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Author Topic: Okay, varroa screen on, What next?  (Read 7041 times)
yoderski
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« on: May 29, 2006, 10:57:26 PM »

I was able to get our varroa screens on today with the help of my son, but realized too late that I didn't want to trap the hundred or so bees under the screen by shutting off the old hive entrance.  Thinking that later would be better, I came back to the hive in the afternoon, where I find that now instead of hundred, it is more like a thousand in that small space where the mites are beginning to drop.....So now what do I do?  go through the whole process again and this time brush them all out, or wait until they vacate the premises or will they keep using that space forever?
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Jon Y.
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2006, 11:14:01 PM »

Now it is not time to sieve mites  Tongue

If you have a lot mites, here is method how to catch 95% of mites  away  from colony with drone brood.  Spring and summer is difficult time to cure varroa because mites are mostly under brood caps.  

 http://www.xs4all.nl/~jtemp/dronemethod.html

In Autumn and in early winter you may use chemicals.

You may open drone pupae and look, hor much you see mites.
.
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SherryL
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2006, 11:32:34 PM »

Hi Jon,

I don't have a screened bottom board, so I'm not quite picturing what your talking about, but it sounds like your field bees are not making it back into the hive, but being trapped under the screen?  

I'd probably remove the screen and start over.  I suppose eventually the bees would figure it out, but if they're still under there in the morning then you might want to try it again.

sherry
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2006, 12:51:08 AM »

Put a spacer around the varroa screen so that the entrance stays open.  I keep a handful of 3/8 inch slats I cut from a 1x4 handy, you never know when they'll come in handy.  Then a few minutes of cut and fit and you're back in business/
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Finsky
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2006, 01:00:49 AM »

What do you do with that varroa screen?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2006, 07:19:21 AM »

>I was able to get our varroa screens on today with the help of my son, but realized too late that I didn't want to trap the hundred or so bees under the screen by shutting off the old hive entrance.

I'm having trouble picturing what your intentions are and what your Screened Bottom Board looks like or if it's a "guy's insert" or what.  Are these commercial Screened Bottom Boards?  I've never seen one where there wasn't an entrance.  I closed all mine off, but that was with the tray in and a top entrnace.

> Thinking that later would be better, I came back to the hive in the afternoon, where I find that now instead of hundred, it is more like a thousand in that small space where the mites are beginning to drop.....

How are they trapped here?  I don't understand why there isn't still an entrance where you always had the entrnace.  But if some are confused and are under the screen, you can put the tray in.  If they are trapped between the tray and the screen you can remove the tray.

>So now what do I do? go through the whole process again and this time brush them all out, or wait until they vacate the premises or will they keep using that space forever?

They shouldn't be in that space.  You should still have an entrance where there was always an entrance.  If you have that there should be no significant nubmer of bees on the bottom.  If there are put a tray in.  If you don't have a tray, make one out of cardboard.

Does this set on top of the old bottom board?  Does it make the entrance on the opposite side?  If it does then you need to turn the bottom baord 180 degrees so the new entrance faces the same direction as the old entrance.  With some screens this means that the old bottom board is facint the opposite direction with the intent that you can slip a sticky board under the screen.

If you're trying to move to a top entrance, I would not do that at the same time as converting to a SBB.  I'd close the regular bottom board off first and when they are using the top entrance, then put the SBB on.
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yoderski
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2006, 08:33:09 AM »

I probably didn't explain myself very much.  I bought the screened  board from  Betterbee, and when you put in on top of the bottom board, you have a new entrance on top of the screen.  However, there is the opening where the tray is supposed to go that I left in the front of the hive.  I guess the problem would be solved if I turned the whole screen around and had the opening in the back like they recommended.  It doesn't seem to be a good idea to have a lot of bees in the area where the mites are dropping down, so maybe I will just to switch it around.  Finsky, I just got these hives this spring, so I am trying to put a few things in place to help with mites.  I do have the drone frame in each hive which I replace every month, and so far have not noticed a lot of mites.  I will figure something out.  Thanks for your help!
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Jon Y.
Atmore, AL
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2006, 12:08:26 PM »

yoderski,

If I am understanding you correctly, you left your old bottom board in place and put the screened bottom board on top of it.  You now have two entrances but only one goes into the hive.  The bottom entrance just goes into the space between the bottom boards.  Correct?

The screened bottom board is designed to be your ONLY bottom board.  Take the old bottom board away.  The screened bottom board should be open to the ground below.  The mites fall through the screen and all the way to the ground.  They cannot climb back up the 12 to 18 inches to the hive and then they die.  The only entrance is above the screened bottom board.  The old bottom board is no longer used.

Let me know if this is not the case.

Fuzzybeekeeper
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yoderski
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2006, 05:48:27 PM »

You are right, I left the old bottom board in place.  But I thought on the pictures they showed, that was where the tray to monitor the mite fall was placed....Or am i wrong on that?
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Jon Y.
Atmore, AL
SherryL
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2006, 06:17:10 PM »

Jon, maybe if you turned the old bottom board around, so you could slide a tray in from the back?  I think you'd still maybe want to run a piece of trim or something to block the opening, but you can easily work it any time if it's at the back of the hive and not the front.

Did your bees find their way back in by morning?

sherry
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2006, 01:24:45 AM »

I looked in my betterbee catalog.  It has the notation--reversed for illustration purposes.  So the bottom board has to be reversed in order for the systemn to work properly.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2006, 07:11:05 AM »

However you have to do it for the insert that you have, you need the opening to the hive facing the same direction as before you put the insert on.  For many of the inserts that means you turn the bottom board 180 degrees.  This was designed so you could slip a sticky board in from the back.

Personally I would buy a SBB with a tray.  The main purpose of a SBB, in my opinion, is ventilation and as an insert you can't open it wide open in the heat.  I don't think it makes much difference on the Varroa mites, as far as getting rid of them, but it provides an easy method to monitor them.
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yoderski
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2006, 07:59:33 PM »

I got the bottom boards turned around, and that seems to work fine.  They don't have the tendency to cluster at the old "deadend" entrance because it is behind the hive.  Eventually, I will put a tray in to monitor the mite burden, but so far, everything seems to be going fine.
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Jon Y.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2006, 10:03:47 PM »

A simple tray or sticky board is Aluminum foil with Crisco on it.
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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2006, 12:07:00 AM »

Quote from: yoderski
I got the bottom boards turned around, and that seems to work fine.  They don't have the tendency to cluster at the old "deadend" entrance because it is behind the hive.  Eventually, I will put a tray in to monitor the mite burden, but so far, everything seems to be going fine.


dang if I only read this post today I could have help also, my SBB's are from betterbee and you just have to spin the old BB toward the back and place the SBB on it towards the front, tray slides into the back so you cab monitor the hive without working from the front but seems like with your help you got it straight, when I put mine own to monitor it lasted  only one day, the next day I went out and removed the BB's from under the SBB's and set the hive done and all they have has since then was just SBB's , never monitored 1 time use the BB's for swarms and removal hives...
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« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2006, 12:54:48 PM »

Can you use a SBB w/ a slatted botton too? If so, should you? and Does SBB go on top of the slatted board?
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« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2006, 05:57:50 PM »

Why not, I do.  
The bottom board always goes on the bottom, then the slatted rack, then the brood boxes. and then the second slatted rack (instead of a queen excluder) and then the supers.  With ventilated tops I call it my DuBray (From Bray) Progressive Beehive System.  
I experience a minimum of swarming if the queens are kept up--often 2 years without a swarm.  A Large brood box (4 mediums aka unlimited) with room to expand within the hive (the slatted racks).
Bee seem to like a ventilated hive that allows them to move large volumes of air through it in one direction for evaporaton and airconditioning.  
Being on an Island I'm rather restricted on how much range my bees have as well as availability or resources but I can still get 4-5 medium supers off of a hive.
Let's see 5X35 lbs = 205 lbs of honey, If I was able to cross the bridge and take my bees out into the Skagit flats (river delta) where a lot of crops are grown I'd probably get more, but I'm not greedy.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2006, 02:25:59 PM »

Thanx for input.  The order should be bottom board, slotted rack, then screened bottom brd?
 You then use a slotted rack between brood and supers for ventilation. Would a shim do the same thing?
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cphilip
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« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2006, 03:12:19 PM »

I am not sure I understand SBB's either. I ordered one but don't have it in front of me to see what you guys are talking about

I was under the impression it was used INSTEAD of a Solid bottom board.

But I also assumed there was some way to close it up in winter.


If you order an IPM Screened Bottom board and put it on a Hive stand. is that  going to work to some extent?  Or together or do you also need a Solid bottom board at some point later on?

I have no experience with SBB's. Just have Solid bottom board on the current hive.

this is the one I am going to be using.... plus a Hive stand under this...

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kensfarm
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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2006, 05:05:34 PM »

Quote from: cphilip
If you order an IPM Screened Bottom board and put it on a Hive stand. is that  going to work to some extent?  Or together or do you also need a Solid bottom board at some point later on?


That's how I have mine set up..  SBB sitting on the Cypress Hive stand.

I wonder if you did have the solid BB under the SBB.. would the mites be able to climb back up into the hive then?
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yoderski
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« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2006, 05:52:51 PM »

I currently after all my trouble have tuned the bottom board around and have the SBB on top of that and then the hive body.  As far as I can tell, that is the way Betterbee suggests putting it, although some in the forum have a SBB with no bottoms.....In the south here, that should be cooler for the bees, that is for sure.   I am not quite brave enough for that, although I will eventually probably switch to that.  Philip, the picture you have is what I have when I say SBB.
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Jon Y.
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« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2006, 06:36:34 PM »

This is the order I have my hives in (I make all my own equipment by the way):

First is the hive stand, then comes the screened bottom board (I made mine with a slot below the screen to slide in a solid board to close them up in winter. You can also use the solid slide in board with a sticky sheet or vasoline to do a mite drop count. My solid slide in board stays out all summer.) The screened bottom board pictured above does not have a slot for the solid slide in board by the way. I do not use slatted racks, I find them to be redundant with the screened bottom board (not all will agree with me). Next comes the brood nest. I use all medium boxes (3 mediums in leau of 2 deeps here in the northeast). This allows me interchangability in all my equipment. If I need to borrow a frame of brood from a strong hive to bolster a weak hive, everything is in medium boxes. If I need to steal a frame of honey to feed a starving colony, everything is in medium boxes. Pull it out of one, put it in another! Mediums are by far easier to lift by the way! Next comes the honey supers. As stated before, all mediums. Then inner cover, popsicle sticks for upper ventilation, then outter cover. I do use an Imire shim from time to time over the brood nest when introducing a new queen or feeding pollen patties. I hope this helps.  Cheesy
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fuzzybeekeeper
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« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2006, 06:39:21 PM »

Some SBB come with a tray or a place (slots, tracks) to slide a tray under the screen.  Mine do not.  I have my SBB open to the ground on cinder blocks.  I wish I had the kind that you could slide a tray under.

I have ordered some "test trays" from The Bee Works in Canada.  They should be here this week.  Here is the link:

http://www.beeworks.com/uscatalog/details/testray.asp

They are designed to slide in the front of the hive and stay 24 hours and then pull out and check.  At $5.15 each, I ordered 5 so I can do half of my hives at once.  I'll let you know how they turn out.

I had never thought of turning the original bottom board backwards and puting a tray there but that would work.  The problem is that it sort of defeats the ventilation advantage of the SBB, especially here in Texas.  And I'm not sure the mites wouldn't be able to crawl back up the sides and through the screen to get on the bees again.

Fuzzybeekeeper
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cphilip
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« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2006, 08:11:49 PM »

I think what I might do is, before I install this hive's SBB, cut myself a filler board for winter. So I can be prepared to close it up in the winter. I don't think it has a slot so I will have to fit it fairly close to the inside dimentions. I'll know more once it gets here.


You would think that any SBB would have a slot and a simple sheet to slide into it. Like a peice of Aluminum or something. Would be better to have that option.
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« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2006, 10:08:18 PM »

yoderski,
 i would definitely remove the solid bottom board and use only the screened bottom board with it open and not the kind with sticky paper under it. The hive beetles are so bad in our area and can take over a hive so quickly, the SBB needs to be there and open. I have worked with several of the commercial beekeepers in the area and have seen what the hive beetle can do in a very short time. You don't even need to close it in the winter.

On another note, I have seen that hives with SBBs build up a lot faster than hives without them. Put your hives in the full sun where they get sun all day (no shade at all if possible) and use SBBs and you will have little SHB problems...
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cphilip
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« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2006, 01:39:02 PM »

Thats actualy about what Brushy Mountains description advises if you got to thier printed catalog.

However the printed catalog says they come with a Corregated bottom sheet. And this is described as plastic. For application of sticky to trap mites.

Interesting... so no problems with cold weather on these as far up as I am? It do get cold here. In the teens and even single digits some times.
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« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2006, 11:11:05 PM »

For you Cphillip, I would close it during winter if thats what others around you are doing. Our winters rarely get under 30 degrees
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cphilip
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« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2006, 11:24:48 PM »

I'll have to ask around.

I do think it wise to prepare a closure board to insert before I put the hive into operation. Just in case. I am still building this hive as we speak. Waiting on some of it. I installed a pedistal for it today as a matter of fact.
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« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2006, 10:52:01 AM »

I know some folks even up here in the northeast who leave their sbb open all winter. Some close it to a crack to continue to get some ventilation benefits. It's not the cold that kills bees, it's moisture. There are guys in my club who provide bees for apitherapy, and open their hives with no problem all winter long! Keep in mind we're not talking a full inspection here, just open the top, vacuum out 50 or so bees then close up again. Here are a set of plans for a screened bottom board with a slide in tray! Cheesy

http://www.beesource.com/plans/ipmbottom.htm
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