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Author Topic: Is this set up right? Bees arrive in the morning!  (Read 843 times)
KatBee
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Location: Vancouver Island,BC


« on: May 12, 2013, 12:05:22 AM »

We've worked around bees before, but they were always owned by someone else- we're finally striking out and putting together our first hive- a 5 frame nuc is getting delivered tomorrow, and I have a couple of questions- I'd be so appreciative for some guidance that I've got (or don't have!) everything we need! My googling isn't panning out and our bees come in the morning, so I'm starting to worry..

Two Questions:

1) We have a screened bottom board- I anticipate the ridiculousness of this question, but I have to ask anyway: I don't put a "proper" bottom board under it, do I? I've seen some with grooves on the bottom of them for sheets to pull out to monitor mites and clean them out- this one came with a sheet, but no grooves- I assume it just sits under it? Do I need to have the sheet in all the time or is it just for monitoring? What about in the winter? Do I need to own a solid bottom board as well and shift the hive onto it when it's no longer summer time? I've never been around screened bottom boards, but it seems like a good idea so we wanted to give it a go. I actually panicked and bought a wooden bottom board tonight, but I'd prefer to use the screened one- if someone can confirm how.

& 2) The local (and only) bee keeping store here was out of inner covers. I have a telescoping cover and have read that that can get glued down without an inner cover. I have also read that fabric covers were traditional. And I have fuzzy memories of one of the hives we helped with back in the day having a cover made of an old campaign sign cut to size. Are either of these options? Also, is the hole in the center of inner covers for ventilation and vital, or is it for feeding/bee escape purposes? If I were to make one, would I just cut a hole in the middle of the fabric/campaign sign? Is there anything I need to consider here? The other option is to just make due with the telescoping cover till the store gets a resupply- but I should add that we're poor and youngish and making due is preferable to paying for things we can do without.

Oh- & one more: Do I paint the inside of the boxes? I know frames don't need painted- would the inside wood be the same?

For weather considerations, we live on Vancouver Island. So no obscene cold, but lots of moisture.

Thanks so much; I'm excited to learn from this fantastic forum!
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 12:58:42 AM by KatBee » Logged
Steel Tiger
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Location: Southern New Hampshire


« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2013, 12:57:44 AM »

 I got 2 nucs a week and 1/2 ago. I used a screened bottom board that I left open. So far, so good. The moisture is higher than I would like. I'm hoping by summer to have a new area cleared out for them with drier ground. I'll be putting something to block it next fall when it gets cool outside.
 If you don't have an inner cover, and I know that some people don't use them at all, you could just cut a piece of plywood to fit if you feel you need one.
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Joe D
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Location: Ovett, Ms


« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2013, 11:31:03 AM »

Your SBB should be fine when the weather is not to cold.  I believe that beeks up north close them in the winter.  I would say if you are like I was when I first started, I was in the hives a good bit, they didn't have time to glue top down much.  If they do just bang it upward a little, I do have a couple now that don't have inter covers.   Don't paint the inside of your hive.  As for as your sheets, you don't have to keep one under the hive, just for monitoring.  You may want to check into a local bee club, they can also bee a big help.  Good luck to you and your bees



Joe
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rober
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Location: Arnold Missouri


« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2013, 01:15:59 PM »

you only need the insert to monitor for mites. in B.C. you should be able to leave it open all year. find some other local beekeepers & see what they do. i new beekeeper on galiano island back in the 70's but screened bottom boards wer not around at that time.
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Dunkel
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Location: East KY


« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2013, 02:48:16 PM »

When I switch over into a hive I usually close the bottoms off if SBB.  But I also done it without with the results.  Not likely to leave out with brood to hold them.  Packages I usually always try to close up shop.
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Highlander
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Location: Grahamsville, NY


« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2013, 05:05:01 PM »

First off I am a new beek with my first two hives this year, so i have no clue. Having said that, I live in the Catskill Mt in NY and I use the bottom board under the screened bottom board. I had two reasons for doing so,  winds most of the time more then  10MPH and mice.  For the wind I have the hives facing south west so the wind out of the north west hits the side and does not blow up into the hive yet they seem to get plenty of ventilation.  As for the mice , in theory, they will climb into the space under the SBB and not be able to get into the hive itself and even if they build a nest it will be easy to clean out. I have seen mud wasps get confused with the setup but the girls seem to take it all in stride.  Hope you enjoy this hobby as much as I am!
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Cruachan!

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For as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.
From The Declaration of Arbroath 1320.
dfizer
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2013, 09:23:13 PM »

I believe that beeks up north close them in the winter. 
Joe

I live pretty far north - North of Albany, NY - about 2.5 hours from Canadian border - and am relatively active in our local beekeeping club.  Each year there is a lot of discussion about SBB and the winter months.  My observation is that most beekeepers here leave the sbb open, for ventilation purposes.  I believe that too much moisture from closing up the hive too tightly is far worse than having the sbb open and air moving.  I had 4 hives going into the winter - all with sbb open and all 4 hives made it through the winter just fine. 

David

 
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KatBee
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Location: Vancouver Island,BC


« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2013, 11:04:58 PM »

Interesting- thanks for the replies! The experienced beek we bought our nuc from suggested we use a solid bottom board with the SSB, so that's what we've done for now since we assumed we'd need it for the winter anyway, but now I see I have some research to do.. Gonna have to ask around and see what folks have seen to work best in these parts.

Thanks again, folks, I really appreciate it!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 08:34:57 AM »

I leave the trays in almost all the time.  Sometimes in the heat of summer I pull them out.  They don't need to be tight, just block the main part of the wind and catch most of the mites so you can monitor, if that's your desire.
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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
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