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Howdy all.

This year we are trying some screened bottom boards on our two hives but I'm curious if they will they be ok for a Connecticut winter? Do I need to take any extra winterizing precautions? Thanks all.
 

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The screen bottom boards I use come with a plastic tray that slides in under the screen. I keep the trays in all the time. During the summer I keep oil in the tray to kill SHB. I clean them out when I do my winter preps and put them back in. I'd say it would be hard for them to stay warm espically on a cold windy day.
 

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I would certainly not have them on a hive of mine in any month ending in R. Bees thrive in the heat, why force them to overcome a gaping hole in the floor.
 

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I'll slide a piece of 1/4" luan into the close-off slot below the screen. (All mine are built to the plans on the "Build it yourself" section of Beesource.)

I'll probably do that in a few weeks.

Wayne
 

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I leave mine open year round, when there is not an oil tray in them. But connecticut is a lot colder than Florida.
 

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Mine came with slide in boards for doing mite counts. As soon as night time temps stay consistently below 50 degrees I put them in and leave them in until the over night temps stay consistently above 50 degrees. Then I take them out and leave them out (unless I'm doing a mite count).
 

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When I only had one or two hives, I would put up a burlap wind break around them on three sides. That really helped although I did get some occasional snow drifting in odd patterns due to swirling winds. I left the screened bottom boards open. However, as my hive numbers increased, I found it impractical to put the burlap up so I left them the way they were all summer long and I did get increased losses. Now, I put screen blocks in. I think it helps although last winter was a killer here so it's not science for me.....just my experience.
 

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I close mine in the winter, but drill a few holes in the boards and add a couple shims under the inner cover for ventilation thinking it helps remove moisture
 

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I'd get all the metal out of the hive in freeze-up areas. Solid bottom boards for winter. No advantage to an SBB - you're not going to be sugar dusting them in the winter. Same with queen excluders - get them out of there. When the air gets too cold to fly, the robbing screens come off, and the entrance reducer sticks go in.
 

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I leave the tray in except during the heat of summer. Even with the tray in there is an opening across the back about 1-2" high which gives good ventilation. I've often read that moisture kills bees, not cold... Yet people wrap hives in insulation, close them up, trapping in the heat... and the moisture. While I do feel a certain degree of cold will force them to use more energy and therefore food, I also think keeping them warmer will cause them to be more active and use more food. My goal is to give fresh air but not direct draft, my trays will be in, but back vent area open, and top vents also.
 

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I have 4 SBB's but only 2 slide in trays. I think I'm going to cut some Masonite down to size and use that, hopefully it holds up well this winter in upstate New York.
 

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Do I need to take any extra winterizing precautions?
When did you put these on?

Are they beginning to propolize the screen?
I have always left mine wide open and they did not propolize the screen but they did close off the bottom of the frames with a solid plaster mix of propolise and wax. This year I have changed the bottom boards so I can close them off but still let the debris fall to the tray.
 

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All of my hives that had open sbb last year died in the winter. The others that had solid boards lived. No more sbb open during the winter for me.
 
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