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Perfect Beehive Entrance Reducer Dimensions While Making It

Beehive Entrance Reducer Dimensions

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The entrance reducer is a very crucial part of a beehive. This keeps the colony protected. So, while making it you should maintain it’s proper dimension.

This post is going to guide you with proper beehive entrance reducer dimensions. Also, you will get helpful information on how to install and use it.

 

 

 

What Is A Beehive Entrance Reducer?

An entrance reducer in a beehive is placed to reduce the entrance of the hive. It is actually a barrier that contains 2 different sizes of entrances. In most cases, it is made of wood. But you will find made of metal too.

An entrance reducer having only one entrance is also available. But maximum beekeepers use the 2 entrance size one.

Beehive Entrance Reducer
Beehive Entrance Reducer

 

While making a new beehive a beekeeper must consider the perfect dimension for its entrance. Considering the right dimension an entrance reducer is made for the beehive. Then it is placed in front of the open entrance of the hive to reduce the space.

 

 

 

Why Should You Use A Hive Entrance Reducer?

You got familiarized with the beehive entrance reducer. Now you probably asking why should we use a hive entrance reducer.

A hive entrance reducer is mainly used to strengthen the difference of the colony. Reducing the entrance of the hive will prevent mice and other parasites from going through the hive.

This will prevent the steal of honey by parasites and bees from other colonies. Because the worker bees will be more strong to defend the small entrance against the enemy.

A large entrance means a large area needed to be guarded by the worker bees. So, the parasites have a large space to enter the hive easily. This will make the defense of the colony weak.

Also, during winter having a large entrance will lead to more extra moisture inside the hive. So, beekeepers might require to use a quilt box or moisture board during winter.

If the entrance is small, controlling moisture inside the hive will be easier for the bees. In simple words beekeepers like to use a beehive entrance reducer for 2 purposes.

  1. To protect the hive from predators like mice, giant lizards, etc. Thus an entrance reducer will enhance the defensiveness of the hive.
  2. To protect bees from excessive cold during winter.

 

Earwigs can also be a problem for your honey bee colony. Earwigs is small. So, using an entrance reducer won’t protect the hive from earwigs. If you see earwigs near your beehive. You must take necessary steps to get rid of earwigs from your beehive.

It is not mandatory for you to use a hive entrance reducer. If you made your beehive in such a way that the entrance is very small. You might not need an entrance reducer. It is completely up to you.

Most beekeepers use an entrance reducer to prevent swarming. Mainly for enhancing the defensiveness of the beehive. And I am also using it for the same purposes.

 

 

 

What Are The Dimensions Of A Beehive Entrance Reducer?

The dimensions of a beehive entrance reducer vary depending on the structure of the hive and the type of bees you keep. Usually, the width is less than 4 inches and the length is 12 to 18 inches.

Entrance Reducer Dimensions For A 8-Frame Beehive
Entrance Reducer Dimensions For A 8-Frame Beehive

 

Depending on the frame size of the beehive perfect entrance reducer dimensions are given below.

Hive Frame Size Dimensions in inches ( L×W×H )
6 frame beehive 12″×0.75″×0.7″
8 frame beehive 12.2″×0.8″×0.76″
10 frame beehive 16.5″×3.6″×1.2″

These dimensions are based on the ideal Langstroth hive. For the top bar hive, the frame size is not limited. So, the dimensions can be different for top bar hives.

 

 

What Should Be The Size Of The Holes In The Entrance Reducer?

I have already discussed the perfect dimensions for a beehive entrance reducer. You already know that an entrance reducer usually has 2 holes. So, what should be the size of these 2 different holes?

The ideal size for the large hole is 3 to 4.5 inches2 and for the small hole is 1 to 2 inches2. It can vary depending on the type of hive and the type of bees you have.

Well, honey bees can go through a hole size of 1/4 inch. But you should not keep the entrance hole as small as this. You should keep both hole sizes between 1 to 4.5 inches square.

 

 

 

How To Install & Use An Entrance Reducer In A Beehive?

When your entrance reducer is ready to use it’s time to install it in a beehive. The installation is super simple. You can install it in 3 simple steps. Whenever you are making any changes to your hive make sure to follow hive inspection rules.

 

  • Step-1: Keep Your Bees Calm: You can use a smoker to calm and remove the bees from the entrance of the hive. Spray smoke a little bit at the opening of the hive.
  • Step-2: Place The Entrance Reducer: Place the entrance reducer at the front of your hive opening mouth. Make sure the entrance mouth is in the upward direction.

Placing the entrance the hole in the upword direction have a benefit. After such orientation you will find less amount of dead bees than the down face orientation.

  • Step-3: Switch The Hole When Needed: During summer you should use the large hole entrance. Because during winter a lot of bees will go outside through the hive. But during winter only a few bees will require to go outside. Also, a large opening might introduce very cold inside the hive. So, during winter you should place the small hole entrance instead of the large hole.

 

This is actually how I install and use an entrance reducer for my beehive. This is my favorite usage of this little stuff. You can choose whatever orientation you are interested in.


This video faces the hive entrance downward direction. But I like to use it in the upward direction.

 

If you do not want to switch between the openings you can place the large opening. If your region does not get too cold during winter. Then you do not have to use the small opening.

Also, if you use a moisture-controlling board then you also don’t need the small opening. You can use the large opening for the entire year.

 

 

Should The Beehive Entrance Be Top Or Bottom?

This question is asked by hundreds of beekeepers who are going to start their first apiary. Actually, both the top and bottom hive entrance has advantages and disadvantages. Considering those you can decide whether a top or bottom entrance is best for your beehive.

Top Entrance Vs Bottom Entrance

 

A comparison between the top and bottom beehive entrances is given below.

Bottom Entrance Top Entrance
The entrance is located at the bottom of the hive. The entrance is located at the top of the hive.
It can easily be accessed by mice and other parasites. It is usually hard to be accessed by mice and other parasites.
It provides good ventilation and temperature regulation. The bees have to work hard to ensure proper ventilation.
The nurse bees can easily access the brood bees while coming from outside. The nurse bees require more distance to travel to visit the brood nests.
Workers need to travel through the brood nest and other boxes to reach the honey super. Worker bees easily can access the honey super. As the top entrance is just above the super, workers can easily store the honey on the super.
It is mostly used in the Langstroth hive Mostly used in top bar hives.

Though the top entrance has a lot of advantages over the bottom entrance, I like to use the bottom entrance for my hives.

Because using the bottom entrance makes temperature regulation easier. Also, feeding the broods and their nursing by worker bees is easier.

In the case of a top entrance, nurse bees require to travel more distances to visit the brood nest. This is why I like to use the bottom entrance instead of the top entrance.

If you use a bottom entrance then make sure to use a entrance reducer. Also, keep the hive bottom far from ground. At least, 2 to 3 feet above the ground. Mice guard can also be a good choice to enhance the security of the hive

 

You can go with a top entrance if you have any of the following issues.

  • Too many mice around your beehive.
  • Snowfall during winter.
  • If you need to move your hive from one place to another.

While using a top entrance it might not be mandatory to use an entrance reducer. As it is not easily accessible by mice and other parasites. But using one will enhance the security of the hive.

 

If you want you can use both top and bottom entrance combinely. Having both top and bottom entrance all together will be halpful for bees during summer. They can easily access both brood nest and honey super. During winter you can close any one of the entrance to protect your bees from cold.

using two entrance might require to use mice guard, entrance reducer, and other protections. Because more entrance allows more ways for bees to access the hive. Equally more chances for predators to stole honey and broods from the hive

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions Related To Beehive Entrance Reducer

 

What is the entrance reducer on a new hive?

The entrance reducer in a new hive is a block to the entrance of the hive. This is the small entrance that allows bees to go on. But effectively prevent the entrance of large parasites like mice, lizards, raccoons, etc.
One entrance face or two both are suitable for a new beehive.

Should I block the entrance to a bee’s nest?

You should not block the whole entrance of the hive. You shouldn’t also keep the entire entrance opened. To help your bees becoming defensively strong you can use a entrance reducer. It will keep mice and cold both out of the hive.

What size is the 8 frame entrance reducer?

The entrance reducer for an 8-frame hive should have a length of at least 12 inches. Its width and height should between 0.7 to 0.85 inches. Ideal dimension for a 8-frame hive is 12.2″×0.8″×0.76″ inches.

What size is the 10 frame entrance reducer?

The entrance reducer for a 10-frame beehive should have a length of at least 14 inches. The width should be at least 3 inches and the height of 1 inch.
The ideal size of a 10-frame Langstroth hive is 16.5 inches in length, 3.6 inches in width, and 1.2 inches in height.

Which Direction Should A Beehive Entrance Face?

The best direction for a beehive entrance is the southern direction. It will prevent your hive from cold breeze during winter and from sunlight during summer.
It actually depends on the placement of your hive. I personally like to place the beehive entrance in either the Northern direction or Southern direction. Because if it is towards east or west sunlight falls directly on its face. So, bees may be got trouble going and coming through the hive.

Make sure to place the hive facing other direction than the path used to walk by people. Because bees don’t like an interruption. If possible place the hive near a garden and far from the street.

How small a hole can bees get through?

Worker honey bees require a hole size of a quarter inch to go through. But queen is the largest member of the colony who requires a little more hole size. Half an inches of hole size is enough for bees to get through.
But multiple bees need to get through the hive entrance. That’s why it is recommended to keep the hive entrance around 2 inches in diameter.

 

 

Hopefully, this article helps you to find all the queries related to a beehive entrance reducer. Also, now you know the perfect dimension of the entrance reducer for your hive. Now you can check my other article on how to catch a swarm using a bee vacuum.

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