Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

Registered
Joined
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've built two screened bottom boards. I want to use corrugated plastic instead of luan ply for the slide portion. My boards have a 1/4 inch gap between the screen and the plastic board. 20140216_175232.jpg My question, would it be wise to close up that gap, 20140216_175113.jpg I'm thinking it would make a good source of ventilation if it was left open. Opinions?
 

Registered
Joined
1,546 Posts
It would add ventilation, but I've seen lost bees trying to enter the hive through the back, or maybe they were scout robbers. I don't think mice would be able to enter and chew through the screen right? The few screened bottom boards that I use without an oil tray, that are similar to your setup (has a gap) receive a small piece of tar paper in the fall to help with the cold winter draft.
 

Registered
Joined
5,540 Posts
I have had, on more than one occasion, enough debris fall down on the tray that a quarter-inch gap might have swept some of it off when it was being pulled out. If you use the removable bottom for varroa counting, you risk sweeping some of the nasty little beasts off, and hence under-counting them.

My own set-up (standard Betterbee SBB) has a gap that's a bit more than 3/4" tall. I am in northern NY, and even though I have a SBB, I also have a solid one underneath it. The wooden bar that came with SBB doesn't quite close it up enough to keep all the bees out so during the summer I have a #8 mesh screeen panel attached outside of it. (I have stupid bees so some would invariably get caught on the wrong side of the screen floor. Plus during robbing season, although they can't get in, having robbers stalking around underneath the floor - but essentially in the hive -makes everybody grumpy!) This winter I wrapped the wooden stick in a piece of that thin foam wrapping that comes with certain kinds of electronic gadgets when they are packaged. (I may be a new beekeeper, but I am a life-longer scrounger and re-purposer.) It wasn't quite as long as the width of the hive so there are little gaps, which are good for ventilation.

Edited to add: I know BB sells some tray-like collection surfaces (maybe they are cafeteria trays?). I prefer the completely flat, thin plastic sheets they sell as they economy line. They are the same thing as Coroplast. You can often find political signs (after elections, of course) and re-purpose them. For monitoring purposes, I find it doesn't take much stickiness to hold on to the mites - a simple coating of vegetable oil does the trick. Wilier creatures like SHB may require more adhesiveness. I don't know, as fortunately I don't have a problem with them.

Enj.
 

Registered
Joined
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Can you shoot me a shot of your setup? I like the idea of the screen door and closing the gap in winter.
I have had, on more than one occasion, enough debris fall down on the tray that a quarter-inch gap might have swept some of it off when it was being pulled out. If you use the removable bottom for varroa counting, you risk sweeping some of the nasty little beasts off, and hence under-counting them.

My own set-up (standard Betterbee SBB) has a gap that's a bit more than 3/4" tall. I am in northern NY, and even though I have a SBB, I also have a solid one underneath it. The wooden bar that came with SBB doesn't quite close it up enough to keep all the bees out so during the summer I have a #8 mesh screeen panel attached outside of it. (I have stupid bees so some would invariably get caught on the wrong side of the screen floor. Plus during robbing season, although they can't get in, having robbers stalking around underneath the floor - but essentially in the hive -makes everybody grumpy!) This winter I wrapped the wooden stick in a piece of that thin foam wrapping that comes with certain kinds of electronic gadgets when they are packaged. (I may be a new beekeeper, but I am a life-longer scrounger and re-purposer.) It wasn't quite as long as the width of the hive so there are little gaps, which are good for ventilation.

Edited to add: I know BB sells some tray-like collection surfaces (maybe they are cafeteria trays?). I prefer the completely flat, thin plastic sheets they sell as they economy line. They are the same thing as Coroplast. You can often find political signs (after elections, of course) and re-purpose them. For monitoring purposes, I find it doesn't take much stickiness to hold on to the mites - a simple coating of vegetable oil does the trick. Wilier creatures like SHB may require more adhesiveness. I don't know, as fortunately I don't have a problem with them.

Enj.
 

Registered
Joined
692 Posts
About half my bottom boards are screened and they have coraplast inserts that I make from political signs. None of the inserts are tight and most have at least a 1/4" gap in the front when they are slid all the way in. I don't think it matters a lot either way, but the ventilation is beneficial in the winter especially. My hives are ventilated through a large entrance opening (solid bottom boards) or a loose insert (screened bottoms). I think it is more important to keep the predominate winter wind from blowing into the cracks.

The filler piece that you inserted in the second picture is probably not a bad idea.
 

Registered
Joined
5,540 Posts
I can take a pic of my winter set-up in a few days when our temps moderate a tad (it was still 0 F. an hour ago). But right now my SBB openings (which are at the back of the hives for fuss-free access while sampling) are covered up with 3" of foam insulation, the 17 blankets I have wrapped around my hives and a tarp and all strapped down with several ratchet straps.

I really need to take another picture having used this one too often, but you can see what I mean by it not being an easy thing to just run out and snap a pic - remember the SBB opening is on the back of my hives!

Bee-Snug 3.jpg

I would send you to the Betterbee catalogue, but I think they made a change this year and their picture is not quite as clear (plus I have the cheaper "economy" version not the deluxe, pictured model.)

Ventilation in winter is pretty weather specific. I am much farther north - with longer and much fiercer cold to contend with - so my reduction by wrapping the closing stick with foam probably works better for me than for you. And given where it is under all the layers probably doesn't amount to any great increase except once every few weeks when I have the whole shebang apart so I can toss the girls some sugar cakes and pull the varroa screens to do a count.

The summer sreen is very simple: I cut a panel of screen (#8 bee-proof) that completely covers the slot and is big enough to extend on to adjacent solid parts of the bottom board assembly. It's attached with those essential beekeeping tools: pushpins. 'Course since my bees are extremely fashion-conscious, the push pins match each hive's color. Lord help me if they discover glitter nail polish, I'll need some very tiny brushes to keep them happy after that.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top