Honey bees are constrained to a pattern of work by the modern hive with all the colony activity occurring in the brood box. Improved methodologies, understanding and controlled use of entrances will ultimately improve colony health.

Honey bees prefer entrances towards the bottom third of the cavity although if a higher entrance is available they will use it with increased frequency during the summer (Seeley 1985). Depending on weather conditions, honey bees will close up any small holes and seal the cavity surface with plant resins of low water vapour permeability (i.e. propolis) (Seeley 1985). Honeybees gain thermal advantage in cool climates by constructing their wax combs from the top of the cavity (bee hive) downwards, retreating upwards when they need to conserve heat (Owens 1971) (Apis mellifera ligustica) and expanding downwards as the colony grows and increases its heat and honey production (Crane 1990, p. 90).

Elishia Gallup, The American Bee Journal 1867, Volume 3, Number 8 pg 153

  "Again if you see a box hive with a crack in it from top to bottom large enough to put your fingers in, the bees are all right in nine cases out of ten. The conclusion I have come to is this, that with upward ventilation without any current of air from the bottom of the hive, your bees will winter well without any cobs."

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© 2020 by Filipe Salbany.

A Natural Nest Cavity Entrance

Single Nest Cavity Entrance to a colony of over 50 000 bees