Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    276

    Default Top Bar Question...

    I'm having a top bar hive built to order from someone who has a lot of experience with Langstroths, but not TBH. He does build some basic TBHs but has no experience with them. I have 6 Langstroths and have no experience with TBHs. His units currently have a full screened bottom with a full "IPM" board that slides under the screen which will fully close it off.
    Does anyone else use screened bottoms?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    555

    Default Re: Top Bar Question...

    You will find a LOT of debate on that on here, just do a search for screened versus solid or look back a little because there was a Thread on it earlier this spring.

    I think some of it comes down to what you intend to do. If you want to perform mite counts it makes it easier but you could do it another way. They can ventilate without it but it did come in handy a few times when I needed to close off the hives for some contractors for a day in the summer.

    This is my second year and I had two hives last year. The first was a temporary one that I made in an emergency because my purchased hive had a broken window. I put aluminum window screen on the bottom because that was what I had. The purchased hive had number 8 mesh. I saw a beetle or two trying to gain entrance to the temporary hive, and a wax moth cocoon between the window screen and the solid bottom board (it warped and didn't fit tight) but I never had a problem with the pests inside the hive. The hive with the number 8 mesh was different. I purchased a nuc that I believe brought the pests with it, but I had a harder fight keeping them out of that one and I believe it was because when young they could enter the hive through the mesh. I ended up scraping and then hitting the bottom board with a torch to kill any eggs I couldn't see, sealing around the board with weather stripping so it was sealed tight and leaving it on. I repeated the scraping and torching a few more times until I didn't see anymore. It seemed I had finally won but the war had left the colony weak and they didn't make it through winter. This year that is the hive my new package went in and they are doing great, no problems so far. I have left the solid bottom board on but will probably drop it and check it sometime soon. My new hive replacing the temporary one doesn't have a screened bottom, just a solid. The bees in the temporary hive didn't make it either, but not because of pests. The new hive won't be up and running until I do a split or catch a swarm. Then I will get to see if solid makes the pest war any easier.

    Hope this helps in some way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Top Bar Question...

    I just purchased my third TBH, this time with a SBB. I was advised on this site not to have the bottom board open after I installed the package, as there was a much higher chance of absconding. I will probably only remove the solid board for a few minutes at a time for housekeeping and a check for mites. Otherwise, I plan to rely on the screened pre-drilled holes for ventilation for the hive.

    Sondra

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Top Bar Question...

    I use solid bottoms on all of my KTBH hives, and no "accessory ventilation" on any after the first 2 I built (the bees blocked my "vent holes" on those with propolis, so I figured they didn't like 'em). Now my hives each have only a 3/8" by 3" top entrance & they do fine through both summer & winter. As far as the bottom board affecting pest counts, I only ever had any pest problems (SHB, WM, and RIFA) in my hives last year when they were too weak to defend all of their comb; unfortunately, I don't think there's much that either style of bottom board can do to help with that :/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Top Bar Question...

    This was a rather dumb question on my part. I've seen the great "Bottom Board Debates" on this site and the answer is always the same...some people like 'em and some don't. My Langs all have open screens and have done well so far. Our winters are not so harsh and the summers can get to 100 degrees on occasion. The temporary TBH hive I have now has a 4' sliding board below the screen which I think is not the best concept...you either stick it in all the way and have no ventilation or you slide it part of the way out for some ventilation (which will leave it sticking out like a tongue) or you remove it entirely. I plan to have 2) sliding boards with staggered slots so I can slide the bottom one and reveal the slots on the above board. That will give me some adjustment. Besides...why would I need an IPM board? TBH's don't get mites...correct? We'll see about that.
    As far as Beetles go, it really doesn't matter how you try to seal up a hive...if they are in your area, they'll find a way in. When I started my first 2 hives, I could stand in front of them after sunset and watch beetles fly into the front entrance. I think the best way to combat the beetles is to have a strong hive and place the hive in full sun. After I did that I rarely saw one inside the hives.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Top Bar Question...

    Not a dumb question at all. There's a wealth of information on this site, and it's difficult to retain it all. I find I retain so much more when an issue pertains to my situation at the time.

    Sondra

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Top Bar Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Belewsboy View Post
    Besides...why would I need an IPM board? TBH's don't get mites...correct? We'll see about that.
    I'm not so sure about that one...I haven't had a mite problem so far, but I attribute that every bit as much to having mite resistant strains of bees as anything else. And as far as TBH/Lang, I see no difference there where mites go, unless you mean foundationless vs foundation; being that there's a strong argument for bees with foundationless/"natural sized" comb cells having somewhat less trouble with tracheal mites, and maybe with varroa as well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Top Bar Question...

    >Does anyone else use screened bottoms?

    I built several with and without. Now I only build them without. It's easier, and I'm always concerned about too much ventilation.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#SBB
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
    Posts
    547

    Default Re: Top Bar Question...

    I built 2 with and have since closed them up or let the bees close them. For the TP solid bottom is the way for me and my area.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads