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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
    Posts
    424

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

    I lost a nuc last winter to excess moisture. My fault, the hive wasn't slanted forward, it was actually slanted back, and it had a solid bottom. I found a small pool of water and frogs eggs in it.... It made me realize that I don't have to worry about that as much with a screened board.. I have a hive with a solid board, and it had a ton of crap on it come spring to clean out.. The screened boards weren't nearly as bad. Don't know about the mites... I just want to keep breeding from survivors and not worry about it too much.. who knows..
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Papaikou, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    90

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

    Most people here are using SBB with oil traps, yes, it is messy, costly, and yet also very effective at controlling SHB and mites as well. Beekeeping is so region-specific, but with SHB here now in great numbers, this extra effort has made it possible for many beeks to recover from last years losses. TBH users fit their hives with screened bottoms and oil trays too. its a nice setup.


    I particularly like that you know when you see a couple larvae in the tray, you need to pop the hive and see what is happening, and having that early detection system is very helpful...

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,515

    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

  4. #44
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    88

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

    If beeks are using a tray under their screen bottom boards to catch and kill mites and/or shb, how does the sbb function as a ventilation method? So it is used as a pest trap and not for ventilation? I know there is much disagreement as to whether the extra ventilation is good or bad anyway. Since I want to be treatment-free, I suppose the pest trap use of the screen board makes the most sense, forget about it as a ventilation method, use the tray/oil to keep the shb from getting to the ground for their life-cycle.
    Has anyone tried the sbb from beetlejail that has a finer screen over most of the bottom for mite drop and the standard 1/8" screen at the back into a trap for shb? I've been to their site but can't find a price on it...only the beetlejail small traps. I saw this sbb on a youtube video...it seems like a good idea. Then you could have ventilation, mite drop, and shb trapping! Jim

  5. #45
    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.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Starkville, MS
    Posts
    300

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

    I agree with some of the other Southern posters. In the south, the sbb is a godsend. I use the Rossman sbb with SHB trap. It is the greatest thing since slice bread!!!! LOL Mites and SHB simply fall to their deaths. Also, the screening offers ventilation for our long hot summers. Just my thoughts.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

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

    Here in NM I normally just use a solid bottom or a bottom with screened vent holes cut in it. Can't tell whether a screened bottom makes a diference for mites as I have not had huge issues with them. Nor do we seem to have SHB.

    Now, ants, that is another story. They love those screened bottoms, at least where I live.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

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

    I'm making more sbb's. I can make them for about $6 with a white plastic sticky - not pretty enough to sell to anyone, but helps with heat, ventilation, snapshot of what is going on in the hive. I have 2 hives not on them at the moment. One is on a solid board with a 3 inch hole in the middle that is screened with #8, (former hogan trap bb), and one is just an old solid board. And the ONLY way I can see what is going on in those 2 is to open them up. Which I do not always have time for at the right time of day. Have pics to upload, was chasing my thread.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    186

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

    All we have ever used is sbb Because that is what we were taught when we started. Most everyone I know with bees are hobbiests with less than 10 hives each. It is certainly easier and cheaper to make sbb and when we go collect a swarm or a feral hive it keeps the bees cool when we close up the entrance to put them in the back seat. When we went to Miskas last week to get a couple of queens I noticed that all of his hives that he is producing to sell have solid bottoms. I did not think to ask him why. Any way when we start some more splits in the spring I will try a couple of solid bottoms.
    I think the mite issue is not going to be solved with chemicals or even mechanical changes like the bottom boards. Ulitimately the bees will adapt. Queen breeders need to breed for mite resistance and researchers need to look for natural preditors on the mites.
    Remember there are many different ways to keep bees so do what works best for you and don't be afraid to experiment

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,515

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

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    ...it creates the perfect place for wax moths to live as the bees cant get in there to defend the area...
    As everything in beekeeping, it depends. If one has a sandwich,screen and solid bottom, the gap needs to be filled ether with sticky (really sticky) board or welcoming pan with oil. In winter, the gap may be closed if necessary. It does not make any sense to me to have a screen and empty board. Sticky board is cheap and easy to use. I normally use the propaganda signs for this.
    on the general note, my two permitted beehives are doing very well for couple of years (1 year with me). One of the hives has a steady 50 mites/24h counts and produces a lot of honey; it is 6 mediums tall and actually needed another super. Another hive has 7 mites/24h and never produce any honey at all. Both hives have screen-solid sandwiched bottoms. My observation is that bees are very instrumental in regulating "ventilation" - they block inner cover screened hole (the chimney) if necessary - much more efficient than do something with bottom screen. Sergey

  11. #51
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Red Bluff, California USA
    Posts
    8

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

    Agree with bee keeping being location driven. In Northern Calif. heat is the the big thing along with enough water for the bees. I use the screened bottom to help with heat. Almost never have my bees hanging on the side of hive when temps plus 100. Not so sure about the mite control thou.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

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

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    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
    In southern California we have the Argentine ant to deal with and a screened bottom would be an open invitation for disaster!
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    100

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

    All three of my hives have open SBB's, no sticky paper, no oil, just open to the air all year. Live near Reno; winters are ~20-deg F at night, ~40-deg during the day, give or take... No condensation problems in Reno

    My bees have overwintered just fine, even with fully open screens. I haven't done comparisons to solid bottom boards yet. I am concerned about what one poster said, regarding the bees trying to cover the entire screen. I haven't noticed this, but I've never looked for it either, and I expect I wouldn't notice without looking directly into the entrance...

    So, now I'll start looking!

    If all else is equal between the two types of bottoms, I would keep the SBB's because of the moisture issues and because I don't have to worry about overheating if I have to seal up a hive...

    My $0.02

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,515

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

    Quote Originally Posted by BEES4U View Post
    In southern California we have the Argentine ant to deal with and a screened bottom would be an open invitation for disaster!
    Not true if sticky board or oil pan used beneath of the screen. I do not see how solid board would prevent ants from entering the beehive. I am in LA area and know perfectly (from my own experience) that only oil traps could stop these nasty creatures!
    Серёжа, Sergey

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