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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ellensburg, Washington, USA East Edges of the Cascades
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    Question

    What are your oppinions on bottemless hives. There was a artice on them in Bee Culture and it seemed like a good idea the only downside was slighty less honey which isnt that important to me. Should I start my first 2 hives bottemless? Would bottemless hives survive cold winters?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    I didn't see the article. What was the premise? Was it just an open Screened Bottom Board? Was it totally open? Can things, bees, mice, etc get into the open bottom area? Was there a debris pile underneath? What did they purport to be the advantage?

    I have had SBB open but around here I prefer them closed. I am planning to try one with a SBB, a debris pile and an upper entrance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Ellensburg, Washington, USA East Edges of the Cascades
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    Post

    It was just an open bottemed hive 16 inches off the ground, nothing between the bottem brood box and the ground. It said that the guard bees guard the whole hive instead of just the entrance.Anything that wants to get into the hive from the bottem has to expose its belly and back making it an eaiser target.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    4,843

    Post

    I have hives on screened pallets, with slatted racks, which also serve as the entrance. Bees do fine.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    If you try it let us know how it works out. I don't think I want to try it. Too many mice get in as it is.

    Also, what stops the combs at the bottom of the hive? How much space?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ellensburg, Washington, USA East Edges of the Cascades
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    Post

    There is no place for mice to get in, picture this, its just a hive with out any bottem board and the bottem deep is supported around the edges 16 inches above the ground.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Still doesn't sound as defensible. I would be afraid of robbing. That far off the ground sounds like a good thing, but I've seen mice jump just an inch short of the height of a 5 gallon bucket (I know because they get trapped in them. And that was the smaller ones. The bigger ones had already jumped out.

    I'm guessing the mice won't jump that high, because I think they like to sneak into a hive while the bees are clustered. But I don't know how it would work. I'm not ready for an open SBB yet.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ellensburg, Washington, USA East Edges of the Cascades
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    Post

    Your missing the point, there is no flat surface for mice to hide in just a box with frames open to the ground. Robbing is less because of the guards partooling the whole hive, they said that yellow jackets would learn quickly not to mess with the hive because they would be found once they were inside, the hives with a standard bottem board let the yellow jackets have free run of the hive once there in becuase the guards only guard the entrance

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    Post

    IF it is open on the bottom, and somehow supported, the mice could just crawl right up and in. I have seen and caught huge open air hives here, and of course bees live on cliffs many places. I seem to have more moisture problems in my open bottom hives. Any thoughts ? They produce honey just fine.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I think I get the idea. I always thought, from my perspective as the #1 predator who gets into their hive a lot, that I'd prefer there weren't TOO many guard bees.

    Try it. It might be a great idea. I'm thinking more in terms of trying to emulate what I find in a tree with a debris pile open to the ground but not a draft down there. I was going to put in the screen to keep out the mice and wax moths that would breed in the debris pile. And I was going to put the entrace up high enough to keep out the mice and the skunks.

  11. #11

    Post

    Talk to the author for different (better) feedback.

    The point that stuck out to me was that the bees did not make as much honey. If I do not get honey, I do not buy equipment, make mead, bake bread, etc...

    What do you think of not making as much honey?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
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    278

    Post

    Hi,

    Charles Simon's latest article on 'Bottomless Beekeeping' continues his observations and philosophy about modern beekeeping.

    Others are reaching the same kind of principles. Check out 'Organic Beekeeping' by Gunther Hawk in the same issue.

    I have reached the same conclusions. A live, vital hive that can easily survive is worth much more than a more productive hive that can't survive without contaiminating treatments.

    Charles Simon lives in California. I don't think a bottomless hive would be a good idea in Casper, Wyoming with its long, cold, very windy weather. Sixty plus mph winds are not uncommon. Would that be a hurricane in California.

    Regards
    Dennis

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
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    716

    Post

    This year I left my SBB open to the ground. I placed the solid board for winter. I counted the mite drop which was 5 or less per week for the 2 weeks I checked. But leaving the bottom totally open I think would cause more problem than it solves. I plan on making some sceened boards to use this year since my other screens are incerts for a regular BB and I will make them with a landing board. I to see healthy bees more important than an increase in production. Another plus I see to using a screen or bottom board is that you can watch them more closely to see how the bee look and what they are bringing in.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
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    278

    Post

    Hi

    Rev. Langstroth placed legs on his original hive. That effectively made it bottomless during the summer.

    Regards
    topbarguy

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
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    Post

    Legs between the bottom box and the bottom board?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
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    278

    Post

    Hi,

    I think the hive body was raised above the bottom board about 6 to 10 inches. I don't recall the absolute distance.

    topbarguy

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    278

    Post

    Hi,

    I think the hive body was raised above the bottom board about 6 to 10 inches. I don't recall the absolute distance.

    topbarguy

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