I have a question, that I'm sure I could find if I keep reading back through the BB. I live in North Georgia 30 miles East of Atlanta. I want to know if the use of screened bottom boards are a seasonal tool (spring, summer) or a year around item. The winter temps. here average 40's high and 30's low, with a few weeks each year that the temp. drops into the 20's or teens. Thanks for any info. on this!
Use them all the year round. Your winter sounds colder than ours, but since I put my bees on mesh bottoms last summer, they've managed temperatures down to 20F with no problems at all that I could see. Both clusters look good, but the test will obviously come in the next couple of months.
The most obvious advantage I've seen so far is that I can keep them on permanently reduced entrances, which minimises robbing. there were very few wasps round the hives last year, while the year before they were a problem.
Billy Bob: Don't know how many hives you operate but it's a simple matter to make or buy screened bottom boards with a slide in panel to handle the colder temps that we have on occasion here in the South. Roy
I am in Marietta, GA. I have cople of hives with screened bottom boards all year around and they wintering just as good as ones with out it.
I am close to the same area as you and made my own bottom boards. I built my screen board with a bottom slot that has a cover that slides in and out.That way i can have a open board or switch to a closed one with just the slide of a cover. Twenty degrees cold and allot of wind might just do a colony in. If you are interested and have the tools to make them i will send you the plans. Cheers chris