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hi im new to beekeeping im just wondering how do you clean your bottom boards without the removable screen bottom boards, btw im using screened bottom boards with easy access in bottom of hive, im planning to switch with the non screen bottom board just plain bottom board, do bees clean their debris or it will stay there? im just wondering because when i check the removable bottom board im seeing a lot of debris from them pollen poop sugar wax body parts etc do they clean them or you have to clean it? thanks a lot
 

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hi im new to beekeeping im just wondering how do you clean your bottom boards without the removable screen bottom boards, btw im using screened bottom boards with easy access in bottom of hive, im planning to switch with the non screen bottom board just plain bottom board, do bees clean their debris or it will stay there? im just wondering because when i check the removable bottom board im seeing a lot of debris from them pollen poop sugar wax body parts etc do they clean them or you have to clean it? thanks a lot
"normally" a healthy hive will clean out the debris on there own over time.
A regular solid bottom board will allow dragging out of the debris.

If you go into the hive, and get down to the bottom, I generally take it away from the hive (20 feet) and sweep/scrape it off. and replace. If I suspect it will be really dirty, I may take a new one and replace, then scrape wash, dry, bleach repaint etc. later.

pollen can fall and be normal.
bee parts point to something, like a shrew eating bees, not really expected to be there.
Poop is also not supposed to be there, bees should poop outside the hive. may need to research Nosema and Dysentery to better understand what to look for .

Wax is ok, sugar in crystals they would haul out if they find them.

good you are looking at these items, do you have a picture you can add?,, maybe would allow others to offer comment.

GG
 

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Here's a picture of a bottom board of one of my hives, hasn't been cleaned by me in several years, if ever. I normally do not clean bottom boards, unless there is something wrong with the hive that has prevented the bees from cleaning it themselves.



Below is a closer up shot, which shows the bottom board cleaned and propolised by the bees, the way the they like it. It also has little nodules on it that the bees build to give themselves something to climb up on to reach the bottom bars of the frames. Scraping or cleaning the bottom board by the beekeeper would remove these and the bees would have to build them again.

Where I am winters are mild, but in places with very cold winters where the bees cluster tightly, it may be too cold for the bees to break cluster to clean the bottom board, in such cases the bottom board may be dirty by spring, and in those situations it can help the bees if the beekeeper scrapes the bottom board clean in spring once the bees are getting active. That would just be a once a year job. But for me, in normal hives I never clean them.



As a slight aside, one of the reasons I do not use screened bottom boards is that bees are naturally very clean, if they have a choice. A screened bottom board prevents this natural behavior, and allows a build up of rubbish below the screen, where the bees cannot access it to clean it.
 

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Hi Jerome,
Consider placing your screenboards above your new solid bottom boards. This was a tip by enjambres (Nancy) and I love the configuration. Much of the debris falls through to the solid board below and it also allows for mite monitoring with a sticky board.
I do clean my bottom boards in the spring if I reverse boxes. As long as I have to remove the bottom box might as well clean it. I also take a stick and clean out dead bees in the winter when I do an OAV. While you may not do a winter OAV, or vaporize at all, it is a good idea to make sure the bottom board is clear if you use a wand. The screed bottom board also provides a little fire protection when using a wand. I also slip in a sheet of metal flashing under the wand. J
 

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"normally" a healthy hive will clean out the debris on there own over time.
A regular solid bottom board will allow dragging out of the debris.

If you go into the hive, and get down to the bottom, I generally take it away from the hive (20 feet) and sweep/scrape it off. and replace. If I suspect it will be really dirty, I may take a new one and replace, then scrape wash, dry, bleach repaint etc. later.

pollen can fall and be normal.
bee parts point to something, like a shrew eating bees, not really expected to be there.
Poop is also not supposed to be there, bees should poop outside the hive. may need to research Nosema and Dysentery to better understand what to look for .

Wax is ok, sugar in crystals they would haul out if they find them.

good you are looking at these items, do you have a picture you can add?,, maybe would allow others to offer comment.

GG
hi this is the photos of my removable screen bottom boards
 

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Looks like about one days rubbish? Thing is, cleaning removable boards every day can get tiresome eventually.
 

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Looks like about one days rubbish? Thing is, cleaning removable boards every day can get tiresome eventually.
my mentor told me i can see what is happening in the hive when i see the bottom board its optional sir if you want to clean them, i clean them once a week, im checking it too if i see any problems
 

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If that works for you, fine. It's a great learning tool (y).

What happens for nearly all beekeepers, is after gaining experience, they need to look at the drop board less and less.
 

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You can tell a lot about what is happening in the hive by looking at the debris that accumulates on the insert.
 

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View attachment 61709 View attachment 61710 View attachment 61711
hi this is the photos of my removable screen bottom boards
last pic the right side of the lid looks lifted.
is this an optical challenge of mine or do you do this for ventilation?

If that is a week of debris it look "normal" to me.

I cannot tell if there are mites on the screen, but do keep an eye out for them as well.
I presume the back orange block is for treating, or am I off on that as well.

thanks for the pics, Helps explain a lot.

GG
 

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hi im new to beekeeping im just wondering how do you clean your bottom boards without the removable screen bottom boards, btw im using screened bottom boards with easy access in bottom of hive, im planning to switch with the non screen bottom board just plain bottom board, do bees clean their debris or it will stay there? im just wondering because when i check the removable bottom board im seeing a lot of debris from them pollen poop sugar wax body parts etc do they clean them or you have to clean it? thanks a lot
Simple, make a few extra bottom boards. Nothing is faster. Put a new one on. After you do this, you can do a proper cleaning. I usually give mine a fresh coat of paint (It's an OCD thing).
 

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Here's a picture of a bottom board of one of my hives, hasn't been cleaned by me in several years, if ever. I normally do not clean bottom boards, unless there is something wrong with the hive that has prevented the bees from cleaning it themselves.



Below is a closer up shot, which shows the bottom board cleaned and propolised by the bees, the way the they like it. It also has little nodules on it that the bees build to give themselves something to climb up on to reach the bottom bars of the frames. Scraping or cleaning the bottom board by the beekeeper would remove these and the bees would have to build them again.

Where I am winters are mild, but in places with very cold winters where the bees cluster tightly, it may be too cold for the bees to break cluster to clean the bottom board, in such cases the bottom board may be dirty by spring, and in those situations it can help the bees if the beekeeper scrapes the bottom board clean in spring once the bees are getting active. That would just be a once a year job. But for me, in normal hives I never clean them.



As a slight aside, one of the reasons I do not use screened bottom boards is that bees are naturally very clean, if they have a choice. A screened bottom board prevents this natural behavior, and allows a build up of rubbish below the screen, where the bees cannot access it to clean it.
Well, I guess that you still do not have hive beetles. They have changed what I do in a number of ways. The wax and propolis build up on both the bottom board and hive cover are great hiding places for the @#@### beetles. Thus I scrape them with hive tool or paint scraper.
FYI, I do not use inner covers...I think that's called western style. Hive cover on top of the top box.
 

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Yes, we don't have hive beetles here. Yet, anyway :rolleyes:.

Do you think that my bottom board would present a hive beetle with more chances to hide than a screened bottom board would?
 
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