IPM boards in or out? How do you use them?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Hall, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    319

    Default IPM boards in or out? How do you use them?

    I have a Lang with a screened bottom board, and just got a TBH recently with one as well.

    I never really saw anything on the Lang board last year but trash (wax cappings and the like). Although I oiled it a couple of times, never saw a mite. Was trying Ruth's suggestion this year with the new hive of diatomaceous earth on the board hoping to nuke some hive beetles or Varroa. I was really looking forward to the carnage.

    People have likely heard me complain about ants before, but it is a real concern here in Georgia. I worry about ants more than hive beetles or moths. I no longer feed at all because of them. This year I'm seeing ants on both boards, even crawling across the DE! (there goes that theory, I guess).

    Should I just remove these boards completely, and let the screens open to the ground? I know the research shows them effective, but maybe I want to vent the hive to the ground, and not have this large unpatrolled space under the hive. My 3 hives with solid bottoms have much less problem with pests than these. (I found some wax moth larva crawling in the DE as well... it seems like a pest playground).

    So: what's your strategy? Remove them? Leave them in? All year, or only when it is warm? Are yours dry, or oiled, or covered in some powder? Do you insert them for short periods to do mite drop counts? They seem like a pain to me... I'm wishing I had solid wood there.... I wonder if there is a method I'm missing.

    Mike

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    2,771

    Default Re: IPM boards in or out? How do you use them?

    How frequently are you changing the DE on the bottom board? Humid conditions cause it to clump. The stuff from Tractor Supply is less than effective because it contains bentonite clay, making it clump even more.

    You might try refreshing the DE on the IPM board (making sure the bees can get into it) and then doing a powdered sugar dusting on each frame in the hive and then going back to check and see what comes through. The grooming bees tend to run out the small hive beetles from their hidy holes when I do the sugar dusting.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Hall, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    319

    Default Re: IPM boards in or out? How do you use them?

    I'm sure it needs changing now (after a week of rain it is our first sunny day) but I saw ants crawling on it on day 2, while it was still fresh and dry.

    I bought some "food grade" DE off Amazon... I forget the brand name. (People apparently drink this stuff... not me).

    anyway: we have 5 days of sunny and warm coming up. I may remove the boards and see what happens.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,170

    Default Re: IPM boards in or out? How do you use them?

    all solid bottoms here avatardad.

    my neighbor tried screened bottoms and the few times i looked into those hives with him i saw many times more hive beetles in them than i see in mine.

    the oil in the trays drowned hundreds of beetles but they were still all over the place in the hives.

    i feel like the open bottoms make it easier for the beetles (and perhaps other pests) to locate the hives, but it could also have something to do with locating the hives in mostly shade and right next to a pond where the ground stayed damp all the time.

    he wasn't really able to work his hives properly due to health reasons. all 6 eventually died out over a 3 year period. he was also treatment free and using the same stock as me.

    unless i was going to try sugar dusting i don't think i would use the screened bottoms.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #5

    Default Re: IPM boards in or out? How do you use them?

    Iīm using the IPM boards which are placed constantly, itīs easier for the bees to hold temperature of broodnest area, because I have cold and wet ground.
    I tried sunflower oil on paper but in warm temperature it evaporates and stresses the bees.
    I have no SHB but ants nests right under the hives ( no fire ants and such). I have seen some wax moths under the slides.
    The ants and wax moths never go into the hives because they are killed by my bees. The ants take away the pollen, but not the mites.
    This time of year I find no or not much mites, this will change with season.
    To monitor, I clean the boards in the evening and check next morning plus checking every time I visit the outyards.
    Then I decide if I do a sugar shake like Ruth does to estimate the infestation.

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