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Author Topic: Clever or "Fluff and over-hyped-crap"? : The Double Screen Board  (Read 2501 times)
Stone
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« on: December 05, 2010, 01:50:56 PM »

I was wondering if anyone has used this piece of equipment, what you think of it and its usefulness, or if some other technique can be used in its place.  Seems pretty clever to me.

http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/10-Frame-Double-Screen-Board/productinfo/694/

Bjorn,
What do you think? Should this be placed in the "Fluff equipment and over-hyped-crap" category?   grin
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 06:02:54 PM by Stone » Logged
Robo
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2010, 04:48:10 PM »

It was originally called a "Snellgrove" board as it was used for Snellgrove's swarm prevention technique.    It is surely not an essential piece of equipment, but does offer many advantages when re-queening though -> http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/queen-introduction/
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BjornBee
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2010, 05:37:16 PM »

I bet 99% of beekeepers could not even describe the full process including timing, of the proper use of the double screen. Maybe that should tell you something.  rolleyes

This is another piece of equipment that has very specific uses and for most, is a dust collector and garage filler.

I rank it up there with the queen muff, marking pen, and marking tube.   lau
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Stone
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2010, 06:05:27 PM »

Bjorn,

Do you ever use it or have found it useful? 
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BjornBee
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2010, 06:19:05 PM »

Bjorn,

Do you ever use it or have found it useful? 

As it is designed, yes, once to experience it. For swarm control, I think the steps are long and it is a tedious approach for swarm control. The snellgove technique is for swarm control after the first signs of swarm cells. I find removing the queen, making splits, or other approaches a better fit for my management and desired results.

I have a few in the garage. Picked up in auctions or sales as they were part of a package deal. But I never outright bought one. That would be a waste.
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Stone
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2010, 06:53:13 PM »

I'm entering my third year of beekeeping and have not yet done a split (the last two years being awful!) but when I first read about the double screen, I immediately thought it would be very easy to use for both swarm control or for splits.  Again, I have no practical experience with either. My guess is the easiest way to do a split is the "walk away". What do you think?

And what do you think would be an easier technique(s) for swarm control?
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Jim 134
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2010, 07:25:10 PM »

I bet 99% of beekeepers could not even describe the full process including timing, of the proper use of the double screen. Maybe that should tell you something.  rolleyes

This is another piece of equipment that has very specific uses and for most, is a dust collector and garage filler.

I rank it up there with the queen muff, marking pen, and marking tube.   lau


BjornBee...
Have you read the book by L.E. Snelgrove  huh

   http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=462



                     BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2010, 09:33:59 PM »

I bet 99% of beekeepers could not even describe the full process including timing, of the proper use of the double screen. Maybe that should tell you something.  rolleyes

This is another piece of equipment that has very specific uses and for most, is a dust collector and garage filler.

I rank it up there with the queen muff, marking pen, and marking tube.   lau


BjornBee...
Have you read the book by L.E. Snelgrove  huh

   http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=462



                     BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley


There is a book? I thought I read long enough on the snellgrove swarm procedure already. I'm sure there is enough information in other books and sites. I know I found it fully detailed in the first bee book I picked up. Not really sure at this point of buying another book.

So what part are you referencing, questioning, or going tell me to read?

If you want to detail out the entire use of the double screen board and the whole procedure step by step, I'll leave that to you.  Wink

Perhaps if wrote it all out, that would help others determine if they want to buy some and try it out. I have already. And I simply find it labor intensive and difficult to other swarm prevention techniques.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 10:51:03 PM by BjornBee » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2010, 11:08:50 PM »

I'll agree with Bjornbee. Many of the items for sale in those catalogs are there to snag swarms of beekeepers. In that respect, the bee suppliers seem to have learned well from fishing lure manufacturers. Make a new lure each year, paint it in a rainbow of unnatural colors and fishermen will go into a feeding frenzy over them. Doesn't hurt the fish populations at all.
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2010, 12:31:00 AM »

i've never owned (or used) one. 

we use mostly top entrances, and i've sometimes moved the entrance of a strong colony to the back of the hive, and put a weak nuc with a bottom entrance ontop to "catch the foragers".  i usually think of a snellgrove board when i'm doing this, as the easy swapping of entrances would do a similar thing (and more elegantly).  this is at least one purpose (and robo mentions another...requeening) besides the snellgrove technique where it would be useful.

i figure one of these years i'll win one in a club raffle, and play with one then.  certainly not necessary for our purposes.

deknow
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2010, 08:43:33 AM »

but when I first read about the double screen, I immediately thought it would be very easy to use for both swarm control or for splits.  Again, I have no practical experience with either. My guess is the easiest way to do a split is the "walk away". What do you think?


First of all you need to take a step back an evaluate the intent of the operation.  For a commercial beekeeper, the double screen board is most definitely a useless piece of equipment.   But likewise, cell bars, cell cups and rearing equipment are equally useless to a backyard beekeeper with just a couple of hives.   So just because one beekeeper finds something  as "fluff & over-hyped-crap",  doesn't mean it might not be important to your methods.

Consider your average hobbyist with 2 hives.   I would beg to argue that the double screen could be one of the most valued pieces of equipment. 

I can't count the number of times I have heard.......   I just spent 20something bucks and recently requeened one of my hives and now it is queenless.  It has no brood and I can't get another queen or don't want to spend another 20something bucks.   What should I do?

Well,  for someone with a bunch of hives and resources available to them,  it is not a big issue.  But for a guy with two hives, where 50% of his apiary is in jeopardy, it is not as easy.   He can rob some brood from his strong hive,  hoping it doesn't set it back too much,  but it will be close to a month before a replacement queen starts laying and another month before brood starts hatching.   That hive has quite the challenge in front of it to get strong enough for the winter,  let alone have any surplus.  Or he can spend the money and try to get another queen if he can,  and hope thing work out better, but now he risks a laying worker and another 20something bucks blown.   Of course that brings up another subject of the "queen introduction frame"  that is equally considered "fluff & over-hyped-crap" by some,  but you will find many here that have saved a hive with it and swear by it.

Wouldn't a better option be to just restore the old queen and brood she has been laying?    Unfortunately,  the standard practice for requeening is to kill the original queen first and then attempt to introduce the new queen.  At that point there is no turning back and any issue with introducing the new queen,  the quality of her laying, all leads into the situation above.    But with the double screen,  you always have the option to restoring the original queen right up until you decided you are happy with the laying of the replacement queen.   Not only that, but you get the advantage of two queens laying in the hive during the induction period.

Of course if you are content with doing walk-away splits,   this might not be applicable to you.  But a lot of folks stay away from emergency queens and purchase reared queens, so it does apply to them.   With emergency queens, you have a whole different set of risks. http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/can-you-afford-emergency-queens/

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Jim 134
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2010, 09:52:09 AM »

You can all so use a Snelgrove board for a 2 queen hive.



      BEE HAPY Jim 134 Smiley
« Last Edit: December 06, 2010, 10:11:01 AM by Jim 134 » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2010, 10:28:07 AM »

It's one of those things that are a) really easy to make and b) useless unless you figure out how to use it and it fits in your management style.  I have one and use it occasionally, but it isn't much in my management style.  You can do most of the same things without one, but it has its occasional uses.  I wouldn't consider it over-hyped...or crap.  But it is something easily lived without.

Technically everything beside boxes, frames, a board for the bottom and a board for the top are fluff...or a hollow log grin.
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Rick
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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2010, 02:00:57 PM »

Robo,

You make some great points!  Commercial beekeepers would see items such as these differently from those of us are who are hobbyists/sidliners.  I have four colonies - one of which was a cutout - actually a large birdhouse that bees settled into.  I probably will requeen and then split the other three in spring.  They built up beautifully in fall - and they make swarm cells like mad - and I think this double screen piece of equipment would serve the purpose of splitting well.  I'm requeening because they are exceedingly defensive - even with smoke - and because of their excessive swarming tendencies.

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Jim 134
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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2010, 07:02:08 PM »

I'll agree with Bjornbee. Many of the items for sale in those catalogs are there to snag swarms of beekeepers. In that respect, the bee suppliers seem to have learned well from fishing lure manufacturers. Make a new lure each year, paint it in a rainbow of unnatural colors and fishermen will go into a feeding frenzy over them. Doesn't hurt the fish populations at all.


 I got my first Snelgrove board in 1958 form a.I.Root       
                  



                             BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2010, 01:23:47 AM »

I know a local beekeeper here who, while he doesn't do the full snelgrove thing, uses the double screen to do a simplified demaree.  Basically he just splits the hive early with a double screen and then either recombines at the honey flow or he makes an actual split.

In other words he puts the double screen between the two brood boxes and makes both a top and bottom entrance.  The queenless half raises another queen.  When he combines he now has a two queen hive with more bees and if he splits they were sharing warmth during the chilly part of the spring.

I have several and have used them as a bottom board when I run out, as a way to unite two colonies (let them smell each other for a week and then remove it), but otherwise they languish most of the time... I could certainly live without them and probably won't bother to buy more.
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