Screen bottoms

A place for bee-ginners to ask questions and receive answers from experienced beekeepers.
Post Reply
User avatar
Pepper21
Forum Regular
Posts: 22
Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 7:38 am
Location: Southern Alberta

Screen bottoms

Unread post by Pepper21 » April 10th, 2016, 1:22 pm

Hi for anyone using screen bottoms just wondering what temp is it warm enough to leave the screens open? Or does it depend on the size of the colony because the more bees the more heat? Just thought maybe if it warm enough get a head start on any varroa mites from over and the bees might clean up and hope any mites fall thru the screen. :D

User avatar
Pepper21
Forum Regular
Posts: 22
Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 7:38 am
Location: Southern Alberta

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by Pepper21 » April 11th, 2016, 8:14 pm

Sorry for the triple posts :? .I thought my computer was having a problem but nope just me not being patient and waiting to see if the first post went up.

User avatar
Allen Dick
Site Admin
Posts: 1714
Joined: February 25th, 2003, 10:09 pm
Location: Swalwell, Alberta
Contact:

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by Allen Dick » April 11th, 2016, 10:22 pm

No problem. I deleted the duplicates.

New members are moderated for the first while and the board does not notify the moderator that a post is waiting, so sometimes it takes a while to be noticed.

Moderation is necessary to verify that each new member actually is writing about bees and not bodily enhancements or kitchen renovation.

Once we know a new registrant is not a 'bot or spammer, their posts show up immediately until such time as that person gives reason to be put back on moderation.

Maybe I should sign up another moderator or two who will check more often that I and can approve posts.

Volunteers? PM me.

No 'bots or spammers need apply.
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/Allen%27s%20Beehives.kmz
Forum owner/janitor
---
Customise your experience at Honeybeeworld Forum at your User control Panel
Change the appearance and layout with your Board Preferences
Please upload your own avatar picture at Edit Avatar. It's easy!
Return to main diary page

User avatar
Allen Dick
Site Admin
Posts: 1714
Joined: February 25th, 2003, 10:09 pm
Location: Swalwell, Alberta
Contact:

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by Allen Dick » April 11th, 2016, 10:28 pm

what temp is it warm enough to leave the screens open?
To answer the question, it depends where you are located.

As you correctly guessed, colony size is a factor. Presence or absence of shelter from wind is a factor, too.

Whether screened bottoms actually have much effect on varroa populations is subject to debate and it is not a simple question. Some places and some times in some hives, they do assist.

What is not debatable AFAIK is that screened bottoms can slow down development in most hives in an Alberta spring and be harmful to small colonies.

Note: I encourage members to fill in their profiles so that they will get more and better responses. We have members in widely varying regions. If you provide your location and other info, that can assist us in advising or in understanding what you may be observing.
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/Allen%27s%20Beehives.kmz
Forum owner/janitor
---
Customise your experience at Honeybeeworld Forum at your User control Panel
Change the appearance and layout with your Board Preferences
Please upload your own avatar picture at Edit Avatar. It's easy!
Return to main diary page

User avatar
Pepper21
Forum Regular
Posts: 22
Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 7:38 am
Location: Southern Alberta

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by Pepper21 » April 11th, 2016, 10:46 pm

No problem I just thought it was my limited computer skills. I suppose you do get some wackos
Thanks for answering my question. I guess with the temps still jumping around especially at night we will keep our screens closed.

User avatar
BadBeeKeeper
Site Admin
Posts: 114
Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 2:01 pm
Location: Penobsot County, Maine

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by BadBeeKeeper » April 12th, 2016, 11:15 pm

Here in central Maine, I swap solid bottom boards out for screens some time around May, and swap the solids back in around Sept or Oct.

User avatar
Pepper21
Forum Regular
Posts: 22
Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 7:38 am
Location: Southern Alberta

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by Pepper21 » April 15th, 2016, 9:06 pm

Good suggestions I think we will keep the screens close until we at least open the screens in our own house. Especially since it is still suppose to go down to -5C tonight.

User avatar
Hawker
Forum Regular
Posts: 12
Joined: March 19th, 2015, 10:12 am
Location: Central Alberta

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by Hawker » April 17th, 2016, 8:23 am

Not sure where your from but I live in central Alberta and don't usually remove the pull out tray below the screen untill late June. I let the bees tell me when it's time to remove them. When you start to see them cluster and hang out in front of the hive from the heat (similar to us using the deck on hot humid days) lol.
As a side note I also built special bases that sit on my hive stands (8"x8" x 4' posts buried 3' in the ground) that enables me to be able to insulate the bottom of the hive base for winter usually the end of Aug or 1st week in Sept when I pull my last honey crop and do my fall mite treatment at that time and insulate/wrap the hive body in Oct or early Nov depending on weather.

User avatar
Pepper21
Forum Regular
Posts: 22
Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 7:38 am
Location: Southern Alberta

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by Pepper21 » April 17th, 2016, 5:58 pm

Could you take a picture of those bases? Just asking because we have to make a few more for some packages coming and new ideas are always good. Right now we are putting up wind breaks for the hives. Because the past few we have had a lot of wind which the bees don't seem to like at all just like us.

User avatar
Hawker
Forum Regular
Posts: 12
Joined: March 19th, 2015, 10:12 am
Location: Central Alberta

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by Hawker » April 18th, 2016, 10:44 pm

PM me your email address or I could forward them to your cell. I've never had any luck posting pictures on this site in the past. :evil: I will try to post some tomorrow night but no promises.

User avatar
Hawker
Forum Regular
Posts: 12
Joined: March 19th, 2015, 10:12 am
Location: Central Alberta

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by Hawker » April 18th, 2016, 11:08 pm

4' post & 2x6 Base.
IMG_1075.JPG
Bottom board mount that screened bottom board sits on.(should of rotated photo sorry).
Slats hold everything in place securing bottom board slats.
IMG_1076.JPG
IMG_1077.JPG
I'll take some pictures tomorrow night with the insulation in. Havn't any on my phone right now.
Well I'll be, it worked. :D
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Hawker
Forum Regular
Posts: 12
Joined: March 19th, 2015, 10:12 am
Location: Central Alberta

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by Hawker » April 19th, 2016, 10:59 pm

Here's a picture of the insulation under the hive base and I also stuff the bottom of the hive stand inbetween the 2x6's with insulation.
IMG_1913.JPG
Unable to rotate pic upright. Fine in my gallery but downloads here sideways for some reason.
If someone can rotate it thanks.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Pepper21
Forum Regular
Posts: 22
Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 7:38 am
Location: Southern Alberta

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by Pepper21 » April 21st, 2016, 8:03 am

That looks real neat, and I think it is probably a good idea too for them to be higher off the ground like yours, otherwise they get a lot of the dampness from the ground.I like the plywood on the bottom so the grass doesn't grow up and bother them either.
If I get a chance I will take a picture of ours, had to make some screen bottoms, we only had a couple of those real nice ones with the pull out trays. That's ok because I had some time after I got stung in the face the other day and my left eye swelled shut, never swelled up before oh well. So was sort of forced :wink: to stay home and work in the shop. :)

User avatar
TWall
Forum Regular
Posts: 36
Joined: July 6th, 2012, 11:18 am
Location: Mt Vernon, OH USA

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by TWall » April 22nd, 2016, 11:32 am

I have a number of screened bottom boards. Some I close for the winter, some get left open. I have found no correlation between leaving open or closing and winter survival. I am not sure I see a correlation between mite numbers with or without either.

I am not sure I will make anymore screened bottom boards.

Tom

User avatar
BadBeeKeeper
Site Admin
Posts: 114
Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 2:01 pm
Location: Penobsot County, Maine

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by BadBeeKeeper » April 22nd, 2016, 6:14 pm

TWall wrote:I have a number of screened bottom boards. Some I close for the winter, some get left open. I have found no correlation between leaving open or closing and winter survival. I am not sure I see a correlation between mite numbers with or without either.
Screened bottoms can help you track mite counts, but they don't help much for getting rid of them.

Whether you close them in the Winter, depends on the weather in your area. I can get temperatures as low as 25 below zero, and winds up to 80mph...and I can tell you that bees exposed to a temp of +5 with a 30mph wind for less than 2 minutes tend not to survive. I don't run open screens in Winter.

User avatar
Pepper21
Forum Regular
Posts: 22
Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 7:38 am
Location: Southern Alberta

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by Pepper21 » April 23rd, 2016, 10:41 pm

Really that's interesting I thought the screen bottoms a person would notice a more positive results. This is our first year trying the screen bottoms so we will have to see if it improves our survival rates. But like you said badbeekeeper that wind is the worse thing for bees. So we are making windbreaks/ shelters for our hives. For the summer they will just have 3 walls and then about 50ft in front of them them is some round bales. Then in the winter we are going to put a roof and door. Not sure how successful it will all be but we will give it a try.

User avatar
BadBeeKeeper
Site Admin
Posts: 114
Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 2:01 pm
Location: Penobsot County, Maine

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by BadBeeKeeper » April 25th, 2016, 7:26 am

Pepper21 wrote:Really that's interesting I thought the screen bottoms a person would notice a more positive results. This is our first year trying the screen bottoms so we will have to see if it improves our survival rates.
You mean results with mite control? No, somebody somewhere once had the idea that it would do that, but the fact is that relatively few mites fall off the bees so as a means of 'control' it is negligible. However, observation of how many mites *do* fall off can give you a [rough] read on the level of infestation, and observing the drop after treatment has been applied can give you an idea of the effectiveness of the chosen treatment.

Some people feel that, in warm(er) climates, the improved ventilation is helpful during the Summer. I'm not altogether convinced of how helpful it is in that regard, but it doesn't seem to hurt and since it is useful to monitor mite load, I use them. I've also noticed that, particularly in Winter, that solid bottoms can get pretty skanky with debris and mold, so I feel that if I'm going to have to pull the hive apart to clean *that* up I might as well put the screen in. I suppose that if I were to put a lot of time and effort into it, I could devise and conduct a scientific experiment that *might* give some indication of efficacy but I lack the motivation to do so- with variations in weather, temperature and other factors, such an experiment would probably require several years of testing to produce results that may or may not be meaningful, and a great deal of record-keeping and data analysis would be required.

Frankly,I have other things I'd rather be doing instead of that, I don't think that the difference would be world-shattering, and I find them easier to use for mite observation than doing alcohol/ether washes or sugar rolls, so I'm just going to use them.

But like you said badbeekeeper that wind is the worse thing for bees. So we are making windbreaks/ shelters for our hives. For the summer they will just have 3 walls and then about 50ft in front of them them is some round bales. Then in the winter we are going to put a roof and door. Not sure how successful it will all be but we will give it a try.
Yeah, wind and cold can be a killer. I had one Winter where my job and the weather were such that I didn't get to do things until it was cold and windy and very late at night. Some hives that were opened for only a few seconds survived, but others that had to be open longer didn't make it. It was a risk,but there was a possibility that they would have been killed anyway if I didn't do what was needed.

I know that there is one guy up there in Canada that actually moves all of his hives into a temperature-controlled shed for the Winter.

User avatar
Pepper21
Forum Regular
Posts: 22
Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 7:38 am
Location: Southern Alberta

Re: Screen bottoms

Unread post by Pepper21 » April 25th, 2016, 8:52 am

Well we see what happens with the screen bottoms for ours this year if it's a success then woohoo. I think a person should only do that experiment if given a government grant :lol: Right now though we have 6inches of snow and still snowing. And just on last Friday we put in some new packages at least it isn't freezing and no wind yet so we will have to see how they are.
Few years ago when we had 2 hives we put them in a shed and one live and one died. Everything was done completely the same and they had good weights you just never know.

Post Reply