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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Greenacres,WA USA
    Posts
    19

    Question

    Hi folks, I have talked two other beekeepers recently that reported excellent buildup to very strong hive conditions on all hives with open screened bottom boards. Both gentlemen attributed the rapid buildup to higher ventilation. I would like to hear from anyone with information either pro or con on this subject. I have yet to try this, so I do not know if it works, thanks.

    ------------------
    Travis S.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,329

    Post

    I have heard of studies to support this. I have not used the SSB before, but have used ventilation systems and the bees do build up better and produce more with the added ventilation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Greenacres,WA USA
    Posts
    19

    Cool

    Thanks Michael, I had one SBB and placed it under our smallest, but best 4.9 hive. If you have any place to aquire further information I would appreciate recieving it. If anyone else is using screened bottom boards and have noticed any change in their brood increase please let us know. Thanks

    ------------------
    Travis S.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Post

    I am in the process of testing SBB's on some of my package bees.
    I am awaiting the results as much as anyone.


    ------------------
    Sol Parker
    Southern Oregon Apiaries

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    I've been using them for a couple of years, and I'm much happier using them. The climate here is damp, it cuts out condensation and mould during the winter, and makes it far easier to monitor mite levels.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Greenacres,WA USA
    Posts
    19

    Big Grin

    Thanks everyone, Robert, I too have noticed problems with condensation on all my wintered hives. Some of them so bad that they molded and mildewed in the frames of the top super. I was wondering what your winter low temperature would be. Ours in Spokane sometimes drops below 0 degrees Fahrenheit for short periods of time. I was wondering what would be a good indicator as to when I should close the SBB up in the fall and when to open them in the spring.
    Thanks!

    ------------------
    Travis S.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    My temperature drops below 0C for short periods, usually. We had two winters when it went below -5, but that's unusual, and last winter was back to the normal pattern. Its very damp in winter though, which is the critical thing here. I never close the bottoms.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,794

    Angry

    My first year on SBB - observaton:

    They sure DO NOT help cut down swarming... I have new queens, large brood chambers, plenty of super room.... ans they are swarming faster than I can keep count.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,329

    Post

    Here it can drop to 20 degrees below 0 Farenheit. It often drops to 10 degrees below 0 Farenheit. Sometimes it stays that temp for a week. Sometimes it goes all winter and never gets that cold. In a blowing blizzard at 10 below I don't think I would want the bottom open.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    I've never experienced temperatures like that so I can't comment. Anyone in the States with relevant experience? I know people with very cold winters do use them successfully.

    I agree that SBB's don't prevent swarmng, but then i woldn't expect them to. A swarming colony is usually a successful one!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Greenacres,WA USA
    Posts
    19

    Cool

    Thanks all for the help, sorry for the delayed reply, but have been working frantically with my bees. I have one question concerning swarming. I assume the swarming problem is from rapid build up. My question is, if the bees have a good hot nectar flow, plenty of super space, how quick are they increasing from one full box of brood and bees to two and/or three boxes? I realize that this will vary from locale to locale. Thanks!

    ------------------
    Travis S.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,329

    Post

    Not only by locale, but from year to year and hive to hive. How much they are fed, what they are fed etc.

    First there is a huge difference between them drawing and filling a box and them just filling drawn comb. Also, when they are bringing in nectar they need a lot of cells to put some nectar in to give it surface area to evaporate. So even though the combs may not be full, if they are all partially filled with something, the bees may be looking for more room to spread it out. Also, swarming usually is because the brood nest is crowded, not because the supers are crowded, although that does add into the equations some.

    How fast to fill a box? A couple of pounds package of bees starting from scratch with foundation, will probably take a month or more to completely fill a medium box with bees, honey, pollen etc. Probably a month and a half to fill a deep. No gaurentees they won't do it faster. No gaurentees it won't take a lot longer. But by then the population has exploded and they next box will not take nearly as long. On the other hand weather etc. and the bees could make it take much longer.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Post

    one of my hives with SBB's has a serious condensation problem, I had to tilt the lid so the water would evaporate. My hives with solid bottom boards and upper entrances have no condensation whatsoever even in the pouring rain.

    ------------------
    Sol Parker
    Southern Oregon Apiaries
    http://www.allnaturalhoney.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Greenacres,WA USA
    Posts
    19

    Big Grin

    Thanks Sol for the information we also closed up our screened bottom boards.
    Maybe I'm just a nervous parent, but at 4 or 5 degrees with 50 mile an hour gusts of wind made me nervous so we closed them up.
    I have noticed condensed ice between the top and the inner cover on all our hives, this seems to be normal to me. Thanks

    ------------------
    Travis S.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Greenacres,WA USA
    Posts
    19

    Smile

    I should have asked this question on my last posting, but here goes, Sol, did you notice any difference in hive size between your open and closed bottom board hives?
    Has anyone else out there noticed increased moisture in open screened bottom board hives?
    If so or not we would still like to here concerning this. Thanks!

    ------------------
    Travis S.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    Quite the opposite; I use SBB's largely because I don't get condensation with them. Could it be anything to do with the siting of the hive?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    Quite the opposite; I use SBB's largely because I don't get condensation with them. Could it be anything to do with the siting of the hive?

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Greenacres,WA USA
    Posts
    19

    Cool

    Thanks Robert for your reply, I have noticed with our hives running inner covers on all whether solid bottom boards or open screened we have some condensed ice between the outer and inner covers.
    We do not seem to be having the problem that Sol is having with high codensation on our open SBB's.
    Have you noticed this year any quicker build-up on your SBB hives through the honey season?
    Thanks!

    ------------------
    Travis S.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    Hard to say sine I was an early convert and started using them almost as soon as I started keeping bees. They've always built up fast, but I don't know whether any of that is arttributable to the bottoms.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    Hard to say since I was an early convert and started using them almost as soon as I started keeping bees. They've always built up fast, but I don't know whether any of that is attributable to the bottoms.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

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