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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Burnsville NC
    Posts
    4

    Default Screened Bottom Boards

    Just got back into honeybee's this after a few year's, of not keeping bee's. Anyway I have one hive which has a screened bottom board. I talked with folk's who were sckeptical about
    using screened bottom board's here in tdhe mountain's of NC., I also talked with other people who say they use them year round and advised me to. So has anyone tried the screened bottom board's and what were the pro's and con's.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Louisburg, NC
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Screened Bottom Boards

    Raindrop;

    I've got 20 hives just over the mountain from you in Mitchell County. Forget the screened bottoms. You will get some mite drop from them but if you use thymol or formic acid then you need a solid bottom to get proper fumigation. Bill

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Burnsville NC
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Screened Bottom Boards

    Hey Bill,

    Thank's for the reply.I live over on 7 - Ridge. I got some Italian's mixed from wild mountain aparies the guy sell's nuc's and beekeeping supplie's I treated two hives with
    mite away quick strips one hive did okay the other did not, I shold have used powdered
    sugar treating that hive. Anyway I found a couple of hive's near micaville. On dthe screened bottom board's I talked to a couple guy's here in Yancey county and one guy said he did not like them. I was concerned that the bee's might not make it thru winter
    if temp's got real cold. I also talked to a gentlemen in Illionis and he said he would leave them on. Long lang honey farm.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Default Re: Screened Bottom Boards

    I have about half and half, SBB and solid. I am skeptical of their value as far as reducing Varroa. But they are useful in monitoring Varroa and they are useful if you treat for Varroa as the weak Varroa that fall down are less likely to get back on the bees, especially if the tray is out. SBB stay nice and dry. I would put the tray in during winter, but that's me. Many people in your climate don't. In summer they are great as you can pull the tray out prop the top up and get a nice amount of ventilation. If I had one (and I have 100 of them) I would use it. If I didn't have one, I wouldn't lose sleep over it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    East Hartford CT
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: Screened Bottom Boards

    My friends in the mountains of Idaho who use all screened BB's all year round, 3 hives and not one lost yet. I am going to put a tray on mine for the winter just the same. I have 4 with SBB and 6 without.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Woodlawn, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: Screened Bottom Boards

    I too have a mix on my hives, but more SBB than solid. I like them because they help reduce moisture in the hive and keep bearding down somewhat. I leave mine open through the winter, but I do provide a windbreak around the hives. I do close mine up in the spring when I get the first flow going (which might sound counterintuitive) but I want the hive to "heat up" and be able to utilize the bottom of the combs. Just be sure to monitor the moisture level in the hive if you get a late cold snap.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    656

    Default Re: Screened Bottom Boards

    I use all sbb on my hives for ventilation during the summer and they work great (40 days of 100+). Honestly I don't know if they will stay on much longer as this will be my first winter. The only thing that worries me is moisture during the cold season. There's still a month or so to figure it out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Shoshone County, Idaho
    Posts
    567

    Default Re: Screened Bottom Boards

    I live in the Mtns. of Northern Idaho and my bees have been propolizing the entire screen shut and turning into a solid bottom board!
    Go figure, the bees will correct our mistakes!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: Screened Bottom Boards

    Central Ky. All 9 have SBBs that stay open year around. NO loses, NO moisture. I also have vented supers on top, above the inner cover, with 8, about 1"screened openings. I probably would close them off some on the bottom, if the temp. and wind chill got below 0* and stayed that way for days. My philosophy and others is moisture kills bees, cold doesn't.
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Screened Bottom Boards

    Quote Originally Posted by wglord View Post
    Raindrop;

    I've got 20 hives just over the mountain from you in Mitchell County. Forget the screened bottoms. You will get some mite drop from them but if you use thymol or formic acid then you need a solid bottom to get proper fumigation. Bill

    I am about to treat with MAQS, and I have screened bottom boards. I have seen a study ( http://scientificbeekeeping.com/miticides-2011/ ) where the MAQS were still effective enough when the SBB's were left open, and not sealed.

    I am wondering if you have an answer for me....to get the best effectiveness, do you think I should leave in the plastic tray/drawer and the entrance reducer at 4" to get the best effectiveness? I was going to leave out the tray/drawer and keep in the entrance reducer. What would you do?

    Thanks for any help you can give...

    -Lori

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,750

    Default Re: Screened Bottom Boards

    I am in South Central Kentucky, maintain from 125 to 200 hives 0 screen bottom, 0 inner covers. don't intend to have any. Bees know how to control both temperature and moisture. Easier for them to maintain if bottom is solid.

    If bees are fanning to reduce moisture, an open bottom means they are reducing moisture from the entire world. Same with temperature. Much more difficult to direct the flow of air over the combs, if the bottom is open. Never saw a tree, tank, filing cabinet, or house, with a screened bottom board. Bees have survived for years. I agree with Michael Bush, If you have them, use them, if they work for you. Would not buy just to change over.

    Inner covers are good for small hive beetles, but for me, little or no value for bees.

    Use what ever one works for you. I don't use sbb, or inner covers.

    cchoganjr

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Dorset, Vermont
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Screened Bottom Boards

    =If bees are fanning to reduce moisture, an open bottom means they are reducing moisture from the entire world. Same with temperature.
    Let's say you wanted to use a dehumififier to dry out your house. Would you open all the windows and doors? Let's say you knew that bees want to maintain 95 degrees in the brood nest. If the temperature was 70 degrees outside, would you make it harder for them by creating a huge opening that they couldn't close?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,750

    Default Re: Screened Bottom Boards

    I'm with you JRH.

    cchoganjr

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Dorset, Vermont
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Screened Bottom Boards

    Cleo -

    Once again I thank you for the outstanding plans for cutting inset handles into hive bodies with your easy-to-make jig and a skil-saw. Very much appreciated.

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