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Discussion Starter #1
I watched a video from Brushy Mtn that recomended putting the tray in the screened bottom board when installing a pakage of bee's... the video never said when to pull the tray out?
I live in Washington State so it is still pretty cool here at night high 30's - low 40's...... any ideas
 

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Hello Sysco. I got my start with bees from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms in Illiones, and based on his lessons and advice I use a screened bottom board on my hives . We started out in western Colorado where winter temps got down into the zero and below range and the ladies did very well. I am comfortable not closing the bottom board as I like a lot of ventalation in the hives, Buit it is a personal call that you will have to make as it boils down to what works for your area. If it was me I would pull the board now but your ladies are not mine. Good Luck/have fun and enjoy.
 

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I guess it all depends on where you live as far as the weather is concerned but i installed a package this saturday and i had purchased a screened bottom board from walter kellys while i was there picking up my bee package. They told me to take the bottom board out and that i did not have to put it back in until late fall or when i wanted to inspect for mites! Other then that they said to leave it out! Let me know if there is specific temperatures that you have to place the bottom board in other then inspecting for mites and winter time. Good Luck!
 

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Welcome to the great site and welcome to the best hobby in the world

as for the screen bottom board - Up here in Concrete - about 25 miles east of you - we run both and have not seen much in the way of better or worse

we are switching to screens on all of our hives but this is just to better the odds in the fight on mites

if you are wanting to take a tour of your yards - please fill free to come by - would love to show you how we do it -
 

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I had pulled my sticky boards, but I slid them back in... It's still too cool IMO
 

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I actually leave mine in except during hot weather when they start to beard in the summer. Then I remove them until cool nights come back. It doesn't sound like it makes much difference except it seems like they will lay closer to the bottom when the tray is in and I think that they can leave the cluster earlier.
 

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Since heat rises and carbon dioxide sinks, the SBB can stay open most of the time. You may find opinions here that the bees need the moisture when frost melts and drenches them in the winter. If you have ever been wet in the winter you know how quickly hypothermia will take over. Search how many hives died this winter. In Langstroth's Hive and the Honeybee, he included ventilation in the original hives 150 years ago.
 

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I asked the same question when I started as they did not really cover the subject in the class I took although told us that SBB was the way to go. I left the board in most of the summer before asking the question on this site. I followed the advice (opinion) of the beeks in my area and pulled them and left them out all winter. Both hives survived. It makes sense that condesation is a problem in winter of cold regions and that the added ventilation of the open SBB would help. Make sure to create some wind breaks around the bottom of the hives if they are elevated.

James R.
 

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I think that IPM/sticky boards are used for counts and not ventilation (easy for me to say here in the south - but don't think it doesn't get cold here for a number of months).

You gotta have open air comming in from the bottom to ventilate anything - try a 2 story house during the winter - where is it the warmest?

I do my 'counts' over an oil trap below my SBB - When there appears to be a lot of critters drowned in the oil (and I check at least weekly), then I know it's time to do something 'bout it.

I'm sure there are hundreds of different opinions, but when critters fall thru the SBB and drown in an oil trap, vs fall on the ground, it's that many fewer I have to worry about being on my bees.

Once your spring begins - I would always worry about not enough ventilation, during the winter - that depends on where you live. Cold, dry cimates probably need to be closed up more to retain some moisture, while humid, cold climates need air flow to reduce the chance of condensed moisture freezing in the hive - JMO.
 

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Probably the main reason that I leave mine in over winter is to keep track of what is going on in the hive without having to open the top. I just slide the tray out to see where the bees are and how many I have. The I clean the tray and put it back.

All of mine have plenty of ventilation even with the trays in.
 

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The best way I have found to check for mites or deformed wings or any other oddities in my hives is to take my digital camara and take photos of two or more frames of bees/brood patterns. And then blow them up on my computer to study them as long as I need to. Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all for your responses, I will wait a few weeks & then pull the boards out for the summer.
 
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