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Author Topic: SBB question  (Read 2316 times)
11nick
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« on: August 19, 2011, 09:41:39 PM »

want to make sure I'm understanding it...
Screened bottom boards supposedly have several benefits, one of which is increased ventilation.  If you put a SBB in, then put a tray or full sticky board in it, aren't you blocking the majority of the screen and negating any potential gain in ventilation?
Just wondering.  Never saw one.
Thanks
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ccar2000
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2011, 10:05:25 PM »

I agree with you logic. Also you need some kind of upper ventilation in order to create airflow. A box with one end open does not allow the rising heat to escape.
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11nick
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2011, 10:14:30 PM »

I've not yet met an older generation bee keeper who uses them.  I'm sure they are out there, but I just haven't met one yet.  But every experienced bee keeper will tell you that there is a lot of "junk" being sold today just to take advantage of less experienced beeks who think they "need" all the new widgets to be successful.
I'm trying to see the value in SBB. 
Thanks again 
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ccar2000
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2011, 10:20:58 PM »

Yup, I do not use the SBBs either. I do use a ventilated inner cover with a migratory cover in the summer. Seems to work for my climate/bees. I also leave my entrance reduced to about half of the hive front all year. I like the screened inner cover for one reason is that I can look in to the hive without using the smoker.
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annette
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2011, 10:40:06 PM »

I use all SBB on my hives and keep them open all year round. I do for ventilation, but mostly I hate the thought of the bees cleaning themselves of the varroa mites and have the mites climb back up onto the bees. With the SBB, the varroa fall through the screen and cannot get back up onto the bees.

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11nick
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2011, 10:51:12 PM »

I don't want to hijack my own thread.... I still want to hear more on SBB's....
But since you mention ventilated inner cover, I had an older beek tell me that bees might cover the vented inner covers with propolis.  Sounds like you don't have that experience.
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annette
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2011, 11:00:53 PM »

I have the ventilated inner covers as well from Honey Run Apiaries. Sometimes the bees like to propolize the inner hole, and no big deal. I usually scrap some of the propolis away to vent the heat from the hive.
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ccar2000
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2011, 11:14:19 PM »

This is the ventilated inner cover I use.
http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/10-frame-Ventilated-Inner-Cover-Moving-Screen/productinfo/373/
I have not had any problems with propolising. On the long edge of the cover there is a small +- 3/8" reveal that I point upwards against the migratory cover. It keeps out any stray bees and allows good ventilation on the 100* days we have here in the High Desert. As soon as the nights start getting cold I go back to the traditional inner cover and telescoping outer. And, hey, its your thread Smiley
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BlueBee
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2011, 02:38:20 AM »

My bees will usually completely block an inner cover screen unless the whole cover is a screen.  I guess they figure, why bother if the whole thing is open! 

I agree with ccar, I like the full screened inner covers.  You can easily peak in on the bees.  That is really nice in a nuc.  Not enough bees in a nuc to propolize it over either. 

I do use screened BBs, but the commercial guys I’m aware of around me do not.  I use them for mites checks and ventilation for top entrance hives.
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Poppi
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2011, 05:15:15 PM »

SBB's are used for IPM and ventilation both...  you only use the sticky board to do the count and it is removed otherwise.  I use a screened inner cover as well but it is "wire screen" not 8th inch hardware cloth and if the bees put propolis on it, I remove it.  I don't have SHB's but they are very common here and I was told to use screen because hardware cloth allows the beetles to get away from the bees...  Some of the beetle traps under the SBB are in place all the time and then I would agree it may block some ventilation.  I don't think it is a problem though...  there is still better ventilation than with a solid bottom board.  And as it has been said, I want the stuff falling out of the hive not to the bottom board and climbing back in...
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sc-bee
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2011, 07:07:39 PM »

The main concept for the SBB is IPM for varroa. The "P" stands for pest. Will the screen bottom help with ventilation, sure it will, so will cracking the top on the hive. So, do you believe they help with pest. If not don't buy them and crack your top for ventilation Wink
Also the sticky board is only inserted @ count time.
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Sundog
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2011, 07:45:14 PM »

Here is what I am doing for my next backyard hive.  It is still under construction, but as you can see, I like a little daylight under my hives.  Aids in ventilation, helps me, helps the bees.

Bottom board <$2.00 1x4 @ Home Depot
Stand <$3.00 Yellow wood 2x4 @ Home Depot
#8 screen $2.50 linear foot 36 inches wide
Garage sale Brownie pan $0.50

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Poppi
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2011, 08:25:50 PM »

Sundog...   I like it!  Was thinking along the same lines but I like my hives up on concrete block...  for moisture reasons..  just need to find a pan the right size.  I have found plastic storage bins that the covers are very close...    thinking more for SHB and oil in the pan but you could make your own sticky board the size you need to rest on top of the pan when a varroa count is needed...
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Katharina
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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2011, 03:37:52 PM »

They tell you everywhere that proper ventilation will prevent a lot of issues within the hive.  I do use screened boards to have the ventilation, in addition to the ventilation near the top to have the chimney effect.  My bees are doing great.  You can either close it off in winter, and some have drawers to do so or you can slide under a piece of thin plywood to take care of it yourself.  I like the ones I have.
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11nick
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« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2011, 10:24:40 PM »

I'm just researching all my options so I make educated purchases in the spring when I buy hives.  I feel dumb asking questions that are so basic to experienced beekeepers.  So I'm sorry if I'm dragging you down to the basics!

I live in Pennsylvania.  Winters can get down to zero or below, but rarely.  I read that some people use their SBB's all winter long.  I do understand the concept of ventilating the hive in winter to prevent condensation, but wouldn't a fully open SBB expose the cluster to a little too much cold air and freeze them out? 

Thanks!
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sc-bee
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« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2011, 01:12:44 AM »

I am going to raise some eyebrows on this one but rolleyes Bees don't freeze they starve! If they are clustered because of the cold where they can not reach the food source they then starve.
Of course i do not have that problem in SC.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2011, 01:26:25 AM »

There are some beeks on here that have left the bottom screen open in the winter.  I would not do it, but everybody does things a little differently.  A wood hive has almost no insulation value and hence you could say that removing the bottom of something with no insulation value should have little effect.  That is probably true, but I would be concerned about wind blowing in through an open bottom and pulling out what little heat the bees are making.  A wood hive is a poor insulator, but at least it can keep the wind off the bees.

A cold bee is a dead bee; rather it starved or froze is academic in my book  grin
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derekm
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« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2011, 05:41:14 AM »

There are some beeks on here that have left the bottom screen open in the winter.  I would not do it, but everybody does things a little differently.  A wood hive has almost no insulation value and hence you could say that removing the bottom of something with no insulation value should have little effect.  That is probably true, but I would be concerned about wind blowing in through an open bottom and pulling out what little heat the bees are making.  A wood hive is a poor insulator, but at least it can keep the wind off the bees.

A cold bee is a dead bee; rather it starved or froze is academic in my book  grin
Most forms of insulation are "still air" i.e. a way of stopping the air from moving e.g. stryrofoam rockwool .  If you can keep the air under hive from moving, the hive is insulated.
Heres a way to do it box in the sides  to form a tube say 12 to 15" high and then place another open mesh  at the bottom and a another  half way up  The top mesh is bee proof size  the the bottom 2 meshes mouse proof size.   ventilation and insulation.
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
sc-bee
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« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2011, 08:34:02 AM »

>A cold bee is a dead bee; rather it starved or froze is academic in my book  grin


That is correct, a cold bee is a dead bee--- that is why bees cluster grin But I do understand bees in the north may need insulation to be able to break cluster or move and feed where they will not starve.

Semantics right--- dead is dead Wink
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mushmushi
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« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2011, 08:41:01 AM »


I use SBBs because I treat with formic acid by putting it underneath the SBB (it then vaporizes).

Without a SBB, I would have to find another way to treat with formic acid (pads, etc).

Before this Winter, I'll see if I can put a heater in there for a weaker colonies to boost them up especially in Spring.

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caticind
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« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2011, 11:33:32 AM »

I use hardware cloth attached directly to the bottom of my long hives for screens.  They sit on an stand that can hold a sticky board or board to close the screen if necessary, but I otherwise I leave them open year-round.  The main reason is IPM  - when the bees groom varroa off,  many of them drop straight through the screen and fall two feet to the ground, where the ants are waiting to eat them.  This has the effect of constantly removing phoretic mites from the hives and reducing the highest point of mite load on adult bees.

Ventilation is a secondary concern, but that's because I live in a warm-winter climate.  If you regularly have high winds or blowing snow during the winter, you'll want to reduce or completely close the SBB during the winter.  You don't have to close it off entirely, just reduce the degree to which wind can blow directly into the hive.  If the air is still inside, the bees will keep the cluster temperature high enough.  Even in a closed hive, just a couple of inches from the cluster the temperature is the same as outside. 
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The bees would be no help; they would tumble over each other like golden babies and thrum wordlessly on the subjects of queens and sex and pollen-gluey feet. -Palimpsest
CapnChkn
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« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2011, 01:22:20 AM »

Quote
Even in a closed hive, just a couple of inches from the cluster the temperature is the same as outside.

I second that!  Caticind, that statement may get you in trouble.  I said something to that effect last year, and it spawned an eight page thread.  We as humans have a tendency to anthropomophise.  The cluster is more like a winter coat than a log cabin.
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derekm
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« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2011, 02:54:50 AM »

Quote
Even in a closed hive, just a couple of inches from the cluster the temperature is the same as outside.

I second that!  Caticind, that statement may get you in trouble.  I said something to that effect last year, and it spawned an eight page thread.  We as humans have a tendency to anthropomophise.  The cluster is more like a winter coat than a log cabin.
Bees ha e a variety of tactics for dealing with a wide set of conditions what astonishs me is that we insist on giving them such a poor environment that they have to use their cold survival tactics to such a degree that 30% failure is considered a sucess
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
BlueBee
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2011, 03:07:26 AM »

I second that!  Caticind, that statement may get you in trouble.  I said something to that effect last year, and it spawned an eight page thread.  

CapnChkn, are you one that instigated that infamous bee hive temp thread!  evil Smiley evil

Last winter I did put some electric heaters under my screened bottom boards as well.  They are usefull for that purpose too since heat rises.
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indypartridge
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« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2011, 06:40:27 AM »

I live in Pennsylvania.  Winters can get down to zero or below, but rarely.  I read that some people use their SBB's all winter long.  I do understand the concept of ventilating the hive in winter to prevent condensation, but wouldn't a fully open SBB expose the cluster to a little too much cold air and freeze them out?
I leave my SBBs open all winter and we usually have a few "deep freeze" periods of sub-zero temperatures. The last two winters have had some especially long cold spells, and the bees did fine.

Quote from: BlueBee
I would be concerned about wind blowing in through an open bottom and pulling out what little heat the bees are making.
Which is why windbreaks are needed. The point is for the hive to be ventilated, not drafty. You want to have a "dead air" space below the hive.
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2011, 12:18:09 PM »

Hello BlueBee!  I actually thought the thread was dead, but I see references popping up...

Quote
CapnChkn, are you one that instigated that infamous bee hive temp thread!   evil Smiley evil

Whatever I did, it was not intentional.  2 months earlier I commented in a thread that, "Heat didn't rise, hot AIR rises."  I followed up with, "This is useful for ventilation, but does nothing to keep bees warm.  Bees warm the cluster, not the space around it.  Being in an enclosed space does more to keep drafts and enemies out rather than act as insulation."  Being new to the forum, and re-learning all the stuff I thought I knew about bees, I didn't know Finski's temperament.

In the posts after that he seemed to verify what I had said.  "last winter I had a small 3-frame nuc in firewood shelter. Temp was outside -20C  - -30C. When I looked into the nuc. The cluster occupied the half of the space and the rest of space was full of snow which had born from respiration.
The distance between snow and the cluster was 2 inch. I put into the nuc 3W heater to save my nuc.
Actually the snow acts as insulator like snow in eskimo's iglu."


Well, the highest temperature the snow house gets inside is 50℉ (10℃) so they can't be "heating" it very well if there's snow 2 inches from the bees.  Thus my metaphor, "The cluster is like a winter coat."  You can lay in the snow, sleep in it, or whatever as long as your body core is warm.

I replied I didn't quite understand what his argument was about for the above reasons.  He then double posted, lambasting Americans and British beeks.  I let it go, my Mother has had a computer for 25 years, and I still have to explain how to save a file because she tunes out the "technical stuff..."

In a later post, the now infamous pie fight, I state, "It's not possible for the bees to heat the interior of the hive body by default, that would be impractical.  It is practical to heat the cluster and assume it will create an environment within the cavity that would be more survivable."

This set Finski off, and he seemed to think I didn't know what the temperature was where I was living.  For the next 4 pages he put me, Americans, and anyone who disagreed with him, in a grouchy expletive.  I wasn't going to be haunted by anyone!  Two months and this guy still has a chip on his shoulder.  That was my part in it.

Bottom line is Finski doesn't answer my posts and I don't bother with his.  It seems to be our fault for not speaking Finnish or Swedish.  He says one thing, then the opposite.  He basically ignored what I said, replied to posts I made to other people, and bulled through dissing me all the way.
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"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.
caticind
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« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2011, 04:48:51 PM »

Take it easy CapnChkn...  I agree with your reasoning but there's no reason to relive the argument in this thread.  Let's stick with providing advice to the OP on the uses of screened bottoms.
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The bees would be no help; they would tumble over each other like golden babies and thrum wordlessly on the subjects of queens and sex and pollen-gluey feet. -Palimpsest
derekm
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« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2011, 05:48:28 PM »

.. Also you need some kind of upper ventilation in order to create airflow. A box with one end open does not allow the rising heat to escape.

This is factually incorrect. You can even create air flow in a sealed box. all you need is a temperature difference.
You can get good ventilation with a box open at the bottom, a heat source warmer than the surface of box (bees).
This is how it works:
Warm air rises from the bees reaches the roof. The air is cooled there  and then descends near the sides of the box as its cools. if there is an open grill at the bottom  this air will continue to descend and mix with air near the grill and either exit the hive or recirculate up though the bees again.



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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
CapnChkn
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« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2011, 12:10:13 AM »

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"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.
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