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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All my bottom boards are screened - I am in North Florida so our winters are more mild than they are for many of you. But, last year the temps plummeted to about 18 degrees F over several days and while our winters do not last very long, they were overall unseasonably colder. My question is for other beeks in similar areas...should I replace the screened bottom board with a solid board for winter? Any advice is much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, everyone. They did make it through okay last winter, but I was worried I had made it harder for them by not putting a solid bottom board on the hives. I will leave them as is for the winter and I appreciate the comments.


"For breath is sweeter taken even as the last in places dear...
With gardens, fields and dogwood trees...
In forest stands of bamboo shoots...
Of ginger root and honey bees..."
 

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Leave it open. Do make a wind brake though.
 

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I keep mine closed except during the summer when they start to beard. The ones with masonite slides have huge gaps for ventilation and the ones with metal slides still have a lot of gaps. I do have a couple with the "campaign poster material" slides that are maybe more airtight, but I leave them in too.

I think that my bees start brooding and breaking cluster in the spring earlier when they are in. Otherwise I don't think that it matters, so I store the slides in the SBB. That way in winter I can check on how many bees I have and where the cluster is by looking at the slide.
 

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In your case, there really is nothing to worry about. I close most of my bottom screen leaving only about an inch or so of opening in the front of the bottom screen so that there is an air current flowing in the front of the hive from the bottom to the top during the winter - removes the moisture. OMTCW
 

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Not only do I leave my sbb open I leave a vented top on. It is the vented shim, above the inner cover that comes from Walter T Kelleys. I do reserve the right to slide the corugated plastic tray in the bottom if it gets in single digits with a low wind chill. They made it fine last year and I never used the tray at all. I'm in South central Ky.
 

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Ross Conrad runs his SBB open in VT all year and i will be doing the same here on Long Island...you do have to do something about the moisture, newspaper on IC, a warre/lang quilt box (which i will be doing-just a super with window screen on the bottom filled with straw) or other ideas are here on the boards...
 

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All my bottom boards are screened - I am in North Florida so our winters are more mild than they are for many of you. But, last year the temps plummeted to about 18 degrees F over several days and while our winters do not last very long, they were overall unseasonably colder. My question is for other beeks in similar areas...should I replace the screened bottom board with a solid board for winter? Any advice is much appreciated.
hello

this is a reply in a french Warre forum (google translation...)

Good evening
For 25 years, I let all year round a colony in a hive langstroh oak, glazed single glazing.
I spent the winter on two bodies, the windows are left without cover. It is common that the temperature drops to -15 °c (3°/ 4° F).
My bees are bred bastard because I've never bought a single bee. I'm in Burgundy
 

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I'm located in the panhandle of Texas. My experience is this. The only hives I lost over winter have been those on solid bottom boards. All my hives on screened bottom boards did fine.
 
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