Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    GA, USA
    Posts
    183

    Angry

    Does anyone else think these things are a huge headache?

    This spring I checked a hive and found it to be near "starvation". It was fine one week before. They were bringing in honey.

    I checked underneath and my fears (put to rest by other beekeepers when purchasing it) were realized. An entire colony of small black ants set up home underneath my hive. The screen is an undefendable path into the hive.

    So I put a piece of plywood underneath and sealed the edges with wax.

    Now 4 months later I found the same problem.

    It is a dadant product. Also there was a slight sag in the screen that had to be fixed because it cause all sorts of burr comb problems.

    I'm just hoping that my colonies can build up enough honey to survive the winter after this. My normal bottom boards are in the mail now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Post

    I'll agree,Although there is alot on this forum that likes them, I don't.The hives I've lost has been on sbb,the ones with an open bottom may not be as bad I've never used them,But the ones with a floor under the screen,I.M.O.is a carrier for all kinds of pest,The bees get used to them under there & it just makes it easier for them to enter the hive,>>>>Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    Nick Calderone from Cornell spoke at the Southern Adirondack Beekeepers spring conference a year and a half back. He said as far as mite infestations go, tests done at Cornell found no difference between screened and non-screened bottom boards. They do provide ventilation to the hive. Some of my hives here are on SBB and some are not. I haven't made up my mind yet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Medina, OH USA
    Posts
    69

    Smile

    I have 125 colonies all with screened bottoms but they are all sitting 1 1/2- 2 feet above ground. Zero problems and with our verroa applications during the summer= very little mites. Trays are removed for summer and put back in this month but are kept open 10%. We build our own and use vinyl sheeting for the trays.I'd be trying to track down where the ant nest is and start from there at the source.Feeder bottles dripping?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    GA, USA
    Posts
    183

    Post

    No, no feeder bottes dripping. My hive was on top of a palllet. Now, it's 2 bricks high on top of the pallet until I get my solid BB.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    I use SBB with no problems, I find them very useful. I would not use the ones that don't have the sliding trays underneith. You must know how to use them, when to open them, when to close them. Keeping track of mites are mush easier using the trays.

    I really don't think that ants provide any real problems for a strong hive. I have ants in some of my hives, but they tend to climb up the sides and into the top where they do not come into contact with the bees. They get in the telescoping covers and sometimes inbetween the top and inner cover where the bees can't get at them.

    My problem with ants is them getting into my miller feeders, (where there are no bees), and they carry off my mites from my trays, throwing off my counts.

  7. #7

    Post

    I have had a sbb on my have since July, and my bees still have all their stores. I cant see ants carry away 70 or 80 lbs of honey, unless their pretty big ants.

    ------------------
    "To bee or not to bee, that is the question"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    I have a little trouble with the concept that a solid bottom board is going to keep ants out. Won't hey just find another way in? This may be another case of, "all beekeeping is local"! I love my slide ot sbbs. My experience means nothing to you since I'm in Ct.

    dickm

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Utica, NY, USA
    Posts
    50

    Post

    Well, here in frigid upstate NY I have 150 hives all on SBB all year, with no trays or anything else during the winter.

    This year I used Formic, and put in a piece of plastic to block the SBB for the 3 weeks the Formic pads were on. Otherwise, they are always open.

    I've come to accept Calderone's work that they do not help in Varroa control here in upstate NY, but researchers show definate help further south. I love the benefits of the added ventilation winter and summer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    I looked up "ants" in some books that were printed before screened bottom boards were used, and guess what? Ants are listed as a pest of the beehive. Imagine that. They are not a product or cause of screened bottom boards. There are ways of dealing with them. Some real easy ways. I guess after the solid bottom are on, and the ants are still a problem, then a question or two on how to deal with them would be asked.

    As for the conclusion that screened bottom boards make no difference in the mite situation....I find that hard to believe. Most studies have indicated about a 30% reduction in side by side studies. That being with and without screen bottoms. Knowing the amount of mites caught on sticky boards, from a natural drop count, and knowing that they can not crawl back into a hive if fallen through a screen, than how can that not help? This does assume that the drop is of some distance, and the hives are elevated somewhat.

    This 30% is not the answer to dealing with mites. Its just a small advantage to the bees, and if added benefits such as ventalation, and the conclusion that hives also produce more honey on screen bottoms, than I can see advantages. I think the mite problem is minimized by little things. SBB, full sun, young queens, good management practices, and so on. SBB is just a small part, but it is a part.

    I really would question the Cornell study. Is this published anywhere? Certainly is a institute of this type making statements such as this, it is printed somewhere????

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    GA, USA
    Posts
    183

    Post

    Although the ants are a pest, they are usually controlled by the bees here. The sbbs made them into a problem by opening the hive to them.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    SBBs are a Godsend here in boggy Downeast NC. I installed them, replacing the solid bottom boards, last August and they greatly improved ventilation. My hives are 20" off the ground and I leave the SBBs open all year round. Being located where we are, my hives are a veritable zoo--covered with harvester spiders, lizards, frogs, ants and other unrecognizable (to me) insects, but my girls fend them off without problems. Now if I could just figure out how to get rid of the d--n yellow jackets or somehow find their nest!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    >I really would question the Cornell study. Is this published anywhere? Certainly is a institute of this type making statements such as this, it is printed somewhere????

    I don’t know if it was published. Nick Calderone mentioned it. Cornell’s chief apiarist, Peter Borst, has also said they found no difference. Perhaps, if you are in doubt about the accuracy of the statement, you can contact either Dr. Calderone or Peter Borst at Cornell by email. They generally respond to legitimate questions.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    “SCREENED BOTTOM BOARDS: We conducted a third year of our screen bottom board study. We are only looking at the effect of screen bottom boards on mite levels and honey production, not on wintering success. We should have this year’s data analyzed by the spring. So far, we have nothing positive to report with this technique.”

    Honey Bee Studies at Cornell University
    www.masterbeekeeper.org/pdf/ne2.pdf

    If you don’t want to download the pdf version you can type in 'Cornell screened bottom boards' in Google or any search engine for the html version.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    GA, USA
    Posts
    183

    Post

    I guess it is mainly a local problem. I asked several local beekeepers and only 1 out of the 4 said to use them and he lives the furthest away. The rest rest discouraged their use.

    This is the opposite reaction of the people who sparked my interest in SBBs this spring. They live only about 150 miles north of my location.


  16. #16
    jfischer Guest

    Post

    > Although the ants are a pest, they are usually controlled
    > by the bees here.

    Exactly. A strong colony can defend against attack on multiple
    fronts at the same time.

    > The sbbs made them into a problem by opening the hive to them.

    The only time I've had problems with ants, I've found a direct
    correlation to lousy brood patterns, lousy queens, and therefore,
    weak colonies.

    I've also seen ants make their pheromone trails (which they follow
    like a highway) most often on the outside of the hive, past the brood
    chambers, and entering at a gap or crack between two honey supers.
    Ants will avoid traipsing through the crowded brood chamber if they
    can, for obvious reasons.

    But if there was an ant colony directly under the hive, I'd guess
    that all bets are off.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Post

    I've seen studies that using SBB helps prevent resistance from the miticides. Because many mites are knocked down to the bottom and eventually recover from Apistan or Checkmite and then pass on that resistance. I'm sure it also helps with mehtods such as FGMO as many of those mites also get groomed off, but not killed and with a SBB they fall down and don't manage to get back on a bee.

    Also, with a tray on them they are useful for mite counts.

    But my main reason for loving them is the added ventilation in the summer. Less swarming, and more honey are nice.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Post

    That kind of loss of honey sounds like a case of 1 hive of bees robbing the other. I do not think ants could carry off that much honey. I have used SBB for 3 years and had lots of ants in hives that just made the bees mad but they didn't steel that much honey. I would look for another reason for the loss.
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan
    Beekeeping sence 1964

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    GA, USA
    Posts
    183

    Post

    I only have 2 hives now. Same problem in both. I don't see fighting in the hive or at the entrance. One hive is very strong in population(even worse for the winter)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Anderson,IN,USA
    Posts
    130

    Smile

    Hey Ribster,
    I'm a hobby beekeeper that would be interested in purchasing (and maybe some others here) some used screened bottom boards from the "for sale" section.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads