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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,998

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

    I agree with the "beekeeping is local" statements. Here in the hot and humid south I think the sbb is good for the bees. As for taking too much control away from the bees in regards to evaporating nectar down to honey...Thursday I helped my mentor pull honey off of two of his hives...120# off of one hive and 80# off of another one...both hives were double deeps and we left one super on each that wasn't quiet capped off as well as he wanted it to be. We've had a very nice, moist (for a change) spring this year...not an overly dry period of time that might have helped with evaporation. The sbb did not seem to hamper the bees. And, the honey we extracted seemed to have a good moisture %...


    My mentor has no problem with mites. His only treatment is powdered sugar dusting.

    Just a newbee's comments here...carry on.
    Ed

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,368

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

    I use them and build them, but I think top venting is more important here year around. My strongest hives have the crappiest tops, rotted holes, etc. They winter the best too. I'm pretty sure it helps with moisture in the winter. The bottom board doesn't seem to matter as much.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,368

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

    One place screens can be really beneficial here is moving hives in the heat.

  4. #24
    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

    Another thing down here with a solid bottom is that the SHB will thrive on a solid bottom amid the debris if you dont have very hygenic bees.

    psisk

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    florence sc usa
    Posts
    137

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

    psisk, Michael Bush was talking in another thread about doing a test hive with different debris in the bottom like a tree hive would have. His thinking is that the SHB would live in that rather than going up into the comb.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

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

    Let me tell you about debris! if you leave the cloroplast slide in tray in and wax debris falls through the screen but stops at the tray, it creates the perfect place for wax moths to live as the bees cant get in there to defend the area, and I would assume shb would love it also, though I cant say that I have seen them myself in my area

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Eatonville WA USA
    Posts
    168

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

    I have both half of my hives are on solidbb and the other half are SBB. Here in washington where it is cold and wet I am finding that the hives with the solidbb are further along than the ones with SBB. Just my two cents.
    .

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,946

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

    I have moved more towards solid bottoms in recent years, but that's because I'm cheap and I can convert the solid bottoms to feeders.

    All the feral removals I've done in old hollow trees had a pile of debris at the bottom that was full of wax moth larvae and the bees seemed totally uninterested in them. They were also uninterested in the ants, roaches and beetles that were there as well. I see no issue with the wax moths living below the SBB as it's just like the debris in a natural hive and seems to do no harm.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    218

    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. #30
    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 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. #31
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,390

    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. #32
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,363

    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. #33
    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. #34
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

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

    FOr what its worth, there is another observation to consider, Queens don't seem to like to lay near the opening. they prefer darker areas. Queens on SBB seem to move up faster that queens on solids. Noted to me by a large beek in GA, and I am evalUATING his thoughts.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

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

    Well, the best this three hive owner, all new, with screened bottom boards can get from this thread is confusion. SBB can mean Screened or Solid, to add to my confusion. Was this just a fad? Many OTs (Old Timers) are switching, or at least not using more. I do wonder how much honey my girls are burning to stay warm, any studies of heat balance around bee hives? Of course here near Houston TX they are probably burning energy staying cool!

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

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



    Here are to ones I make with a pan for oil to catch SHBs and mites
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  17. #37
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

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

    How in the world could you possibly accept such heresy as turning away from the Sacred Screened Bottom Boards?! I have been beekeeping for 3 years, have never run anything but screened BBs, and I have never had varroa mites.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

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

    Neat.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    87

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

    Screen bottom boards come in several different designs and applications. Minor changes to the several designs and applications being made by independent keepers and these variances being applied to regional conditions will produce, or in some cases, not produce a cornucopia of results. Basically SBBs come in 2 basic designs; a plain open screen floor with a frame around the edges holding the hive boxes or a screen floor with a sliding board under it, usually slid in and out from the back of the hive floor. As in all aspects of beekeeping, if it works for you and your style of keeping bees, it is a good idea. If you find no particular advantage to a method or accessory, then clearly, it is of no value to you personally. Identical SBBs being used exactly the same in Texas and in Maine will have clearly different effects on the hive colony. There isn’t an aspect of beekeeping that isn’t glorified or condemned depending on who you talk to. I have learned that advice from a keeper that will viciously malign some aspect or method of beekeeping is based personal opinion or misunderstanding. The greatest knowledge and insight I have received all my life in keeping bees came from keepers that warmly shared their experiences and insight with a level of care and respect for the diversity that is Beekeeping.
    Keep on keepin' bees

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,939

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

    I bought them for several years, but I have started moving back to solid also. The nice things about them are that you can easily count mites and you don't have to be so worried about tilting your hive forward to drain water.

    I hate painting them and the slides are all different, so if I take them out I have to experiment to figure out which slide fits which BB. I also kept the slides in after I noticed that the queen didn't lay as close to the bottom and that the solid bottom board hives seemed to have more brood, and started flying earlier in the day in the cool springs that we have.

    I also noticed that if I used one on a cell builder with a Cloake Board that the forager bees can find their queen through the screen if the slide doesn't fit well (about half of mine).

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