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Author Topic: Screened bottom boards  (Read 1020 times)
Parksguyy
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario


« on: August 24, 2012, 09:05:05 AM »

Hello Everyone,
There seems to be alot of opinions on sbb and the advantages seem to make their application worth it.
I live near Ottawa, Ontario so our winters are normally cold.  I'm new to beekeeping this season and presently use a standard bottom board.  Next spring I will make the switch, but will simply place my sbb ontop of my existing bottom board (I think you simply turn it around) ... doing it this way will allow me to use sticky boards to monitor/capture mites.  Does this make sense?  I realize I likely won't get the full potential of the sbb in terms of much better ventilation ... but it will be better.  My hives are sitting on cinder blocks which are sitting on a palette, so they are already a good foot off the ground. 
Anyways, if anyone has experience with sbb I'd love to hear about it.
Thanks       
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mikecva
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Location: Northern Virginia USA


« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2012, 11:32:46 AM »

I have used screened bottom boards (sbb) for many years. The ones I have have a slot in the back for placing a sticky board in. I do not use solid bottom boards as it is an extra expense and it reduces to much needed air flow. My hives sit on a home made 8" box with screened slots in the sides. All of this sits on a doormat that keeps the grass down and the ground moisture out. It the winter I use old 'voting' signs to block the hole the sticky board goes in.  -Mike
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Nyleve
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Location: Ontario, Canada


« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2012, 11:56:05 AM »

I use a solid bottom board in the winter to hold in some warmth and switch to a screened one when I unwrap the hive in the spring. I'll be switching back to solid in another month or so. My screened bottom board has a slide-out tray where you can put a sticky thing but I've never bothered. Last fall I did see dead mites on the board right after I treated them with Thymovar strips.
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 12:08:44 PM »

i use screened and put the board in when the nights get cool...like now.  mine are only open about 3 months of the year, but i like the option.  my slide in boards are not sticky boards.

i usually get mine from Mann Lake and they come with the insert.
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Joe D
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2012, 02:30:56 PM »

I got my bees in dec last year.  They had solid BB but were in bad shape, I had built SBB's for them before I picked them up.  When I got them here I put the SBB in, been there ever since.  But I am only 70 to 80 miles north of the gulf, so some winters aren't that cold.  If it geats cold I will block the bottom off.  Good luck  with your bees.



Joe
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Parksguyy
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario


« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2012, 02:43:05 PM »

Thanks everyone, always appreciate the voice(s) of experience ... I plan on switching over for next season and given our winter climate here these will be viewed as a seasonal option for me.  Anything that helps my bees and doesn't involve chemicals works for me.
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mikecva
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2012, 04:45:38 PM »

Parksguyy, please consider changing your location to Ottawa, Ontario so we can help you better by knowing where you live.  Welcome to the forum and beekeeping.  -Mike
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2012, 06:42:02 PM »

Parksguyy, am I correct in thinking your summer high temperatures get up to around 26c/80f degrees?  If so then the screened bottom board won't really be helping in regards to lowering any hot temperatures but only with ventilation (as you stated).  By turning the solid bottom board around you will be effectively doubling your ventilation and also creating ventilation at the back of the hive where before there was none.  That should be plenty of ventilation for the bees in the summer and will create a spot for your sticky board. 

I doubt you have to worry about small hive beetles up that way but you could possibly even slide an oil tray in the bottom if you needed to...you might have to build a small shim to raise the screened bottom board up a bit to allow the tray to slide in.  Be careful with the sticky board (and oil tray if you use one) and block off the entrance to it at the back of the hive so the bees can't get stuck in it. 

When the mites are dislodged from the bees during cleaning they simply fall to a solid bottom board and then hitch onto another bee that walks by.  Simply the fact that the mites will be falling through the screen and not onto the solid bottom board where the bees walk will decrease the mite load on the bees.  From what I understand the mites cannot travel too far and have a hard time climbing back up if they fall through a screened bottom board.  If your bottom boards are similar to mine, the mites will fall roughly 5cm from the screen to the solid bottom board.  They will then have to crawl to the edge before they can crawl back up the side...I don't think they are mobile enough to do that in most situations.  With a sticky board they're not going anywhere.

I think it's a good move, but...I am a 1st year beek. Smiley

Best wishes,
Ed
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