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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
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    81

    Default Screened bottom boards:pest trap or ventilation?

    I'm trying to figure out how a screened bottom board with a tray w/oil in place can function as a ventilation aid in a hive. Beeks will talk about how much the ventilation of a sbb helps cool their hive in the summer, but they also talk about killing shb and/or mites in the oil tray. Is it that if the pest problem is bad enough, the ventilation function is secondary and it is more important to have a killing trap? I also have read where some don't use a tray and just let the shb/mites fall to the ground. I can see where this does function as ventilation, too. But then you have the problem of shb coming back in after their vacation in the soil (okay, lifecycle). Can anyone clear this up for me? Thanks, Jim

    Millerbees has a sbb that has a beetle trap with 1/8" screen in the back with a trap underneath, but the majority of the bottom screen is a smaller mesh. Has anyone used this? They also have a front trap you attach to your hive that also has this trap/screen for catching the shb when they first come in the hive...anyone used these? Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    1,889

    Default Re: Screened bottom boards:pest trap or ventilation?

    jimbe, if you have shb larvae that are getting to the ground then that hive is probably already toast. Without a trap beneath it, sbb's do nothing in ridding the hive of shb. Regardless of sbb or not...shb will easily enter the hive.

    The sbb by itself works well around here to reduce mite population some and for ventilation. Without powdered sugar treatments the impact on mite population is small. Mites falling below the screen will not re-infest the bees...they can't back up into the hive from the ground...or, from what I understand, even from an empty oil tray. In regards to ventilation they work very well, of course you need to have adequate ventilation in the cover, also.

    It sounds like Millerbees is maybe selling some Beetle Jail products??? I use the Beetle Jail Jr.'s and like them...they seem to do a good job keeping the shb population down....which reminds me it is time to clean out and refill the traps. The BJ entrance trap seems like a neat idea. I've got a friend that has been using one on a hive this year...I'll try to remember and give him a call about it's efficacy.

    Most reports that I've seen on the oil tray type of sbb seem to be favorable. If you can, get one that you can remove the tray from the *rear*....that makes life easier.

    Best wishes,
    Ed

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,780

    Default Re: Screened bottom boards:pest trap or ventilation?

    A bee is bigger than a small hive beetle. Do you think you can keep beetles out of the front door and let bees pass? An entrance reducer is cheaper and doesn't offer a false assurance. Most SHB fly in the front door. Why crawl up when beekeepers open one whole side of the house? The screened bottom board allows ventilation while closing some of the front door.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Screened bottom boards:pest trap or ventilation?

    Thanks Ed.
    The beetlejail sbb is made by a company named Millerbees, Mfg. according the the youtube video I watched. To see this video go to youtube and look at Screen Bottom Demo. See
    what you think.

    I don't have a shb problem yet that I've seen, but I am changing my two hives from ten frame to eight frame and need bottom boards. I would put screen bottom boards on if they are useful. Sounds like they are. I just wish they could be used for both ventilation and pest control. The beetlejail sbb looks interesting in that it has the finer screen over most of the bottom for mite drop, with the shb trap with 1/8" screen across the back for shb. I just don't have the hive experience to know if the shb will actually go to the back of the hive enough to have this work. The front trap they have seems like it might catch them coming in the front (see the site www.beetlejail.com for video on this trap) Don't know if that works. Maybe the traps, like beetlejail jr. or cd cases are more effective because of where they are put, despite the trouble of getting to them to empty...the outside of the hive tray access or drawer trap access (beetlejail sbb) would certainly be easier to check/service...but maybe not as effective. Anyone know? Thanks, Jim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    1,889

    Default Re: Screened bottom boards:pest trap or ventilation?

    Dog gone it...I learned something today. It's interesting but Beetlejail had a booth at our last Alabama Beekeepers Assc. meeting...I don't recall seeing Millerbees mentioned but I may very well have overlooked it.

    Being in Virginia it's not a case of "will you get shb?" but "when will you get them".

    As for the beetles going to the back of the hive where the trap is...the beetles seem to shun light so they will head to the darker areas, cracks and crannies, etc., so probably the rear of the hive is a good spot.

    There are options to the Beetle Jails. Here is a link to Kelleys beetle trap bottom board (I think they use the elusive #7 mesh on it!):
    https://kelleybees.com/Products/Deta...3337&grouped=1

    Rossman also makes a beetle trap bottom board:
    http://www.gabees.com/store/product_...roducts_id=199

    There are other vendors, also, but these two are the two I primarily deal with.

    I think I would rather have a mesh size that beetles could go through over the entire bottom...of course with the tray under it.

    FWIW, #8 mesh has been known to keep big beetles from passing through. #6 allows pretty much all beetles to pass through, but also allows small bees to pass through. #7 mesh is the much sought after mesh size, but it's kinda like finding a unicorn or a chicken with teeth...almost impossible. Kelley's has it from time to time but you gotta buy an entire roll that is north of $350 last time I looked. They do sell replacement screens for their sbb...I inquired about these replacements and was told that they were the #7 mesh. ...just kind of pricey.

    Yes, if you don't mind going in and checking the Beetlejail, Jr.'s they do work pretty good. I have good results with the oil mix I use.

    If you're going to hold at 2 or 3 hives then the sbb beetle traps might be worthwhile...if you figure on increasing your hive count a good bit then the cost might be prohibitive. For two or three hives, though, it would probably be worthwhile. I'd still stick a couple of juniors up in the boxes, though.

    Best wishes,
    Ed

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    1,889

    Default Re: Screened bottom boards:pest trap or ventilation?

    I just went back and looked at the sbb from Kelleys that I linked to has #6 mesh.

    Ed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Screened bottom boards:pest trap or ventilation?

    Thanks, Ed. Do you know what the opening size is for #7 screen? Reason I am asking is that Mcmaster-Carr (an industry supply co. in New Jersey, like Graingers only faster!) that supplies screen, or woven wire cloth as they call it. What material does the screen need to be. Stainless steel, very expensive. Galvanized, better. They do have some stainless in #7 but pricey. The opening is 0.102". They also have #8 in galvanized openings of 0.093, 97 and 0.102 or even 0.108...the bigger openings mean thinner wire for the same mesh. So why not the 0.102 or 0.108 #8? The 108 is 85 cents per sq. ft in 36 widths, the 102 is $4.64! www.mcmaster.com I haven't looked up at kellys yet for price comparison.
    I am a cabinetmaker and plan to build my own....so I can incorporate anything into it...just want to try and weed through the ideas first.
    Thanks, Jim

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Starkville, MS
    Posts
    300

    Default Re: Screened bottom boards:pest trap or ventilation?

    I use the Rossman shb sbb. I will not put a hive up without one, IMHO it is the best built, easiest to use, on the market. It sounds crazy, but that is the ONE beekeeping product that I have used that has really impressed me. I put it down, add a slatted rack on top of it and place my deep. Simple. Beetles that walk in the front fall through as soon as they enter, and the occasional lucky one that doesn't gets chased by the girls until they fall to their deaths. Great product, no mess trying to pour oil in a hanging trap that takes up frame space.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Starkville, MS
    Posts
    300

    Default Re: Screened bottom boards:pest trap or ventilation?

    Also, the sbb shb traps still provide ventilation, they are not "sealed" when u slide the oil tray in place.

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