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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
    43,492

    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
    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

  4. #4
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    594

    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    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.

  7. #7
    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

  8. #8
    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?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    3,999

    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

  10. #10
    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.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Edwardsville, IL
    Posts
    30

    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.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    799

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    Quote Originally Posted by Levi's Bees View Post
    need to know what size of screen is good to use. having a hard time finding #8 mesh thx for the help.
    you definitely want to use #8

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,962

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    With screen sizes with holes larger than #7, bees can get through, so you need to use #7 or #8 to block bees. But #7 is much harder to find than #8 hardware cloth. You may have better luck asking for "#8 hardware cloth" instead of "screen".

    A useful reference on hardware cloth sizes:
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    #8 - no bee can pass. pollen gets stuck.
    #7 - as long as there are no bent wires, no bee can pass. Pollen falls through.
    #6 - worker bees can squeeze through (and will) but they have to wiggle and squirm a lot. Drones and queens cannot.
    #5 - worker bees can squeeze through easily but lose some of their pollen. Queens and drones cannot.
    #4 - all bees can pass (workers, drones and queens). The workers sometimes lose some of their pollen when they catch their basket on the wire. (mice cannot and this makes a nice mouse guard)
    If you can't find #8 hardware cloth locally, here is one online source:
    http://www.hardwareandtools.com/Jack...h-6100804.html
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    799

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    you can also get it from brushy mountain

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    316

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    Are there any similar guidelines for allowing pests like SHB to fall through?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,962

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    > Are there any similar guidelines for allowing pests like SHB to fall through?

    Your only options for suitable hardware cloth to allow SHB to pass are #7 or #8 as other sizes (smaller numbers) allow bees through as well. #7 hardware cloth is quite difficult to find, so for most beeks #8 is the only practical choice.

    Betterbee does show #7 hardware cloth on their website, but it has been "out of stock" for a long time. I don't know of any other source for reasonable quantities.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    684

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    I use screened bottom boards. I typically close them up for winter. But, I have left them open and had colonies come through winter strong.

    Tom

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    799

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    personally.....the jury is still out when it comes to screened bottoms....but I am leaning heavily to going back to all solids.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: screened bottom boards

    I Have wintered them in TN and SC with SBB. Never had any problems. But I am going to solids this year for various reasons. I think they are overated as far as mite control.
    All beekeepers can agree on one thing, and that one thing is, that all beekeepers can't agree on one thing.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
    Posts
    444

    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.

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