Results 1 to 20 of 54

Hybrid View

  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
    3,598

    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
    2,280

    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
    2,358

    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
    565

    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
    3,865

    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 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

  8. #8
    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    215

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

    Well, looks like you finally figured it out!!! SBB=HYPE!!!!
    Look at the brood patterns of your frames between the SBB and the Solid BB, you definately will see a difference. As far as mite counts go there is little difference, not worth it. Develop a protocol for treatment and keep it simple. I do have a few SBB nuc boxes, not fully screened, but partial and also have a vent hole in the upper nuc body. I only do this because I am in South Florida and I have better results starting splits in high temp months.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    87

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

    I have SBB with sliding boards under the screen on all my hives. Warres, Top Bars, and Langs. I leave the sliding boards in all the time year around except for mite inspection and pulling them out a couple of inches for ventilation on hot days. Here in the Pacific Northwest it only gets hot enough for that a few days a year. The statement, “I don’t see SBB in the feral colonies in nature, so they can’t be all that great” isn’t really a very strong argument against them. Pretty much nothing we keep bees in or do to them exists in nature. The last hive I lost to mites was 3 years ago and it was a solid bottom board. Nearly all my hives have Varroa mite populations in them. I don’t treat any of them unless I see the population getting out of control. Then I treat with powdered sugar and that has only happened twice in the 3 years since I switched over to SBBs. My personal philosophy is that all healthy colonies can have a small mite population and that I will do far more damage to the health of the hive by treating with chemicals trying to get it to zero mites. I am actually a keeper that researches and reads scientific studies on bee keeping. I have studies indicating that the rate of natural mite drop can reach more then 25% population. There are formulas for counting the mite drop on the sticky paper from a 24 hour drop and multiplying for the population level in the hive. No brainer for me- if I can kill ¼ of the mites in my colonies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week year around for free, without lifting a finger, I’m there.
    Keep on keepin' bees

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,383

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

    I run all SBB and I love them. I enjoy making them as well. I just get scraps of plywood and cut them the same dimensions as a hive body plus a 2" landing board. Then I cut out a square in the bottom about the size of 6 frames (brood area) and staple on 3/4" pieces of wood for the hive body to rest on, staple the wire on and its light and works great!

    Coyote Creek Bees

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,358

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

    If you staple another screen on the bottom you'll have a double screen bottom board that works great for splits, combining hives and placing weaker hives on top of stronger hives for heat.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA UNITED STATES
    Posts
    163

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

    I used screened bottom boards and oil trays. The screen is 1/6 instead of the 1/8 which is normal and 1/4 is too big.

    The benefit here is that both larva of wax moth and small hive beetle fall into the bottom. The hive beetle larva never make it out of my hive, and I catch a lot of adults in there too. I do see mites, but the hive beetle is what concerns me. I once was careless and moved a capped frame too close to a side of the box. The next time I came in and saw it, I pulled it out to check, fearing dead larva. Instead, it was a mass of beetle larva, so even the smallest mistake can create a lot of larva that could cause a problem.

    I don't remove and clean the trays as often as I should but I do know they work fantastic when clean with liquid oil in them.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,483

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

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeGhost View Post
    I run all SBB and I love them. I enjoy making them as well.
    I use the same approach but I sandwich the screen board with solid board with 1/2" gap in between to accommodate the sticky board. Sticky board is just piece of white plastic with some oil. One could put a piece of wood in the gap between sticky board and screen to close it completely. For beginners like myself, screen bottom is very educational - I could count mites, see what else is on the board: crumbs of wax (remodeling?), droppings from wax moth (attention!), pollen (protein)... I am using the mesh with smaller holes, so wax moth could not get inside. Mites comes through, no problem. It seems to me that screen with my design (smaller holes) is quite effective against mites - bees walk easily on the screen and drop the mites. Since screen is always crowded, it is high chance for mites to get through the screen. I also think that screen must be sandwiched with solid board. Sergey

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    10

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

    I agree and certainly don't winter my bees on open mesh floors.

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