ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards - Page 3
Page 3 of 8 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 155
  1. #41
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    York County, VA, USA
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    About the third time I heard screened bottom boards described, I thought to myself, "Why not put a tray of oil (or soapy water) under that to kill anything the bees push out through the screen?" I later read of the Freeman Beetle Trap. I've only heard good things about it, and I use several. Seems to have all of the screened bottom board pluses and it seals up well at will to limit most other bad effects mentioned. The tray can be as opaque as you want, to keep the hive dark (black spray paint).

    I see someone else has pointed to this example, also. Good. I still think that trap design is sound. I like the polyethylene (I think) trays used because they can seal pretty well against the base of the hive and address some of the over-ventilation issues others complain about.

    Michael
    "I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong." (heard often from the late David Sebree) Still making them, myself

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #42
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,534

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    @Shinbone,

    Stick a solid board under your SBB and have the best of both worlds. I, like you, wouldn't like to give up the info gained from studying my stickies.

    You might also consider putting a 2" high shim under your lowest box. I do that and find it gets my queens laying in my lowest box, and seasonal honey and pollen storage placed there, too. I did it to get the benefits of a slatted board, without the cost and the slats which I felt would interfere with the unimpeded free-fall of hive debris I wanted to study on the board. Most of my colonies make no effort to draw comb down into the 2" void into the shim; one or two will occasionalyl build a small nubbin, but rarely with any brood or stores. I just have to peek in through entrance on those colonies to make sure I don't stick my Varrox wand into it.

    Enj.

  4. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Penobscot County, ME, USA
    Posts
    1,206

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    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.
    Come on Rader, ya gotta ease up on the logic and reason. Twice in one thread? You're gonna make some heads explode.

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post
    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.
    I started with screened bottoms too, but not because I believed it to be a magic mite mitigator, just as a monitoring tool. If some mites drop through and die, well, a dead mite sooner is worth a thousand dead mites later.

    I generally always left the bottoms open, and never had any issues with the queen not laying in the bottom box. In fact, that is where I usually find the drone brood- built onto the bottom bars of the frames in the bottom box. Last year I ran a quad-deep for a little while, because I lost a queen in my original line and wanted to make sure I got another...I'm maintaining two hives with an original line started in 2011...so I combined the two, and when I separated them again, all four deeps were packed solid with brood.

    But, I do go to the trouble of swapping the screens for solids at the end of the Summer- Winters here can be pretty tough sometimes. I've seen the temps go down to -25 and stay there for weeks, and I'm in a valley where the hills funnel the wind up to 60-80mph, sometimes higher. Those conditions can kill bees real quick if you're a bad beekeeper...I've got that lesson twice now. (And, hopefully, it will stick this time...or I'll have to change my nick to BadBeeKiller.)
    If you want to be successful, study successful people and do what they do.
    Zone 4a/b

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Greene County, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    I don't even own a solid bottom board. And I rarely use the IPM board (preferring to actually disturb the hive and look at the bees, so the screened bottom is always open, even in winter. Haven't used an entrance reducer either.

    Haven't had any issues with absconding, from either packages or nuc installations. Just my 2 cents. Just because you don't agree with someone's keep methods doesn't mean you need to discourage others from the practice based only on your anecdotal opinion.

  6. #45

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Quote Originally Posted by MissHoney View Post
    Just because you don't agree with someone's keep methods doesn't mean you need to discourage others from the practice based only on your anecdotal opinion.
    If you have had bad experiences with a product....and have heard or read multiple reports of others having the same bad experience....you should just keep your mouth (keyboard) shut. Is that what you just said?
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Greene County, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    If you have had bad experiences with a product....and have heard or read multiple reports of others having the same bad experience....you should just keep your mouth (keyboard) shut. Is that what you just said?
    Nope, not at all. Try again.

  8. #47
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,837

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    There are quite a few threads on Beesource, started by new beekeepers, whose new hives have open screened bottoms, and have experienced a new package abscond. Here are a couple ...

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...South-Carolina
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...kage-Absconded

    I could link more, but those are typical. Of course, that is not scientific proof, but I suspect that kind of thing is what prompted the creation of this thread.

    Certainly there are new packages that don't abscond with open screened bottoms, but if one does have a screened bottom - closing off the open screen at least until the hive has brood - seems like a smart move. What have you got to lose by closing off the screen?
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  9. #48
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    1,943

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    The whole point of this thread is to let newbees know to close up their screened bottoms when installing a new package to help avoid the problem of not doing so. Leaving the screened bottom boards open when installing packages is never a good idea. I believe Brad Bee started this thread to give good solid advice to help newbees prevent losing their bees right out of the gate. I mentor a good number of people and advise everyone to close off their screened bottom boards when installing packages. I have both screened bottom boards and solid bottom boards have had them for a good number of years. It's all a matter of preference but few people use screened bottom boards properly.

  10. #49
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Greene County, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    See, there's a difference in saying " hey, if you are going to use screened bottom boards with new installs, at least close the bottom with the IPM boarf and here is why...." versus how this thread was presented initially ("don't use screened bb or you will always lose your bees!!!!!").

  11. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Marion County, TN
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    I use screened with a corrugated plastic tray that completely closes off the bottom of the hive. Also use a slatted rack. I keep a little lime on the tray to kill the beetles and dump it off and grease it up when I want to monitor for mites. Really never leave the bottom open.

  12. #51
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    1,943

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Quote Originally Posted by MissHoney View Post
    See, there's a difference in saying " hey, if you are going to use screened bottom boards with new installs, at least close the bottom with the IPM boarf and here is why...." versus how this thread was presented initially ("don't use screened bb or you will always lose your bees!!!!!").
    It is possible they may not abscond if the screen is left open but it's highly likely they'll abscond. When screened bottom boards first became popular one person after another complained about bees absconding the common denominator was the screen was left open. Obviously you didn't comprehend the point of this thread. You may consider rereading Brad Bee's original post and maybe you'll understand his well meaning intent.

  13. #52
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    I can tell you from experience that Bradbee gave good solid advice! I wish someone had told me to close up the bottom boards 10 years ago when I started. Maybe I would still have the 10 packages that absconded 2 days after installation. Or not? Who knows?
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  14. #53
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    3,404

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post

    I could link more, but those are typical. Of course, that is not scientific proof, but I suspect that kind of thing is what prompted the creation of this thread.
    And you'd be exactly correct. I didn't post this to start a debate about screened or solid bottom boards. I hoped it wouldn't turn into one, but wishing on a shooting star rarely produces the desired effect. People can build their use up or tear their use down and I don't care either way, I'm just trying to save some poor new beekeeper the misery of going out to check on their brand new beehive and finding an empty box.

    I would like to hear more about slatted racks like enjambres has mentioned. I tried searching for some information on them, but have found very little. Maybe I can get Enj. to start a new thread about them. Seems like maybe I remember Fusion Power using them too??
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  15. #54
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    2,748

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    My memory is not perfect, but last year members of one of the bee associations to which I belong installed around 125 packages last spring. About 17 packages absconded, and they were about evenly divided between hives with solid bottom boards and those with screened.

    I doubt the open screen bottoms are the only cause of packages absconding, but given my choice I would install a package with the screened bottom closed. Small colonies do better in small hives with small entrances, unless the outside temperature is very warm. Early spring temperature is usually cool enough to require the beekeeper to "baby" a 2 or 3 pound package.

    With the problem wide spread as it appears to be, when installing packages I would take the precaution of placing a queen excluder under the brood chamber to prevent the queen from having free passage out of the hive. I would keep the excluder on the hive until the queen has several frames of unsealed brood. If brood from other colonies is to be had, I would add a frame of unsealed larvae when installing and 10 days later a frame of emerging brood.

    I use screened bottom boards on all of my colonies, including my nucs. I never close the screen, even on the nucs. Granted, my winters are mild compared to northern states, but are no milder than winters in southern Missouri, Tennessee or other areas along Latitude 36. My winter losses are reasonable, if I have prepared properly. My style of beekeeping includes the use of powdered sugar dusting, which requires open bottom boards. I also see evidence that natural mite fall allows many viable mites to fall out of the colony. Fully one out of 5 or 6 are alive and mobile on the closure board when I do natural mite fall counts.

    I am pro open mesh bottom boards because of the benefits I derive from their use. Others whose beekeeping style is such that they receive no benefits from their use would not like them, I can understand that. When I recommend a procedure or beekeeping method to a new beekeeper I do so because I have found it to work under my conditions. I do not know all of the conditions in other areas of the U. S., and I can't read minds, I can only tell what works for me. Also, I will have tried the item or procedure, or I will say that I have not tried what I am recommending.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  16. #55
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    2,748

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Double post.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  17. #56
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,748

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    Even if they are not more likely to abscond (and in my experience they are) with a screened bottom, a package often gets confused with an open screened bottom board and ends up clustered under the bottom. There are too many potential problems with leaving it open.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beespackage...enedbottomopen
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  18. #57
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,943

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    The only two bottom board designs I make now. (And I've tried several.)

    -Fully screened with FRP slide in, which I don't remove no matter what time of year.

    P3080755.jpg

    P3040702.jpg

    And solid, sloped.

    I made some of my first sloped ones with a small screened area in front, but found they drain just fine without it. Your options for ventilating from the bottom are eliminated if you don't use some kind of screen though.

    P3060753.jpg

    P2190027.jpg

    I overwinter some really large colonies that can create an enormous amount of condensation at times and my climate is exceptionally wet. These are the only two designs I've found that have excellent drainage without being drafty.
    Sometimes I still have to slightly ventilate from the bottom to control condensation, along with top entrances.

    These give me the options I need to keep colonies dry overwinter and no disgusting bottom boards to clean up in spring.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  19. #58
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,943

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    What I also like about the sloped ones are the bees have some room to congregate when populations are at their highest.
    With that room underneath I get some comb built, but it's not excessive and in fall or winter is abandoned, brittle and easy to knock off with my hive tool when I tip the hive.

    Here you see an entire season of use- from April - December. Never cleaned until I tipped to check for mite drop after December OAV treatment.

    PC210463.jpg

    In a few I slipped in a piece of white cardboard to to catch mite drop. That was easy too and would eliminate draftiness in winter if colony did not need the bottom vent.

    PC210461.jpg



    I do seal the plywood and calk around the edges to keep moisture from degrading the ends.

    Below was the prototype I used for a few years before making the sloped version. Good, but the flat bottom still could collect a lot of grunge and moisture overwinter.


    (I give them room to congregate below frames on the bottom board in summer, and on top the hive in winter)

    P1040476.jpg
    Last edited by Lauri; 03-09-2017 at 03:49 PM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  20. #59
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,943

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    I had a hive up at my mountain yard that was light as a feather when I moved them to new benches in January. I remember last year it was in the same shape, very light but recovered well on it's own.
    I had some warm weather to check it about a month later, and was horrified to see the bottom was fully screened and WIDE open. It had just gone through some harsh weather and it was amazing it was still in decent shape. But the colony was ( triple deep) as far away from the bottom as they could get and on the edge of starvation. Unlike the other colonies in that location that were honeybound for the most part. It's not that much colder than my home yard, but the wind comes directly off Mt. Rainier and it has a real bite to it, even on sunny days.

    I felt bad, this hive had been like this and struggled for 2 years because of this oversight on my part.





    A few years ago, I ran solid bottom boards on one bench and fully screened and open bottom boards on a bench right next to it. 5 hives on each bench.

    All hives were made in May with 5 deep frames and a capped queen cell at the exact some time. All hives were in double deeps by late summer.

    I ran them all season and was shocked late summer to find the hives with screened fully open bottoms were less than half the weight of the hives on solid bottoms.
    Hives in solid bottoms had colonies that settled in the bottom box with honey overhead going into winter. Hives with open screened bottoms settled mostly in the top box, with a majority of fall feed stored in available empty comb below the colony. Full opened screened bottom hives also had a larger mite count.
    All overwintered well, but closed the screened up as soon as I saw the difference late summer.

    PA150155.jpg

    And that is what I know about bottom boards
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  21. #60
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Owego, NY
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: ATTN: New beekeepers with screened bottom boards

    A good reason to buy Nucs I suppose.

Page 3 of 8 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •