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Poll
Question: Do screened bottom boards work to reduce Varroa mites?  What about with a slatted rack?
Screened bottom boards work well in reducing varroa mites. - 1 (14.3%)
Screened bottom boards work O.K. in the reduction of varroa mites. - 2 (28.6%)
Screened bottom boards don't work to reduce varroa mites. - 1 (14.3%)
Screened bottom boards work well with a slatted rack. - 2 (28.6%)
Screened bottom boards work O.K. with a slatted rack. - 1 (14.3%)
Screened bottom boards don't work with a slatted rack. - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 7


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Author Topic: Do screened bottom boards work with a slatted rack?  (Read 4242 times)
Apis629
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« on: May 07, 2005, 12:08:41 PM »

I've been thinking about beekeeping and I've heard that a screened bottom board may reduce varroa mites.  I've also heared that a slotted rack can reduce drafts and allow the queen bee to lay eggs all the way to the bottom of the comb and this, of cource, will increase the colony size.  I've been wondering if there was a way to combine the two without compramising their effects.  Please take this poll and leave replies to my question.
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Apis629
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2005, 04:25:08 PM »

Why has only one person voted???
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2005, 04:38:20 PM »

I think the screened bottom boards help with ventilation, and help with mite monitoring.  However, I feel that the number of mites that fall and are unable to get back into the hive are minimal.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2005, 05:50:34 PM »

Well I do not know if the screened bottoms reduce mites or not. I have heard that mites fall from bees and if the are on a solid bottom another bee will pick them up and get them back into the upper parts of the hive, where if they fall through a screen they can't get back into the hive, so logically it will reduce the mite population.

I do not know about a screen bottom and a rack. The rack was the first thing I think they came up with to help ventilate the hive better. Then someone decided to go with open bottoms, or screened  bottoms, for vetilation and mite control was a side affect I believe.

So really I can not vote, cause I really don't know the answer. I use a screened open bottom. No rack.
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2005, 07:00:10 PM »

It's hard to vote when you have different questions in the same poll.

Yes SBB help reduce varroa,  I'm with golfpsycho though, it is minimal.  There are many people, including David Eyre (DE Hive) that does not have high regard for them. The key to better ventilation is improve the top end.  With proper upper ventialtion, the normal bottom opening on a solid bottom is more than suffcient.  

Yes slatted racks work too.  I use to use them on my hives before SBB.  Never had a problem with bearding when using racks.  

I'm not sure running racks and SBB are worth the effort though.  I am quite happy with a SBB with slide in tray (to close off the screen and monitor mite drop).  I only pull the tray once the weather gets really warm.  Keeping it closed off in the spring keeps the bottom super warm enough to raise brood to the bottom (at least when running frames the "warm way"(parallel to the entrance))
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Jay
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2005, 07:09:21 PM »

There are two types of slatted racks now. Before varroa destructor, the slats ran accross the frames, now you can get slatted racks with the slats running parallel with the frames so the mites can fall off and not on to the slats. If you use a slatted rack, use the ones with the slats that run parallel. Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2005, 08:25:28 PM »

We just put one on a friends hive today. That hive had at least 100,000 bees, wish I could get pics. bye Cheesy
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Ryan Horn
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2005, 09:35:59 PM »

29 lbs of bees??/ WOW
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Apis629
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2005, 08:44:08 PM »

How did someone get 100,000 bees?  Did they have a two queen hive or one SUPER PRODUCTIVE one?
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Finsky
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2005, 07:39:04 AM »

I tryed screened bottoms the first and the last time last winter. In those hives sugar consumption was over 50% greater than with normal bottom.  One hive starved out. I have a little bit windy place.

I wrote to Finnish forum and a couple of beekeepers said that in windy place consumption is great. In windy places it really kills hives.

At summer screened bottom keeps too cold hives. In Canada they reported after 2 years summer experiment that "nothing good to say". Chalk brood was bad.

As you can see, feral colonies lives in bottomless hives, and varroa kills them over 90%.

And it is not voting question.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2005, 08:39:32 AM »

I know it's hard to put these polls together and hard to predict all the possible answers.

Almost all my hives have SBB.  I have a lot of slatted racks and I use them with SBB.  The slats all run the other way (opposite the frames) on all of mine.  Since I'm moving to eight frame boxes and long hives, and since they aren't available for eight frame hives, I probably won't buy more slatted racks.  Also, I think the ventilation provided by the slatted rack can be, at least partially provided by the SBB.

Also, I had one hive that FILLED the slatted rack space underneath with comb.  What a mess.

I leave the "tray" in most of the year and just pull them out during the heat of the summer for more ventilation.  I don't think leaving them out over winter would be a good idea with the wind and the cold here.  I get 60 mph winds sometimes (100 kph) and -20 F (-29 C) sometimes in the winter with a week or two of -10 F (-20 C) pretty normal.

Another nice thing about SBB is the water runs out.  You don't find a puddle of water on the board because the hive settled a bit and is now level or slightly leaning back.  You can level the hives and not worry about accumulated water on the bottom board.

I find a small cluster in the spring trying to raise brood does better with less cold to deal with.  But a booming hive in the summer makes more honey with more ventilation.

As far as the Varroa issues, I find the SBB is more useful for monitoring than for controling Varroa.  In my experience, a SBB will not make a significant difference in the mites, with or without a slatted rack.
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2005, 04:55:30 PM »

The hive is just supper huge, I dont think there are 2 queens. We already had to add a third super onto it and around here you are luck to have 1 on by now. bye Cheesy
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Ryan Horn
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