I am new at this so need lot of learning:
I been reading about screeed bottom boards in this site. I still have a few questions.
I doubt I could leave them on in winter ??. It gets colder then -20 here. I made some scren boards yesterday. I hope I got it right. I left the old bottom board but nocked out the back cleat. (1 X 1 X 14+). On top of that I set my screen assembly which consists of a 1 X 1 on 3 sides and a 1 X 4 across the front, for a landing board. The screen is next. Then 3 sides of 1 X 1 with the front left open for an entrance.The hives set on top of that. I raised the entrance ramp to the level of the new entrance. Did I get this right?. I only have 2 hives but made 5 screens while I was at it so I hope it works. I would like to draw a picture or see a drawing of screened bottom boards. I will slip a piece of ridgid plastic in and see if I get mites. I don't even know what a mite looks like. With tri focal glasses and not good eyesight will I be able to see them?
The design sounds right. As to leaving them off there are people in northern climates that do and some have reported less winter losses and some have reported more by doing this. I'm guess it makes better ventilation but also I'm guessing the success would depend on the weather that winter. I don't plan to leave any open around here. But I have a ventilation system on mine, so I don't see the need for that draft at the bottom.
If you use a white piece of plastic and something sticky (vaseline? or you can buy "sticky paper) on it you can easily see mites on a white background. They are about the size of a period on a regular printed page, but they are visible. They are MUCH harder to see on a bee until you learn to spot them. On a bee they look like a freckle.
Thanks Michael. I will check this afternoon and let you know what I find.