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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Durango, Colorado
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    146

    Default Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    What are your thoughts on screened vs. regular bottom board?

    Thanks,
    Sunny

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    774

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    I am in the deep south and we have a SHB problem down here. I use a fully closed screened bottom board with an oil tray under it. Does pretty darn good job on the beetles. If it weren't for that, I'd be all solid bottoms. I think the bees like the solids better than the open screens--too much light with the screens, IMO.

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Durango, Colorado
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    Thanks for your response!

    I am in SW Colorado. We have cooler nights and cold winters. No SHB issues.

    Are the screens better for mite control? Thoughts?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
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    642

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    I am in the Denver area, and I use a SBB on each of my 13 hives primarily for enhanced ventilation during our hot summers with intense sun. I suppose the SBB may help a little for varroa control as well, although a yearly application of Apiguard to hives with high mite counts is my main method of with dealing mites, which makes the SBB mostly irrelevant to mite control.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 9 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Durango, Colorado
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    146

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post
    I am in the Denver area, and I use a SBB on each of my 13 hives primarily for enhanced ventilation during our hot summers with intense sun. I suppose the SBB may help a little for varroa control as well, although a yearly application of Apiguard to hives with high mite counts is my main method of with dealing mites, which makes the SBB mostly irrelevant to mite control.
    Great! I am in SW CO, we have slightly warmer temps, but at times more snow. Next question, do you leave the SBB exposed all year long?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
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    642

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    I close the SBB in the winter, once the nightime lows drop below about 50F.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 9 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Durango, Colorado
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    That's logical to me - the way I did it last year.

    Thanks!

    We are in the same zone, but my elevation is about 7000 ft.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,674

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    Your bees will do a lot better without screens. they can control the temp and humididty of the brood chamber much better haveing tried both for several years. all my screens are covered with 1/4 luan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    642

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    gmcharlie - Thanks for your input. I can't speak for anyone else, but for me the SBBs are essential in the summer. I think because our high altitude Colorado sun is intense.

    My hives sit on the roof of a shed, where the roof is the typical black roofing paper. When the temps are in the high 90's, our high altitude sun heats the surface of the roof and the tops of the hives to literally almost too hot to touch. Talk about solar gain! In July, the heating becomes so extreme that this year about half of the queens stopped laying for about 3 weeks. I thought I had a bunch of queens gone bad, until I noticed eggs at the end of a 3-day cloudy/cool period. And this with the SBBs open and with Honey Run ventilated tops. I now have plywood propped against the sides of the hives and placed on top for sun shielding.

    I think in certain situations, SBB are very helpful.

    JMHO
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 9 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
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    2,674

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    well given the "cat on a hot tin roof" scenario, they might help! I think you will still find that they will avoid brood rearing near the open space..

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
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    1,042

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    I think you will still find that they will avoid brood rearing near the open space..
    With you being a 15 year beekeeper I guess you know what your talking about .
    I run SBB in the summer and solids in the winter . I think next year i'll do half and half and see if there is a difference . I like the idea that the varroa fall out plus in the summer they seem to like the ventilation { I use screen tops in the summer also}. But the brood thing got me thinking .
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 15 hives==== T{OAV}

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Fairfax, Vermont
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    We keep hives in northern VT, we run both SBB and solid. For the SBB hives, we place a piece of wood where the monitoring tray goes to prevent up drafts in the winter. Those hives that do have SBB see to be able to regulate their temps a little better during the hot July weather. A little more ventilation....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Durango, Colorado
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    So far, three of my hives have completely open bottom boards and one has a drawer-type opening, so it is open, but there is a bottom so to speak, just an open space between the screen and the bottom.

    The hives with the SBB do not have brood at the bottom of the frames. The other one does. Related?

    I have the Mann Lane SBB that come with the cardboard drawer. I put in the drawers yesterday and will look for a difference. They are just cardboard.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
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    2,674

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    Quote Originally Posted by GLOCK View Post
    With you being a 15 year beekeeper I guess you know what your talking about .
    I run SBB in the summer and solids in the winter . I think next year i'll do half and half and see if there is a difference . I like the idea that the varroa fall out plus in the summer they seem to like the ventilation { I use screen tops in the summer also}. But the brood thing got me thinking .
    I like the ventilation also at first. bearding stops or slows. and honey cures faster, but found its not worth the reduced brood and buildup. Noticed that almost all my SBB the bottom deeps were empty. no brood, and no stores.. Hives are cleaner as trash falls out.
    Comared Mite loads.... no differences at all in fall test. The IPM strategy sounds great... but testing in the field showed me it wasn't working like the plan.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bell County, KY, USA
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    I've moved away from the screened bottom boards in favor for the solid.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    324

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Hills Farm View Post
    I am in the deep south and we have a SHB problem down here. I use a fully closed screened bottom board with an oil tray under it. Does pretty darn good job on the beetles. If it weren't for that, I'd be all solid bottoms. I think the bees like the solids better than the open screens--too much light with the screens, IMO.

    Rusty

    I'm with Rusty, in Flordia SBB with Oil traps are great for control SHB and I suspect they help with mites. I can't see mites in the oil, but I see roaches, ants, and SHB....

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    43,481

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    Go to www.beesource.com
    In the search box put in:
    screened bottom vs

    It will take you to here:
    http://www.beesource.com/search-resu...m+vs&sa=Search

    Where you'll see over 7,000 previous discussions on this forum on this topic...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Weatherford,Texas,USA
    Posts
    431

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    I am in Texas and use only solid bottom boards. My reason behind it, I grew up poor and with out air conditioning in South East Texas. All we had was an "attic fan" to cool the house down. For y'all that do not know an attic fan is a very large fan that was mounted in the ceiling and vented to the attic. What we would do is to open all the windows an inch or two and then turn the fan on. It would pull the air from the outside through the house and into the attic. The key was leaving the windows opened alittle. If you opened them all the way the fan seemed to lose it cooling abilities.
    Now when we would have storm and lose power, we had no choice but to open all the windows and doors as wide as we could. It would 100 outside and it felt like it was warmer inside. The key was moving the air through the small points.
    I believe that if you have the screen bottom open the bees can do little to move air around the hive. If you have it all solid then the ladies can control air flow.
    "It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!" Zapata

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lebanon, Maine
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Open Screen Bottom Board vs. Regular Bottom Board

    FWIW, I use SBB with a slatted bottom board (slats running front to back). I also have a Honey Run ventilated top board. I run lower and upper entrances. I like ventilation, and here in southern Maine, actually want good ventilation in winter, so boards are left open in winter.
    Chip Harlow

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