Re: solid vs screen bottom
I had both screened bottom and solid bottom hives this year, and the only solid one I have now has a 2" hole drilled in it with #8 hardware cloth stapled over it inside and out.
I keep black rubber pondliner on the ground under my hives, so no grass grows up, and it's pretty toasty in summer for a beetle larva to be trying to burrow through.
I saw less bearding and better temperament in the heat on my screened bottoms. I can put in a white sticky board in all but one (it's sticky tray is in the garage - so it is a guinea pig this winter). I built my own, It was a pain, but a worthwhile investment. Next year I'll find a place to buy them reasonably. Screens. With white trays so I can see what falls out and sticks in my cooking oil.
Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.