you want to do that it gives you the option.)
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imago
Nurse Bee


Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Posts: 29
Location: Switzerland, Rhone valley

PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As catchercradle mentionned it, I forgot to add the advantage of side entrances is that you can host two colonies in the same hive.

I orginally started with Warré hives and made multiple tests over many years but eventually decided to switch to hktbh. The main reasons were :
- the bees never wanted to build more than two boxes and decided to swarm instead
- I could never manage to have one box full of honey
- It's heavy to lift
- It's impossible to move them afterwards (in my country beekeeper move hives higher and higher in the mountain during the season, then down for winter)

It is not that the Warré hive is bad, it is probably because the bees I'm using (a local variety of carnica) and the climate (short season) are not the perfect fit for this hive.
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Adam B
House Bee


Joined: 24 Mar 2019
Posts: 16
Location: St Albans UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the details!

As an aside, I am discovering a lot of advice I have been reading is difficult to qualify just as you pointed out, because people's bees and climates vary so much. This is ignoring the temperment of the beeKEEPER (rather than the bees). Eventually I'll need to much in and figure it out for myself, but for now I'll keep reading.

Thanks again.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1549
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It is not that the Warré hive is bad, it is probably because the bees I'm using (a local variety of carnica) and the climate (short season) are not the perfect fit for this hive.


To me, this is one of the most important things to learn about Bee Keeping. All bee keeping is local. Here in Cambridge, (not too far from St. Albans) there are differences even in moving a few miles. Those who have bees out in the countryside and also in the city often get a better crop from the city bees because of the range of stuff in gardens and the mono-crop deserts that form the agricultural landscape here.

My Warré hive for instance had five boxes last year.
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flowrida
New Bee


Joined: 03 Sep 2019
Posts: 4
Location: Cambridgeshire Fens

PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:20 pm    Post subject: Entrances Reply with quote

End entrances probably make life easier when you have a commercial operation like this guy uses: tbhsbywam (dot com) Some really in depth studies of using the TBH there.
I'm in the Fens, so the agricultural desert is a worry, especially when they are spraying the fields. Might have to move near some organic farmland, or uncultivated area sometime.
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