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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Monroe Co., Indiana, USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Still learning - question about bottom board

    I pulled my bottom boards the other day and found three bothersome issues.

    #1 After an OAV treatment 2 weeks ago, I still have mites falling...approx. 100 mites on the boards of both our hives in 48 hours.

    #2 Our west hive has sugar continuously falling on it from where I put sugar on top of the inner cover. Why are the bees dropping this sugar through the hive like this?

    #3 Both hives also have honey/sugar syrup drippings on the bottom board. We removed the feeders back in September. Why would the bees be dropping honey/syrup on the bottom board???

    Any and all input/advice/explanations are greatly appreciated as we continue to learn about these fascinating creatures!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    661

    Default Re: Still learning - question about bottom board

    Not sure about 1 except that the crystals do keep working for a while.

    2 and 3 sound like robbers or some type of animal getting in the hive. Have you checked for mice?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: Still learning - question about bottom board

    Sometimes you can get "syrup" on the bottom board when you have sugar up on the top bars due vapor condensation that liquifies the sugar.

    I use sugar bricks and I always have some sugar granules falling off while the bees are eating them. If you have a screen bottom with a sticky board below you will see some wasted sugar down there. That's normal. I have tried drying the bricks down even more than usual to prevent this, but I've never been successful at stopping it completely especially during the early and late winter periods when air humidity is higher. In some ways this is a consequence of the hygroscopic (water attracting) nature of sugar which is one of the benefits of having sugar in the hive beyond is food value to the bees: it captures excess moisture vapor and keeps it from harming them.

    I doubt you are having robbing by other bees at this time of year, even though you are somewhat warmer than I am. Robbing will usually leave you with an abnormal amount capping debris on the bottom board. If you're not seeing that, I would discount that possibility. Damage by a mouse is always possible, especially if you don't have mouse guards on.

    My experience with OAV is that the mite kill begins to peak on the third to fifth days. I was initially disappointed when the numbers were low after 24 and 48 hours. Keep watching!

    Enj.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,744

    Default Re: Still learning - question about bottom board

    #1) That's a lot of mites.
    #2) How EXACTLY did you place the sugar for your hives? Most times a sheet of newspaper is placed on the top bars under the inner cover then sugar is added. This will clump up with hive moisture and the bees can reach it more easily.
    #3) My guess is that the sugar is mixing with the hive moisture and dripping through the hive. Not good. How do you have your hive vetillation set up?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,927

    Default Re: Still learning - question about bottom board

    My experience with OAV is that the mite kill begins to peak on the third to fifth days. I was initially disappointed when the numbers were low after 24 and 48 hours. Keep watching!
    My experience is that it take at least 3 treatments with OAV for satisfactory mite kill. Particularly if there is brood in the hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Still learning - question about bottom board

    >#1 After an OAV treatment 2 weeks ago, I still have mites falling...approx. 100 mites on the boards of both our hives in 48 hours.

    It should drop off shortly as the oxalic wears off. They usually drop for a couple of weeks.

    >#2 Our west hive has sugar continuously falling on it from where I put sugar on top of the inner cover. Why are the bees dropping this sugar through the hive like this?

    Spray some water on it to make it clump and get them to recognize it as food. They are hauling it out for trash. Get rid of the inner cover and put it on a newspaper on top of the top bars. It will be much more foolproof. They may not leave the cluster to get to it on the inner cover.

    >#3 Both hives also have honey/sugar syrup drippings on the bottom board. We removed the feeders back in September. Why would the bees be dropping honey/syrup on the bottom board???

    They are eating honey. The cappings drop on the bottom. Sometimes they spill some.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,473

    Default Re: Still learning - question about bottom board

    M. Bush nailed it.......
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox Mite Killing
    OA Vaporizer "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Monroe Co., Indiana, USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Still learning - question about bottom board

    Thanks to all for the quick replies!!! I feel much better about what is happening now. We have entrance reducers that, effectively prevent mouse entry. The reducers have dead bees partially covering the entrance opening (3/8" x 1-1/2" opening), so I am quite sure there are no mice. I will wait until the next warm day (if we have one) and remove the inner covers, install newspaper, and sprinkle sugar on top of the paper.
    Thanks again for the advice!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Still learning - question about bottom board

    If there is some sticky wax, I wouldn't worry. If honey is running out the door, I'd check to see what is happening. Mice sometimes tear things up...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Monroe Co., Indiana, USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Still learning - question about bottom board

    Mr. Bush
    Thank-you for the information! Very much appreciated. We do not have honey running out the door...only small sprinkles directly beneath the bee ball. It's fascinating to look at the sticky board and be able to tell where the bees are without opening up the top of the hive. I do appreciate all the replies we get as it helps us to not worry so much about our bees. (Actually I am the worrier...my wife keeps telling me the bees can take care of themselves if I will just leave them alone) So far...so good!
    Thanks again!

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