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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Both my hives have a screened bottom board with the pullout inspection board.
I like the inspection board as it gives a good indication on what’s going on in the hive without digging into the hive.
My question is should I pull these inspection boards out when it’s hot out ? The temps have been in the 30 C range the last couple days.
And I still have the entrance reducers on.
There seems to be a backlog of foragers comming back trying to get in but there are so many bees trying to fan the entrance that they seem to be having a hard time getting in.
 

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I would definitely remove the entrance reducer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had some robbers trying to get in the other day so that’s why I’ve left the entrance reducers in.
Haven’t noticed any lately.
What is the point of these screened bottom boards anyways. The white board that slides in blocks off all ventilation so really only thing it’s doing is providing is a view of mite drop when treating,
 

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I use all screened BB; I don’t use them for ventilation at all, but use them to monitor the hive and mite drop after OAV.
 

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What’s the point if screened bottom boards? I don’t know really and as beginner I lack the experience to make a decision myself. I come across conflicting advice on them.

My hives came with screened bottom boards. I do like the fact that I can have an idea what it s going on in the hive from the detritus that accumulates on the slide out. I think it is of minor relevance though. I do not like that if I do not clean the slide out regularly moths start to lay eggs.

However there are reputable studies that claim that leaving the screened bottoms open without the board in place all year round can be beneficial even in cold climates.

This study from the department of primary industries and agriculture in NSW Australia says so. One beekeeper told me that SHB were a problem in his case with open screen bottom boards.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sH6iUOdg078
 

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Anecdotally most posts I've seen are against SBB. I would think the commercial beekeepers are the ones to really follow and the couple I have followed don't have SBB, but maybe that's just a logistics thing on their scale.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Anecdotally most posts I've seen are against SBB.
That is because those of us that use SBB are not on a crusade to convince others that there is only one bottom board that works. SBB can work in any climate, but its advantages come through in the south (northern hemisphere) with hot and humid days all summer. The beeks who use solid boards and are experiencing unusually hot weather right now are seeing significant bearding. I am not. My bees are comfortable as witnessed by the lack of bearding and frantic fanning to cool the hive. They are however foraging a LOT of water right now. It has been 95 degrees plus for the past week with a heat index at or around 100.
 

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I'm using both and I'm going to go with the sbb. In my mind, if the bees are bearding, they are not working. The weather has been unusually hot and humid and super dry. Pulled out the inserts and no more bearding! I just need to come up with an easier design when making these.
 

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That is because those of us that use SBB are not on a crusade to convince others that there is only one bottom board that works. SBB can work in any climate, but its advantages come through in the south (northern hemisphere) with hot and humid days all summer. The beeks who use solid boards and are experiencing unusually hot weather right now are seeing significant bearding. I am not. My bees are comfortable as witnessed by the lack of bearding and frantic fanning to cool the hive. They are however foraging a LOT of water right now. It has been 95 degrees plus for the past week with a heat index at or around 100.
Fair enough. Does bearding have negative effects on a hive?
 

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If the bees are bearding, they aren't foraging! Can't have that whilst a nector flow.
JW, I'm thinking of a sbb that is at least .75" thick that could double as a double screened cloak board if need be. I'm also thinking of an adjustment landing board for the cold weather. I've got a aquaculture farm with thirty ponds and a lot of skunks, so the hives are twenty inches off the ground. In the spring I see a lot of bees that miss the smaller landing boards and can't make it up and in.
I couldn't see your plans as it says broken images.
 

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If the bees are bearding, they aren't foraging!.
Mine only beard during the evening that I've observed. I would think if they could be foraging then they wouldn't be bearding. I don't imagine they'd prefer bearding over foraging for any reason.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Fair enough. Does bearding have negative effects on a hive?
No, and working in a room at 95 degrees with no A/C does not have a negative effect on us either. I would just prefer not to do it.


Crab414, I do not know why the images won't open, they do on my computer. The file is supposed to be a .pdf that I created with Word and converted with Adobe. My hives are 20" up also, two 8x8x16 cinder blocks stacked with two 4x4's across the tops. Do not notice many bees missing the landing board, but some do and hang out in the grass for awhile before flying back up to the entrance. Since the bottom board is reversible, one could staple another screen on the underside. This is how the Brushy Mountain nuc bottom boards were built. I removed the screens from the few I bought because they catch a lot of junk that is impossible to get out later. But they would work kinda like a Cloake board except that the screen in a Cloake board is a queen excluder and not #8 hardware cloth.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Uh, everything. Why do you thing bees beard in the first place? It is all about maintaining hive temps, or at least that is my understanding. To me, bearding is an indication that the hive is getting too warm inside. All those extra bee bodies interfere with the cooling air flow so they hang outside the hive until late in the evening when things have cooled down a bit. Again, I do not see this with my hives, so not much opportunity for me to study it further.
 

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Uh, everything. Why do you thing bees beard in the first place? It is all about maintaining hive temps, or at least that is my understanding. To me, bearding is an indication that the hive is getting too warm inside. All those extra bee bodies interfere with the cooling air flow so they hang outside the hive until late in the evening when things have cooled down a bit. Again, I do not see this with my hives, so not much opportunity for me to study it further.
So what are the negative affects of bearding again? Are there more advantages of SBB than not? Do commercial beekeepers tend to use screened boards or not? I'm by far a novice and just throwing questions out there.
 

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This is getting interesting. How long would bees beard for? We've got highs projected for over 100 degrees next week. Would it be possible for the bees to abscond if they couldn't control their interior to their liking? Or should we not worry as people keep bees in much warmer climates? But then again maybe my bees aren't adapted to this heat as we breed for winter survival. Me thinks I'm over thinking this. Just to play it safe I went and covered all my hives with white feed sacks and put styrofoam over the outer covers.
 

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I think a simple reply to the question about the negative affects of bees bearding would be that the house bees on the outside of the hive are not doing the tasks that they need to do inside the hive.

The heavily bearding colonies I have inspected had comparatively few nurse bees in the brood area. This would lead me to believe that the open larvae are not being fed at the same rate a larva should receive, and would receive, in a colony that is not bearding. This means that bee will never be equal to a bee that has properly nourished.

Field bees reduce their work gathering nectar during very hot periods, this is probably due to reduced nectar secretion but it may also be affected by lack of receiver bees inside the colony. There are many aspects of beehive activities that we don't fully understand, and may never fully understand, but honey bees do not leave the hive interior until all of their efforts to cool the comb by fanning fail to overcome the amount of heat their bodies produce.

Anyone that thinks that a solid bottom board is as effective as an open mesh bottom board at cooling the hive has never used them side by side in 100 degree F. weather. Either that, or they prefer to bury their head in the sand and not look at the problem, because they have already made up their mind. A solid bottom board used in hot weather will usually work, just not as well. I say usually work, because on three occasions I have had colonies melt down. Each time it was a strong colony on a solid bottom board.

Commercial beekeepers and hobby beekeepers face different conditions, why would only one style of equipment or management be satisfactory for both types of beekeeping? The thing beekeepers should do is evaluate the needs of the bees in their apiaries, and then meet those needs in the most practical and efficient manner, based on the location and goals of the beekeeper.
 

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I've had as many as 150 at one time. I may have 5 now. I'm not on a crusade to convince anyone of anything.
I have occasionally offered my reasons for getting rid of them. Rather than repeat all of that I'll say that, in my experience I see no real purpose and I see a number of negatives.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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One of the great things about a forum like this is that we all get to express our opinions and the rationale behind them. At the end if the day though, we each get to do what we see best in our circumstances with our bees. Being open minded (somewhat), I have two solid bottom boards that I am trying out. If all the talk has a person confused as to which is "better", try them both out and decide for one's self. There are advantages and disadvantages to both styles.
 
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