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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Posts
    36

    Default Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    Hi all,

    I am back in the Netherlands after 2 years volunteer work in Kenya where I started beekeeping and made a Kenya Top Bar Hive (KTBH). http://www.bit.ly/beekeepingkenya

    I am now busy making a top bar hive in Holland and this time want to incorporate a screened bottom board for ventilation and varroa control.

    At the local hardware store they don't have a whole lot of choice of mesh. Most are way too big for chicken and rabbit pens. The only suitable mesh I found was a plastic mesh that you use to make an insect screen for a door or window. The mesh is black and has 17 holes per inch. Would this mesh be suitable to use for my top bar hive? I want to make the screened bottom board so that I can remove it to clean out dead bees and other dirt that has accumulated on the bottom.
    Was also planning to use it to make an outside feeder with an upside down pickle jar. Can the bees get to the jar lid properly or are the holes too small for that?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hephzibah, GA
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    Did you check for gutter screen in the roofing section? 17 holes per inch doesn't sound like so tight a mesh that it wouldn't allow varroa to fall through. I'm not sure how you plan to use it for the feeder, though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,271

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    17 holes per inch in my opinion would be too fine for a bottom board. as it would become clogged with cappings fairly rapidly. something in the vicinity of 1/8" openings and no larger than 3/16 would be what I prefer for my usage.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hephzibah, GA
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    When I had screened bottoms, 1/8 is what I used (it was gutter screen), but mine was primarily for small hive beetles and their larvae as varroa has not been a problem for me in the past. The bees tended to keep the screen clear of cappings in my experience, although it's possible that some of it simply fell through to the tub of mineral oil below.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    No screened bottom would be best. #8 would be best if you insist...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    Varroa seems to be a big problem in Holland and that's why I wanted to have the option of the screened bottom board. If I have a screened bottom, I can open it, ventilate, clean, count varroa.
    I will go to different hardware stores and see if they sell the 1/8" hole mesh in Holland. I've never seen in here.

    If I leave it closed and later on decide I want to put a screened bottom it won't be possible anymore.

    As for the feeder it would look something like the link below. Only I won't attach it to a divider, but to one of the ends of the hive. I assume the back end is best? As the other side has the entrance holes in it. Or should the feeder be on the same side as the entrance?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hephzibah, GA
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    I assume you intend to put it on the outside rather than inside. The reason it's often put directly behind the follower board is because you will be using the board to adjust the volume of the hive according to the seasons. You want the bees to have easy access to the feed, especially during winter, and not create a large gap between the colony and their food source. Until I started feeding mine from below, I always did it behind the follower.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    477

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    No screened bottom would be best. #8 would be best if you insist...
    I agree completely.
    Beekeeper? Shoot, my bees keep me!
    100 hives in Western Wa State

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,520

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    I wouldn't do a screened bottom either. Just having the SBB won't help much with Varroa. It will give you a way to count mites, but with the angled sides of a TBH that may not mean as much on a TBH.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    No screened bottom would be best. #8 would be best if you insist...
    I tried a screened bottom last year, and it turned out not to be so great. This year, I'm following Michael's advice and getting rid of the screen.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    No screened bottom would be best. #8 would be best if you insist...
    I agree...I permanently closed all of my screen bottoms

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    And you guys also don't use a screened bottom board for ventilation and cleaning the hive?

    You guys confused me... now I don't know what to do. Am tempted not to install a mesh floor. It will be much easier without.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    >And you guys also don't use a screened bottom board for ventilation and cleaning the hive?

    On a top bar hive it's too much ventilation. It does nothing for cleaning the hive. I have built them with screened bottoms in the past but I never do now...

    > You guys confused me... now I don't know what to do. Am tempted not to install a mesh floor. It will be much easier without.

    Exactly. And they will be less likely to abscond and less likely to get too hot or too cold...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    Quote Originally Posted by Remichi View Post
    And you guys also don't use a screened bottom board for ventilation and cleaning the hive?

    You guys confused me... now I don't know what to do. Am tempted not to install a mesh floor. It will be much easier without.
    My bees propolized most of the screened bottom, so it really did nothing to help me clean the hive. Maybe if you could remove the screen entirely (which I couldn't on mine) it would be a different story.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,520

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    Someone had a thread about having them on a hinge, but with my skills it probably wouldn't open and I would have to purchase a few hinges that would be used maybe once a year. Save the money on the screen to buy a beer after you are done and enjoy your handiwork.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Troutville, VA, USA
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    The only advantage that I can see of having a screened bottom, is if you don't have windows and want to see where the cluster is located in winter, you could remove whatever is covering the screen in winter and look in from underneath, assuming its up on legs. I personally have no windows in my tbhs, yet have not done this. (maybe I will next winter)

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hephzibah, GA
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Mesh for screened bottom board TBH

    Since all beekeeping is different depending on each region's conditions, do you know of any other beekeepers in Holland that use top bar hives? If so, have they found using screened bottoms worth the effort?

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