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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    valley city,ohio
    Posts
    31

    Post

    I am thinking about trying some screened bottom boards but am concerned about leaving them on year round. I live in north central ohio and temps get below zero on occassion and we have been below freeaing most of the winter. I know I could build a bottom board with a solid removable panel but I am too lazy for that if I dont have to. Anybody have any info on how bees surive winter with an open bottom to the hive?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Post

    I don't have any experience with them wintering in SBB. I have wintered a lot of hives, though, and the concept is pretty contrary for me. I'd take a piece of baling twine and staple it to the edges of the under side of the bottom board to make a zig zag and slide in a piece of cardboard if it was me.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Chadron, NE
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I don't have any experience with them wintering in SBB. I have wintered a lot of hives, though, and the concept is pretty contrary for me. I'd take a piece of baling twine and staple it to the edges of the under side of the bottom board to make a zig zag and slide in a piece of cardboard if it was me.
    Michael, Don here in the frigid northwest Nebraska. Do you use screened bottom boards?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,124

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    Just slide a piece of sign board in the entrance of the hive for winter.
    Been reading on here for years some people in cold country close them some leave them open all winter. I think the wind could be a problem.
    Dan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Chadron, NE
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    Guys,

    I am wondering if you are having results in monitoring varrora populations with the screened boards.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Edwardsville, IL
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    need to know what size of screen is good to use. having a hard time finding #8 mesh thx for the help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Post

    I built the screened bottom boards from this board that can be closed during the cold or when doing a mite drop test and they work for me. I am North of you and usually much colder than you but they are wonderful helping control the varora mites
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Festus, MO
    Posts
    33

    Post

    I leave the SBB's open all year and have had good results so far. I check my hive last weekend and had a lot of bees.
    Earl

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    621

    Post

    From all of the comments that I have read about cold and Bees, the cold will not kill the bees. If you don't have sufficent ventilation and it is cold where the moisture will collect on the cover and drip on the bees this will kill the bees. I know of a feral swarm that is exposed under the eave of a vacunt house that has been there for a while and they are still alive (in S.E. Ks, temp down to 0 Deg. at times). I have not been brave enough to leave my slide board out this year but I may next year. Seems that the cold doesn't affect the bees like it does us humans. As for making the slide it really isn't that much trouble. I use screws to install the 3/4"X3/4" strips to retain the slider board. You can use most anything available for the slider board. If you have more questions just post them here and someone will answer them. Dale

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Post

    Personally I will not try the open bottom boards here. It's not just the temperature that's an issue. I've seen many a ground blizzard when it was 10 below and the wind was 60 mph. I don't think it should be open. Maybe the wind doesn't blow so much other places, but any winter storm here will hit 40 mph.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    This is my first year with a sbb on during the winter. It has been pretty cold here in northeastern PA this winter, and so far so good. I have to agree, that an updraft could become a problem, but I have my hives on stands, that more or less prevent an updraft, but still allow ventilation during the season. Time will tell. We are getting another arctic blast this week, and temps down to the single digits again!

    ------------------
    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
    Posts
    565

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    Quote Originally Posted by izybo View Post
    I am thinking about trying some screened bottom boards but am concerned about leaving them on year round. I live in north central ohio and temps get below zero on occassion and we have been below freeaing most of the winter. I know I could build a bottom board with a solid removable panel but I am too lazy for that if I dont have to. Anybody have any info on how bees surive winter with an open bottom to the hive?
    I was also too lazy to equip my SBB's with slot and removeable panel. For winter we slipped pieces of wood under the hive to reduce the wind. In retrospect, I wish I had not been so lazy, as a removeable feature is quite useful, not only for winterizing, but for mite counts.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hopkins, South Carolina
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    I get my #8 from the oldest hardware store that I could find. They had it on hand ..

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    914

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    The guru of our beekeeper's association is reportedly so good at reading sticky-boards that she can tell you where the bees are and how they are doing just by a quick look. Wanting to learn that is why we got ours. I probably will need years to get as good.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,406

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    izybo,
    I'm not too far from your location in Ohio and I would recommend closing off the bottoms for winter. If you are going to go through the effort of building them, spend a little extra time constructing them to accept trays. I've tried some of mine with open sbb all winter. They survived ok, but they are slower to build up in the Spring and tend to stay away from the bottom box which could end up being a problem in some cases.
    To everything there is a season....

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,668

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    I went my first couple of years with SBB completely open with 100% survival. I've found that, in the spring, open bottoms cause the bees to avoid using the bottom of the hive for raising brood, so I started closing them off. From now on, I'm going to solid.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Southern Connecticut
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    Can get some here. The experts would know better which to use. I make a removable screened bottom board and removable solid bottom board. If I decide I hate one I can flip it over (or just close it off for winter). It's definitely more work but I have solids, screened, slatted, and all kinds of combos for experimentation.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    I close mine up when overnight temps are <50F, but several years I've found a few hives I forgot and left open were doing great too.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Edwardsville, IL
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    #8 1/8 x 1/8 hardware cloth is at Ace Hardware store if u have them $1.99 a foot

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    Interesting how mite screens have evolved over the years. They were originally designed at the Beltsville Bee Lab in 2000 to be used above a solid bottom board with a 1"-2" space between. Google 'Beltsville mite screen' for the history.

    But of course we beekeepers like to experiment and the next thing we know the mite screen became a bottom board itself used wide open with many promoting the extra ventilation it gives. Didn't take long for the manufacturers to pick up on that and now we have every kind of mite screen imaginable.

    I use mite screens as originally designed as just one IPM method but I refuse to believe that a bee hive needs so much ventilation that a wide open screen provides, especially with the winter we are having now.

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