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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a soon-to-be new beekeeper, expecting two nucs in the next week or so. I actually made my first run at this year before last, with a package installed in a Lang. hive, but that didn't have a happy ending... although as far as I know I did everything right, the bees just didn't "take" and absconded without ever building a lick of comb. They were taking sugar syrup fine for several days. I'm still not sure what went wrong there, but... whatever.

Fast forward to now. I'm trying again with another hive (probably should have started with two the first time around), and nucs instead of packages. The question that I'm finally rolling around to: my hives (Rossman cypress) both have screened bottom boards. After reading the pros and cons here, I'm about convinced that I need to be able to close them off in winter, which seems to get colder here every year. I'm a decent woodworker, so I'm considering just building a short (1"-1.5") "sub-base" that is nothing more that a frame to hold a sheet of masonite or maybe 1/4" plywood cut to the right size to seal the hive bottom. The entire hive will sit on this contraption. Will this work OK? I'm assuming the (vertical) sizing isn't critical since it will be beneath the screen.

I'd like to get them built and in place before I actually install the nuc frames in the hives, but figured I'd ask for some advice first.

Thanks!
 

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Yes... most SBB have a dado/groove so that you can slide a piece of 1/4" plywood in to close the bottom off. If yours dosen't, should be no problem making something that will work and better before you have a big hive to worry about. I think there was a measurement of 1 1/2" that if a Vmite fell through the screen he couldn't find his way back into the hive... if you make it were the board can slide in and out / be bee proof then you can also use it for a sticky board. I'm in Florida so I usually don't close off the bottom, I use a screen inner cover as well, during the winter i just put another piece of plywood on the screen inner with a smaller hole so they can huddle up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Too much ventilation will lead to absconding much of the time...
I suspect that may have been the problem with the package I hived year-before-last. I didn't make the connection until I did some more reading here; hence my question about closing them off now (even though this time I'm starting with nucs).

Thanks to all for the tips!
 

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Too much ventilation will lead to absconding much of the time...
I started with solid bottom boards and migratory covers, had a lot of bearding and fanning going on.. so I moved to Screened bottom boards and has helped... The screen inner has a 3/4" rim on the top side with about 12" of vent space ( places without the 3/4" rim) under the tele cover... has worked so far without absconding, but will take consideration.. Thanks.
 
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