Double screen board for combining?
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    97

    Default Double screen board for combining?

    I do not use a double screen board for combining. I use newspaper.

    I think that a common misconception is that the queen pheromone wafts through the air and completely fills the entire space much like I can smell my wife's great cooking down in the kitchen even though I am upstairs.

    For bees, the pheromone is transmitted not in an aerosol fashion but rather molecule by molecule by her attendants. Attendants physically touch her with their antennae and feet and I suppose other parts and then as they move around the colony, her pheromone smell molecules go with them and are thus transferred to other bees. But when the double screen is in place, the attendants cannot get even a single molecule to those bees upstairs because of the gap between the two pieces of screen. They might stick their proboscis or antenna up through the first screen, but it never reaches the bees up above. As a result, the upstairs bees soon feel as though they are queenless because of the sudden loss of pheromone molecules in their neighborhood. This is the principle that comes into effect when using a Snelgrove board to make extra queens as I am doing myself this week: Put nurse bees with eggs/larvae/pollen upstairs. Put queen with capped brood/open comb and honey downstairs. Separate with Snelgrove double screen board. Girls up top think they are queenless so start making emergency queen cells. As we speak, I have a queen maker colony doing just this in my back yard. They have been separated with a double screen Snelgrove board for 8 days. Top box has 10 queen cells ready to be moved into mating nucs. If the pheromone was aerosolized, the upstairs nurse bees would NOT be making emergency queen cells. But they are.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Double screen board for combining?

    One more point. Maybe I am confused. Do colonies happily combine because they have a common ambient smell? If that is the case, I would imagine that a double screen would work. Or, do they combine successfully because they share a common queen pheramone? If that is the case, the use of a double screen board would not work.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,636

    Default Re: Double screen board for combining?

    Good synopsis of how the Snelgrove works to initiate cell starting. Have never used it deliberately for combining but I see it recommended for getting a laying worker situation turned around.

    There are quite a number of pheremones and my guess is that some of them are more airborne than others. So called "queen tracks" need the queens presence; mandibulary gland substance by the bees swapping food and trading chewing gum: others move with the air so can go through the double screen. Bees work by scent to recognise their own home. I think this is what is at play for combining.

    Amazing critters, aren't they!
    Frank

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,588

    Default

    We started using double screens for combining this year.

    Leave the screen between the two hives for a few days to a week. Pull the screen. No muss, no fighting. Works like a charm

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Double screen board for combining?

    I was always told that "hive aroma" and " queen pheremone" were 2 different things and work in there own way.

    As you have found out " hive aroma" travels throughout the hive unhindered by the screen, where as the pheremone does not.

    What is not clear is, if you raise a queen above the board, will there be 2 different pheremones while there is 1 "hive aroma"

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,636

    Default Re: Double screen board for combining?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radar View Post
    I was always told that "hive aroma" and " queen pheremone" were 2 different things and work in there own way.

    As you have found out " hive aroma" travels throughout the hive unhindered by the screen, where as the pheremone does not.

    What is not clear is, if you raise a queen above the board, will there be 2 different pheremones while there is 1 "hive aroma"


    Good way of saying it!
    Frank

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,633

    Default Re: Double screen board for combining?

    Double screen boards are commonly used to combine hives. The reason there is no issue is the double screen prevents contact between the bees which is needed to spread the queens pheromone. As long as one queen is removed, no issues. Same idea as newspaper. J

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    1,713

    Default Re: Double screen board for combining?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radar View Post
    I was always told that "hive aroma" and " queen pheremone" were 2 different things and work in there own way.

    As you have found out " hive aroma" travels throughout the hive unhindered by the screen, where as the pheremone does not.

    What is not clear is, if you raise a queen above the board, will there be 2 different pheremones while there is 1 "hive aroma"
    I believe there is one hive aroma emanating from the brood. I think this is why, after raising a new Queen in the top box, one can remove the old Queen from the bottom and install the new Queen before reassembling the hive.
    I have recently been hearing the terms Snelgrove board and Double Screen board used interchangeably. The Snelgrove has a hole covered with screen while the Double Screen board i have seen in the bee catalogues is just that, all screen on both sides. A small, yet crucial, difference.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Double screen board for combining?

    Hmmmm. I always use a single screen for combining and a double screen for separating (like with a Snellgrove board to raise queens or mate queens as Alex described). Why use a double screen to combine if the queen's pheromone's can't be shared?

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,633

    Default Re: Double screen board for combining?

    A single screen board can be used to combine. The OP was taking the position that a double screen cannot be used. Using a double screen prevents the queen pheromone from being shared in any significant way. Of course,when combining, there must be only one queen.
    Snelgrove and double screen board are used interchangeably, but while both feature double screens, the Snelgrove has 6 doors which allows the beekeeper to manipulate the population of flying bees above and below the board. J

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,636

    Default Re: Double screen board for combining?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    Double screen boards are commonly used to combine hives. The reason there is no issue is the double screen prevents contact between the bees which is needed to spread the queens pheromone. As long as one queen is removed, no issues. Same idea as newspaper. J
    I think to combine hives, one queenright, the other not, that we want them to share smells and perhaps more tangible elements but want them to mingle with each other gradually.

    I dont think this is served as well by either a Snelgrove or plain double screen board because when they are removed they can physically mix immediatley though their smells have been shared for a while.

    Lots of different scenarios that are broadly combining hives. Laying workers has different implications; different species (italian, carni, caucasian, russian etc. Small colony/large colony; young bees/old bees.

    A double screen has different significance (to the bees) than to a single layer screen, or to a solid barrier. Different pheremones or queen substances are key controlling factors in different situations. Different degrees of separation have different implications under different conditions.

    I think it was msl that linked to studies on the complexity of factors motivating and regulating different colony actions. It would easily have been a 2 hour read! I skimmed it for about an hour and came away with lesser feeling of understanding about things I was sure of before.

    In most cases it does not take much to combine colonies and slapping one onto the other would likely be successful most times. On a technicality I think the Snelgrove board or double screen board has the one negative of not gradually sharing all the available identifiers. I would pick the newspaper there as I also do not have to go back to remove it. If the upper box were laying workers, a week with the board in place would probably be a good fix as that urge takes time to remedy. In that case a single screen might be every bit as effective or even more so.

    Lots of "all depends" factors could be involved.
    Frank

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
  •