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..
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!