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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    I've heard of a number of people losing package bees after trying to house them in screen-bottomed tbh's (with no solid enclosure below). I know that the theory of the screened bottom is supposed to help keep moisture down and help bees winter in certain climates, but is it leading to a lot of bees absconding due to the desire for a more secure enclosure?

    Adam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
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    637

    Default Re: Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    I don't use screened bottom boards in any of my TBHs and I've had no issues with absconding after starting around 12 packages. I have had a number of friends with screened bottom boards that have had their colonies abscond. I can definitely see a correlation.

    Cheers,
    Matt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
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    1,268

    Default Re: Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    but is it leading to a lot of bees absconding due to the desire for a more secure enclosure?Adam
    I dont have a TBH but I cant imagine TBH bees desire a more secure enclosure than those kept in langs under the same conditions and with screened bottom boards. Lots of bees are kept around this country on screened bottom boards in varrying climates, IMHO if there are absconding issues Im not sure it could be pointed at SBB as being the problem.
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    3,912

    Default Re: Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    If your screen is #8 it is big enough to let SHB and ants come right in. Packages are weak at first, and they might not like having to deal with that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    Keep in mind - I'm referring to screened bottom boards WITHOUT a solid bottom beneath it. Open to the air - and to the light.

    Adam

  6. #6
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    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by peacekeeperapiaries View Post
    I dont have a TBH but I cant imagine TBH bees desire a more secure enclosure than those kept in langs under the same conditions and with screened bottom boards...
    I wonder about that. The presence of a full Lang box of frames (and maybe foundation as well) would add a lot more enclosure and reduction of open air flow and light.

    It could be just enough of a difference from the open, empty interior of a new tbh to keep the bees from leaving...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
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    1,268

    Default Re: Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    I think most people using SBB' dont run "solid" bottoms beneath them even through winter. I did not see Caklewacks post prior to me responding, interesting then I'm interested in seeing more answers.

    CAKLEWACK- why do you think they are less successful in TBH w/SBB vs. Langs with SBB??
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
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    206

    Default Re: Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    I can understand why they might abscond in a tbh with a screened bb, that's a lot of space open for a new colony to deal with, once comb is built it would be easier for the bees to control their nest conditions, even a solid perforated bb under the screen would give you a lot of ventilation and might prevent some absconding.
    My blog @ Bee Crazy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Default Re: Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    I think you may be correct. Too much ventilation makes it impossible for them to cool a hive and that may be reason enough for them to abscond.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    nelsonville, ohio
    Posts
    383

    Default Re: Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    YES. for shure. every package we installed this spring on a open bottem except one left. with that said all of the packages on solid botems stayed. i belive it is a light issue. it is way to light if you have the bottem fully open. we took a board and put under the screen on one of the abscounded hives and put a new package in and thay stayed. i am not shure if it is a ligkt or ventalation issue but i am for shure thay stand a better chance if it is closed off till thay are established.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    Anybody tried baffilies to keep venalation up while cutting down light? Just a though, planning on building a TBH over the winter for next spring.
    I'm like the weatherman- right about half of the time.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
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    206

    Default Re: Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    I put baffles over the 7 holes I drilled in my solid bottom, I think with a sbb it would work well if you put a solid board with some holes in it under the mesh, at the very least you could remove the board afterwards.
    My blog @ Bee Crazy

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
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    206

    Default Re: Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    I put baffles over the 7 holes I drilled in my solid bottom, I think with a sbb it would work well if you put a solid board with some holes in it under the mesh, at the very least you could remove the board afterwards. hmm.. multi post sry ,<==delete
    My blog @ Bee Crazy

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Slovenia
    Posts
    325

    Default Re: Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    The only hive from which bees(natural swarms) absconded and it happened twice was TBH with open screened bottom
    Sig

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    rowan co. NC
    Posts
    304

    Default Re: Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    I am trying to go as natural as possible with my tbh. I am new to this but, a screened bottom board just don't seem to natural

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    nelsonville, ohio
    Posts
    383

    Default Re: Are screen-bottom TBH's leading to absconding packages?

    i have resorted to setting the hives on a narrow piece of plywood untill thay are established then removing it. seems to work so far

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