Screened bottom board?

Discussion in 'Building plans, blueprints, and finished projects' started by radarguy, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. radarguy

    radarguy New Member

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    Hello again,

    I'm progressing along nicely with my Langstroth hive build having completed three boxes, the inner cover, and the outer cover (see photos). I'm now preparing to build the bottom board. The plans I have call for a solid bottom board, but I've read in a couple of places about using a screened bottom board to improve ventilation and mite control.
    hive1_171224.jpg


    hive2_171224.jpg

    Are there any opinions on solid vs screened bottom boards? Or is the screened choice so obvious that there is no debate?

    Thanks for any responses to this question.

    Merry Christmas,

    Kevin (radarguy)
     
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  2. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Depends on where you live Kevin. could you change your profile and make a tag line with my general area or city and state? I use screened bottom boards in Texas, with sticky boards, and really like them. Others here don't. But depending on the height and style of your hive stand, and whether you have a sticky board in, and your winter weather, you might want to stick with solid.

    I have a pipe hive stand that allows a LOT of ventilation, especially since it's 18 inches off the ground to deter my local skunks. Which means an early very cold front when I didn't have sticky boards in basically wiped out one of my big hives, too much cold wind, 4 full deep frames of brood. after the freeze not enough bees to move cluster up to the food, and they starved under a full box of honey. there are good things about screened bottom boards. This year sticky boards went in early. (painted with olive oil so mites and shb get stuck)
     

  3. radarguy

    radarguy New Member

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    Gypsi,

    First, thanks for taking the time to respond. I appreciate it.

    I've updated my profile to include my home location. We're in Andover, Minnesota, where it gets pretty cold in the winter. Tomorrow, Christmas Day 2017, is expected to have a high of -1 F!

    Is a solid bottom board better in very cold winter weather?

    How do you make a sticky board? Where is it positioned? I presume it is just placed under the bottom board.

    Could/should I have a solid board in the winter, and replace it with a screened board in the warmer weather? Or would it too difficult to swap out the bottom board when the hive is occupied.

    I'm obviously a newbie to all this and I appreciate all the help I can get.

    Thanks and Merry Christmas,

    Kevin
     
  4. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    Hi Kevin, im in new york, we get some cold winters.this year the weather has been crazy, we had a few weeks of freezing weather about 2 or 3 weeks ago and now its back up to 40 or 50 degrees... I have screened bottom boards with the plastic insert that covers the bottom and has a grid on it so when I treat for mites I can get some count when they die and fall to the bottom, also the bench that the hive sits on is a solid top so he screened bottoms wouldnt make a difference, its just a single hive now, hopefully ill split this spring and I will build new hive benches with open bottoms to take advantage of ventilation in the warmer weather, but winter time tighten up the hive for the cold..
    I have to say those are craftsman quality looking hives you are building, nice job!!!
     
  5. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've heard of people successfully using screened bottom boards in the far north, but it is one of those argument points in beekeeping, if you get 10 beeks in a room you'll 5 opinions on each side all vehemently held.

    After losing my big hive, granted due to EXTREME high ventilation, I've been more careful about getting sticky boards under the hive early. With hives high and on a pipe stand, that was pretty extreme.

    I am in North Texas, and we get at least 40 days a year over 100 degrees. Since changing the bottom board of an occupied hive is very hard, I use screened with stickies and change my lids in summer
     
  6. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    what do you change on the lids? insulation or a completely different lid for summer/winter?
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I built summer lids the first time in 2012, when my nucs were coming in and I'd read about migratory covers in another forum. And they had to be just the right wood, which was about $50 a sheet, etc. So I got some half inch or 5/8 inch plywood and cut them, used 1x2 or scrap (actually I think my first one was made with floor underlayment) on front and back rim, with the width matching hive width and extending front and back to cover the thickness of my end pieces. #8 hardware cloth in a drilled 3 inch hole in the middle near the back, I set a feed jar on it and I can see what the bees ate. Rain? Yup, made rain hats to keep rain out of that 3 inch hole. Been working really well for me. I use an inner cover under them or the bees glue them on,. and the same inner cover gets flipped upside down in winter to accomodate my pollen sub fondant, then a piece of styrofoam insulation and a telescoping lid. [​IMG]
    telescoping lids. example of styrofoam board on top of nuc (not cutting it to nuc size)
     
  8. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    summer feeder lids, when we are in drought there are no rain hats, allowing heat to escape in the screening around the jar lid.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG] inside the summer feeder lid:


    (my grandson helped paint this one when he was about 7.)
     
  10. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    oh ok..I feed with the inhive feeders, the ones that take the place of 2 frames, I have had good luck with them ...I have the telescoping covers with the metal ontop and the standard inner cover, what I do for winter feeding is just put an empty honey super over the top box with frames and then I lay in the fondant on top of the frames or have a few of the frame feeders in the warmer weather.
     
  11. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    with in hive, I can't at a glance see if the bees need fed before I go to work, so I donated most of mine to bee club.
     
  12. Sour Kraut

    Sour Kraut Member

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    NICE work !!!
     
  13. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Those are some very nice finger joints on your boxes Kevin. (you are so much braver than I am)
     
  14. radarguy

    radarguy New Member

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    Those are actually dovetail joints. I do a lot of woodworking and make tons of drawers that are all made with hand-cut dovetails. I can knock a bunch of dovetails out in no time at all, plus I have all the right tools and equipment. I only made finger joints once and they didn't come out so well so I stick with dovetails. I cut them by eyeball, no jigs or templates or anything; just a dovetail saw, a mallet & chisel, and a marking gauge.

    Thanks for the compliment though.

    Kevin
     
  15. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    wow you cut by eye..how do you get such tight joints? do you trace from one board to the other as a guide?
     
  16. radarguy

    radarguy New Member

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    Dovetail joints are made up of 'pins' and 'tails.' The pins and tails fit into each other and provide that 'locked' joint that give the joint strength and stability. I cut the pins first and chisel out the waste (where the tails will go.) I trace the pins onto the other board then make cuts for the tails. I chisel out the waste around the tails and then trim each tail with a chisel to make a snug fit to the pins. It's not hard, just takes some practice.

    If you are interested in making your own dovetail joints, check out this video by Frank Klaus called, "How to Dovetail a Drawer." He's a master cabinetmaker and an excellent teacher.

    https://www.amazon.com/Dovetail-Dra..._title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1516357771&sr=8-2
     
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  17. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    I have seen the dove tail jigs that you use a router to cut them, unfortunately I dont have the patience to hand cut and fit like you do..lol
    one day ill make my own, but I think ill use rabbet joints and cut them on a table saw or radial arm and glue and nail them..they wont be any way close to your craftsmanship but will be functional..