My question is about bottom boards. I am very confused. Should I be using #8 hardware cloth for screening? When should the bottom board be open and closed during the season? When the bottom board is in place, should it be completely sealed shut? When mine are in place, there are still small cracks around the edges of the bottom board.

When I install my package bees, should the bottom board be closed for awhile? When do I open it or do I only open it when checking for mites?

Thanks from a "newbee" in Idaho.