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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default The use of sticky boards with SOLID bottom boards

    I've decided to step up and start tracking hive data this year instead of just winging it and dealing with issues as they arise. One of the things I'd like to start doing is monitoring varroa drops. I prefer not to do the alcohol wash, or the sugar shake as they are intrusive, and consume more time. I think the sticky boards will give me the information I want, but I have solid bottom boards and don't plan to change that.

    I spent some time with the google, and searching old forum posts and it seem as though some folks just slide the sticky board in and thats it. Mann lake, and maybe others, sell slide in units that consist of a sticky board with a screen over it to keep the bees off the goop. If anyone has experience with using sticky boards on solid bottoms, I'd like to hear about it.

    I have a number of questions abotu stickyboards in general. For the "make it yourself" kind of folks, do you use Pam spray, vaseline, spray adhesive, or some other product on the board? I think I'll likely use either corrugated plastic, or aluminum sheet for the actual board. It would be great if there something that would hold fast to the little mites, and allow the bees passage, but that is a pretty tall order, so i think I'll need some screen above the sticky board. If this is teh case, will 1/4" be fine enough? will metal window screen be too fine?

    So, if you've got experience, or even just thoughts, I'd like to hear about them. Maybe I'll be able to answer most of my questions and start making the gear.

    Thanks,

    Kris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: The use of sticky boards with SOLID bottom boards

    BetterBee sells a varroa monitoring screen that is compatible with a solid bottom board. I use screen over the top 1/8" aka #8 wire. It's a political year = no lack of available corrugated plastic.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: The use of sticky boards with SOLID bottom boards

    what do you use to provide the "sticky" to your boards?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: The use of sticky boards with SOLID bottom boards

    kris , I used these last year and they work fine , from Dadant screen # http://www.dadant.com/catalog/advanc...tion=1&x=0&y=0 its a soft pliable screen that can be used over and over .

    The sticky paper is also available #http://www.dadant.com/catalog/advanc...tion=1&x=0&y=0

    Now the trick is trying to clean off the sticky papers and reusing them , they use a very sticky material thats hard to clean off , once you get it off vaseline would be easier to clean and then reuse .I'm going to try some different solvents but was hoping to keep the grid pattern if possible intact .
    Second Year 4 Hives T USDA Zone 5b

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: The use of sticky boards with SOLID bottom boards

    Thanks for taking the time to look-up those links for me!

  6. #6

    Default Re: The use of sticky boards with SOLID bottom boards

    I've seen a frame made from the type of wood used as quarter round trim. 1/8 inch hardware cloth stapled to the top and a piece of standard kitchen contact paper...sticky side up....taped to the bottom.
    It works ok as long as the bees haven't built mounds on the bottom boards. Otherwise sliding them in is a chore. What's the chance of that?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    558

    Default Re: The use of sticky boards with SOLID bottom boards

    I have Betterbee screen boards on top of my solid boards. (They have an improved design this year, which I looked at uickly and didn't like as well my simple older one.) I keep the set-up on all year, just closing off the insertion slot with the (supplied with the board) wooden stick. This winter I added a small bit of thin foam packing material to wrap around the wooden closure for extra draft-protection. I will remove the foam in a few weeks. If I ever got the notion to have a "full" open SBB, I would replace the wooden piece with a thumbtacked-on piece of bee-proof screening to make sure no lost bees, or robbers, was tromping around on the surface of the testing board. Bees on the board will skew your results because some lucky mites will hitch on to them and escape their Fate. (I flush all mites after counting - sadist that I am.)

    I use old cooking oil as the sticky. It works fine and is easy to clean off and replace after each test period. I test for 72 hour every single week, all season. I even have been running tests all winter, despite the fact that there is no good data on interpreting the numbers. Pour on a puddle 2" in diameter, spread it around with a paper towel. Next board use a smaller pudlle if you re-use the same paper towel.

    Some tips: 1) Iinstall your screen board so the insertion slot is open at the back, not front, of your hive. That way you can pull or insert the sticky board with zero disturbance to the bees, even in the dark.

    2) Mark each sticky board with a code that matches it with a prticular hive. That way you can go out and pull several boards out at once and never lose track of which hive it came from.

    3) Take a large paperclip and un-bend the first loop. Stick it down and through the test board about halfway across one of the short sides, about 3/8ths of an inch in from the edge. Manipulate the clip around and through the hole so that it becomes a little flippy tab. Rebend the unbent leg. Now you have a convenient grab-tab for pulling the boards out.

    4) You don't need the tray thing, a flat piece of CoroPLast (Betterbee's economy sticky board) works very well. Old political signs, can also be used. They can be painted, or as I recently discovered their ink easily scrapes off with rubbing by a piece of foam insulation.

    5) Run the tests when you're not working in the hives. Messin' about above the boards will also mess up your numbers.

    6) Do the counts like this: Use a magnifyng lens in your left hand and wet, squashed-ended toothpick in your right. Go over the board and lift up each mite and set it down in the corner. Don't worry about counting until you can't find any mites. Then look over what you've collected, removing any debris specks that looked like mites. Nudge them into groups of five, and count. Divide by number of days you tested (I strongly recommend at least THREE days). If you see a sudden high jump, immediately retest, checking and counting every 24 hours, for three more days. There are frequent one-day spikes. (Which is why single-day, or every once in awhile sticky boards are not very useful.

    7) Understand that you are not going to get a number that indicates the (calculated from assumed population) percentage of mites in a colony like you do with rolls. The data are completely different. More or less constant monitoring will give you the best data on the changing mite, and mite-stage, population. This is as useful as the absolute daily averages you get from the total mites/divided by days tested parameters. You may also see mites of slightly different colors and sizes - these are just diff. sex and maturity of V. destructor, so count them, too.

    8) Sticky-boarding is so easy, and if done a lot over the course of a season gives you a good sense of what's up in your hives. Not to mention, when somebody posts here in response to a question you ask and demands to know what your mite numbers when - you'll know!

    If I've written confusing instructions, please point that out and I'll clarify. I'm am keen to encourage people to sticky board, especially new beeks who may not want to kill bees, or are just reluctant to get deep enough into the hives to collect for a sugar roll. My own goal this summer is actually to do regular sugar rolls, hoping to get come comparative data to pair with my constant boarding. But, if nothing else, just sticky board all season. It's actually quite addictive, in a odd certain way. It gives me a sense of good stewardship to accomplish that task each week.

    Oh, and I nearly forgot the MOST IMPORTANT THING: Record your weekly counts!

    Extra bonus points: hive moth and SHB larvae frequently lurk under the boards. They are easy to catch and smush, or feed to your chickens.

    Enj.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: The use of sticky boards with SOLID bottom boards

    I have had a lot of problems with SHB and decieded to do something about it.
    So I built a solid bottom board that has a 1-1/2 " x 3/4" picture frame with a 1/4" plywood bottom dadoed into the frame so that there is a 1/4" lip at the bottom. Inside the frame I put a 3/8" x 3/4" strip all the waw around. This is a spacer strip that will provide a 3/8" gap between the glue and the wire mesh. I then take a sheet of heavy paper that will just fit inside my spacer strip and paint it black. I then use spray adhesive to tack the paper onto the bottom board. I then cover the paper with sticky glue (bulk glue from Amazon) that they use on sitcky boards. I then build a picture frame 3/4" x 3/4" that is the same size as my spacer strip. I staple 1/8" wire mesh across this frame and attach 3/8" thick spacers on it to keep it from sagging into the glue. Take the bottom board with the black glue side up and place the mesh into it, set the hive box on top and put a 1/4" thick piece of Plexiglass over the top. Leave your inner cover and top cover off.
    The SHB cannot stand light and will crawl off the comb and hide in the black glue at the bottom.
    I have not had a SHB problem since I started using this trap. It is easy to make, cheap to build, has a replaceable glue strip, does not need to be level and is not messy. It works.
    I also find a few Wax Moths in the glue now and them and if I look very closly I also find mites.
    You can see some pictures at http://poorboybees.com/presentation.html

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