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Author Topic: Screened bottom board or solid?  (Read 2214 times)
Nyleve
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« on: October 18, 2012, 09:30:12 AM »

Just wondering if I really need to replace my screened bottom board with a solid one for winter. I have both, but of course it's a heavy annoying job - two deep supers above, both pretty full. The screened board I use has a slide-out drawer with a white liner (to see mites, I guess). I could stuff some insulation into the opening underneath the sliding drawer to close up the opening. Would that be enough or should I really haul my husband down to the hive to help me with the heavy lifting? I'll be wrapping the hive in tar paper or some other wind-break covering and putting a bit of insulation on top of the inner cover as well. I'm in central Ontario, so yes it gets cold here.
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Finski
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2012, 09:49:27 AM »

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I live in South Finland.
Screened bottom is here common. When you use screened bottom, don't keep any upper entrances open.

What you need is that you shelter the bottom so that wind cannot blow under the hive-

I myself use solid bottom.

Many keep slip closed during winter.

Get a polyhive and bees winter fine. It saves 30% of food and you need not wrap it any more.

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sterling
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2012, 10:51:28 AM »

I live in TN and it doesn't get nearly as cold here as where you live but I close my SBBs. Because it doesn't make sense to leave that much open space under the hive. Take the floor out from under your house and see how much more energy it will take to keep your house as warm as with a floor. But to be fair alot of beeks around my area leave them open. The same beeks will say be sure and leave 50# to 60# of stores per hive and my bees don't use half that. The last two club meetings had speakers who promoted leaving them open.
I wouldn't unstack but would slide a board under if you decide to close em.
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edward
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2012, 07:22:05 PM »

One true thing is the cold doesn't kill bees !

Damp and wet bees die, frames beecome moldy.

Under the winter you need to ventilate the moisture out of your hive , top ventilate, or bottom ventilate NOT both.

Under the winter I bottom ventilate my hives,

When they break there winter ball I close the ventilation to help the spring build up , then when they need to dry nectar to honey open up.

Close up when winter feeding and then open up throughout the winter.

-10 to -30 oC cold in our winters where I live in Sweden.

mvh edward Tongue
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Nyleve
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2012, 08:25:41 PM »

So what I did last winter - which was, to be honest, not a typical winter - was to use a solid bottom board. I had two deeps for the colony, then the inner cover, then a third deep (but with no frames in it). I left the inner cover opening a bit open but packed some insulation around it so that moisture could escape, while hopefully maintaining the colony's warmth. Put the telescoping cover over top and wrapped all three boxes with tar paper and put a mouse guard over the front entrance. I don't think I even reduced the entrance at all. Whatever it was, it worked - but as I said, last winter was not at all our typical cold winter.

So let's say I stuff insulation into the space under the sliding drawer in the screened bottom board to keep the cold out from underneath. All else will be the same: wrap the hive, insulate over the inner cover, keep an opening in the inner cover, no upper entrance. I'm just trying to avoid having to replace the bottom board, that's all. I'm being lazy (I know).

I don't like this whole winter business. It's stupid and a pain.
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Finski
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2012, 01:35:19 AM »

One true thing is the cold doesn't kill bees !

Damp and wet bees die, frames beecome moldy.

That truth is pure nonsense. A big one

Hives will die more when it is cold and less if winter is mild.

And you need not kill hives cold OR moisture. Take care about boath. You are able to do that.



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Finski
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2012, 01:39:33 AM »



So let's say I stuff insulation into the space under the sliding drawer in the screened bottom board to keep the cold out from underneath. All else will be the same: wrap the hive, insulate over the inner cover, keep an opening in the inner cover, no upper entrance. I'm just trying to avoid having to replace the bottom board, that's all. I'm being lazy (I know).

I don't like this whole winter business. It's stupid and a pain.


Bye poly hives. You need not do those odd things ans play with those boards.

(what idea is to keep them in line like this?)



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Nyleve
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2012, 09:50:05 AM »

Well, thanks for the photo of the poly hives - I will keep it in mind for next year. This year it's obviously too late to make any changes.

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kathyp
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2012, 09:50:20 AM »

don't your screened bottoms have slots to insert a board?  you should be able to cut some thin plywood to fit, or use some kind of plastic....mine have thin sheet metal inserts.  i like those.  they don't warp.

wet, cold, bees die faster, but cold bees die too.  the idea that cold won't kill bees is a bit nuts if you give it a good thought.  
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sterling
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 12:54:50 PM »

If cold doesn't kill bees then why do beeks who live in northen areas lose more hives in winter then beeks in say Florida or Georgia?
Why would beeks waste time and money on insulated hives and heating hives? What a waste, just open up the bottom and they will be fine.
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edward
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 02:35:50 PM »

Cold doesn't kill bees if a normal size hive has food they will survive,

Small hives may not make it through the cold but that's the bee keepers fault for not winterizing large enough hives.

mvh edward  tongue
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Finski
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2012, 02:40:36 PM »

Cold doesn't kill bees if a normal size hive has food they will survive,

Small hives may not make it through the cold but that's the bee keepers fault for not winterizing large enough hives.

mvh edward  tongue

Yes but you may arrange that boath are in condition, ventilation and insulation.
That is not a dilemma situation where yuou choose the smallest trouble.

Beehives  die for cold. That is 150% sure.


like you say,  that's the bee keepers fault

moisture or cold do not kill hives but bekeepers do...

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AllenF
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2012, 03:40:58 PM »

Down here I run open screen year round.    Smiley
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Finski
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2012, 03:44:47 PM »

Down here I run open screen year round.    Smiley

Yeah. Sure. Have you ever seen a snow rain.

You have there 21C now. We have snow cover in North Finland.

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BlueBee
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« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 04:07:04 PM »

Screened bottom or not?  Do you keep your basement windows open all winter?  Would it make sense to leave them open to “ventilate” your house?  

To me, leaving big holes in a house or a beehive defeats the purpose of insulation and winter protection.  My poly hives have NO big holes anywhere in them during the winter; just a relatively small entrance.  If the bees knew how to open and close doors, I wouldn’t even have the entrance hole Smiley
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Nyleve
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« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2012, 04:25:46 PM »

Like I said, there's a slide-in drawer so it's not open open. I wouldn't leave them completely open for the winter - just wondered if there's a real difference in a screened bottom board that's been closed up vs. a regular solid board.

On a slightly different note, I just came back from looking at the hive and they are bringing in a TON of pollen! It's nearly the end of October in Ontario - I thought that was over. I think they're getting it from the late asters. Amazing, really. Quite a few wasps around the hive too, but the bees are keeping them out so it's ok.
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Finski
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« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2012, 04:36:50 PM »

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North Amecia is quite a big to "share" experiences, like bottom open.
It sounds me to "pour" experiences to anothers shoulder.
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edward
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« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2012, 05:44:06 PM »

Yeah but you guys ventilate your hives upwards, we ventilate ours from the bottom.

Both work as long as you choose one and don't mix them , if you do you'll bee in trouble  Sad

The main thing is the moisture has to bee able to escape the hive so it doesn't freeze inside the hive and block the air flow.

mvh edward  tongue
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Finski
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« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2012, 11:16:22 PM »

Yeah but you guys ventilate your hives upwards, we ventilate ours from the bottom.

Both work as long as you choose one and don't mix them , if you do you'll bee in trouble  Sad



I have seen on forums so many mixtures that I cannot understand them my self either.
But life teaches if palls not.

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Finski
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« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2012, 12:25:30 AM »

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A Finnish professional uses now "warm bottoms". They are thick polystyrene and the cluster may stay against the bottom without loosing energy/stores through the bottom.

He has over 1000 hives.

bees wintering in finland

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