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Would someone please explain to me how to do this?

I know I need a way to count mites but I can't figure out what I'm supposed to buy to go on my hives. This may seem intuitive to most of you but I'm confused. I have regular old bottom boards, no screens. What to you get to put on top of your bottom board so you can do mite counts?

I see this by Brushy Mountain http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/8-Frame-IPM-Bottom-Board/productinfo/254IPM/ but I don't think I need this, do I?

Then there's this by Mann Lake http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeeping-supplies/category/page33.html#!productInfo/1/.

There are two on that page and I can't figure either one of them out.

Both of these look like they block the entrance. I know this makes me sound dumb :eek: but I just can't figure it out.

Then there's this, also from Mann Lake (bottom of the page), but how do you get it in there? My bottom board is covered in bees. Do you take the hives apart to put this in there? I have a hard time lifting hives so would rather spend a bit more to keep from taking them apart each time.

http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeeping-supplies/category/page78.html

Can someone please point me in the right direction and explain to me how it goes on and how this works? If someone will just say, "Here, buy this." that would be most helpful. :thumbsup:
 

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You need to buy a screened board arrangement and set it on top of your solid bottom board, below the lowest hive box.

I turn my solid bottom board around 180 degrees so that the current entrance of it faces the rear of the hive and the use the front entrance of the screeened board for the new front entrance for the bees' access. This allows you to insert the sticky board from the rear of the hive, which makes changing it in and out dead easy. The bees don't pay any attention to you while you're doing this so you can do it any time of day.

So you need the 1) screened bottom, 2) the sticky board (and I'd recommend two so you can swap one in when you take the other out) and 3) some kind of a back entrance closure device to close the slot up to prevent bees from getting in and disturbing the testing. Betterbee now makes screen bottom boards that arer taller than last year's models and which no longer come with back closures so I can't recommend that them despite the fact that I have some under my hives right now. They will require modification to create the back closure, which is annoying. Reportedly they increased the height accomodate a more expensive tray-type arrangement (in place of simple sticky boards). That's fine and I could live with that if they still had a back closure supplied with the board, but that is no longer the case, alas.

I'm sure any other supplier's simplest recommendation will do the trick.

It does seem as though it closes up the front entrance that you have now, because that IS how it works. Instead the bees use the entrance on the screened bottom board to come and go, while the current front entrance position (turned around towards the back of the hive) becomes the "Slot" for the sticky board. It will make more sense when you see it.


Edited to add: Yes, you do have to unstack your hive to install this equipment, once. After that it can stay on year-round. You do not need to take it off and on to do testing, just insert the sticky board in the slot in the rear (opening and closing the back entrance closure each time). I prefer a solid back entrance closure (similar to the front entrance closure that you probably already, but without any entrance holes or bevel), but in a pinch you can just close it off with bee-proof screening. I have also used cut-to-fit scraps of pink foam insulation to close up the over-sized gaps in the current Betterbee model. Anything works as long as it keeps bees out from on top of the sticky board itself. You don't want mites that have fallen down through the screen to hitch a ride to safety on a passing bee that gets under the screen. That wuld mess with your counts.

if this is still unclear I can take pics later today. I rememeber being perplexed when i first brought the sticky/screen board home last summer. it seemed baffling. But it's really not complicated, once you see it in place.


Edited, again: The Brushy Mountain one and the $16.95 MannLake one (w/o drawer) are the cheapest and simplest. The printed grid on the sticky board of the BM model would make me crazy. If you've got enough mites to need a grid to keep track, you got big problems that don't need counting, IMO. Plain white boards are easier to use, I think. (Betterbee sells them) The drawer-model ML one is more complicated than it needs to be and I wouldn't want to spend the extra 10 bucks. But it also looks to me like the BM one doesn't have a back closure, either. Perhaps it does. And extra front closure wood piece would probably work in that case as it is not extra-tall like the Betterbee model.

Enj.
 
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