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Author Topic: Pros and cons of floor/entrance way designs  (Read 1355 times)
Ymbe
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« on: February 10, 2006, 05:42:21 PM »

Hi all, I'm currently making my first four hives and the time has come to look at the floors. I would like some opinions on floors where there seem to be three main design considerations:

1. Ventilation
2. Disease/pest control
3. Draft/chill prevention

The very basic floor consists of a flat piece of wood with a bee space above it, an entrance spanning the width of the hive (which can be closed off to some degree by means of an entrance block or similar). Beekeepers I have spoken to who use this floor have to provide added ventilation (usually in the form of matchsticks under a crownboard), particularly in winter, as do those using a mesh floor which has been closed off for winter.

Is this solid floor still popular, or are ventilation/pest issues now making it less common?

The alternative Varroa/ mesh floor almost seems a given, both for monitoring mites and mite population reduction.

What are the pros and cons of this regarding levels of ventilation and drafts – especially on a seasonal basis? I know of beekeepers here leave their floors open all year for instance.

In a recent post TwT directed us to this article

http://www.bbka.org.uk/freefiles/diy_open_mesh_floor-graham-white.pdf

which describes a floor with porch entrance way (< drafts, > defensive capability). This type of entrance isn’t currently common here in the UK, although I have seen it on continental hives – are there any users of this type of porched entrance way.

Any thoughts on the advantages/disadvantages of this entrance way design?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2006, 06:00:49 PM »

>Is this solid floor still popular, or are ventilation/pest issues now making it less common?

Yes and yes.  Yes it's still poular and yes Screened Bottom Boards (SBB) are making it LESS common. But it's still common.

>The alternative Varroa/ mesh floor almost seems a given, both for monitoring mites and mite population reduction.

Agreed.

>What are the pros and cons of this regarding levels of ventilation and drafts – especially on a seasonal basis? I know of beekeepers here leave their floors open all year for instance.

In my climate I have not been willing to leave it open in the winter, I put a tray in for the winter, but even with the tray in it lets air in.

>which describes a floor with porch entrance way (< drafts, > defensive capability). This type of entrance isn’t currently common here in the UK, although I have seen it on continental hives – are there any users of this type of porched entrance way.

I've used slatted racks with a SBB and they are nice.  But not necessary.

>Any thoughts on the advantages/disadvantages of this entrance way design?

Work.  Materials.  Cost.
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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
TwT
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2006, 06:34:53 PM »

I have SBB's and solid BB's, that BB in that post I have never seen before, thought I might make a couple just to try, all of my hives have a top entrance, I put it there mostly for ventalation, the bee's still prefer the bottom entrance but all my hives are on concrete blocks with 4x4's on top of the blocks. my top entrance is just a notch (3/8" high x 3" long) in the front of the intercover with the top cover raised up just enough to expose the top entrance  with a piece of 2x4.
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Andrew Tyzack
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2006, 03:55:36 AM »

I'd like to make mesh floors for my hives too - would anybody have a link to more designs? It would be useful to be able to compare and contrast...

Thanks,

Andrew
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Ymbe
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2006, 05:03:27 AM »

Michael, you mention slatted racks in your reply - could you tell/show me what these look like and what their purpose is?

>I've used slatted racks with a SBB and they are nice.  But not necessary.
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TwT
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2006, 08:04:15 AM »

Quote from: Andrew Tyzack
I'd like to make mesh floors for my hives too - would anybody have a link to more designs? It would be useful to be able to compare and contrast...

Thanks,

Andrew


http://beesource.com/plans/index.htm  ,,,,, ROBO might have some also..
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic
TwT
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Ted


« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2006, 08:06:49 AM »

Quote from: Ymbe
Michael, you mention slatted racks in your reply - could you tell/show me what these look like and what their purpose is?

>I've used slatted racks with a SBB and they are nice.  But not necessary.



Here is a slatted rack, I have made 3 so for , trying them now to see if there is a difference.



 there is a design to build one on this link ...

http://beesource.com/plans/index.htm
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic
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