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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Northeast, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Betterbee Varroa Screen?

    Anybody using the varroa screen from Betterbee that goes over the bottom board? I am considering its purchase and I'd welcome any feedback in regard to its functionality and durability.

    In case anybody needs a memory spark, here it is:
    http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=307

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Mercer, PA, USA
    Posts
    11
    I have two, came with my hives that I purchased last year. One has the tray the other does not. I like them, though I will say that I just completed making 10 following Ross's plans. Simple and I think I'll like them much better, though it might be just because I made them. Back to BB. On the whole, I think that their equipment is very good, I'm just cheap.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    I have the Brushy Mountain version (no tray). At least I think it's similar.
    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com....asp?pcode=471
    I found it a quick and relatively inexpensive way to get a SBB on the hive. The only thing I can think of that might be a disadvantage is that, when using it, you turn the bottom board backwards, so, with a hive tilted forward, water will run to the "back" of the bottom board and have no where to go. I haven't found this to be a problem. Would just drill drain holes if it was.

    Only had these on one season, so can not speak for durability.

    If you are just starting out buying equipment, you should at least look at CountryRubes Combo bottom board: http://www.countryrubes.com/
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Northeast, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Hmm...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobie View Post
    with a hive tilted forward, water will run to the "back" of the bottom board and have no where to go. I haven't found this to be a problem. Would just drill drain holes if it was.
    Which leads me to a question I hadn't considered before. Are there any reasons why I shouldn't set up the hive with a slight tilt to the rear for drainage?

    Thanks for the feedback on the hardware.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Northeast, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Thank you, Sir.

    Quote Originally Posted by PAOuchHoney View Post
    I have two, came with my hives that I purchased last year. One has the tray the other does not. I like them,... On the whole, I think that their equipment is very good...
    Thanks for the feedback. Do they come with a cleat, removable or otherwise, to close off the entrance on the bottom board itself? I suppose that question might be moot as I intend to reverse the bottom board and might want the opening for drainage with a "backward" tilt to the hive.

    Am I missing something in the concept or on the right path?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Cooperstown,N.Y.
    Posts
    474

    Default

    Hi Bee Right
    First off ya' gotta explain your login name....your not from PETA are you?

    O.K. I was kidding...it's getting to be a long winter,if you know what I mean.

    Sure, you could tilt the hive back, and then just let the water run off from the landing board and then THROUGH the hive and out that way.....I think I'll just keep letting it drip off the front.

    All in all the Betterbee S.B.B. is O.K....a little fussier to build than some off the types that I've seen.
    I bought a few.Really started to get into it, and made a dozen just like them. Then I started to find too many wax moth larve getting cozy down under the landing board when you set it up on a solid bottom.
    And heed what Hobie said, cause without a cleat, sometimes they can, and do, fill up with water, or at least mine have.

    That's all I know...

    Good Luck,
    Mark

    Welcome to Beesouce
    Last edited by mwjohnson; 01-26-2008 at 10:28 PM. Reason: Add smiley to convey warmth and humor

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,603

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mwjohnson View Post
    Welcome to Beesouce
    Yea, this time of year, it can appear we're all souced while talkin' bees!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Northeast, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Drip

    Quote Originally Posted by mwjohnson View Post
    Sure, you could tilt the hive back, and then just let the water run off from the landing board and then THROUGH the hive and out that way.....I think I'll just keep letting it drip off the front.
    DOH! See, this is what happens when the overly bookish sort tries to think too hard about purely practical matters!

    What do you think about Hobie's idea of drilling drainage holes should water collection become a problem on the bottom board? Any consequences to that action I might not be considering?

    Any ideas about how to prevent the wax moth larvae problem you've experienced?

    The BB varroa screen comes pre-assembled, so no worries there. Thanks for the info and humor!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Helmetta, New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default

    I used the Betterbbe screened/reversed solid combo this past year, and this coming year, I plan on removing the solid bottom board underneath the screened one in the spring. I, too, had wax moths building in that gap between the two. I'll replace the solid board underneath the screened one in the fall. I'd rather have the debris fall straight to the ground than have to clean out that very narrow gap on a regular basis. Plus, I think having the whole bottom exposed will help with ventilation during the summer heat. It might be a bit more work taking the solid ones out and replacing them, but I'm not quite ready to make the leap to screened-only all year round.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default

    I build my own similar to Betterbee's. I also had wax moths between the screen and bottom board. I put a cleat in the front and left the back open for a tray. I may take off the cleats and just set them in place so I can easily pull them off to clean the space in between.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Cooperstown,N.Y.
    Posts
    474

    Default

    This summer I used them as a stand alone, when I was out of solid bottoms and have set them on a piece of plywood for the winter.They seemed ok,but without some way to elevate it, how do you use a sticky?
    I like Berkshire Bees idea, make some cleats, I'd screw them on front and sides,tall enough to get the tray in.

    I also thought leaving the tray in all the time gave the moths even more and better hiding spots,IMHO.

    The pooling was only a problem once. My homemade solid bottom was 23" or so...and with the Betterbee (22" or so)on it, the extra length had to go to the back, so I let it stick out a little.
    Bad idea,but it seemed logical at the time....

    I understand the "standardized size" concept a little better now.

    I guess holes would work, but I would wait and see if you need to.
    In a few years your bottom won't hold water anyway's...mine don't.

    Mark

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

    Default

    I removed the Solid bottom and only used screened bottom boards. I went to a local restaraunt supply store and picked up some trays for cheaper than a catalog and have had no problems as long as the cinder blocks are positioned to handle the trays. This year I'm looking at a personal addition of a slotted stand to easier use the trays. But I like their SBB's and so do the folks that have seen them.
    Last edited by notaclue; 02-01-2008 at 02:20 PM. Reason: reword

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    63

    Default

    I purchased it, but the tray doesn't slide into the slot - the sides of the tray are a bit too high (or the screen doesn't sit high enough off the bottom board). I got a combo varroa screen/bottom board from dadant and that one looks better, but no slot for a tray.

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