I wondered if I could winter on a screened bottom board so two years ago I tried it and the hive died (possibly from not enougth food) and then last year had a booming hive on the same stand ...It wintered very well and is thriving this spring ? Has anyone else tried wintering on sbb in Central New York ? We get an average of 120 inches snow and very cold temps here
( minus 32 last winter ) ...It seems most of the hives that I lose are full of mositure so will endeavor to give them more top ventilation this year ...Thank Rick
The University of Minnesota winters their's on SBB open to the ground.
I am just building my SBB now and hope to have all of my hives on them by early summer.
I have not wintered yet on SBB, but I will be trying some hives this coming winter.
The hives that I have lost down in Catskill by the river, were from moisture. It is a little warmer down there in winter. It sounds like we have about the same weather here in Round Top as you do. But, I am very, very windy. I will most likely reduce the open area in Round Top on most, but pick a few to test with fully open screens.
here in Quebec hives can be wintered on SBB with success. I did it with my colonies last winter. I placed 4 two-boxes hives on a pallet and wrapped them in Thermofoil, with an opening on the rim of the inner-cover. On top of the 4 hives goes a 2" styrofoam and a layer of Thermofoil.
I kept the SBB closed. I know that a Queen breeder further south in Quebec than where I live uses full pallets (I mean that the floor of the pallet is full ?!) and he leaves his SBB open. He wraps the colonies with Thermofoil, including the pallet. You can see pictures of it on his web site (in french, but pictures are worth a thousand words, doesn't it?): http://www.reineschapleau.wd1.net/ar...ernage.fr.html
It works fine, even in our long and cold winters (the snow is all gone since only a couple of weeks around here, and the grass isn't green yet.
Hope this helps
I have been using a "Tew" observation hive as an actual observation hive. It's made by Brushy Mt. to just take a frame of bees to a school or whatever and then put them back, but since I wasn't using it, I converted it to one medium and one extra shallow frame and put about 1 1/2# bees and a queen in it. They couldn't ever get any eggs hatching. There was plenty of comb and it was filled with one egg per cell and none were hatching three weeks after I installed them. I closed off all the botom and top vents (there are still vents in the sides) and now the eggs are hatching.
I believe you can have TOO MUCH ventilation.
I don't leave the bottoms open on new instalations, n fact I put them in medium depth five frame nucs for the first month and then move them into a 10 frame medium box on a CLOSED SBB. When they start acting like it's too hot I'll open the bottom up. I close them in the winter.
I'm gonna add something along the lines of M.B.
I've never wintered them wrapped or on open bottom. It doesnt get all that cold here in comparison to Canada but the wind can be brutal and that has concerned me regarding having the bottoms opened. If its only 10-15 degrees outside, the wind is blowing 20mph and there is little snow cover seems like it could be drafty inside. Im sure you could winter with the bottoms open but I would look for a sheltered spot.
Seems like the opened bottoms would be beneficial in the hot summer weather and perhaps it is but I have seen no difference in the amount of honey that they store with open bottoms in the summer compared to closed.
What I have really noticed is how they act with open bottoms in the spring....and that is horrible. Brood rearing is substantially decreased in the spring and colony development has always been limited when compared to same queen sourced colonies in same locations with closed bottoms.
I to have had questions about too much ventilation. I put a number of hives on SBB this spring, only to have the queens shutdown again with the cold and wet weather.
Now that the temperatures have come up and spring looks to be here they have started backup again.
I am also wondering about scent from the hives. Being in an area with a high bear population, the added ventilation may increase the hives scent in the area and make it more atractive to the bears. Most of my bear problems occur during the peak flows, where the scent of the curing honey is easily picked up. Any ideas?
on the topic of leaving open SBB
Note in my previous post that I wrote that the commercial beekeeper I'm talking about leaves his SBB open, but
1. The hives are on a full palet, no open spaces on the surface of the pallet.
2. He wraps the hives all the way down to the bottom of the pallet, so not much wind can go through. Also, it is not long before everithing becomes all covered by 3-5 feet of snow...
I heard that it can be hard to pull the trays in spring when it spent all winter on the SBB's, because of wax-moth. But I didn't have that problem with my hives this spring.
Thank you ...DCross , MountainCamp, Hugo, Micheal,and WineMan for your input ...I know we`re all busy this time of the year and apprceiate you taking the time to reply ... I have decided to go with all sbb`s in both of my small yards ...They are both sheltered from the north winds of winter ...I will also use a board beneath (3/8 side of the bb) to close it up some in the coldest part of the winter...I dont wrap my hives but use insulated covers ... I just get so fusterated when a hive winters so well then in the spring when everything looks so promising to one day find them all dead and hive full of moisture ...MountainCamp I have no idea what to do bout those bears ??? I have heard that some a little south in PA use electric fences ?....They just pass thru my area on route north or south ...Thank Everyone ...Rick