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Author Topic: Deep Screened Bottom Board  (Read 7883 times)
Robo
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« on: May 02, 2004, 08:48:38 PM »

I guess I get the ball rolling in THE LAB since I'm thinking this will be be my new favorite spot.

Here is what I call a deep sceen bottom board (DSBB).  It is one of my latest experiments.  The main inspiration for it was driven by discussions of feral colonies being more resistant to mites possible because of the open space below the comb and entrance.  Even though a traditional screen bottom board allows for mites to fall through,  there is still a certain amount of area covered by the screen that can catch the mites.  There was also an interesting article in Bee Culture (mar2004) on bottomless beekeeping that provided some inspiration as well.

Some of the things I wanted in the design are:

1.  Large alighting board for easier access for heavily loaded bees.
2.  Access to combs directly from the alighting board (no climbing the sides of the supers to get to the comb)
3.  Easily measure mite drop rate.
4.  Easily seal off hive for oxalic acid vaporization
5.  Ventilation and more ventilation
6.  Restrict access of rodents, while still allowing debris to fall through (bees won't be able to remove debris that falls below the entrance.)
7.  Accept entrance pollen trap
8.  Box joints for Al  (just kidding Cheesy )

Unknows but hoping;

1. In order for dead bees and debris to fall through the screen, I had to use bigger openings than the normal screened bottom boards.  Bees CAN go through the bottom screen.  The hope is that the bees will find the entrance more convenient.
2. I'm hoping the bees will not build comb under the bottom of the frames and below the entrance.  If they do, I will have to try using a piece of flourecent light diffuser to prevent it.  This has proved effective in top body hives to limit how low the bees build comb.

I did build a prototype and have it under a hive right now.  It is to early to tell yet because they are still building up.  I did however make changes to the design based on some of my experience to date..  Here is my latest concept.



I have no idea if this will work, but I am an experimenter by nature and if nothing else,  I'll learn more of 'what not to do' Smiley
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 08:08:31 AM by Robo » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2004, 08:35:53 AM »

cheesy  cheesy  cheesy  (8. Box joints for Al, Well I am supplying my self with recipts to send to Home depot (the local Home Depot has better quailty 1 x 12's though)  to show them my boycott isn't just talk. I have built three 9 5/8 hive bodies that as a houseing inspector I won't let any of my girls to move into since the corners are to drafty. What I am goint to do with them is putty the corners up and use them as surrounds for miller type feeders or inverted ice cream bucket types.
The inverted Ice cream bucket feeders are yummy and easy to build?
 Cheesy Al
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BigRog
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2004, 03:17:07 PM »

Nice job

What did you use to render the drawing?
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SeanChan
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2004, 08:34:53 PM »

This is new to me and it sounds interesting. I would appreciate more info if you feel it can mean better bee keeping. Sure find your new experiment on DSBB inovative. Waiting for your results.

Thanks. Cheesy
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Sean.
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2004, 08:48:29 PM »

BigRog,

I use Pro/Desktop Express. Unfortunately they no longer offer a free version.

Sean,
 
I'll keep you posted on how it works out...
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mark
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2004, 04:48:35 PM »

i agree with your thoughts on the screened bottom board but i am curious why you built it so deep.     made one for my hive but used a  standard bottom board design only with an 1 1/2" strip of wood floor along the back and about 3" across the front . the rest of the floor is 1/4" hardware cloth which some bees use as an entrance.
   i think this type will serve all the points we both agree on with little chance of exceess comb.
   am i missing something?
mark
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Robo
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2004, 07:13:57 PM »

The reason I went deeper than the standard bottom board was to emulate the the space below the combs in a feral hive.  I didn't want any ledge or hardware cloth to catch the mites or for the bees to walk across.  I realize that the screen does not provide much surface area for the mites to land on,  but what about the bees that are walking across it.  They provide a place for the mites to land. Just image your hive being so busy that the screen is completely covered by bees moving in and out of the hive.  In that case, no mites will fall thru.  I know this is an exaggeration, but it make the concept understandable.

With the deeper design and the alighting board angle up to the frames, the bees won't be walking under the frames and act as a landing for the falling mites.  I also went deep the hopefully persuade the bees to use the entrance and not the hardware cloth as an entrance/exit.

This is all just ideas on my part, but that's what is cool about beekeeping, plenty of opportunity to test out thoughts and hypothesis.

Will it make a difference? Who knows.If it does, will it be drastically better than yours, probably not.
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mark
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2004, 10:21:20 PM »

ok now i got you.  i think though that wild hives given the room are continually building lower with the comb bridged together to strenthen aren't they? you may wind up scraping the bottom of your frames. please let us know. we ARE on the same track though.  most of the 3" of front i mentioned is outside the box as landing platform. i considered the back piece minimum to strengthen the whole board ( i used cedar...softer than other pines) and give good support to the screen. the only reason i didn't go bottomless was 'cause of the critters 'round here.  

regards
mark
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Lupus
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2004, 10:30:57 PM »

Hi again Robo,

The large Beekeepers in this area who have added 1/4 inch screens on their pallet /bottom boards report: robing has not been a problem and a 2o+ % increase in brood production.

I wonder if crawling through 1/4 inch mesh on a regular basis would rub some mites off? I also wonder if it will damage delicate wings though.

That bottom looks like it was built from a medium depth super? Since mediums are all I use these days that may work for me. I am anxious to hear what you find.
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mark
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2004, 10:42:36 PM »

don't know about knocking mites off but it will knock pollen off. that's another reason i say if ya can't get 1/8" hw cloth double up on the 1/4" & offset to make 1/8".
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2004, 12:54:40 PM »

Robo.. somewhere, I read you were working on a foundation mill?  I'm guessing it would be a small cell set of rollers?  How is that coming along?  I'm interested in small cell foundation, as I'm sure you are.  I just don't think the oxalic acid, fgmo, or apistan are the long term answers.
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2004, 05:11:49 AM »

Robo,

now that 4 months have passed; how did the DSBB work?  Was it as good as expected?  Looking forward to hear about your results!

eivindm
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Robo
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« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2004, 08:30:46 AM »

Well, first of all with a sample size of one,  I didn't expect to be able to come up with to many pros, but more to identify any major cons.

The hive did have tremendous amount of brood and is the strongest hive I have,  but I can't say it was because of the bottom board.

I ended up removing the screen from the bottom because of debris build up.  I had originally used #8 to prevent the bees from existing out the bottom.  I had thought about going to 1/4" so the debris could easily fall thru, but decided to try without any.  The hive is on the barn roof, so no worry of mice.

I had hoped that they would find the entrance more convenient than coming out the bottom, but they don't.  Depending on what is in bloom, and the direction, they come out of all 4 sides.  Although this seems troublesome at first, it really isn't.  When I work on it, I just stand to the side with the least activity and have not had any problem.

They did not draw any comb off the bottom of the frames like I had worried about.  In fact, they did not use the bottom 3rd of the frames for anything, except for travel.  I always provide plenty of space to prevent swarming, so they weren't crowded into using it either.

I will probably leave it on this hive, but am not ready to go build a bunch more for my other hives.  Yet Cool
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2004, 10:58:51 PM »

What you found was interesting though. Especially what you said about them not really using the bottom part of the frames. So are they not using anything below the entrance? That's the picture I get. With this experiment, it gives us more insite into behavior.

You know me Rob, I love experiments. I haven't been able to check into how my hives are doing with the changes I made with the screened bottom boards. My husband looked in the hive, and from what he told me, I think everyone was right about one thing - I have too much air flow, too much ventilation. I need to close up the bottom with boards. Not that this will close off the screen, but just keeping the air from flowing underneath. Most stands are on the ground, and so with a screened bottom board there's still now "flow" of air. Mine are 18 inches off the ground, and that gives quite a bit of air flow. Boarding the very underside will fix that.

Beth
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Robo
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« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2004, 10:52:16 AM »

The entrance is below the comb.  The alighting board leads right to the bottom of the first frame.   I don't believe it has anything to do with the entrance location, but more the size of the entrance.  I have one hive that came from the top of a double screen board split, and they still use the upper entrance (which is above all the combs) about 98% of the time compared to the bottom entrance.

With the whole bottom of the hive open,  there is a lot more area to guard, so perhaps they use the bottom 1/3 of the combs as a buffer to defend.
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« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2004, 01:00:03 PM »

OH.....ok. That makes sense too.

Beth Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2004, 03:20:32 AM »

I wouldn't want to use 1/4 inch mesh on the bottoms because of the wasp problem. I have them round my hives a lot, every year, and if a hive is very weak, or has a large entrance, they soon become a major problem. My answer is to use permanently reduced entrances, screen bottome, and false entrances at the back; there's a solid floor 3 inches below the SBB, and solis sides. The wasps go round the back, and very few find their way in. 1/4 inch mesh on the bottoms would allow them to go straight through, and I'd be in danger of losing colonies, or at least having them significantly weakened.
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« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2012, 10:36:42 AM »

similar deep bottom board use in Germany for Segerberger polystiiren hives, plans are downloadble at http://www.laves.niedersachsen.de/download/41042/Bauplan_Materialliste_fuer_hohen_Holz-Unterboden_zur_Segeberger_Kunststoff-Magazinbeute.pdf
« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 07:39:34 PM by Robo » Logged
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