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kassnyc
New Bee


Joined: 11 May 2014
Posts: 1
Location: south carolina

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 6:50 pm    Post subject: Screened bottom Reply with quote

I am a brand new top bar beekeeper and I can't seem to find a consensus as to what kind of bottom I should have. There seem to be a lot of varroa on the bottom of my hive right now and since I'm getting more bees for my 2nd hive this week I thought now would be a good time to change things up.

What are your experiences with a mesh bottom. We live in South Carolina so the summers are very hot and humid and winters very mild (temps in the 40's-50's)

Thanks!
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Carl and Petra
Guard Bee


Joined: 29 Jun 2011
Posts: 74
Location: Blandford. Dorset. England

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I say go mesh.

The bees won't suffer from air but may from condensation judging by what you say of your climate.

If you do decide to go with a mesh floor it will be very easy to fit a bottom board, if you went for a solid floor to start it will be very hard to fit a mesh floor.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got back from a natural beekeeping weekend taught by Phil and we talked quite a lot about the ecofloor.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWB-pdlqeFQ
My next hive will have this and I am going to see if I can retrofit it to the hives I have with mesh floors. Typical really, the mesh was the most expensive part of the hive and as it turns out I don't need it Smile
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Carl and Petra
Guard Bee


Joined: 29 Jun 2011
Posts: 74
Location: Blandford. Dorset. England

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was interesting.

I noted over the last winters that with the solid floor in place that water pooled on the botton board so i kept a close eye on this as i did not want too much condensation forming in the hive.
This sump would solve that issue over winter, much like the Warre top quilt takes the condensation.

I think i will build a couple of these for my hives this winter.

Ta
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flybry
Foraging Bee


Joined: 21 Nov 2010
Posts: 120
Location: UK Worcestershire Malvern

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To understand what happens inside a hive with regards humidity and condensation I found this book helpful.

https://archive.org/details/cu31924003100306

Bryan.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

also available to download here from biobees very own reference library

http://www.biobees.com/library/?dir=general_beekeeping/beekeeping_books_articles
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in Georgia, on the border with South Carolina (in the CSRA). I started out with screened bottoms in 2010. I concluded that with our heat and humidity, it was too much ventilation and the bees couldn't control the hive climate very well, and it also allowed hive beetles to enter and leave at will. I ended up removing the screen and closing up the bottom. Since last September, I've been trying a new bottom board with screw-in bottle traps/bee feeders. So far it's working well to capture the beetles, ants, and even some varroa while keeping the hive well sealed. A bait hive with this design just attracted a swarm, so they clearly don't disapprove of it.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For my new hives and retro fitting to old hives the Ecofloor is definitely the way to go for me.
I like the ideas behind the flora and fauna balance in a hive BUT even if all that is rubbish (I withhold judgement on this Smile ) the advantages of this floor for increased temperature and moisture control within the hive are invaluable. It provides an outlet for excessive water when required, but will humidify the air when excessively dry. It provides insulation to the hive from extreme of external heat and cold. It would also works as a reservoir for heat, hive scent, and moisture releasing it back into the hive after you have let it out during a hive inspection. It is essentially a "buffer" resisting any change within the hive environment, thus once the bees have set that environment it will help it be maintained meaning the bees don't have to work so hard to regain it. Not sure how this will work for SHB etc but for me in the UK right now there isn't a better choice for any hive, not just kTBHs.
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the saying goes, all beekeeping is local. It might be great in the UK, but I don't think it will work here in the deep South. I built two hives with the detachable eco floor and ended up taking them off. Small hive beetles need to be hounded into traps by the bees, and the eco floor offers too many hiding places for them. Also, in our region we have the American cockroach, which will move into any space where they can safely find shelter.
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MikeRobinson
Foraging Bee


Joined: 01 Apr 2012
Posts: 200
Location: Upper Northwest Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being someone else who lives in this "summer-steamy southern-US State" ... (although, huh?!, I had my electric blanket turned-on again(!) last night!) ... I personally think that "wire-mesh floors" are probably not such a good idea, since I have never seen a tree or a barn or any eaves of a house that actually sported such a well-intentioned "feature." To my way of thinking, it would render temperature-control within the hive largely impossible. Since we have ambient-air temperatures from 100ºF to as (absurdly, this year...) low as 9ºF, that's a gigantic range. (And yet, at least some of our bees survived it, in their rough-made closed boxes.)

Each time that I peek inside one of my hTBH's, I find that the bottoms are generally quite tidy. Therefore, I must conclude that, whatever might fall down there, the bees carry it out on their own and discard it. Works for me.
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