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SunnyR2000
07-26-2013, 11:10 AM
What are your thoughts on screened vs. regular bottom board?

Thanks,
Sunny

Rusty Hills Farm
07-26-2013, 11:15 AM
I am in the deep south and we have a SHB problem down here. I use a fully closed screened bottom board with an oil tray under it. Does pretty darn good job on the beetles. If it weren't for that, I'd be all solid bottoms. I think the bees like the solids better than the open screens--too much light with the screens, IMO.

Rusty

SunnyR2000
07-26-2013, 12:05 PM
Thanks for your response!

I am in SW Colorado. We have cooler nights and cold winters. No SHB issues.

Are the screens better for mite control? Thoughts?

shinbone
07-26-2013, 01:38 PM
I am in the Denver area, and I use a SBB on each of my 13 hives primarily for enhanced ventilation during our hot summers with intense sun. I suppose the SBB may help a little for varroa control as well, although a yearly application of Apiguard to hives with high mite counts is my main method of with dealing mites, which makes the SBB mostly irrelevant to mite control.

SunnyR2000
07-26-2013, 01:51 PM
I am in the Denver area, and I use a SBB on each of my 13 hives primarily for enhanced ventilation during our hot summers with intense sun. I suppose the SBB may help a little for varroa control as well, although a yearly application of Apiguard to hives with high mite counts is my main method of with dealing mites, which makes the SBB mostly irrelevant to mite control.

Great! I am in SW CO, we have slightly warmer temps, but at times more snow. Next question, do you leave the SBB exposed all year long?

shinbone
07-26-2013, 01:54 PM
I close the SBB in the winter, once the nightime lows drop below about 50F.

SunnyR2000
07-26-2013, 02:13 PM
That's logical to me - the way I did it last year.

Thanks!

We are in the same zone, but my elevation is about 7000 ft.

gmcharlie
07-26-2013, 04:40 PM
Your bees will do a lot better without screens. they can control the temp and humididty of the brood chamber much better haveing tried both for several years. all my screens are covered with 1/4 luan

shinbone
07-26-2013, 07:00 PM
gmcharlie - Thanks for your input. I can't speak for anyone else, but for me the SBBs are essential in the summer. I think because our high altitude Colorado sun is intense.

My hives sit on the roof of a shed, where the roof is the typical black roofing paper. When the temps are in the high 90's, our high altitude sun heats the surface of the roof and the tops of the hives to literally almost too hot to touch. Talk about solar gain! In July, the heating becomes so extreme that this year about half of the queens stopped laying for about 3 weeks. I thought I had a bunch of queens gone bad, until I noticed eggs at the end of a 3-day cloudy/cool period. And this with the SBBs open and with Honey Run ventilated tops. I now have plywood propped against the sides of the hives and placed on top for sun shielding.

I think in certain situations, SBB are very helpful.

JMHO

gmcharlie
07-27-2013, 02:44 PM
well given the "cat on a hot tin roof" scenario, they might help! I think you will still find that they will avoid brood rearing near the open space..

GLOCK
07-27-2013, 04:53 PM
I think you will still find that they will avoid brood rearing near the open space..
With you being a 15 year beekeeper I guess you know what your talking about .
I run SBB in the summer and solids in the winter . I think next year i'll do half and half and see if there is a difference . I like the idea that the varroa fall out plus in the summer they seem to like the ventilation { I use screen tops in the summer also}. But the brood thing got me thinking :scratch:.

MWillard
07-27-2013, 06:33 PM
We keep hives in northern VT, we run both SBB and solid. For the SBB hives, we place a piece of wood where the monitoring tray goes to prevent up drafts in the winter. Those hives that do have SBB see to be able to regulate their temps a little better during the hot July weather. A little more ventilation....

SunnyR2000
07-27-2013, 11:14 PM
So far, three of my hives have completely open bottom boards and one has a drawer-type opening, so it is open, but there is a bottom so to speak, just an open space between the screen and the bottom.

The hives with the SBB do not have brood at the bottom of the frames. The other one does. Related?

I have the Mann Lane SBB that come with the cardboard drawer. I put in the drawers yesterday and will look for a difference. They are just cardboard.

gmcharlie
07-29-2013, 08:28 AM
With you being a 15 year beekeeper I guess you know what your talking about .
I run SBB in the summer and solids in the winter . I think next year i'll do half and half and see if there is a difference . I like the idea that the varroa fall out plus in the summer they seem to like the ventilation { I use screen tops in the summer also}. But the brood thing got me thinking :scratch:.

I like the ventilation also at first. bearding stops or slows. and honey cures faster, but found its not worth the reduced brood and buildup. Noticed that almost all my SBB the bottom deeps were empty. no brood, and no stores.. Hives are cleaner as trash falls out.
Comared Mite loads.... no differences at all in fall test. The IPM strategy sounds great... but testing in the field showed me it wasn't working like the plan.

scorpionmain
07-29-2013, 09:10 AM
I've moved away from the screened bottom boards in favor for the solid.

Robbin
07-29-2013, 09:24 AM
I am in the deep south and we have a SHB problem down here. I use a fully closed screened bottom board with an oil tray under it. Does pretty darn good job on the beetles. If it weren't for that, I'd be all solid bottoms. I think the bees like the solids better than the open screens--too much light with the screens, IMO.

Rusty


I'm with Rusty, in Flordia SBB with Oil traps are great for control SHB and I suspect they help with mites. I can't see mites in the oil, but I see roaches, ants, and SHB....

Michael Bush
07-29-2013, 09:34 AM
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Jaseemtp
07-29-2013, 09:34 AM
I am in Texas and use only solid bottom boards. My reason behind it, I grew up poor and with out air conditioning in South East Texas. All we had was an "attic fan" to cool the house down. For y'all that do not know an attic fan is a very large fan that was mounted in the ceiling and vented to the attic. What we would do is to open all the windows an inch or two and then turn the fan on. It would pull the air from the outside through the house and into the attic. The key was leaving the windows opened alittle. If you opened them all the way the fan seemed to lose it cooling abilities.
Now when we would have storm and lose power, we had no choice but to open all the windows and doors as wide as we could. It would 100 outside and it felt like it was warmer inside. The key was moving the air through the small points.
I believe that if you have the screen bottom open the bees can do little to move air around the hive. If you have it all solid then the ladies can control air flow.

rharlow
07-29-2013, 10:59 AM
FWIW, I use SBB with a slatted bottom board (slats running front to back). I also have a Honey Run ventilated top board. I run lower and upper entrances. I like ventilation, and here in southern Maine, actually want good ventilation in winter, so boards are left open in winter.