The Entrance/Floor

atthedoor

The Entrance(s)

The entrance to the hive is 9 mm high by 5 cm wide.    You will need to make an entrance in the bottom box of the bees’ part.

1.   Measure and mark the width and height of the entrance at the bottom center of the board where you wish to make the entrance.

2.    Using a saw, make small two cuts (no deeper than 9 mm) on either side of the marks you’ve  outlined for the entrance’s width.

3.    Using a hammer and chisel, remove the wood within the outline and sculpt out the bees’ entrance.

If you wish you can place a second entrance in the lowest super.   This is very useful because when the bees first move into the hive they will be a bit far from the floor.   Having a second entrance near the comb grid helps young colonies come and go from the hive more efficiently while they are in the process of growing.   Their combs may not reach the vicinity of the floor until the end of their second year, at which point they will start using the lower entrance more often.   Entrances can also be closed off with adobe or wax and reopened as needed.

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Perone hive with two entrances

The Floor

Once you’ve got your entrance chisled into the lowest box of the bees’ part, you’re ready to add on the floor.

Basically all you need to do is take the box in which you made the entrance (the lower entrance, if you are choosing the two-door hive route) and nail boards to its underside, so that you have a floor.

Perone emphasizes the importance of letting one tablet stick out on the entrance side so that the edge of the board forms a landing pad for the bees.

If you choose to build the hive mainly out of 1″ by 4″  tablets, you can construct the floor using five 1″ x 4″ boards + one 1″ by 6″ board,  positioning the last board so that it jets out and forms the landing pad.

However, you can use whatever dimensions you find convenient.   Below are photos of Nicolas Cabezas adding the floor onto a hive in Chiloe, Chile.

Nailing the first floor board

Nailing the first floor board

Still going

Note the landing platform created by the overhang.  Perone feels this is important though some beekeeper eliminate it because they are worried about rain accumulating on it.

Note the landing platform created by the overhang. Perone feels this is important though some beekeeper eliminate it because they are worried about rain accumulating on it.

finished and installed

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