I finally tried the Screen Bottom Board this year. My observation of this device, is this. The hives with out it, seem to be behind in build-up, seem to work only when it is warmer and seem to not be as active. The bees are russian strain so that is to be considered.
The hive with the SBB, is extremely active, is boiling over with bees, and looks like it could actually swarm, and we are a month away from a real swarm season. I really cannot believe what I am seeing. I left the bottom open all winter long, and this hive seems to have faired much better than the other 10 hives that had the bottom closed. This hive started as a nuc last spring. Robbed there honey in Sept. They worked golden rod until the end of the flow and went into winter with 3/4 of a medium of winter stores.
Is this a common result or is this completely out of the ordinary? From what I am seeing this means that all my hives should have SBB on them and not to worry about closing them for the winter.
Curious as to what you thoughts are....