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I am going to changing my hives to SBB in the next month or so. When building bottoms,Is the plan in the build it section the best plan. When using sbb does depth matter? Since I am on the road working alot I am not home to keep grass cut around hives. I have been thinking of putting a piece of white fabric(12 feet by 12 feet) on ground to keep vegetation down. Will the sun light or heat reflection affect the bees anyway?

James Davis
 

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Is the plan in the build it section the best plan?
I don't believe there is any such thing as better or best, when it comes to beekeeping. Words like this are only relative to each other, what works better for you, can only be determined by you.

Try one, then determine what you like or dislike about it's features, than modify it to better suit your needs.

When using sbb does depth matter?
If you are referring to the space below the screen, as depth, I don't believe there is any such thing as too deep, but they can be too shallow. You want enough space below the screen to deterr the mites from climbing back up the perimeter.

I am not home to keep grass cut around hives.
A simple solution would be to convert your hives to top entrances. This is one of the many advantages to doing so, and I don't find any disadvantage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am in Louisiana and my hives are in a field that has been planted in pines the rest is weeds. I don't want to use herbicides.In 2 weeks the weeds can be 4 feet tall. This is the reason I am considering the fabric. The fabric would also give me room to work hives without being in weeds. The fabric is free. I am concerned about reflection of light and/or heat in through the SBB. Any thoughts on how this would affect the bees? I have mostly bright white fabric but some green, blue, grey and red. Does color affect bees or would color not matter.

James Davis

[ February 12, 2006, 02:13 PM: Message edited by: jaydee ]
 

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If you used a different color around each hive I would think it would help to reduce drifting.

Keith
 

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Jaydee, I use alot of rubber sheets. I hate having to do weed control. I normally use the black side up. Other side is white. But I am a little more north.
In most of my apiaries, leaves, grass, and other stuff covers much of the matting. It keeps the weeds down but I also like it when the matting is covered. I think it helps slightly with the sun and heat.

I have no proof, but it would seem plausible that if you used a large enough piece, that SHB may be slowed somewhat. Not sure how far they can crawl to the edge of the sheeting.
 

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I don't know how it will work. It probably won't matter much. I do notice more dead bees on top of the pink styrofoam on top of my nucs (four feet by 16 feet of styrofoam). I don't know why. It's not like it's a big number but I don't know what the appeal is that gets them there to die.
The color? The reflection?
 

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jaydee . . .

I would not use white, but black, maybe? I think "landscape fabric" would be "best". It will prevent weed growth, easy to walk on, wont hold water.

Why not raise the hive w/ a stand of some kind?
It makes sticky boards easy to get to. Bees stay drier and maybe cooler (more ventilation), much easier on you back.
 

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Don't forget, (like I did), to cut or make a slot across the back of your SBB to slide in your sheet for checking mite counts. It's much easier and neater-looking if you do it as you build it. (Not gouging a slot in with a power saw after-the-fact like I had to do because I forgot.)
 

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I swear by the screen bottom boards. And John's right -- Don't forget to make the slots and don't forget to use them. I've got several colonies going, all with SBB and the mites are taking it quite hard. We used to use coumophos and we were having more mites instead of less. The SBB works. We haven't had to treat since using the screens and monitoring closely.

As far as weeds and such, I have covered my bee yard with black plastic with a layer of pea gravel over that. I think it helps with small hive beetle, but there's no doubt it keeps the weeds at a distance. The expense is one-time and well worth it.

Good luck James. Let us know how it turns out.
 

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When building bottoms,Is the plan in the build it section the best plan.
where is this build it section?
 

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I can't answer your SBB question, but I think the white sheet wouldn't be a good one. Dark color would be better.

I use old composite shingles under and around my hives. No mowing, easy to sweep off leaves and such.

martha
 

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You'll find the BeeSource Build-it section containing lots of good plans here.

One suggestion I have (not sure what the plans say) is that you may want to consider building your SBBs with a 3/8" entrance height instead of a 7/8" entrance height. The SBB provides plenty of ventilation, the smaller gap is fine for the bees, and it's also (supposedly) much more mouse-resistant. I have SBBs with 3/8" entrances and didn't bother putting in mouse guards this past fall and have had no problems with mice on my two hives.

Your mileage may vary!

-Pete
 

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One thing i do with SBB is I use 2x4 and sometimes 2x6 for the sides. it does cost a little more, but 3/4 material is not as good for one thing, for another, the 2x6 getts the hive a little highter off the ground. One reason I like the 2x material is that I can make a deeper grove for the plywood under the screen that i slike in during the winter.
 
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