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Author Topic: Bluebees Modified Bottom Board vs SHB  (Read 1015 times)
gman
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« on: January 06, 2014, 07:50:01 AM »

Is the Australian-made "Bluebees Brood Box Bottom Board" the silver bullet to rid our hives of small hive beetle (SHB) ?

An unattributed  Article in the October 2013 edition of The Australasian Beekeeper (ABK) makes the claim that when the Bluebees bottom board is used "SHB can no longer successfully breed in this dry and clean environment. The SHB will relocate to a more suitable breeding environment, leaving the beehive with optimal ventilation and beetle free".

A letter to the Editor in the January 2014 of the ABK written by the seller of the Bluebees board includes the statement that "the Bluebees Boards work very well to control and keep the hive free of another recent interloping pest called the small hive beetle (SHB)".

Does it work?  Is it proven?  Why is SHB remaining a problem when there is apparently a simple cure?  Can I install Bluebees boards and have my SHB abandon my hives and "relocate" to someone else's hives?
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 12:01:54 PM »

Is the Australian-made "Bluebees Brood Box Bottom Board" the silver bullet to rid our hives of small hive beetle (SHB) ?

An unattributed  Article in the October 2013 edition of The Australasian Beekeeper (ABK) makes the claim that when the Bluebees bottom board is used "SHB can no longer successfully breed in this dry and clean environment. The SHB will relocate to a more suitable breeding environment, leaving the beehive with optimal ventilation and beetle free".

A letter to the Editor in the January 2014 of the ABK written by the seller of the Bluebees board includes the statement that "the Bluebees Boards work very well to control and keep the hive free of another recent interloping pest called the small hive beetle (SHB)".

Does it work?  Is it proven?  Why is SHB remaining a problem when there is apparently a simple cure?  Can I install Bluebees boards and have my SHB abandon my hives and "relocate" to someone else's hives?

Wow, was that the salesman that said that?

I use home made SBB's with oil trays on all of my hives. I used to keep oil in the trays until last year. My neighboring beekeeper also uses them and we killed SHB's by the thousands in every hive for 3 years. Last year we both went without oil because we were not getting that many beetles and it is easier to clean and check on what is going on in the hives. I think we reduced the number of beetles in the area significantly. Remember, SHB's can smell your hives from miles away. Your hives are their first choice for laying their eggs. We were still getting a few in the hives per week but the bees can handle them and when they were in the trays during inspections, we killed them. They do work because they not only kill the SHB' that fall in the oil but their larvae also ends up being killed in it also. This stops the breeding cycle.
Jim
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prestonpaul
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 05:54:29 PM »

The theory behind the bottom board is the shape of the slats allows the bees to push the SHB through it, but they can't get back in as there is nowhere for them to hang on to. I don't think it's the be all and end all of SHB control, but it make sense to me. I'm not in a SHB area but I have bought 10 of the new bottom boards to try as my hives are in a very wet climate and I have problems with condensation with a solid bottom board. They are a quality product, very heavy duty, have a nice polished finish and are made in Australia. I think in combination with a strong hive it would allow the bees to keep SHB to a manageable level. For me it is also preemptive preparation for Varoa. I'd rather be ready now than have to scramble when it gets here  shocked
Please note that I have no connection with the product or its designer. I just think it's a good idea and want to support an Aussie product  grin
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If you can keep your head when all about you are loosing theirs, you probably don't fully understand the situation!
Anybrew2
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 11:23:09 PM »

Yeah Prestonpaul, what was the cost per bottom board for them.
Cheers
Steve
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prestonpaul
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 01:36:10 AM »

Yeah Prestonpaul, what was the cost per bottom board for them.
Cheers
Steve
I think it was about $18 each, plus GST and postage they ended up just over $20. A bit exy I know, but if you talk to the inventor he has sunk a lot of money in to the design including a failed attempt at getting them made in China (the quality was crap apparently) so I don't mind paying a bit extra. Particularly since I don't have to buy a commercial quantity  grin
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If you can keep your head when all about you are loosing theirs, you probably don't fully understand the situation!
BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 03:26:27 AM »

LOL.  I didn't even know I had a modified bottom board  laugh
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Anybrew2
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 06:36:16 AM »

That sounds like a reasonable price for sure. Let us know how they go.

Cheers
Steve
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NewB
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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2014, 09:43:51 AM »

The Bluebees vented bottom board is useless. It does not work with SHB even though the inventor claims that it does. J-Pierre, the inventor, keeps quoting research performed using it at the University of Western Sydney. But if you look up the results of the study which are available on the Internet. Do a search for:

Evaluation of Anti-varroa Boards to Increase Honey Production in Australian Honeybees  RIRDC

A summary of the research states:

"...These results, while conducted over only one season, suggest that there may not be any benefit in beekeepers changing from using conventional bottom boards in the absence of Varroa mite."

Thus, the Bluebees vented bottom board does not work to keep SHB levels down as claimed by the inventor.

Also, the product needs a base for it to fit into. Where to buy this base is a complete mystery since the inventor does not have them available. He merely states that you can modify your existing base to accommodate the vented plastic insert. My experience, and the experience of every other beekeeper I have spoken with who has bought the Bluebees base, is that it is not possible to modify a wooden base to take the Bluebees plastic insert. My advice if you want to try a vented base is to look for a complete solution such as those sold by Nuplas in NSW or by a company in NZ whose name escapes me.
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kanga
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2014, 07:24:32 PM »

or by a company in NZ whose name escapes me.


The NZ made 'complete' bottom board is called the Hive Doctor Bottom Board and it comes with a tray to add oil etc. http://www.hivedoctor.com/hive_doctor.pdf

They are available in Australia ($34.50) and when sold in Australia they come with 1 black coloured tray, in NZ they use white for the Varroa Mite. They will hold 3 trays and you can purchase additional trays.

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dermot
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2014, 10:59:07 AM »

Those bases seemed to be a pretty comprehensive answer. Who stocks this gear in Aus?
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kanga
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2014, 02:09:07 PM »

Those bases seemed to be a pretty comprehensive answer. Who stocks this gear in Aus?


C.B. Palmer & Co. sell them in Queensland
http://www.honeybee.com.au/catalogue/page2.htm

If you send an email to Stu Ferguson at "hives@hivedoctor.com" he would let you know if there are any other outlets in Australia.
I see they are $20.64 NZ to purchase direct but I don't know what the freight prices would be.

Kevin
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