Home | About | Products | Blog

Entrance holes


Your Top Bar Hives looks really good and I wish i could ship a few to Sweden. Right now I’m building my own though.

I see you have a different entrance setup on your Top Bar Hives than the one I have seen on the biobees website.

What’s the thought about this setup of the entrance holes, and how do you use the hive with this setup?

What’s the measurement You are using?




Thanks for your question! I also wish we could easily ship them to Europe, as we’ve had many requests. Sadly, the hives weigh 90+lbs and ship in two four foot long boxes, thus making the cost incredibly expensive!

The reason for 2x2x2 entrances is that it allows the beekeeper to start their bees wherever they’d like: at either end or in the middle. I highly recommend starting at one end and allowing the bees to build in one direction. We’ve had the best success using this method and most people seem to be converting to this practice. In Biobees original plans he had people starting their bees in the center. I had dozens of beekeepers calling me up wondering why their bees died in winter, and it was largely because they’d moved both follower boards as the colony expanded. This caused honey to be stored on both sides, and the bees would die after eating through all the honey in one direction.

Our top bar hives are 42" long.




I have a releated question about the entrance holes. I started my hive so that it is at one end of the TBH and currently only have one hole open. When should you have more than one hole open? When the hive is filling out the the TBH into the middle section whould you ever use some of the holes in the middle? I would assume not since that would be more openings for the bees to quard?


Wat is the diameter of the entrance holes in millimeters?

Are they to be fitted with a wine cork?




Once the colony has built up and they have a significant population you can open more. I actually generally start my colonies off with two entrances toward one end (7/8" entrances), and as they expand through the hive I may open more side entrances holes for them. They’ll usually only use the first two as entrances, but the rest they’ll use for ventilation. If the colony is large/strong enough they shouldn’t have too much trouble with robbers.





The entrance holes on our hives are 7/8" or around 22.5 mm. These fit corks that have not yet been used in a wine bottle. I.E. fresh corks. :)




Hi Matt,

as this post started some time ago, I assume that you have now changed the design to have the larger entrance holes. In using the entrances with the brood at one end. Would you open up the middle entrance as the colony expanded and would you use the larger size hole or add the bung with the small hole. by the way, the hive plans, hardware and topbars arrives yesterday and I was quite pleasantly surprised to see the entrance bungs in with the hardware. great as it save me a hard job of making them.


I open one end hole until the colony builds past the center hole. If they are strong, I will either fully open the center hole, or use a bung with a hole drilled in it to provide them 1/2 the hole. I never open all 3 holes. They’ll often use the center one for ventilation, but continue using the first hole as their main entrance.


Thanks Matt, Happy 4th July to all at Bee Thinking