ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Campbell County, Va
    Posts
    507

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    I grew to dislike screened bottoms after pulling out my ipm board on several occasions and finding a bunch of shb larvae there that the bees couldn't get to to clean out. At least with a true solid bottom, the bees can haul out whatever they do not want in the hive.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    hinesville ga usa
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    763

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    This is a subject that has strong opinions on both sides, I have 1/3 to 1/2 of my bottoms screened on each of all my hives, once I learned to close them off with landscape cloth when first installing the bees and removing it once brood is present I have had none abscond. It may not help, but my colonies are doing so well that I don't plan to change at this point, I may out of curiosity make a half dozen or so with solid bottoms for a mini-study. I can report that I have no bearding during our hot summers.
    If I lived in a more northern climate I don't think I would use the screens.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    10,025

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    I am not sure why you think that is the cause Brad as you have never had a screened bottom board. We use them in every research hive and in the teaching hives. All are started from packages on screened bottom boards. I cannot remember a hive absconding in ten years. There is probably something else in the package installation. If it is done like a swarm and done correctly they will remain. Then again people lose swarms screened or solid.
    The bees actually resist mites and viruses better at 96.8 degrees. They can and do maintain that throughout the year with a screened bottom board. At least in Florida heat rises. It is called convection. That is why hot air balloons fill the sky with color floating through the air. The heated air does not fall out. Bees use radiant heat which is quite tolerant of their environment. That is why they can exist on exposed locations.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    [email protected]

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    10,025

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Trash, Varroa mites and small hive beetle larva cannot drop to the ground with a sticky/IPM board or a solid hive stand negating any positive effect.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    [email protected]

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Lacomb, Oregon USA
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    While bees groom the mites fall through screen and out of hive. With solid bottom won't the mites just crawl back up for more havoc?
    As a new beek, that's how they convinced me.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Uk
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    SBB's are a disaster waiting to happen. They are responsible for most of the new colonies that fail to thrive
    Your just giving the novice beekeeper another excuse for why their bees died.
    Without SBB even fewer folk will bother to monitor for varroa.
    The SBB give a reliable estimate of colony mite levels during late fall and winter when brood levels are low. Without a SBB I wouldn't be able to monitor the effectiveness of my winter oxalic acid vaporization.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bell County, KY, USA
    Posts
    590

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Screened Bottom Boards suck for many reasons.
    I am glad to see that this fad is on it's way out.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,850

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericasBeekeeper View Post
    At least in Florida heat rises. It is called convection. That is why hot air balloons fill the sky with color floating through the air. The heated air does not fall out. Bees use radiant heat which is quite tolerant of their environment. That is why they can exist on exposed locations.
    Its not that 'heat' rises - 'heat' radiates in all directions. "Hot air" rises, even in Florida! Consider heat from the sun, for example. Daylight hours on Earth would be a real trip if the heat from the sun did not radiate in all directions.

    For a wholly terrestrial example, consider a fire built on a wooden deck. If heat were only to rise, the wood deck would not burn. However, heat from the fire radiates equally in all directions and the wood deck is most certainly at risk of burning.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Timonium, Maryland
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Quote Originally Posted by scorpionmain View Post
    Screened Bottom Boards suck for many reasons.
    I would like to hear some of the reasons.

    Here are the reasons you SHOULD use screened bottom board:
    1. You'll see what's going on in your hive without opening it and disturbing your bees.
    2. Extra vent during summer time - makes sense to me.
    3. Mite dropping through
    4. Dirt and feces dropping through
    5. Can see if there is a wax moth and it's approximate location.
    6. Dead SHB drops through

    The easiest way to keep your hive clean.
    Works as bird cage bottom board.

    Winter time I just put duct tape around to keep wind and cold not getting into the hive.

    https://www.mannlakeltd.com/10-frame...a-screen-board - this is BAD bottom board.
    https://www.mannlakeltd.com/10-frame...ed-with-drawer - this is OK bottom board.
    http://www.miller-mfg.com/product/SCREENBOARD.html - the best bottom board.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bell County, KY, USA
    Posts
    590

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Quote Originally Posted by Artur_M View Post
    I would like to hear some of the reasons.

    Here are the reasons you SHOULD use screened bottom board:
    1. You'll see what's going on in your hive without opening it and disturbing your bees.
    2. Extra vent during summer time - makes sense to me.
    3. Mite dropping through
    4. Dirt and feces dropping through
    5. Can see if there is a wax moth and it's approximate location.
    6. Dead SHB drops through

    The easiest way to keep your hive clean.
    Works as bird cage bottom board.
    Let's count the ways.
    You need to go into your hive to know whats going on in there. Don't worry about disturbing them.
    Big gape hole doesn't help ventilate. Honeybee are so successful in so many different climates because they have the ability to maintain the micro-climate within the hive.
    They fan and evaporate water, push air through the hive, you mess this up with a big ol' hole.
    The mites that drop are dead anyways. They get hauled out with the trash by the house bees.
    Feces? Bees don't use the bathroom in their hive.
    When I tried Screened BB's, I saw wax moths lay on the screen.
    I've had mass of bees get stuck under the hive, confused about the entrance.
    Let's ants in. Less easily defended.
    More expensive.
    Less sturdy.
    Queens don't like to lay near light.
    Etc. etc...
    Last edited by scorpionmain; 03-06-2017 at 09:22 AM.

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Culpeper, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Hey Brad

    Thanks for the advice. My experience differs somewhat but then I'm in Virginia and started with nucs (screened bottom boards there too), packages and swarms all with open screened bottom boards. I only close them during the winter. Please share what you think happens I and I'm sure others would appreciate it.
    John

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hanover, PA
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Only ever used screened bottom boards. Never had any of the issues that others are bringing up (including absconds from not closing them up with new packages, although I will say that this is good advice and certainly can't hurt). I believe, as with anything, proper use and proper application play a large role in the success of any "tool" that we choose to implement. To each their own, I will continue using my screened bottom boards because my experiences have been positive with them.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,577

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Quote Originally Posted by IsedHooah View Post
    Only ever used screened bottom boards. Never had any of the issues that others are bringing up (including absconds from not closing them up with new packages, although I will say that this is good advice and certainly can't hurt). I believe, as with anything, proper use and proper application play a large role in the success of any "tool" that we choose to implement. To each their own, I will continue using my screened bottom boards because my experiences have been positive with them.
    I too, have had no problem at all with them...I mostly keep them closed...it seems that it gives just enough ventilation. Out of 8 hives overwintering, 5 have screened bb. All are doing well.
    Proverbs 16:24

  15. #34
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
    Posts
    560

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    I have both.
    Every year when I go to clean the hive floors in spring I remember why I love SBBs. They are clean dry and are never blocked with dead bees, now the solid floors they literally stink with wet dead bees and debris.
    It took me a long time to accept, that where I live there is no ill effect in winter when using SBB. The Germans say "Cold feet and a warm head never hurt anyone"!
    Stephen 40+ hives. 6th year. Treat. Germany.

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Rutherford Co. NC
    Posts
    549

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    how about ScBB and SoBB.

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lassen, California, USA
    Posts
    663

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    SBB's are a disaster waiting to happen. They are responsible for most of the new colonies that fail to thrive.
    I think it's more how the SBB's are used. I've SBB's on my 4 hives, they are all thriving, course I'm only a 3rd year. I started out with 2 hives in 2014, split those two last year, all 4 are doing great, all have SBB on them. I've never taken out the bottom, I just use it to monitor mite drop, and it gives me an indication of what is going on inside the hive by monitoring what is on the board.
    Some days it's not even worth chewing through the restraints.

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,854

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    >"Cold feet and a warm head never hurt anyone"!

    My dad always said, if your feet are cold you should put on a hat...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,661

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Just to throw my minimal two cents into this discussion:

    I have run screened bottom boards ("SBB") from day 1. I have never had a package, swarm, split, or any other type of hive abscond. Thus, I can say that SBB's have never caused any of my bees to abscond.

    I like SBB's for the diagnostic benefit of looking at what and where detritus falls onto the board. This includes dropped wax flakes, dropped pollen pellets, dead mites, and wax moth poop. It is a helpful and easy-to-use tool, especially when looking at mite fall after an OAV or Apiguard application.

    When I first started with bees, I used only a bottom entrance. I would pull out the SBB a few inches on especially hot days. But, now, I run a bottom and top entrance year-round. This is a huge benefit to the hive because it allows the bees (rather than an ignorant human) to easily adjust ventilation to however they want it through the year. Accordingly, I no longer use a SBB to adjust hive ventilation. In other words, my SBB are fully inserted year-round.

    I also run all mediums and an open brood nest. The bees almost always run the brood chamber into the 3rd medium. A prolific queen in a good year will lay into the 4th medium. But, the bees almost never use the bottom medium box.

    I am starting to wonder if not using the first box is due to the SBB being too drafty, even when it is closed. This makes me want to switch to a solid bottom board configuration, but I don't want to lose the diagnostic advantage of the SBB. Hmmmm . . . .

    Also, don't forget that the effects of a SBB are very dependant on what your local climate is.

    JMHO
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Vestavia Hills, Al. USA
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    what about FREEMAN BEETLE TRAP style SBB? I have a couple of these I plan to use. With the tray in it seems fairly well closed off.
    Started April Fools Day 2017

  21. #40
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Titus County, Texas, USA
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Quote Originally Posted by R_V View Post
    what about FREEMAN BEETLE TRAP style SBB? I have a couple of these I plan to use. With the tray in it seems fairly well closed off.
    I use the same concepts. Rusty has one on his website that works great.
    Bee management is like a flowing river, persistent and ever changing.

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