I am new to this board and the first post.
I came across the of the Belleville
screened bottom board article and I like to comment on it.
Last year Dr Tom Sandford in his Apis letter
explained the research and construction of this type of aid to catch the varroa mite. According to this article A German beekeeper developed this board and tested it for 5 years and was adopted by British beekepers and others.
Before the Apimondia in Vancouver / BC , Canada I constructed such boards with extremely positive results [Early September 1999].All my Hives have this feature. However, My modification to this type is a removable tray beneath the screen to be able to count the normal drop off and the drop off during miticide treatment.This "tray" also serves as "sticky board" , sprayed with "PAM " or equivalent and adjustable ventilation.
During Apimondia a fellow Australian beekeeper and I discussed this feature and realised that an addition /further modification would be even more conducive , thus preventing a disturbance of the colony during inspection and cleaning of the bottom board.It is understood that the mites as well as debris falls through the screen very nicely but dead bees and larger debris requires the usual invasion of the colony..
The next modification then required to construct the board that the screen part is also removable for cleaning puposes.
One of those modified boards was build a couple of days ago by another member of our club and it appears that it would present the final convenience to this idea, barring using different materials or dimensions.
An original slightly differently constructed board is being manufatured by beekeepers of the About.com visitors as well as one of the latest cataloges features this item for sale.
The "Bee Culture" magazine also features letter to this effect in the former issues.
[This message has been edited by Juandefuca (edited 03-16-2000).]
Thanks, Juandefuca, for this update.
There has been a lot of talk recently, on the digital airwaves, about the use of screened bottom boards. I am in the process of my own design which sounds very similar to yours without the removeable screen though. I hope to have drawings available for downloading before too long.
I would strongly advise to incorporate the sliding - feature of the screen / landing board to make it convenient all around.
For tooling you need a dadoo blade.
Cut the whole side frame out of a 2x4.
As sliding inspection/ ventilation adjustment
tray one can use a 1/4 in Masonite, Painted to preserve.I used Marine plywood
(Mahongany)which is too expensive . The 1/8 screen is the most costly part of the whole issue. We used screws , glue and large staples ( Pneumatic) to hold it all together.
Good luck with it. You will like the result.
I've been talking with another beekeeper about a design and basically it would allow all the sliding panels (could be both screen and solid) to be removed from the rear of the hive. I'm also figuring to use a 1/4" panel, probably luan underlayment that's been painted would be the best choice due to it's strength and low cost. I will also provide dimensions so the front can be on either the long or short side of the hive. I'm changing all my entrances to the long (parallel with the frames) side of the hive this year.
Yet another tool to use in our IPM system.
Right on !!
Yes the idea of the backside is fine for us little keepers. No problem. The Luan feature is also used somewhere. [ I don't even know what it is ]The other item you mentioned relative to position , deep or broad , I forgot to mention.
All mine are designed to have the entry 90 deg to the combs.[ Broad] Nothing apparently important since the bees do the construction either way as noted in feral conditions.
I am under the impression that bees fit themselves to their convenience.
Good thing to exchange ideas and observations.
Just another sideline add-on : Did you read about the varroa catching / counting without killing the bees method with powdered sugar ? Another good idea concocted by a university student.
[This message has been edited by Juandefuca (edited 03-17-2000).]