Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 54
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    Scandal Intrigue!...


    So, this may be controversial but I have come to the conclusion that the Screened bottom board is not that all effective for mite control and is not worth the extra expense and work to use just as a ventilation aid.

    For starters, the mites that fall off are usually ones that are injured, sick or just plain unlucky. These represent a small portion of all of the mites in a hive, of which most are in capped cells any how and are not falling out. So the mechanical mite drop is not that effective.

    Then we have the issue of medications. If you plan on using medications, many require the bottom to be closed to that the chemical vapours (like thymol) have a chance to fill the hive and kill the mites. So then you need to use the silly flimsy trays supplied to seal them off. The only "medication" I see benefiting from the sbb (if you can call it medication) is powdered sugar, which requires too many applications because it does not get mites in the cells and then I need to buy all of the sugar.

    If you want to go treatment free, the issue in my mind is not mites dropping, but rather mite management by much more proactive ipm methods like drone trapping and brood cycle delaying. Better yet are more hygienic bees that can combat the mites by recognizing and removing infected brood. These are not reliant on natural mite drop.

    Finally the issue of ventilation:
    While I think ventilation is very important in a hive as it controls moisture management, there are other ways to get ventilation other than a huge gaping hole in the bottom of the hive. Popsicle sticks under the top cover for instance or drilling small ventilation holes or using shims all serve the same purpose just as well. (perhaps maybe not in the humid south or bayou areas but at least where I am in the North East) Where I live in New York I find that the winds and cold winters make it impossible to keep the bottom open in the winter, so I need to put the useless-cheap-plastic-election-sign-material-insert in again which has no insulative value. In the summer when its really hot, you could use rocks to prop the telescoping cover up or invest in slatted racks which can stay in the hive permanently.

    ...So now I am going back to buying solid bottom boards What says the board?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,789

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    I agree, and have discontinued making SBB's here. What I've also seen, is the bees covering the SBB's trying to close off the ventilation in the early and mid spring. I think they do better with the solid bottoms. I've been drilling 3/4" holes in the front of the hives at the base of the hand hold for ventilation. I'm seeing that the bees prefer the holes vs. the wide open front board entrance also.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    I'm conflicted on this... I switched from solid to screened bb a few years ago... generally do not have to scrape clean the sbb like I had to scrape the solid bb. As I don't treat for mites, or do drone removal, I suspect the sbb are a help for the bees in controlling the mites. I generally close them off in the winter. Now that I have them, I'll keep using them until they need to be replaced, or I notice the bees trying to close them up...that hasn't happened yet.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,400

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    I've never had a hive try to close up a SBB. In my foggy climate, they're a huge help with ventilation. I'm not sure they're that effective against mites but anything you can do helps.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Indiana, Clay County
    Posts
    568

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    Yea, I am not sure they are that big of weapon in mite control. I will keep the three I have, but I will build some solid bottoms for this winter. My nucs all have solid attached bottoms with a 7/8 round entrance . I will leave them on for sugar dusting this august

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,070

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    All bee keeping is local. For some parts of the country, they may indeed be the best thing since sliced bread, but my bees struggle to maintain heat in their living area for eight or nine months a year The few 100 degree days we see may be followed by a 45 or fifty degree night. I think in those conditions, staggering a honey super so it has a 1/4 inch opening front and back are far better for ventilation than no floor and draft where the babies are raised. How many times do you hear of someone in the cool part of the country lamenting that their 3 frame colony just won't take off in the spring? DUH!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,903

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    Beekeeping is a revolving art. People are constantly rethinking and reworking the concepts proven and disproven years ago.

    Remember a few years ago when they said to remove the bottom board all together, leave it open. Then they said, bees can't control the humidity as well when evaporating nectar and you would not get as much honey from hives with no bottom board, then they said screen them.

    One thing I know for sure, I have never seen a screened bottom board on a tree, a house, a water tank, a combine head, the deck of a boat, etc, and the bees did just fine.

    Do what works for you.

    cchoganjr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    I think they are great. There were two studies that said it reduces the mite count by up to 15%. All I know it that I had very low mite counts compared to other beeks in our club that used solid ones. Perhaps it also has to do with what climate you live in. They are costly, but you can take a solid one, cut out an opening and cover it with mesh. Anyway, no right or wrong just do what works best for your setup.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Mateo, Ca, USA
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    there was a study in quebec where they discovered that screened bottom boards are effective with mites if the bottom is closed; however, when the bottom is left open it actually significantly increases mites (in that the screen changes the hive to be a more simulating habitat for mites to grow and thrive)

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...Pe31kg&cad=rja

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bryan, TX
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    Where I am in TX where it is already hitting 90 in the day and staying 75+ most night, I am using them to aid in ventilation. Using 2x lumber and 1x4s, I actually spend less on a sbb that a solid one. I don't know if they help much with mites though.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    Great thread

    After I saw a basket ball size cluster under my BeeMax open bottom board where the mites would fall, I didn't bother with them thereafter. Fads come and go. Best to listen to the girls and do what you find most successful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,163

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    I have about 20 SBB's & will probably never go back to solid.
    Use them to check mite counts, lower mite levels with powdered sugar, increase ventilation. Only thing we use solid ones for are swarm traps, & catching swarms.
    You might want to start a poll on this topic, for people who have used them a few years to vote on.
    Dan

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    A fast way to check mite counts is a sugar roll and that requires no real special equipment. As for the powdered sugar, I think the jury is still out on the efficacy. I thought there was a study last year that said it helped but not hugely?

    As for ventilation I can see them being a help in a hot climate like California but not here in the north east

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Perry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    Down here in Florida I use only screened bottoms. The girls need all the air they can get most days. We had almost no winter this year and rarely get below 20 degrees ever and usually not below freezing much. I know it helps with mite counts, just dont know how much. But every mite gone is one less to breed. I make all my equipment and it takes a lot less to make a screen bottom than it does a solid one.

    psisk

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    Winter was mild this year, so I didn't bother to close mine off. But I suspect a colder winter in Missouri would necessitate closing them off. As hot as it gets in this state in the summer, mine seem to be beneficial to the bees.... yes, all beekeeping is local.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    Interesting thread, I have been pondering this for some time and I am going to put some of my hives back on solid boards. My worry is that with that much open space it takes the control of ventilation away from the bees.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Salem, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    I have fifteen hives and only use screened bottoms and don't bother closing them in the winter.
    North eastern ohio

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    >What says the board?

    I agree. I still have 50 SBB and will continue to use them but started buying solid, mostly because I can use them as feeders and they don't cost any more.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#bottom
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Strasburg, CO USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    Quote Originally Posted by NasalSponge View Post
    Interesting thread, I have been pondering this for some time and I am going to put some of my hives back on solid boards. My worry is that with that much open space it takes the control of ventilation away from the bees.
    why not put a 3" or so hole in the plywood under the screen rather than having the bottom open?
    Carl

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Switching back to solid Bottom boards Screened bottom boards are not worth it

    I'm confused by the Quebec study. How can a closed screened bottom be good for mite control but an open screened bottom be bad? Isn't a closed screened bottom a solid bottom?

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads