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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
has anyone used stainless steel screen to make up bottom boards? What was your source and price?

I have made up a number of them using 28 gauge #8 galvanized screening but I dont think it will last long in the dank atmosphere under a hive.
 

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Have you thought of using nylon/plastic screening? I'm sure it's cheaper than stainless and probably easier to work with too. :|
 

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Screen bottoms are not for ventilation ONLY. They need to be 1/8 mesh. Smaller and they will not let the pest and trash through. Larger and they will not keep the wasp, YJs and other vermin out. Can you get it in anything other than galvanized?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The screen should be mouse proof too. I had a preliminary price over 200$ for a 4 x 8 ft. sheet of stainless steel. The galvanized 28 gua. that is light enough to cut with kitchen shears is about 90$ for a 50 ft roll 36 in wide.
 

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I can make a wooden solid bottom for free, with scrap material. I no longer use screen bottoms. I tried them, but didn't like them.
 

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and Iddee snip:
Smaller and they will not let the pest and trash through.

tecumseh:
screen wire will invariable be propolized to where in effect you have a solid bottom board. so neither too small nor too large of screen is going to work properly. to my way of thinking screened bottom boards are quite a bit like cluster frames (not that anyone here might remember those little jewels).
 

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I don't use cluster frames, how ever I have cluster boards built into my bottom screen boards, during the summer these are packed with bees.



I am familiar with 2 people running over a 100 hives, 1 has 300, they both use # 8 galvanized cloth for at least 6 or more years, they say they have no signs of rust,

Their hive bottoms are 8-10 or so inches off the ground.

What type of wire do the commercial people use on their screened bottom pallets ?? Heard of them but never seen any.

Murrell
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It is good to hear the 6 plus years for galv. screen. Perhaps the propolis is rustproofing for it. That roll of #8 mesh screen is handy for a lot of different things around the hive. For certain a stainless screened bottom board is more expensive than plain wood.

We have most hives on screened bottom and have seen no bearding at all on the outside of hives but our max temperature was about 90F with afternoon shading. Much different conditions than many of you have.
 

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There's the difference. You look at bearding as a problem. I look at it as an asset. If my hives aren't bearding, I worry that there may be something wrong. I like to see a decent beard on each hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Iddee said:
There's the difference. You look at bearding as a problem. I look at it as an asset. If my hives aren't bearding, I worry that there may be something wrong. I like to see a decent beard on each hive.
Maybe the difference in our temperature, or just that our bees are more industrious - instead of hanging around chatting they are out gathering food - or their mother has them doing chores inside! :mrgreen:

I think we have had the hives quite full of bees and threatening to swarm but no bearding. Would breed make a difference? Suppposedly ours are a fairly high percentage Carni background.
 

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I have not had bees propolize the screens and the oldest is five years. If you can exclude or reduce light they will not try to seal it. Bees will not fly under the screen and hang outside forever either if the edges are sealed.
 

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I have some sbb's that are over 5 yrs. old with no rust on them.I have a board that i can slide under the hives(with sbb's) in the open for protection from the north wind. Some club members had trouble with ***** pushing the bottoms out because they had there hives to high off the ground. With the prolonged over 100 deg. temp. this summer i think they were a big help to the girls. :thumbsup: Jack
 

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murrell writes:
I don't use cluster frames, how ever I have cluster boards built into my bottom screen boards, during the summer these are packed with bees.

tecumseh:
I have never used cluster board either although I think these might be useful for a lot of folks concerned with bearding bees. beyond providing a clustering area they are suppose to reduce the light at the very bottom of the frames (just above the cluster boards) which encourages the queen to lay right up to the bottom of the frame. it seems like the slats were suppose to go in a particular direction (relative to the frames above the slats)??? some folks seem to have thought that cluster boards would also reduce swarming.
 

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Not to incite a big debate, but my curiosity has been sparked. Why do you not like the screened bottoms? We haven't had any trouble with them, but the solid bottoms we have stopped using....for some reason we just seem to have better luck with the screened bottoms year round.
 

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I don't like them because I got tired of having grass growing up through the deep, the super, and against the inner cover.
 

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a mama beek snip..
Not to incite a big debate, but my curiosity has been sparked. Why do you not like the screened bottoms?

tecumseh:
they are just another variable to consider when you are trying to raise varroa resistant bees. so any comparison of varroa resistance between bees kept with solid bottom boards vs screen bottom boards is by definition comparing apples to oranges.

improperly made they become magnets for the shb or become totally propolized and thus become totally ineffective (at least for the purpose for which they were designed).
 

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Thanks Tec, I only recently have heard a few people say that they had stopped using them but they never said why...and I'm by nature terribly curious.
 
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