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Author Topic: Northern climate-Bottoms -#8 screen or solid wood?  (Read 2550 times)
Algonam
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« on: January 18, 2011, 08:53:40 PM »

Hi again,

Hopefully I'll be able to help someone out in a few years much like you've helped me!
I've been reading different posts and have found that some people actually wrap hives in winter. Is this necessary in colder climates? or is it just a personal choice? What about having a solid bottom.
The specs call for a #8 screen as the hive bottom but I don't know what climate this would be for.
With that open bottom screen I can't imagine the bees having any chance at staying warm in our winter. In Dec, Jan and Feb it is common to have temps in -20's and well into the -30's with wind chills at times and -40 being the extreme.
I am wondering if I should be building my hives with solid bottoms. The other extreme is the summer heat, which would be similar to almost anywhere else in the USA.
Any thoughts?
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 09:29:42 PM »

Top bar hive right?  The screen bottom allows for air to come in and mites to fall though out of the hive.   You can always make a removable bottom board to put back in for winter.   With the wraps, they insulate the hive allowing the bees to save a little work and food stores in with heating.
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Tommyt
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 11:18:56 PM »

In Dec, Jan and Feb it is common to have temps in -20's and well into the -30's with wind chills at times and -40 being the extreme.Any thoughts?
.

                                   
Do like the rest of your country.
winter them in Florida EH! grin


Tommyt
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2011, 03:22:59 AM »

Anywhere I'd close the screened bottom in.  A hive cannot control the temperature and humidity with a totally open system.
http://bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#SBB
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Algonam
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2011, 06:12:04 AM »

OK great, I'll make a removeable bottom for winters....if I can't bring them to FLA for a few months!
 Wink
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2011, 06:16:30 AM »

I would leave the bottom in (closed) all year round ESPECIALLY during the heat of summer.  Otherwise they can't cool the hive.  Evaporative cooling does NOT work if you have wide open ventilation.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Algonam
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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2011, 02:20:04 PM »

Hmmm......If I build a solid TBH with no screening on bottom....then what would happen to the mites? What are those risks? Are the mites seasonal? ie:only during certain weather conditions?
I realise this (mites) is a whole other topic that I could research but right now I'd like to complete the 2 hives I've started.
All of your inputs are much appreciated!
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2011, 02:36:46 PM »

I would leave the bottom in (closed) all year round ESPECIALLY during the heat of summer.  Otherwise they can't cool the hive.  Evaporative cooling does NOT work if you have wide open ventilation.

Ditto..

The hive I lost this winter had an opened SBB. (It wasnt a very strong hive so it's really not a valid 'test')

I had 7 hives going into winter with 6 being virtually the same strength. I covered 5 of the SBB's and left 2 open. Out of the 6 remaining hives on fairly warm days that we've had here lately, the hives that has closed SBB's are doiing house cleaning chores and flying around. The last one with an open SBB is still clustered up.

From now on, the SBB's will only be open for mine during the heat of the summer. No more open ones for me year round.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2011, 08:19:59 PM »

I would not bother with the screen.  It makes little difference on the mites and is more work.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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