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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    ashtabula, ohio usa
    Posts
    3

    Default IPM bottom boards, anyone use them ?

    Anyone use IPM bottom boards? I do but have wondered wether to leave the board that slides in to check mite count in or out during the winter in northern Ohio. I have talked with others who use them and they said they leave the board out in the winter but I forgot to ask if thier hives were on a regular stand (meaning the wedge shaped wood type) right on the ground or up off the ground. I have mine on a metal angle iron frame 8 inches off the ground. It seems like that would let in ALOT of cold if I left it open that high off the ground.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: IPM bottom boards, anyone use them ?

    I'm in central Ohio and left mine in this winter and had no problems. I spent a lot of time on the net trying to find some difinative study about wether to leave them in or out for the winter. There is some controversy but what I found in one study, I beleive a USDA study in Iowa, that determined that left out the bees consumed on overage 20 more stores.

    So the question is why do beekeepers leave them out. They say they are trying to regulate moister. IMO, if you have a little top vent, enough air exchange takes place and moisture is not a problem. IMO we have gone to an inter cover that is not good for over wintering bees. The center hole can be the area that can frost up and then drip down on the bees during warming periods.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: IPM bottom boards, anyone use them ?

    Wet dead bees don't eat anything.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    323

    Smile Re: IPM bottom boards, anyone use them ?

    NW Oh, I put the slide in for winter, reduce the lower entrance and place 2" styrofoam on the top cover (with a good weight). 6 hives came through just fine so far.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Killingworth, CT
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: IPM bottom boards, anyone use them ?

    I left mine open all winter. My hives are 14" off the ground on stands, that I built. When the snow got up over the top of the hives, guess there wasn't much wind anymore. Still a pile of snow in my yard today, but the bees were flying.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Mansfield,Ohio
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: IPM bottom boards, anyone use them ?

    Mine was open all winter.I also put a layer of 1/2 insulation under the top cover and a 1/8 shim under the front of the top cover. I had no problems with moister and bees did fine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Lake Geneva, WI, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: IPM bottom boards, anyone use them ?

    Hillbilly...Like David W. above, we use screened bottom boards and add a 1/2" styrofoam "insulator" just under the outer cover. Also flipped the inner cover over to the "winter position" so the notch cut into the front end allowed additional ventilation. This is in addition to the 3/4" hole drilled into the front of the top deep brood box.

    BUT I leave the inserts IN the screened bottom boards for the winter. Just cannot get used to the idea of opening up the bottom of the hive to those vicious winter winds. I also surround our hives with pallets staked upright to cut the winds. In fact, we don't remove those inserts until about June. I took down the pallets about a week ago.

    Two of our three hives made it through the winter.

    David

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Hudsonville, MI
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: IPM bottom boards, anyone use them ?

    Seems like opinions are all over the map on whether or not to leave the inserts in or out during the winter. Last year we moved our bees onto screened bottoms for the first time. This winter we left our inserts in and our hives made it through the winter in good shape, at least so far. We've always drilled a hole in the upper brood chamber and put a shim under the top cover for ventilation.

    Jonathan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Leetonia, Ohio
    Posts
    391

    Default Re: IPM bottom boards, anyone use them ?

    I live in the same area as you do. I have switched back to all solid bottom boards. I saw no advantage for mite control using a screened bottom board unless you were using powdered sugar for treatments and then it wasn't much. The reason I switched back was for a warmer brood area earlier in the year for better brood rearing IMO. I do run wide open bottom entrances with a top entrance also and a insulation board on top. I overwintered 18 reg hives and 3 nucs. I only lost one nuc and no hives. Last three years I have had very good survival rates through winter.

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