Bottom screens

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Dakine, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Dakine

    Dakine New Member

    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Aloha.
    I'm just starting playing with bees again after a 20+ year layoff. Things have changes. Lot of new products.

    I'm building my own boxes. I see people are using screens at the bottom for mites and debris to fall thru. What size screen/wire should I use or is it necessary. I don't think we have mites here on Molokai.
    Thanks Dakine guy
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    1/8 in. hardware cloth.

    I tried them a few years and went back to solid bottoms. I don't like screen bottoms.
     

  3. Dakine

    Dakine New Member

    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Why don't you like screened bottoms/ You'd think you'd get better ventalation. Bugs like ants can get in? Do ants hurt bee hives? you'd think they would.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes, ants hurt beehives, but a solid bottom won't keep them out.

    I get too many calls from beeks who have left the mite count board in under the screen and the SHB and wax moths have made nests between them.

    I got tired of lifting lids on hives and pulling weeds where it had grown through the screen bottom and up through the frames to the inner cover.

    Solids are cheaper and easier to make and work just as well.
     
  5. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    1,126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have been using screened bottom boards for over six years successfully. Lots of people do not know they have mites.
     
  6. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,722
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I check my sticky under my sbb as often
    As I have time. I prefer. A white sticky
    Board. Instant snapshot of hive issues
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am pretty old school just like Iddee.... unless I see some compelling reason to move in some direction I just keep on the same old well worn path.

    as far as I can tell the screen bottom board represents some downside and not much upside so I have no compelling reason to give them a try.
     
  8. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Iddee;
    Is this really the screen bottom boards fault ?
    Or
    Just plain poor hive management !

    I run 6-8 screen bottoms and NEVER had weeds growing into the hive, of course they are on raised stands (as I believe they are supposed to be ) also have a layer of old roofing shingles below them.

    How many have you ran into like this ? It must have been many for you to state it as a reason to dislike.

    Just wondering.

    Murrell
     
  9. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Murrell, you can't teach old dogs new tricks,:lol: I have both but do like the screen bottomboards best. If you put old barn siding (tin) under your 8 in. concrete blocks, or put wood ashes between the blocks before you set the hives on them,you won't have weed problems.I don't have the bearding on the hives with screen bottoms in the summer like i do on the soild bottoms.The only place i have ant problems in my hives is on the inter cover.I don't think there is any doubt that screen bottomboards help keep mite counts down. Us old Mo. mules are together on this one.:thumbsup: Jack
     
  10. vermillion

    vermillion New Member

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dakine, we need screened bottom boards here with oil traps for the Small Hive Beetle. If you can get #7 hardware cloth over there, that is the best size. If not, you can use #8. BEI here is Hilo sells a screened bottom board with an oil tray already in place, its about $50, and is the same one Dadant sells. I just happend to stumble on it at BEI, maybe you can get one sent to you??

    The next best ones for here that I found were freeman's. They may even be better, design wise, I dont know. But the shipping is not too bad, particularly when you double up and get multiples. I just didnt have time to build one, but as you can see its not that difficult.

    Here is their page with hawaiian shipping information. I was just about to order some when I saw that BEI had some as well, and I could just drive there and get them. AMAZING!

    However, the BEI one has a black tray, and I had to put some freezer paper on the bottom to be able to see the beetles. This one has a white tray. Better.

    http://www.freemanbeetletrap.com/home/hawaii_orders

    People here are building their own, and freeman has PLANS!! On their website. We got some cake pans from the goodwill to use for the oil, so you can use the plans to tinker around if you want to use things you find on Molokai.

    The bees will chase the beetles down to the screen and bodyslam them. We have more beetles in our hives here then they do on the mainlane, because the climate is so good and they eat rotting mangoes and papayas and bananas when they cant find bees. So we have to be extra vigilant and the screen board/beetle trap is a must!!!

    I stapled a screen flap on the back of my board to keep bees from flying in...seems some lost bees were finding their way in there, too.

    You mentioned ants. The Big Island Beekeepers Association has a little plan for ant-proof lets. I adapted it a bit, but basically its a water trap at the base of each leg.

    They will get in. I saw a red ant carrying out a little piece of comb the first day I set up the hive. Havent seen them since.

    If you go to this link:
    http://www.bibahawaiibees.org/biba5.html

    And click on the green bar, there are plans for the ant barriers and the screened bottom board as well--no tray on that one but you can adapt it easily to fit a pan, even those cheap aluminum ones from the supermarket.

    Good luck!
     
  11. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i have both...i like the ventilation aspect because i run 1 inch entrances and the fact i can send smoke thru the bottom of the hive...i don't run sticky boards and my original reason was for ventalation...is there any data to say they are consistently better for mite controll...just asking.
     
  12. Zulu

    Zulu Member

    Messages:
    973
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    While only a newbie in second season, but I have both and have some observations

    The 2 hives with screened bottom boards seemed to get honey quicker last summer vs the solid hive ( would make sense with more ventilation)
    But the hive with solid bottom board definitely started up much quicker this spring, and also makes sense as would be easier to have more warmth inside, and I think the queen moved down quicker too.

    I have entrance reducers on all hives too.

    Screened BB are a pain to make and more expensive to buy too.
    Right now I have all hives on screened bb, and I think will winter them with solid boards.

    One other experiment , I made a 1.5" deep screened inner cover with ventilation sides on one honey hive after seeing this online, and it was succesful too, pulled 4 supers off that hive last year. So screened BB and top on one hive, but only in late May when heat was in 80-90's
     
  13. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    what size are your entrances Zulu...mine are all 1 inch now...its not real hot here yet...still mid 80s...but i have vents on some and screened bottom boards on others...i like the miller feeder i built for the nuc box...when its empty i just put a prop under the lid an its gets cleaned and serves as a good vent top...the jar feeders do too with 2 stringers and a cutoff 1x8 scrap
     
  14. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Do you have pictures of this inner cover? Or a link to where you saw it online?
     
  15. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I like screen BB's, and I leave them wide open. I don't use the mite counting/closure boards that come with them though.
     
  16. Zulu

    Zulu Member

    Messages:
    973
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I cut them myself and are about 3/8 tall and 2-2.5" wide
     
  17. Zulu

    Zulu Member

    Messages:
    973
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I do have pics, need to dig them out for you, on my iPad in bed lol

    Remind me with a pm if I forget :grin:
     
  18. Zulu

    Zulu Member

    Messages:
    973
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I agree , never leave them in unless I am measuring mite or Beatle drop.
     
  19. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Right or wrong I do insert and close my slide in bottom board when day time temps get around 50 degrees, then they are left in all winter.

    We can have weeks of 20-30 degree weather with a North-West wind whistleing thru these Ozark hills. {not this year}

    Murrell
     
  20. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I make my entrances 3/8 by 1 inch now...the way i see it is, after observing them during the spring build up, there doesn't seem to be any problems with them getting in and out in numbers. if i saw them standing in line or piled up like they were bottle necked id go bigger. so far Ive seen none of that. the 1 inch opening certainly gives them easy guard ability an with a lot less bees having to stand guard means more bees in the field, although i doubt that accounts for all that many more field workers. as for the heat an ventilation aspect of it vent tops an screen bottom boards is plenty mucho airflow an nullifies the effect of the ''air in the front door'' strategy i think. 041520121047.jpg that is one of my vent top lids on an older box with one of the 1 inch entrance. i will convert them all to this setup before I'm done. the vents in the top are all angled down 1 inch holes an screened on the inside. there are 10 vents altogether.