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Author Topic: Screened Bottom Boards  (Read 2493 times)
bassman1977
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Location: Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania


« on: August 25, 2005, 06:17:33 AM »

I was just wondering when the best time is to replace the sliding plywood drawer?  Outside temperatures here at night are starting to get into the low 50's however the days are still in the mid-80's.  My concern is the nights.  Thanks!
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stilllearning
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2005, 06:51:36 AM »

bassman
     I am wondering the same question.  I have been keeping bees
for 50 plus years, and only last week I installed a couple of screened
bottom boards.  I want to install a recording temperature recorder
in the brood nest and see if i can leave the bottom all winter
I really hate to waste a hive, but the results might be worth
the risk.  I have seen feral hives in a tree and under the eve
of a house survive our winters,  we have a few nights well below
freezing but our average night time winter temp is above 30 F
I had been wanting to post a request for a poll from people useing
the screened boards who have left them open all winter
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Wayne Cole
Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2005, 09:43:15 AM »

Since some people leave their SBB open all winter (I don't) I don't worry too much about closing them up until a hard freeze.  The bigger issue is to get a mouse gaurd on before the mice move in.  1/4 hardware cloth blockiing the entrace works.  Or go to all upper entrances like me.  But you want to keep the mice from getting moved in while the bees are clustered.  If you put the mouse gaurd on AFTER they move in it will be counterproductive.

I leave them in longer in the spring because the clusters are smaller and they are struggling to raise brood.  In the same temps in the fall I'm not worried about it because the clusters are bigger and more able to maintain the temps.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
mark
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2005, 06:13:56 PM »

i do not close up the sbb for winter.   i did wrap with single layer of roofing felt this past winter.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2005, 08:33:45 PM »

These are some interesting replies.  Are there any advantages to leaving them open?
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amymcg
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2005, 08:39:05 PM »

Better ventilation
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bassman1977
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2005, 10:14:15 PM »

Right...and the down sides could be a frozen hive.   wink
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2005, 10:11:02 AM »

The two reports I hear from people who have left them open in cold climates are:

The thrived and did well with them open.

The thrived and did well one winter with them open and froze one winter when they left them open.

I'm sure the wind is part of the overall results.  You could comprimise and leave it 1/4 or 1/3 of the way open.  Smiley
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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
bassman1977
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2005, 10:23:31 AM »

I am definately going to keep it closed.  My luck and I'll have frozen bee treats come spring.  Our winters can be extreamly cold and snow can get quite deep.  I am going to wrap my hives with tar paper also.
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2005, 03:18:33 PM »

I've got them on about 5 hives now. I cut a groove so I can insert a tray/closure board, but haven't made any yet. I may eventually make a tray or two to insert so I can check what drops out of the hive (perhaps mites). I don't ever intend to actually close them for winter, or any other season.

I am thinking of trying MB's idea of upper entrances. My plan is to make a couple of those queen rearing bottomless bottom boards that you can put on top of or between supers and then while leaving the SBB in place, close it off as an entrance, thereby making a flow-through ventilation situation with the entrance on top of the 3rd medium brood super and medium honey supers above the entrance. But I might put it between the 2nd and 3rd to reduce the chance of large amounts of pollen being stored in the honey supers.

Another idea I plan to try, is to create a clustering box of slats about 4 inches deep with an entrance cut into the middle of one side. Sort of a cluster area/entrance that can be positioned below, above, or between any supers.
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Joseph Clemens
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qa33010
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2005, 12:16:18 AM »

I think I'm becoming a pink paper plimker.  According to George what his question is always was it the cold or really Tracheal mites or starvation because we didn't do our part.  He really has me thinking about how lousy I've been the last five weeks.  David
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
Rich V
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2005, 11:31:02 PM »

Here in Northern Illinois are winter temps. can drop to -20. Most all the beekeepers that I know  useing sbb do not close them up and do very well.
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Finsky
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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2005, 12:31:29 AM »

Last winter I tryed screened bottom first time in 6 hives. In one box hives it added food consumption a least 50%. One died and 2 others were near to die. In 2 box hives I did not noticed difference.

The reason is the wind. In windy place screened bottom is not good. Our bee researcher told that he lost his whole 10 hive unit in windy place.

Better ventitalion? ....I use closed bottom. There is one inch holes in back corners of bottom board. I keep upper hole open at winter. If it is closed bees will get nosema.

There are styles and screened bottom is a one. I manage with closed bottom. I cannot find any advantage using screen.

I took into use slanting bottom. Bottom board is not horizontal plane but it slants a little towards entrance. Rubbish moves slowly towards opening.  There is loose joins where condensation water goes during winter.
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