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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,992

    Post

    I tossed out every screened bottom board I build after a season of use. Nothing but head akes. Wax moths loved them!!
    The only thing they were usefull for was monitoring mite falls before and after applications. Now I use a sticky board insert. Mutch better.

    Ian

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Pomfret, MD, USA
    Posts
    242

    Post

    I spent a lot of time observing the ants going in and out of my two hives this summer. There seemed to be three varieties. The smallest were tiny black ants that crawled up the side of the hive to the top and under the cover to get at the bottle of syrup that I have inverted over the inner cover hole. There is no keeping them out since they can essentially get through a pin-prick sized hole.

    The next size was a medium sized black ant. They too seemed focused on the bottle of syrup, but seemed to have more problems since the bees would shoo them away. Instead they would inevitably show up for a few days after I put a new bottle on and drink up any drippings on the top of the inner cover or on the outside of the bottles.

    Finally, the largest ants were big and red, about the size of a small staple. I only found them when I had a sticky board in place below my screened bottom board. They were hauling away things like bee legs, dead mites, pollen droppings, etc.

    As anecdotal as all this is, I have a feeling that the ants are far from harmful to a hive and may even be beneficial in small numbers.

    Kai

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    I use screened bottom boards, and I have no problems either. I think those mites that do fall down, probably die anyway. Anyway, if your bees are a variety that has a high robbing instict, they will find a weak feral hove, loaded with mites, and bring them home. I think anything that helps reduce mite population is a plus.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    Ants = Formic Acid
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formic_acid

    david

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Smile

    The ant has made himself illustrious
    through constant industry industrious.
    So what?
    Would you be calm and placid
    if you were full of formic acid?
    ----- Ogden Nash ----


    [This message has been edited by Dick Allen (edited November 18, 2004).]

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bellville, Texas
    Posts
    41

    Post

    I have used SBB's for two years and love them. My hives are about 20" off the ground. I only slide in the bottoms when doing a mite count our during the winter. I do see quite a few ants (down here we have fire ants - and they give new definition to MEAN!) but they seem to be cleaning up the various bee parts and what few mites I have that fall out the bottom.

    Don't cause the hives any problems. Based upon a discussion with a fellow bee keeper, I actually left about 40 frames for the ants to clean up after the bees were done. They looked like new in about 4 days. The ants also eat the SHB larva as well.

    Each person has his own preferences and managment practices. What works for me might not work for you. I find that working with nature is much easier than trying to fight it.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Lincolnton Ga. USA.
    Posts
    1,725

    Post

    here's a study i found that was conducted on the benefits of using a SBB
    http://www.reineschapleau.wd1.net/ar...OM%20BOARD.pdf

    [This message has been edited by TwT (edited December 05, 2004).]

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    san francisco,ca ,usa
    Posts
    1

    Post

    My bees do great in san francisco will screen boards, an extra pesky ant nest is not enough to make me remove all of them of the boards, ants always go up the sides, maybe russian hybrid bees clean ants better? Eric Mussen states that apistan makes the mights fall off six or seven times only to crawl up again, the screen board helps a lot.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,898

    Post

    I have lost seven of seventeen hives on screens in the last few months, from mites, I assume. It does certainly not seem to be a cure all.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    “In a long-term study in Brazil, the infestation level of bee colonies in a cool climate at an altitude of 1,400 meters was as much as 10 times as high as that of colonies kept in a warmer region at 300 meters above sea level, even though the two locations were within 150 km of each other and the colonies were headed by sister queens”

    Moretto, G., L.S. Goncalves, D. De Jong, and M.Z. Bichuette. 1991. The effects of climate and bee race on Varroa jacobsoni Oud. infestations in Brazil. Apidologie 22:197-203.

    Could the use of a screened bottom board, due to better hive ventilation and cooling, actually be beneficial for mite reproduction?

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Post

    >Could the use of a screened bottom board, due to better hive ventilation and cooling, actually be beneficial for mite reproduction?

    Studies have shown that higher temperatures in the hive will increase mite fall and lower temperatures will decrease mite fall. Exeptionally hot days cause more mite fall. Close the bottom board and you may up the temperatures a bit from having it open.

    I don't know of a study that shows that cooler climates cause more reproduction but cooler climates do cause less mite fall.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    McAlester, OK
    Posts
    101

    Post

    Jean Pierre Chapleau's research, "Experimentation of an Anti-Varroa Screened Bottom Board in the Context of Developing an Integrated Pest Management Strategy for Varroa Infested Honeybees in the Province of Quebec", March 2002, suggests that open screen bottom boards lowered the brood cluster temperature resulting in a 29.2 percent increase in mite population over closed bottom boards.
    http://www.reineschapleau.wd1.net/ar...OM%20BOARD.pdf

    Chapleau states: Numerous references can be found in scientific literature confirming that lower temperature conditions enhance the development of varroa populations. Ingemar Fries (12) states: “(…) mite population seems to grow faster in cooler climates than in warmer areas (…) it has been suggested that climatic factors are decisive in determining the mite population growth although the mechanism remains unclear.” We can believe that a longer period of time in the capped brood stage resulting from a lower temperature favors an increase in the reproductive rate of the varroa mite’s population. An increase of time in the capped brood stage enables the young female varroa mites to reach maturity before the bee emerges from its cell. Kraus and Velthuis (14) found that artificially reducing the brood temperature of colonies had the effect of doubling the mite population in comparison with control groups. Their laboratory tests allowed them to determine that 33 C was the optimal temperature for varroa mite reproduction. Kraus and Velthuis (14) suggest that beekeepers adopt practices that aid colonies in maintaining brood temperature at 35 C. The results obtained by Kraus and Velthuis were not available when planning for the 2000 trials as they were published in October of the same year. Reference to the influence of temperature on the rhythm of natural varroa drop can also be found in recent scientific literature. Thomas C. Webster (4) found that this drop is correlated to the average outdoor daytime temperature. J.T. Ambrose (13) also found (2001) that when infested adult bees were exposed to variable temperatures in laboratory conditions, the percentage of varroa mites falling from the bees increased with the elevation of the ambient temperature. Here again we can deduce that the brood chamber temperature should not be lowered.

    4. Webster, T.C., Thacker, E.M., et Vorisek, F.E., Live Varroa jacobsoni Fallen from Honey Bee Colonies, Apiculture and Social Insects, (2000)

    12. Fries, Ingemar, Varian in Cold Climates: Population Dynamics, Biotechnical Control and Organic Acids, in Living with Varian, 1993, pp 37-48

    13. Tabor, K.L., et Ambrose, J.T., The use of Heat Treatment for the Control of the Honey Bee Mite, American Bee Journal, vol 141, no 10,(2001), pp 733-736

    14. Kraus, B. et Velthuis, H.H., The impact of Temperature Gradients in the Brood Nest of Honeybees on Reproduction of Varroa jacobsoni (abstract #38), in Abstracts from the 2nd International Conference on Africanized Honey Bees and Bee Mites, American Bee Journal, vol 140, no 10,(2000), p 827

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    >I don't know of a study that shows that cooler climates cause more reproduction....

    There are some citations listed in both ‘Honey Bee Pests, Predators, & Diseases’ and ‘Mites of the Honey Bee’

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Post

    My mistake. You've reminded me. I have seen some.

    Of course my climate is what I have the least control over.

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