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Author Topic: Should I use screened bottom board?  (Read 4950 times)
johnwm73
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« on: May 26, 2008, 09:23:19 PM »

I looked at my hives today and saw they have more bearding than they have in the past week. At first they had maybe the bottom half of the 1st deep covered on the front. Now The have all the 1st deep and 3/4 of the 2nd deep covered. It has been in the low 90's the past week. I added a super with screen on both sides so the bees can't get into it but that way I can prop open the top. They have 6 frames drawn out in one hive in the 2nd deep but the other hive has only 3 or 4 drawn out. Is there anything else I can do? I was thinking of buying a screened bottom board to change out mine with but was wondering how they would survive through the winter.
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tillie
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2008, 11:08:13 PM »

It gets colder here in Atlanta than I imagine you get in Texas and I leave my screened bottom board open all winter.  I believe Brian Bray in Washington state has completely open bottoms. 

The SBB helps with ventilation as does a slatted rack and propping the top. 

I'm curious about the super with the screened sides - does that mean the super is open on the sides letting light into the hive?  Wonder what that does to the bees.....hmmmm

Linda T in Atlanta
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2008, 12:23:35 AM »

my bottom boards came with a board that slides in for winter.  you will get better ventilation, better moisture run off, and perhaps better mite control, with the SBB.
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2008, 12:45:36 AM »

I left my screened bottom boards open all winter up here in western Washington.  It snowed and got down into the teens last winter and my bees did just fine.  The only time I put the tray back in is to do a mite drop count.  Totally recommend them due to moisture control.  It' get's damp up here in the Pacific Northwest.

Sean Kelly
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indypartridge
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2008, 06:09:02 AM »

I leave my SBB open all winter here in Indiana, where temps are below freezing for weeks at a time.
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2008, 06:36:41 AM »

why can't you prop open the top without the extra super?
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tillie
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2008, 07:27:46 AM »

I'm curious about the top propping issue as well -

On my hives I have a screened bottom board, a slatted rack and a big stick propping the top open.  The popped top allows the bees a second (back door) entrance and helps with the ventilation.  Even at that occasionally they do beard when the nights are around the high 80s.

Linda T in Atlanta
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Gware
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2008, 08:20:49 AM »

I have heard of good things about the screened boards. I have one on a hive I have and like it. That hive does seem to be doing better than my other two,(which has solid bottoms).
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Gware
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2008, 08:21:49 AM »

A beekeeper here is thinking of not using a bottom at all.
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mgmoore7
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2008, 08:28:48 AM »

I have screen bottom boards on all 4 of my hives.  It does not seem to have any impact on bearding.  They do it all the time on the strong hives. 
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johnwm73
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2008, 08:37:10 AM »

I could prop them open. I just thought I would need something to screen the top so the queen wouldn't fly off. The super idea came from looking at the screened top from Dadant's. I thought being I had the extra super it would create more space for the sun to heat up during the day and also keep the queen from flying away. I my lid propped open on one side about 3 inches. Will it hurt if it rains and some of it goes in the hive? Or do I need to close it on days it might rain?
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Cindi
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2008, 09:06:29 AM »

Johnwm73.  Rain MUST not go into the colony, ever, that is the worst thing that can happen to the bees is getting wet.  I think that we need some further clarification on what is going on at your place.  The only time that you would have an issue with the queen flying away is when a swarm occurs, then the colony will leave with the queen.  The queen ordinarily does not ever leave the hive, unless she is a virgin queen and must go out on her mating flight.  But once that mating flight happens with a queen, she never leaves the hive unless it is for swarming to a new location.  I hope this may clarify a little bit your quandry.  Ask more questions if you need further answers and more clearly define what you are saying.  Have the best of this great and most wonderful day, groovin' on our groovy life.  Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2008, 09:17:52 AM »

From what I have gathered the consensus on sbbs is that they are possibly better for mite control, and this, I believe is the main reason beeks use them.

I use both and really don't see a difference with bearding on the hives that have sbbs.

People on here have reported that slatted racks help most with ventilating a hive.


...JP
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Two Bees
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2008, 09:18:38 AM »

I hived my packages on April 20 and have used solid BBs up to this point.  As the temps approach high 80s and low 90s, I will switch to the SBBs.  This weekend, I opened the entrance to the larger opening and used popsicle sticks in the rear to lift the inner cover a smidgen.  Yesterday, the temps were 86-87 and the girls seemed to appreciate the additional airflow!  In 2-3 weeks, I plan to remove the entrance reducer completely and install the SBBs.
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Ross
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2008, 10:55:15 AM »

My bees are all on SBB that stay open year around.  You don't need an extra box on top, just prop the lid with a stick to let hot air exit the top.  If the queen wants to leave (swarm) she knows where the lower entrance is.
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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2008, 11:00:05 AM »

From what I have gathered the consensus on sbbs is that they are possibly better for mite control, and

Some studies show quite the contrary.  Here is one
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,10753.msg105971.html#msg105971


Bearding can be controlled quite easily without SBB.  Slatted racks, or just more space (supers) on the bottom work wonders.


rob...
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tillie
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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2008, 11:26:56 AM »

What I've learned from reading Michael Bush about swarming is that once the queen or really the bees have decided to leave, there is little you can do about it.  Beekeeping is about working with the bees but not about trapping them!

Silly me, I read your post about the screened wire box and thought you meant that the box had screen on the side, where I think you actually meant it had screen on the top and bottom.

Linda T in Atlanta
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johnwm73
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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2008, 12:48:23 PM »

Well I got home but only after it had rained hard and was still raining. The bees were in the hive and seemed to be fine. Although there were still about 100 bees on the outside on the front of the 1st deep box. The way my hive faces east and has trees covering it I don't guess they were getting wet. But it confused me to see them still there.
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johnwm73
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« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2008, 02:08:37 PM »

Well I didn't beat the rain but nothing got in before I closed the lid. Although there were about 100 bees on the front of the hive. I don't think they were getting rained on or they would have gone in. The hives face east and are covered by trees. I just thought it was weird that during the rain they would be outside. But I am glad the rain didn't get in on them.
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Gware
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« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2008, 03:37:58 PM »

I am just asking, but what does it matter if they do beard? Is it normal behavior?
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