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Author Topic: What's the purpose of SBB's  (Read 1185 times)
SlickMick
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« on: May 10, 2009, 04:32:10 AM »

Until I came to this forum I had never heard of SBB's. I have always had solid BB's but then I don't have some of the pest issues that you guys have in the US. I wonder if perhaps the SBB's are used for parasite control or if there are other things that you use them for. In some instances I imagine they might even hasten problems with some parasites or pests eg SHB but frankly I don't know. So why do you use them?

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
SgtMaj
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 05:19:57 AM »

Passive Varroa mite control is the main reason (though some will say any mite control gains are offset by the drawbacks of a cooler brood chamber causing cells not to be capped as quickly, thus helping the mites). 

There's also mite counts that can be done using SBB's so that the beek knows roughly where the hive stands with the mites, and hopefully can treat them with something before they get out of hand and wreck the colony.

More control over hive dynamics is the other (dynamics such as ventilation).  For example I like having the option to open up the SBB on those hot Autumn days when the bees would otherwise be bearding. 

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SlickMick
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2009, 06:27:53 AM »

I thought it might have been something to do with Varroa.

From what you are saying also that you are able to manipulate the SBB, opening it up and shutting it off I imagine to deal with the hot weather. I imagine then that they have a tray that is able to catch the Varroa and perhaps a screen that allows the Varroa through but not other larger pests.

I can imagine the Beek with a couple of hives at home managing their hives in the manner you suggest, but I wonder how commerical Beeks deal with the Varroa and the heat. Do they use SBB's and manage them during the heat and Varroa infestations or do they just work with solid BB's as a means of getting through the large number of hives they have in their apiaries and treat for Varroa on a regular basis?

Do you know if SBB's are an issue in areas of SHB? Unless they were screened in some manner I would imagine that they would allow additional access to the beetle that in hotter climates would be detrimental to the well being of the hive.

All very interesting to the unitiated  Wink

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
SgtMaj
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2009, 11:06:16 AM »

They can certainly be a way in for the SHB. 

Commercial beeks probably don't use them to manipulate hive temperature, or possibly at all.  There are plenty of commercial beeks that can answer that one though.
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2009, 11:33:53 AM »

also, i think it might help in my area with moisture control.  by the end of winter i have a good pile of dead bees on the SBB, but the insert used to close the SBB is under the screen.  any moisture that drips through can run off the insert rather than sit in a pile of the dead.

the insert can be used to do varoa mite checks.  since i am trying to limit the amount of treatment i do, being able to check mite drop is nice.  if i were going to medicate every year, it might not be needed.
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rast
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2009, 01:10:04 PM »

 One commercial that winters here near me uses at least some SBB pallets. We shared the same citrus grove this year.
 I use SBB, more for ventilation than supposed mite control. As far as SHB, I do think it makes it easier for them to get in and escape from bees. However in real life I have not seen it make a difference in beetle numbers in my hives. The worst "infection" I have had was on a solid BB. But, it was in shade until about 2 or 3 PM. I changed it to a SBB and moved it at the same time. This threw 3 things into deriving any usefull info from it.
1. Moving it. (away from any unhatched larva in the immediate vicinity)
2. Full sun from sunup to about 4 pm.
3. SBB
 1,2, or 3 of the above did something. No visible beetles in this hive last week after 2 months.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2009, 04:12:25 PM »

To let SHB crawl back and forth grin!

Supposedly a part of IPM and help Varroa control among other things (debris in hive ventilation etc) . But the SHB give me fits. I have both type boards
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2009, 07:29:08 PM »

The design was intended to be Varroa control.  What I think they are good for is they stay dry, they provide good ventilation in the summer and they allow you to measure natural mite drop easily.  IF you use other methods of Varroa control, then they also provide for mites that get knocked down or groomed off to fall to the ground.  In the case of things like Cumaphos and Fluvalinate it means those that are able to survive those chemicals are likely to fall down and not survive because they can't crawl back up.  In the case of things like powdered sugar, if they get groomed off they fall and can't climb back up.
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SlickMick
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2009, 07:44:08 PM »

To let SHB crawl back and forth grin!

Supposedly a part of IPM and help Varroa control among other things (debris in hive ventilation etc) . But the SHB give me fits. I have both type boards

It would be interesting to know how you find the comparison with both types of board in SHB management

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
SgtMaj
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2009, 11:57:56 PM »

To me it would seem like SHB's aren't as big an issue to a hive as Varroa is.  Strong hives don't have a problem with managing SHBs themselves and for weaker hives, just pop a beetle eater in.
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durkie
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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2009, 01:05:19 AM »

I'm surprised this doesn't come up more, but one of the things I absolutely *love* about my SBB is that I can leave the insert in all year and cover it with diatomaceous earth. It is great at killing wax moth larvae, SHB, and varroa. I don't know for sure if SHB can fit through the mesh size (don't know why they would make it that large, seems like a pretty basic thing to keep in mind), but plenty of beetles do happen to crawl on to the insert and end up dead there. I've been extremely happy with the results. It's basically an added layer of protection with no drawbacks I can see (bees don't get killed, no chemicals, still improved ventilation)
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SlickMick
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« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2009, 06:25:47 AM »

That seems to be an interesting aspect of the SBB that is well worth playing with. Since my last post I have been looking at the design of the SBB and it would seem that many of them use a 1/8" square mesh as the screen. So as SgtMaj suggests it would be an excellent vehicle for trapping Varroa and other pests such as the SHB with the base board in place.

I suppose that it looses its effectiveness for ventillation when is used for pest control and this would seem to be at times when temperatures are high and pests are most evident. I dont know how big the Varroa grow but there may be other ways of ventilating under the hive with the base board in place that does not invalidate the SBB's effectiveness with the Varroa.

I think that I will build one to see how it goes over here with the SHB

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
sc-bee
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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2009, 10:39:54 AM »

> Strong hives don't have a problem with managing SHBs themselves and for weaker hives, just pop a beetle eater in

The beetle eater thing ain't workin. and if you think they won't take a strong hive down --- think again. Of course I do think strength is your best defense, with bees that will chase the SHB --- some just don't chase!!!
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2009, 01:24:20 PM »

That seems to be an interesting aspect of the SBB that is well worth playing with. Since my last post I have been looking at the design of the SBB and it would seem that many of them use a 1/8" square mesh as the screen. So as SgtMaj suggests it would be an excellent vehicle for trapping Varroa and other pests such as the SHB with the base board in place.

I suppose that it looses its effectiveness for ventillation when is used for pest control and this would seem to be at times when temperatures are high and pests are most evident. I dont know how big the Varroa grow but there may be other ways of ventilating under the hive with the base board in place that does not invalidate the SBB's effectiveness with the Varroa.

I think that I will build one to see how it goes over here with the SHB

Mick

It does not lose effectiveness for ventilation, the pest control aspect, the primary reason for SBB, is helpful with both varroa and SHB, the ventilation is a side benefit that helps keep the bees healthier. 
However you build your SBB be sure to include a method for inserting a mite board, although Asutralia doesn't have mite yet, the board can be put in place when installing packages or swarms.  Both do not take well to an open bottom that the SBB provides until the hive is either established (brood on more than 1 frame) or the bees came from hives with SBB.
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