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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    10

    Default Few Questions for Package Installation Tomorrow

    Hello -

    Installing two packages tomorrow and here are my last minute questions:

    1. screened bottom board - should i leave it with just the screen in for ventilation or pop in the piece that catches the mites until the bees get use to their new home/new northern temperatures?

    2. How long should the entrance reducer stay on?

    3. I am feeding with a pail feeder. Should I place it directly on the tops bars with an empty super around it (seems like this would give bees better access to the pail) or should i place it on the inner cover and then an empty super so the bees dont have access to/build comb in the empty space of the 2nd super? With the top bar of a frame below the feeder using the inner cover it seems like access might be more limited for them to feed. Could the 2nd super around the feeder be stuffed with newspaper to fill the space if the inner cover isn't used...? Not sure if these photos will work...first time trying to post images:

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--F0T57goK9...innercover.jpg

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DknMP8BrC7...innercover.jpg

    Im sure these questions have been addressed here before but thanks for any advice on these!

    -hannah
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 04-03-2011 at 01:41 PM. Reason: images to BIG read posting instructions

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Freeland, Washington, USA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Few Questions for Package Installation Tomorrow

    You've got the right idea about feeding Hannah. I would put small spacers under the pail so it is not resting directly on the top bars (No big deal if it is though) and pack newspaper around it.
    As far as the bottom board is concerned, I always pull them out. I am in Western WA, so humidity control is of great importance. It might not be the same in PA.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Concrete, WA, USA
    Posts
    767

    Default Re: Few Questions for Package Installation Tomorrow

    as for the entrance reducer - leave it on until there is a traffic jam in the afternoons - then make the entrance larger
    and Island is right it works both ways but putting two sticks under the feed bucket helps get bees to the feed - they can come from several frames rather then just the frames below the hole

    good luck tomorrow and have fun with your new bees
    Doing the Right things Right
    http://thevalleysbuzz.webs.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,861

    Default Re: Few Questions for Package Installation Tomorrow

    Well, to make sure that you know that there isn't only one opinion:

    1. I would leave it in. A package doesn't need ventilation. For years we only had solid bottom boards and lost a lot less bees than we do now. I think that ventilation is way over rated as a problem. Also I think that they will draw comb farther down the frame with the tray in. I also live in a really wet area, but all of my hives are still alive, both with solid boards and SBB's with the trays in. Ventilation at the top is the important part, not at the bottom.

    2. Reducers are probably a local thing. If you don't have robbing by other hives you could leave it out, but to be save I would put one in. If the bees look crowded coming and going in a few weeks, take it out.

    3. I always feed over an inner cover if I have one (not a migratory top). Like stated above, put a couple of twigs or pencil size pieces of wood under the edges of the pail so the bees can move around under the pail.

    Now on to opinion number 3....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Few Questions for Package Installation Tomorrow

    doesnt mater right now with the cooler temps, so do what you feel comfortable with regarding the screened bottom board

    put pail on two 3/8" pieces of wood to give bees better access to screen on pail.

    Leave entrance reducer on until you all frames are drawn and population is strong enough to defend against robbing......usually September

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    York Region, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Few Questions for Package Installation Tomorrow

    2) I would stuff grass in the entrance.
    The bees can decide how big an entrance they want and will remove it when they need a bigger entrance all on their own.

    1 & 3) Your choice.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Few Questions for Package Installation Tomorrow

    Thanks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    506

    Default Re: Few Questions for Package Installation Tomorrow

    I agree with beedeetee about people being overly concerned with ventilation. Here in the northern climates pulling the trays can actually _cause_ a mite problem. Mites like it cool and dry. There's ample research showing raised temperatures and increased humidity drops mite-load significantly. This is probably why mites are not such a problem for A. Ceranae. I never open up the screens - ever. I just use them for drop counts. Worry about your humidity overwintering, but not from spring to fall.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Freeland, Washington, USA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Few Questions for Package Installation Tomorrow

    I think that ventilation is a very regional issue. Here in NW WA humidity can quickly build up to lethal levels. I lose far more hives if I leave the boards in. I guess the main lesson is to know your particular region, Talk to beekeepers who live near you and see what works for them. As you can see from these postings, Different people do very different things to be successful. What may work well here in my area may kill bees in yours. Local advice is going to be the most useful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,861

    Default Re: Few Questions for Package Installation Tomorrow

    I don't think that it is that local. I know where Freeland is and I would be that our weather isn't all that much different. I live in the mountains above Camas and we almost exactly double the Portland, OR rainfall and have the same number of days of clouds and mist.

    I kept bees before I ever heard of SBB and still use several solid ones. Venting the top is what is important, not the bottom. I lost very few bees in the 80's and only had solid bottoms on the hives.

    I still think that bees deal pretty well with wet climates, but keeping a top vent is important.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Freeland, Washington, USA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Few Questions for Package Installation Tomorrow

    I think my point was missed. The point that I was trying to make to the original poster is that everyone has their own way of doing things. Some swear by solid bottom boards and others screen. Both can be very successful.
    You can get some great info here on beesource, but don't overlook your local guys. They will be able to give you the best advice for your area.

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