Screened Bottom Board Problem

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Skyhigh, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    I added a robber screen to one of my hives. Apparently, when the bees couldn't figure out how to get in immediately, some figured out how to wedge themselves into the slot in the back (even though there was a plastic board in there -- the slots for the screen and board insert are in the back of this sbb). There are a number of bees now between the plastic slide-in board and the screen. What should I do?

    Things I'm considering: 1) ignore them figuring they're only there for a couple more weeks anyway; 2) remove the plastic board and hope they figure it out or that when the confused workers die, the rest of the bees clean up the mess (if there is one); 3) replace the sbb with the regular one and deal with displaced bees and possibly comb (rather not do this as I like the sbb for checking for mites and such); or 4) something else?

    I'm assuming they can't get into the rest of the hive from there as the screen, while removable, seems pretty tight.
     
  2. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    If you remove the plastic board can the bees still get under? Why do you have a plastic board in all the time if not for mite counts? Are you running an oil tray on the plastic board? If you add an oil tray on the plastic board will it close the gap? The grocery stores have cookie sheets in many sizes. One of them must be real close to perfect, plus aluminum bends easily. The cookie sheet is to put oil in to trap Varroa and small hive beetles.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Take the plastic sheet out. Use it only when doing a mite count.
     
  4. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    This is the one I have: https://kelleybees.com/Products/Detail/?id=3336333733383335&grouped=1 [​IMG]
    When I first installed it I left it in to see what/if there was a mite problem. Almost the next day we started having winds with 25-35 mph gusts that went on for several days. When there was a break in the weather I installed the robber screen and, realizing it was there, consciously left the insert since it appeared to be blocking the bees from entering. Then... :oops: ...I forgot it was there until my son mentioned seeing the bees going in back. (Why would they go in back when all they needed to do was go up? :roll: I know, silly question.)

    Americas:
    Yes, they can still get under if I remove the board. The hive overhangs a solid base in the front and back by a couple inches. Not enough space to add a tray, however. I can place a sticky board/paper on the insert, which is what I'd thought to do. (You can see in the picture the size of the slots in the back. Narrow.)

    Iddee:
    I would just remove the board, but I'm worried about attracting scavengers or even other bees in the hive starting to go down there.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    The screen should prevent them from entering the hive if they do go down there. If not, there's something wrong with the bottom board.
     
  6. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Yeah, I'm a little confused myself.
    The screen should be keeping any bees from getting in the bottom or back of the hive. The cardboard insert is below the screen, so the slot for the insert wouldn't allow intruders in either.
    All you really need is the screen on the bottom, unless you are actually doing a mite count.
     
  7. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    Sorry if I confused everyone! They bees aren't getting into the hive, proper, from this back slot, but into the space between the screen and the insert. I'm worried that they may have built comb down in this space and been storing nectar/pollen in the last week or so and if I remove the insert now, thus removing their floor, more of the bees will start going down there using it as a super.

    LOL...Okay, I'll go out today and remove it and glare at any bee that doesn't cooperate to the fullest. (I'm becoming an experienced bee-glarer, obviously.)
     
  8. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    They won't use it as a super if that space has no access directly into the hive.
    I don't think there is enough space anyway for them to build comb and store food above the insert....unless you have it installed wrong for some reason.
     
  9. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    I pulled the board. There were a couple confused bees, but that was all on the board. If there is comb hanging from the screen, so be it. As far as leaving the board in and what was on it...almost nothing. Some pollen was about it. I didn't see any varroa! (Hurrying to knock on wood.)

    Good to know! (These little bits of info are very helpful.) Oh, and the board and screen arrived already built so it better be made right. (I just painted it and placed the hive on top.)
     
  10. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    a strip of duct tape will close up any hole for about 6 months, this will make the confused bees use the front door.
     
  11. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Could also be that when you wre in the hive a little comb got scratched and some honey might have dripped down through the bottom screen onto the plastic board insert. Foragers would have certainly then wanted to go in and get those drops of free honey. That might be why there were a few bees sneaking in there.
     
  12. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    Omie...that could very well be it. I did end up scratching the side of one of the frames. Totally forgot about that.

    G3...I love duct tape. :thumbsup: