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Author Topic: When do you all cover the bottom schren or do you  (Read 798 times)

Offline Tightwad

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When do you all cover the bottom schren or do you
« on: September 18, 2013, 07:09:46 AM »
I have screen bottom and I'm thinking covering it  pretty soon?  Just wanting to see what you all are thinking ?
And when do you if you do?

Online Michael Bush

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Re: When do you all cover the bottom schren or do you
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2013, 10:23:43 AM »
As soon as the weather isn't hot, I would put it in, but at least after the first frost.
Michael Bush
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: When do you all cover the bottom schren or do you
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2013, 12:35:52 PM »
Tightwad,
I don't but I live in N FL. Then again, the oil pan covers most of the bottom except for the area under the landing board.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline trimman

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Re: When do you all cover the bottom schren or do you
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2013, 02:01:15 PM »
i also live in fl and dont cover up

Offline AllenF

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Re: When do you all cover the bottom schren or do you
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2013, 05:31:09 PM »
North Georgia, and I leave them open all year long. 

Offline MsCarol

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Re: When do you all cover the bottom schren or do you
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2013, 11:39:29 PM »
North Georgia, and I leave them open all year long. 

I was wondering that myself. This will be my first winter with bees. But past winters have said it is usually damp and chilly for the most part here in southern TN. I thought maybe open would be be best because of the condensation issues. The temps do fluctuate greatly. Usually very few days with bitter temps.....if any at all. But many days where it can go from 60°F to 20° F and back up again the next day. I figure condensation might be a bigger issue. (I have stood in a steel roofed barn when it "rained")

Offline Jim 134

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Re: When do you all cover the bottom schren or do you
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2013, 12:02:29 AM »
 I live in Southwestern New Hampshire and I do leave them open all year long.


                       

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Offline capt44

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Re: When do you all cover the bottom schren or do you
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2013, 01:22:30 AM »
I live in Central Arkansas.
When I build my screened bottom boards I cut a 1/2 inch rabbet joint so I can slide a piece of plywood or one of those politician signs in to cut down on the winter drafts.
I do keep my top vent open as well as a reduced entrance for ventilation.
Richard Vardaman (capt44)

Offline BlueBee

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Re: When do you all cover the bottom schren or do you
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2013, 01:54:46 AM »
Flip a coin Tightwad. :laugh:  

I’ve done both.  However since most of my hives are foam based and pretty well insulated, it kind of defeats the purpose of insulation to have one whole side of a structure open to the cold.  Since foam moderates heat in the summer, I also keep the screens closed in the summer anymore.  

For winter, the best configuration (compromise) I’ve found is to use a smallish top vent to vent moisture.  The idea of bottom venting just doesn't make any sense to me.  I’ve seen too many human bathrooms (moisture environment) filled with mold when a top vent is not working.

Offline trapperbob

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Re: When do you all cover the bottom schren or do you
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2013, 11:53:11 PM »
I live in Nebraska an used to close them and finally got where I haven't for the last five or six years and there seems to be no real difference they still winter over just fine. That being said I put my bees in cedar wind breaks donor much wind bothers them. I also run top and bottom entrances mostly because I never did away with the bottom ones when I started top entrances . I have no condensation issues because of the top ones and I find that helped more than any other change I made. Dry bees are usually live bees I've found.

Offline tefer2

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Re: When do you all cover the bottom schren or do you
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2013, 12:04:48 AM »
First frost here.

Offline kathyp

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Re: When do you all cover the bottom schren or do you
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2013, 01:01:13 AM »
when the nights get into the low 50's or high 40's.  i want to encourage that last bit of brood without them having to go through to many stores to keep it warm in there.  so...now.   :)
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Offline T Beek

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Re: When do you all cover the bottom schren or do you
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2013, 07:01:51 AM »
After the first 'killing' frost which occured just a few nights ago although we got up to nearly 80F yesterday.  Early on I would leave them wide open all winter and had survival rates similar to when I closed them tight, so lately I leave an inch or so open.  My bottoms sit on a frame that provides "dead air" space below the hive. 

Tried foam insulation shells last winter (a first for me) with moderate success and the bottoms closed up tight.  2 of 8 colonies succumbed to excess moisture.  This winter I'm foaming just 3 sides, leaving the front w/out foam hopefully resulting in less condensation.  We;ll see what happens  :) by Spring.
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