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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Screened bottom board?

    Quote Originally Posted by libhart View Post
    Not trying to hijack the OP's thread, but I've seen this written so many times, and I have to to respectfully disagree. Put a bee in your freezer for a couple hours and then tell me if its still alive because it was just cold, not wet.
    The idea is not that a single bee is freeze-proof, the idea is that a healthy cluster of bees can regulate temperature in harsh winters. A healthy cluster can not regulate moisture, and if they're getting dripped on during freezing conditions they WILL SURELY DIE!!

    -I use a screened bottom board and I place tongue depressors along the rim of my inner cover to create a small gap between it and the top cover. Another trick I've adopted is to place a few pennies on the inner cover during late fall. During my first inspection of the season (late winter/early spring) I take note of whether or not the copper on the pennies has oxidized (green color). If the pennies have oxidized heavily then the moisture content of that hive was high during the winter. A monitoring technique that will only cost you a few cents!! Can't beat that...
    ...This, and my heart, and all the Bees
    Which in the Clover dwell.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,680

    Default Re: Screened bottom board?

    I guess when I start to see SBB on bee trees, soffits and wall cavities, I'll give them a second look. These are the places and conditions bees choose to live all on their own. Where I'm at cold winters and moderate summers, haven't seen a need for them. Certainly don't need them for mites.
    Last edited by Barry; 03-09-2011 at 10:21 AM.
    Regards, Barry

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belfield, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    616

    Default Re: Screened bottom board?

    Quote Originally Posted by D Coates View Post
    I run SBB's open all year with bottom entrances as well as have small emergency upper entrances and have for four years. I do it to ensure there is some air movement to haul away excess moisture that isn't absorbed by the emergency sugar I have on top of the frames (Mountaincamp method). It's not perfect, I still lose hives and this year was the worst 4:11 hives, 1:5 nucs. But to me it makes the most sense and that's how I choose to do it.
    Now THAT is interesting to hear! I run the same setup (screened bottoms/small upper entrance) and, most years, the bees overwinter fine, but always with some losses.

    This year though, I have the same kinds of losses (4:12 and 1:8 nucs). After reading the article, I am wondering if I need to change/improve my setup.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: Screened bottom board?

    I think SBB function better as a ventilation tool rather than a means of lowering varroa numbers. Sticky boards or oil pans under the SBB will catch mites, dead ones and lives ones, but I don't think in the long run they keep a hive from becoming infested, they just tell you whether you have mites and maybe the degree of mite infestation if kept track of regularly. I use SBB on my top bar hives but don't use them yet on my Lang's. My screens are not open to the air though all the time, I have a hinged board that can be opened or closed under it. John

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    710

    Default Re: Screened bottom board?

    Quote Originally Posted by NCSUbeeKEEPER View Post
    The idea is not that a single bee is freeze-proof, the idea is that a healthy cluster of bees can regulate temperature in harsh winters.
    I'll buy that but only to a certain extent. But I think (keyword=think ) if a SBB is open to an area of cold wind, even cold breezes I think, the bees on the outside of the cluster will eventually get cold enough to become torpid and fall off the cluster. I know the bees rotate in and out of the cluster's core, but I'm not sure this can happen fast enough to keep the outter bees from dying off when an open sbb allows the cluster to be exposed to cold moving air.

    I know it's nearly impossible to control hives enough to do an experiment that tries to pinpoint a single variable, but in anyone aware of a study of many hives in a cold, breezy location with open vs closed sbb?

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Screened bottom board?

    Read my thread, Are screened bottom boards essential to treatment free beekeeping
    I hate those things!

    mike
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  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Quapaw OK USA
    Posts
    262

    Default Re: Screened bottom board?

    I used SBB this past winter with goodrsults but I like them best for summer venelation.It gets cold here

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Screened bottom board?

    Oh, did I fail to mention no losses from about Oct to now?
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  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    roswell, georgia, USA
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Screened bottom board?

    If ANY pests fall thru my SBB into the (enclosed) pan below and dies, it's that many fewer (can you use those words together) the bees have to attend to. This is not any sort of plug for the company, since I construct all my own speciality woodenware, but the fact that purchasing #6 screen (which for me is the optimum size for SBBs) is nearly impossible in small amounts is why I have used this product (they advertise on beesource).

    http://greenbeehives.com/ipk-small-h...unpainted.html

    Something else to pay for, but for me, more valuable than my gloves.

    Only if I removed the pan and left the pan entrance open could it provide any sort of ventillation (good or bad). I ran both top and bottom entrances this winter which worked perfectly, as the bees use both equally. I run only the bottom entrance the rest of the year to cut down on unguarded invasion by critters & use other (screened) methods for ventillation.
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Screened bottom board?

    Could someone cite a research paper that says that SBB work? As far as I am concerned, there is no conclusive evidence for or against them. Seems like folks claim that everyday something new these things can do...
    Mike
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  11. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,278

    Default Re: Screened bottom board?

    Mike, see post #14 in this thread.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,325

    Default Re: Screened bottom board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher Apiaries View Post
    Oh, did I fail to mention no losses from about Oct to now?
    Don't crawl up too high on the soap box, life has a way of teaching you it's never really stable up there.

    Are you directly attributing your reported success with not having SBB's? Can you directly prove the that failures you experienced and discussed on your linked post are because of SBB's? I'm not discounting your personal claims but if it was as easy as insinuated we wouldn't be having this conversation would we?
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  13. #33
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    roswell, georgia, USA
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Screened bottom board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher Apiaries View Post
    Could someone cite a research paper that says that SBB work? As far as I am concerned, there is no conclusive evidence for or against them. Seems like folks claim that everyday something new these things can do...
    Mike
    I see the proof every time I pull the pan out to clean/refill. BUT, as I said in a previous discussion re SHB, I really haven't spent the time to verify if the medium I use in the pan (veg oil) is drowning the pests, or if they are arriving there in a deceased condition (I'd like to use pest glue trap glue if anyone can ID the type glue they use).

    I believe that the whole idea behind the I-part (integrated) of IPM is that multiple methods are used together - whatever those might comprise of for each keeper and their philosophy. If I'm diminishing the number of pests in my hives that fall thru (it's not the Dyson vortex vacuum cleaner, by the way) by 25%, then a SBB is successful by that percentage.

    Since my SBB's cannot act for ventillation, I won't comment.
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Screened bottom board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher Apiaries View Post
    Could someone cite a research paper that says that SBB work? Mike
    I would ask you to elaborate on the word "work". Do they work as an effective means of monitering infestation levels? Yes. Do they improve ventilation in the hive? Yes. Do colonies over-winter better with or without them? Debatable. Are they an absolute solution to Varroa mites? No.

    Bottom Line: When you consider the pros and cons it's hard to argue against them.
    ...This, and my heart, and all the Bees
    Which in the Clover dwell.

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