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This is my first year with SBB's. I have them on over a standard BB. It gets fairly cold in the winter (0 at times). Should I leave the SBB on with the standard BB closed up? Or do I take the SBB off of the hive?
As an aside, this is the first year I am using FGMO. I have been keeping bees for 40 years and I have never had stronger hives. I'm sold.

Thanks Bill
 

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BillS, Greetings . . .

I leave my SBB under my brood nest ALL YEAR and close-off in winter w/ pull-out 'monitoring board'.

Arent first-year hives ALWAYS strong (and w/o mites)?
 

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I'm in Virginia and leave mine open all year. Lost 1 out of 3 hives this past winter so I'm no expert. Don't believe the loss was caused by the open bottom. My stands are some 18" off the ground and I have a wind break about 12 feet behind the hives to the north. So they get good ventilation. Your must have just 1" of vent space below the screened bottom if they are on top of a solid bottom board. I'll go into winter this year with 8 hives all set up the same. Hopefully my beekeeper and not bee-haver management will prevail and all 8 will survive.

The FGMO is tempting to try. I've been using powdered sugar dusting. Sucracide or ApiLife VAR might be my next choices.

Good luck.
Pete0
Bena, VA
 

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I leave my SBB open all year, unless you count the hive stand as a bottom. I know that its poor practice, but I don't monitor mite drops, and don't have any inserts to use. The bees seem to do just fine but they start up a little later in the spring and cluster a little higher in the colony (SMR/russian hybrids)
 

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I am in the Northern Catskills. I had 10 of my hives on SBB last winter and did not lose any of them. We got down to around -25F range last winter.
I will have 25 hives of my hives on open SBB this winter. I will have then all on SBB by the end of next season.
If your on LI, the SBB will help with the condensate in the hive from the higher humidity.
 
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