I have, Bjorn, and was interested in what others had to say as well. For instance, does it not present some difficulty for the incoming bees to fly up vertically through the 1/2" mesh, or do they first alight upon it and then crawl/fly the rest of the way in? The author did not address how it affects the bee traffic in and out.
I had the same question as Jeffrey, watching the bees coming in with a load of nectar or pollen they look like overloaded helicopters having to fly up into the hive would present a lot more effort to get into the hive.
Another disadvantage I see in the idea is the hives ability to protect itself form hornets and other predators, or robbing? Its an easy matter of reducing the entrance for such situations. You can get the same advantage of mite drop by leaving the tray out of a Screen bottom board, other than a cost factor on not having a bottom board I see more disadvantages than its worth.
I mailed a letter to BC Mailbox today asking J Hoffman to elaborate on his design and on his recommendation for minimal ground clearance. This could be wrong, but I don't think Vertical flight, for a bee with a load, is any more difficult than horizontal flight.
it has a slide in tray so it can be an open bottom during the flow and later you can slide in a screened tray to make it a SBB after the flow is over
it worked very well but it was a lot of work to build
it's currently in the shop to correct a couple of design flaws
Thanks for this post, I had the same concern when I read the article. I think we anthropomorphise (not sure that is the correct spelling - what I mean is treat our bees as being like humans) and maybe that is why it is so hard to envision this concept.
We think of bees as being like us. But of course they are not.
But still, seeing a bee laden with pollen or nectar crash land on the landing board then crawl into the hive makes us concerned that they will not be able to easily fly up through half inch screen to the comb.
yea, somebody posted some pics of some built using pvc a while back
I'm gonna build a few more using what I learned from the first one
I'm gonna build the frame from that recycled synthetic deck stuff they sell which should last forever
as for the slats, wood, pvc, whatever
I think the bees can climb up wood better (get a better grip)
when you pull the tray out during the flow they clearly like having the wide open access to the hive, and when the flow is over you can slide the tray in to stop robbing and such
I'll post pics of version II
Never thought of it. I have a bunch of bigger stuff - 3 inch I think, that the guy I bought my place from left. It is underground conduit for electrical lines (he was an electrical subcontractor), wish I could figure out a good use for it. I wouldlike to see those pics.
it was similar to the pics I posted except they used PVC pipe instead of wood
they used about 1" pipe
3" is kinda large, but hey, who knows??
I did a quick search and didn't find it, but they just replaced the wooden slats I used with PVC
Thanks everyone for the comments. I will pass along any concerns or questions to John Hoffman.
I did not mention earlier, because I wanted unbiased or non-influeneced comments. John is good friend of mine.
I have seen these hive in action for some time now. The bees seem to not have any difficulties in flying under and up into the hive with this type arrangement.
John has been nice enough to build me 10 of these type open bottom boards. I will be installing a couple at Honey Comb farm, where the annual bee picnic is held, so anyone attending can see them..
If anyone ever gets the chance to meet John Hoffman, he is very knowledgeable and friendly. He takes on a couple students every year to mentor them into beekeeping. He not only helps, but builds and supplies the first hive, with bees, to his students. Many people have become beekeepers because of his efforts. His attention to detail and records are first class.
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