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Welcome to Beesource, Sharon!


Assuming you mean "why" do bees sometimes abscond from open screened bottom hives, most likely its a combination of factors.:)

First, lets note that there are some partisans that argue that open screened bottoms are not the problem, its just a coincidence. :p

In my opinion, new packages are less of a cohesive unit than an established hive. Package worker bees are not necessarily from the same original colony (before they were put in the package). They certainly don't 'know' their queen, except for the time in the package.

And, as noted by some posters earlier in this thread, the open bottom allows more light and airflow in the hive than in hives with a solid bottom (or a box with the screen closed off). Bees heavily rely on pheromones for communication, and excessive airflow may disrupt/impede such communication. Open screen bottoms impede the bees ability to thermo-regulate their brood nest.

So, in my opinion, its a number of individually (possibly small) factors, but when added together some new packages just decide that the conditions are not right, and decide to 'seek their fortune' elsewhere. :eek:
Thank you. That makes a lot of sense.
 

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Thank you. That makes a lot of sense.
I am new here and I can't tell if my reply went through so I will try again.

Hoping for some advice. I have a new package of bees arriving. I have changed back to a solid bottom board. I was wondering if you saw any problem with putting a queen excluder between the brood box and bottom board just until they get brood established. That way the queen cannot leave so they all stay, right?

Thanks,

Sharon
 

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That was the recommended solution to the absconding of packages given by the Root Company when package bees first began. It works most of the time, as do most beekeeping manipulations. After the queen has laid in constructed comb, and the eggs have hatched, the excluder can be removed. Most of the time open larvae will prevent bees from leaving a hive.
 

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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 used SBB for years and found that the hives with SBB had fewer mites. Which may or may not have anything to do with the SBB. Thou I do remember a UF study that showed hives with SBB had fewer mites than Hives right next to them in the same yards. But Freeman Beetle Trap kill the heck out of SHB as well as mites that fall.
I've got them on all my hives now.
 

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I think this is an issue with location. I use IPM boards but with oil pans underneath. I remove the pans for July and August but then they go back on to help control SHB, wax moths, and any varroa that want to go swimming.
 

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Hey guys I'm a new beginner and have two hives and waiting on my packages to arrive first of April. One hive has screened bottom board and the other is solid. The screened one has a slot to install a cover of some sort. Can I cut a piece of plywood to put in it to close it up?
Thanks for any input. Also what kind of feeder do you recommend? So many choices!!!
 

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And a frame of eggs/larvae are not a bad thing and if you don't have that some drawn empty comb sure does help.
Drawn comb and if you have a partial (or full) comb of honey from one that didn't survive the winter, put that in.

I know, I know.......someone is going to shout 'But The Disease Risk !!!'.......the usual cautions apply here.

Of course, if you aren't aware of if a colony died of disease rather than failing queen, lack of size, etc rather than disease, maybe you need to learn how to diagnose that happened, a.k.a. do a Hive Autopsy.
 

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"It doesn't matter how much "ventilation" you provide in hot weather - ventilation can NEVER reduce the hive temperature below the ambient air temperature. Since bees want their brood area temperature at 93-94 degrees F 24/7, and if its 99 F, outside, "ventilation" means that there will be a lot of 99 degree air flowing through the hive."

On a hot day when the bees on the wooden bottom are busy fanning, counter the number of them at the entrance, and then replace the wooden bottom with a screened one. Then counter the number of the fanning bees. Until you do this "scientific experiment," please spare me your "science."

Dr. Kim
So Dr. Kim, How do you count the bees on the bottom of the comb that are fanning? Did you worm your way under the hive and shine the flash light up there to count. the ones you see are not the only fanning bees with the SBB in. :)
 

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Rereading some of this thread...no one has mentioned one important fact regarding fanning; the bees bring in water for the inside of the hive so fanning this water will cool the hive somewhat due to evaporation, like our bodies sweat when hot and the sweat evaporates off our bodies and cools us. Deb
 

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I’m a 2nd year novice and I’m in daytona beach. I had 2 hives die last year because of hive Beatles. I have used small beetle traps with some success. I still have the beetles though. I built a screen bottom board with the tray under neath where I’ve put vegetable oil. In 1 week I’ve killed about 20 beetles. So I moved the screen board trap to another hive and hopefully will get all those beetles also. My point is with screen bottom board screen is not the problem.
IMHO and I’m still learning
 

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mineral oil like the cheap Equate Mineral Oil Lubricant Laxative @ walmart doesn't turn rancid like vegetable oil.
 

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It is clear that someone does not understand the concept of wet bulb temperature. That is the temperature that can be obtained through evaporative cooling. It is considerably lower than " ambient", depending on the relative humidity. The bees do understand this and use it to their advantage.
 

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>Hi mike, i really like your bush farms page �� !!! Lots of valuabe info there.

Thanks.

>...seems to me, to fill the boxes with brood would move faster going from bottom to top faster, and rotating the bottom brood box up after the brood hatches. ?

Maybe.

> Does this sound like your plan, a rotation of sorts?

Not generally my plan. But if you have the time to spend (it's quite time consuming) you could age grade the hive and rotate the boxes. This plan has been put forth by Marla Spivak (she didn't claim to have invented it, but was proposing it) for queen rearing. The concept is to keep empty comb in front of the queen. So if you somewhat age grade a hive frame by frame and sort it into "stores", "open brood", "capped brood" and "empty comb". Then you can put the stores wherever you like (I like the bottom so I don't have to lift them as much) then an excluder on each side of the queen box and empty comb (with some kind of hole for the drones to escape). Then the open brood. Then the capped brood. Once a week you rotate the boxes so you put the top box (which was capped brood) with the queen above an excluder over the stores again. Then the box the queen was in which is now open brood next. Then the box that was open brood on top as capped brood. Then, in a flow, add supers above that. As they fill you can either harvest or move them to the bottom. If you do this every week the queen always has somewhere to lay and the brood is very age graded. This maximized the area the queen has to lay and once the process is underway you can mostly just juggle boxes.
 

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I agree with comment about Screened Bottom Boards With the sticky board installed or other board installed for warmth reasons. But, they are very useful. I can think of three reasons I use them. First, they are an easy way of counting dead drop varroa post treatment, especially when using OAV. Second is for robbing situations. I can easily close off an entrance with a wet towel and remove the bottom board for ventilation or use the gap between the board and screen for ventilation for along time. I do not use top vents / exits. Third use it provides a good visual indicator in winter about hive activity. I forgot about moving a hive. Strap it up and remove bottom board and move it. And then there is the event when the hive is being packed in snow or iced up entrance. Bottom air access, slight board adjustment provides a good ventilation path. Stick a pipe down underneath and you can bury the hive in snow (some bee keepers further North). Over time I will likely find more uses for this "tool".

I keep insulation on all winter and well into "summer". This year I will test it all summer too. Also, I just noticed the age of this thread. ;)
 

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Screened bottom boards were supposed to help with varroa mites but they don't. Then they're supposed to help with hive beetles but I don't think they do that based on the hives I've seen with ScBB's. If a beetle can fall through the screen it can gain entry to the hive through the screen as well. It's gotta work both ways.

Well, since the original 2 theories for using them have been debunked, in my mind at least now users want to say they help with ventilation. That's hogwash.
Original 2 theories ? I don't think so. A screened bottom board features in Langstroth's 1852 Patent - so it's hardly a 'fad' as someone had suggested earlier in this thread. It's incorporation was intended to provide a means of ventilation, controlled by means of a partial obstruction within the hard-bottomed shim - a method some of us have already adopted with success, and I suspect without prior knowledge of Langstroth's Patent. (I only read my own copy of his Patent earlier this week :) )
LJ
 

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I know this thread is pretty old, but for those who DO use SBBs (which I am currently planning to do), I just wanted to confirm how I use use the item below (for example). So, I would just use this as the bottom of my hive? Or, I could place this on top of a solid hive bottom? It shows the entrance reducer put on top, so I assume that's where I would place the reducer?


https://www.mannlakeltd.com/10-frame-varroa-screened-with-drawer?list=Category Listing

Thx for any thoughts/support...
 

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Welcome spendrift99. Please tell us your location. The whole SBB vs a solid bottom board debate is like which is better, briefs or boxers. Personal preference more than anything. For the record, all my hives are on SBB. If I lived in Canada, they probably would not be.
 

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Welcome spendrift99. Please tell us your location. The whole SBB vs a solid bottom board debate is like which is better, briefs or boxers. Personal preference more than anything. For the record, all my hives are on SBB. If I lived in Canada, they probably would not be.
You forgot Commando
 
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