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Author Topic: Should I use screened bottom board?  (Read 4634 times)
tillie
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« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2008, 03:57:51 PM »

It is part of bee-ing a bee to use bearding to facilitate hive ventilation, but if it rains, those poor bees are outside clinging to the outside of the box until the interior temp drops enough for them to come back inside.  I like the idea of bees in community as well, so a slatted rack gives them a place to hang out with all the other bees as part of the colony rather than be cast out on the porch.

I'm sure bees in hollow trees also beard in the heat of summer as well....I believe the many, many other posts on this subject in other threads have commented on that....

but to be a bee-keeper rather than a bee-haver, I try to accommodate my bees' needs for ventilation in the hive: SBBs, slatted racks, and propping up the top in the Hotlanta summers, rather than force them into hot, hot situations because I didn't purchase a hive part for them that would make their little lives easier.

Linda T in Atlanta
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Ross
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« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2008, 06:30:51 PM »

Some rain in warm weather won't hurt the bees, in the hive or out.  Swarms hang in the rain all the time.  Moisture in the hive is a problem when it is persistent for a longer period of time and promotes mold growth, or in winter when the cluster gets chilled.  A leaky top in the summer is little more than an inconvenience.  Even if you top blows off in a storm, the bees will most likely be fine.  If you don't have SBBs, tilt the hive slightly forward and any excess moisture will drain out. 

The propped top let's excess heat out the top, but it also let's humidity out.  This allows the honey to dry faster as well as keeping more bees inside and limiting fanning somewhat.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2008, 06:42:26 PM »

Tillie,

You sound like I do when I'm talking about my bees!  For some strange reason, I almost consider them part of the family instead of some wild insects!  But I agree that we should help them out whenever we can!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2008, 07:42:40 PM »

Bearding is like sweating for us.  It's a mechanism to control the temperature.  But the bearding bees are not productive.  When you prop the lid you often get them to go back inside.  Same with a slatted rack.  Same with an open SBB.  Sometimes all three work well.  I try to make sure there is plenty of room and ventilation and then I don't worry about it.
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tillie
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« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2008, 08:39:11 PM »

Great point - a bearding bee is not a working bee - and we want them to BEE productive!

Linda T having fun in Atlanta
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2008, 01:01:09 AM »

A beekeeper here is thinking of not using a bottom at all.

I don't use bottoms any more but it does take a different type design for the hive stand.  I stack 2 4X4s on to each other and place them the distance apart of the inside the box.  In tall grass 3 4X4s would be better.
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Cindi
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« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2008, 10:07:05 AM »

Brian, I was thinking about what you were saying about stacking two 4X4s.  Does that make a precarious hive stand? I would worry that the blocks of wood would fall over.  What about drilling a hole and putting some rebar or something to hold the 4X4s together? 

After seeing the stuff that was on my solid bottomboard after this winter, I seriously may consider not using any bottoms on my colonies at all, not even screened bottomboards.  Are you planning on leaving the colonies screenless too even this winter?  I am listening, learning, making choices.....have a wonderful and most beautiful day, Cindi

I was shocked at what was on the bottomboard after the winter in the deep spring cleanup -- and it kind of gave me the willies, I am not kidding you.  There was even some sort of ugleeeeeeee larvae that hatched since the last time that I cleaned them, which was about a month ago.  I did take some pictures, but haven't got them internet-friendly yet.....they were hideous and ugly, kind of orange and I didn't like the looks of them at all.....pictures will be here soon to show you what they looked like, scarey stuff to me!!!!!
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« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2008, 11:24:35 AM »

Is there a problem with going bottomless year around? After reading the replies it looks like that some do it instead off screened bottom boards. Trying to make a decision and any information would be helpful.
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Bennettoid
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« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2008, 02:52:55 PM »

I go bottomless year round, and I also leave my SBBs open all year round.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2008, 01:09:38 AM »

Brian, I was thinking about what you were saying about stacking two 4X4s.  Does that make a precarious hive stand? I would worry that the blocks of wood would fall over.  What about drilling a hole and putting some rebar or something to hold the 4X4s together? 

I tie them together by building  cross bars on top of the 4X4s out of 2X2s, also putting a piece of veneer across the bottom keeps the feet from kicking out and keeps the grass from growing up into the hive.  I'll show you when you come down for Labor Day.

Quote
After seeing the stuff that was on my solid bottomboard after this winter, I seriously may consider not using any bottoms on my colonies at all, not even screened bottomboards.  Are you planning on leaving the colonies screenless too even this winter?  I am listening, learning, making choices.....have a wonderful and most beautiful day, Cindi

Yeah, even with SBB the floor can get covered with crud quickly and block a lower entrance.  Screenless and bottomless, aka no pants, no shorts--only a slatted rack (kilt) to keep out the draft.

Quote
I was shocked at what was on the bottomboard after the winter in the deep spring cleanup -- and it kind of gave me the willies, I am not kidding you.  There was even some sort of ugleeeeeeee larvae that hatched since the last time that I cleaned them, which was about a month ago.  I did take some pictures, but haven't got them internet-friendly yet.....they were hideous and ugly, kind of orange and I didn't like the looks of them at all.....pictures will be here soon to show you what they looked like, scarey stuff to me!!!!!

Once you see what I'm doing I think you'll change, very easy maintenance.
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« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2008, 09:04:40 AM »

Brian, good, seeing is the best way for me to learn something, always has been.  Show me something once and it is there in the cobwebs of my mind for time and eternity itself.  Beautiful day, awesome day, Cindi
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« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2008, 10:25:48 AM »

Going bottomless in Texas is a risk.  Since we have summer dearths, robbing is a continual issue.  Bottomless works for the strongest hive in the yard.  For the others, it can be disaster.
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« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2008, 12:52:59 PM »

i like the SBB.  it gives you options.  you can close up if you need to, or leave open.  true, you have to clean off the bottom board from time to time, but i see that as a +.  you can see how many bees have died.  you can see if you have nasty things like chalkbrood starting.  i don't think bottomless would be a good option in my area, and i have tried the solid bottom boards.  those are harder to keep clean and seem to encourage things like mice, etc.  they give no option for leaving open.
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« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2008, 02:29:40 PM »

The way I see it, bees don't have a bottom board in the wild...they are in a hollow tree (or a wall etc).  Putting a solid board on the bottom seems unnatural somehow to me.  Having the screen doesn help with pest control and robbing I think though.

Derrick
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« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2008, 04:38:11 PM »

Any time bees are in a cavity they in effect have a bottom board, and an entrance they can defend.  You don't see many bees build comb exposed on a limb.  That would be the equivalent of no bottom board. 
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2008, 05:03:10 PM »

Going bottomless in Texas is a risk.  Since we have summer dearths, robbing is a continual issue.  Bottomless works for the strongest hive in the yard.  For the others, it can be disaster.

That is why I built my stands with the ability to slide in mite boards.  Sliding them in leaces a 1/4 inch high entrance that works like a entrance reducer.
I do need to make boardsmore though.
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2008, 02:05:21 PM »

I love the SBB's from Walter T. Kelley.  I used to buy mine from Brushy Mountain until I discovered the ones from Kelley.  Instead of having a seperate hive stand, they have a sloped landing platform built in.  There are two slots accessable from the back, one has the plastic cardboard used for mite counts and closing up the board.  The other is the screen which can be pulled out the same way as the cardboard.  Makes it WAY easy to go bottomless or to clean off the dead bees and debris on the screen (especially during the winter).  My boards from Brushy Mountain have a fixed screen and have to be removed from the hive to be cleaned off which is a major chore in its self.
Still need to try out slatted racks, I keep hearing wonderful things about those.

Sean Kelly
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2008, 10:36:39 PM »

I love the SBB's from Walter T. Kelley.  I used to buy mine from Brushy Mountain until I discovered the ones from Kelley.  Instead of having a seperate hive stand, they have a sloped landing platform built in.  There are two slots accessable from the back, one has the plastic cardboard used for mite counts and closing up the board.  The other is the screen which can be pulled out the same way as the cardboard.  Makes it WAY easy to go bottomless or to clean off the dead bees and debris on the screen (especially during the winter).  My boards from Brushy Mountain have a fixed screen and have to be removed from the hive to be cleaned off which is a major chore in its self.
Still need to try out slatted racks, I keep hearing wonderful things about those.

Sean Kelly

I'll show youo slatted racks 1st hand when you come up on Labor Day.
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Gware
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« Reply #38 on: June 04, 2008, 10:25:33 PM »

I really like the SBB  from  Walter T kelley also. I really like the way they are made. If you need to replace the screen just slid it out. You dont have to take the whole hive apart. If you want it closed just slide it the bottom to it. Good options I think.
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #39 on: June 05, 2008, 09:53:02 AM »

I'll show youo slatted racks 1st hand when you come up on Labor Day.

I'll hold you to it!  Cant wait, it's gunna be a blast!!!

Sean Kelly
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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
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