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Well, I only have one screened bottom board, The rest are solid. Bought that one in a pinch from someone local. Im new so I just went with what I had, solids. since, I have read posts about preference and the solids seem to always win out. Today when I was doing inspections, I wanted to check below the top super, so, I pop the box. Burr comb tying the boxes together full of honey, no big deal. Finish inspection put things back together and see a bunch of bees under the landing board. About a palm sized puddle under the sbb. Within minutes, It was a frenzy, wide open. ended up having to close down all the hive entrances best I could with grass. they each have a hole the size of a thumbnail. Hope they can defend them. My point is, with a solid bottom, the house bees would have cleaned that up, and all 3 hives would have remained calm I expect. I honestly didnt see much mortal combat, but having to leave and wonder is enough of a reason to stick with solids. G :waiting:
 

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Hadn't though of honey falling through during a check and creating a big fuss. When I scrape burr comb off, specially if it has honey, I leave it in piles on the pallet my hives are sitting on and the bees all come out and take what they need. Of course, it isn't right under a hive so it doesn't cause a robbing situation. But it's maybe inches away. I would think the same thing would happen with the puddle under the SBB?
 

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I usually have the inspection boards in. Right now, they are 1/4" slid out with 94F temps. Hoping the t-storms bring good rains tonight.

Usually once the smell of honey is gone the frenzy ends. I have a hose nearby and would wash any honey away. I harvested 8 mediums today and they sure were wound up when I put the wet supers back on the hives. Clouds of bees out in the yard, still nice temperament though.
 

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Bigg,

Based on your description your problem comes not from the SBB, but from two other factors: 1) bee space, and 2) technique. First Bee Space: Bee space in a Langstroth hive is 3/8 inch. If less than that the bees will propolize the opening and attempt to close it. If greater than that the bees will attempt to use the room for honey storage, or if in the lower part of the hive for brood rearing and most probably for drone cells. Different suppliers of wooden ware have slightly different dimensions and tolerances. I would guess that your equipment is mixed and from differing suppliers and the "gap" below your honey super is excessive (greater than 3/8 inch) and thus the bees have built comb there and filled it with honey. The solution is to reduce the "gap" to 3/8 inch or one bee space. The second factor is "technique": "lilhouseonprairie" told you how to handle this by moving ~5+ feet away and scraping the ruptured cells and surplus honey off of both the top bars of the lower frames and off of the bottom bars of the honey super. The honey super can be carried to this position, rested on its front or back end of the box, and have the honey/wax cell mix scraped off downward into a pile. A wide putty knife works well for this operation. Although this procedure will create a feeding frenzy, it will not be right where you are working, and you will prevent having liquid honey run down through the brood chamber, through the SBB, and creating the frenzy of PO'ed bees in your face.

I believe that SBB's are good for ventilation and use them open year round in CO.

Steve
 

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Bees will keep a space between 1/4" and 3/8" wide clear...bee space. I believe what Langstroth figured out was the space required for two bees to pass by each other when traveling on opposing combs (one bee's back facing the other ones back). Bees will build some burr/bridge comb regardless of proper bee space. Excessive burr comb certianly could be a sign of possibly bad spacing, though.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Amanda, my thoughts with the solid bottom was the puddle would have been inside the hive under the broodbox. I do scrape off excess and throw it 10-20 ft. however far it flies.

Burns, I should have slid the board in. My bad. I thought about it during the frenzy. Actually, it may have been mostly bees from the hive in question just cleaning up. like I said, I didnt see any mortal combat, but a ton of bees flying. I still figured best to close the entrances down. I will remove the grass tommorrow and hopefully find that there arent any piles of dead soldiers. Thanks for your advice.

Steve, I am aware of proper bee spacing, all of my woodenware is from mann lake. Except the bottom board, and top. I have them always tying frames together from lower to upper boxes, in all my hives. Ive heard of it as laddering. I may not have been clear, and the honey may have not actually come from the burr comb but from the overbuilt bottom bar of the upper frames. Its been hot here, I suspect the "laddering" tore loose a little of the capped honey and it drained. I am always very conscious of this when putting the hive back together and usually realize if i have damaged a frame significantly. Thanks for your input. G
 
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