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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Huntersville, NC
    Posts
    94

    Default Solid Bottom Board

    I am using solid bottom boards with my hives this here. I generally let the bees keep anything that they have in their hive, I remove very little. I remove almost no propolis and very but comb for instance. I assume that the bees know what they need and want more than I do so I leave it alone. I also recognize that there is a significant ecosystem at work in the hive and assume that the more you disturb it the more you violate the balances that are necessary for success. So my question is too experienced beekeepers that you solid bottom boards. Do you remove the debris that gets trapped by the solid bottom board or do you let it stay there for the bees to take care of. If you remove it how often do you do so?

    Thank you in advance for your comments.
    Thanks,
    Will

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,664

    Default Re: Solid Bottom Board

    In the spring and sometimes in the fall, depending on the strength of the hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,996

    Default Re: Solid Bottom Board

    A strong healthy hive will normally take care of it. But during winter they can drop a pile of crud on it, too cold for them to haul it outside, & some beekeepers assist the bees by scraping it off for them in spring.

    If you do clean the board off for them, don't worry about removing beneficial bacteria or whatever. What's on the bottom board is waste, unhealthy, and something the bees will toss out themselves when they can. Other than the little dark colored knobs they build on the bottom board to help themselves climb up to the frames, these can be left if you can.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 08-22-2014 at 10:15 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,876

    Default Re: Solid Bottom Board

    I use solid bottom boards too! I remove debris from them as part of each hive's first major spring inspection. I think of it as winter cleanup.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Concord, California
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Solid Bottom Board

    Years ago I had solid bottom boards. Cleaned them every hive inspection. The debris is a great place for wax moth larvae to mature or to pupate. I switched all hives to screen bottom boards with screened varroa mite boards. Now no debris issues! I use my count boards as bottom boards (inserted) for the winter months. They get very little debris for the two months or so they are actually kept in the hives.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Solid Bottom Board

    We did a cutout yesterday that had comb 8 feet tall by 30" wide by 3" deep. There was very little debris along the bottom. This is typical in our area. Cleaning the bottom of a successful hive is good for the beekeeper, and probably does little harm to the bees.
    Aren't they supposed to be feeding me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Default Re: Solid Bottom Board

    >Do you remove the debris that gets trapped by the solid bottom board or do you let it stay there for the bees to take care of. If you remove it how often do you do so?

    Usually once a year, but anytime I happen to be down to the bottom board. I never dig down to it just to clean it off.. but in the spring I'm often down to the last box and the last box is mostly empty, so it's not much work and I think it saves the bees some work. I tried purposefully having detritus at the bottom but I couldn't see that it made much difference and all those soggy bees can rot out your bottom board.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lassen, California, USA
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: Solid Bottom Board

    Quote Originally Posted by CityHoney View Post
    Years ago I had solid bottom boards. Cleaned them every hive inspection. The debris is a great place for wax moth larvae to mature or to pupate. I switched all hives to screen bottom boards with screened varroa mite boards. Now no debris issues! I use my count boards as bottom boards (inserted) for the winter months. They get very little debris for the two months or so they are actually kept in the hives.
    I have 3 hives, two have Screened BB's and one has a Solid BB. I've discovered that the bees drop a TON of pollen, that they then cannot retrieve through the screened BB. Also, I have discovered wax moths love the screened BB's, lots of nooks and crannys, the bees cannot or will not get to to clean. I will be switching to all solids. Screens work for some, but I have decided I do not like them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,496

    Default Re: Solid Bottom Board

    Quote Originally Posted by Hogback Honey View Post
    ... I've discovered that the bees drop a TON of pollen, that they then cannot retrieve through the screened BB. Also, I have discovered wax moths love the screened BB's, lots of nooks and crannys, the bees cannot or will not get to to clean...
    I find, that to me works best is screened bottom with oil tray under. Oil tray blocks access to the screen from outside. It is enough for ventilation but did not create excessive air-flow. I did not notice any pollen in the tray. I am using a screen with smaller mesh (big enough for mites). In my climate, I keep screens all year around. I tried a solid board - bees do not care, but it seems to me, that they beard more.
    Серёжа, Sergey

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