Please support Friends of the Bees to keep this forum free to use.

Natural Beekeeping International Forum
low-cost, low-impact, balanced beekeeping for everyone

 Forum FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileYour Profile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Please Read The Rules before posting.



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)
Screen Floors in Winter

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Beginners start here
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
tbdepp
New Bee


Joined: 02 Apr 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Columbia, SC, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:56 pm    Post subject: Screen Floors in Winter Reply with quote

Hello, I have a KTBH with screened floor, and live in the Southeastern US. I am nervous the bees will be chilled overwintering, the temperature drops sometimes to 20deg F here. Do others have experience successfully overwintering with a screened bottom only? Should I retrofit a solid bottom board?

Thanks!

Best,

Tim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1486
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It can get that cold and colder here some winters and the bees have managed fine with open mesh floors. Cold and damp together kill bees much more than cold which they can manage as long as you don't set thigns up so a force 10 gale blows through them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1563
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi and welcome.

Just so you get two different responses and therefore have to make your own decision, I personally don't like open mesh floors. The hive I built with a mesh floor, I subsequently fitted a board below it because I felt my bees weren't happy with it. Bees do not generally choose cavities with open space and air flow below them and my most successful hives have solid bottoms despite living in a damp location.

I like Phil's idea of a deep litter floor best as it has the benefits of a closed floor but the ability to breath and drain, but it is still in the experimental stages.

Regards

Barbara


Last edited by Barbara on Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
NewForester
Nurse Bee


Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 26
Location: New Forest, Hampshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say that I am of the same opinion as Barbara. I don't think the bees like open mesh floors and I have stopped using them in summer as well.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mannanin
Scout Bee


Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 260
Location: Essex. UK.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have decided that I also prefer solid floors and I also think the bees agree. My original plastic OMF was decimated by a very inquisitive fox. No damage to the combs but it was an alarm call regarding pest control. I also observed that the bees seemed a little reluctant to move horizontally whilst I had an OMF. This changed once I fitted a solid floor. I think they actually prefer not to have the light coming in from underneath and they certainly did not need it for ventilation purposes in either winter or summer in my climate. I also believe more in the need for nest warmth and general atmosphere within the closed hive. I just asked myself why I had fitted an OMF in the first place. Other than for varroa counts taken from underneath the hive, which I think are flawed anyway, I no longer see any advantage to OMF.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tbdepp
New Bee


Joined: 02 Apr 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Columbia, SC, USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bottom boards seem good, but isn't the screen bottom advantageous against mites?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes and no. Sure some mites drop out of the hive through the mesh, so can't climb back on a bee.

On the other hand brood is chilled in the lower parts of the hive which leads to prolonged development of the bee larvae and thus a longer capping time, thus an increased mite reproduction.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Paul Reyes
Nurse Bee


Joined: 14 Aug 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also go with solid floors and my bees too.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
originalbee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 26
Location: England, Mid Sussex, Haywards Heath

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:14 pm    Post subject: screen floors in winter Reply with quote

i have a small cast swarm in a top bar nuc hive which has a mesh floor.
Below the mesh is a board i can and will insert over winter but it does not fit snuggly ! I like the sound of a "littered Floor" but does anyone have advice as to what to use for the litter? Dry leaves, pine needles , barkpieces or what?

Please tell me your experience with litter

Thanks
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Smorning
Foraging Bee


Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 150
Location: Faversham Kent UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this video details the concept and the materials

http://youtu.be/Vy8i1Uxthv4

I have closed up Eco floor mesh with basic weed suppressing membrane and placed leaf litter and other organic material gathered from the woods in the void below the follower board, so far so good this year all the hives within this are doing fine. The membrane appears to retain the moisture sufficiently to keep the organic material viable.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
originalbee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 26
Location: England, Mid Sussex, Haywards Heath

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very helpful video thank you!

Just had a window of glorious sunshine so took opportunity to remove a couple empty topbars and put in dry leaf litter and bark etc. covering the mesh floor about 2" thick.
If this little cast survives this winter i will set up a full size topbar with eco floor in the spring to move them into.

I hr later - there dont seem to be any objections to the new floor and it does look more cosy !

I am happier too

B
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Beginners start here All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

SPECIAL OFFER FOR UK FORUM MEMBERS - Buy your protective clothing here and get a special 15% discount! (use the code BAREFOOTBEEKEEPER at checkout and be sure to 'update basket')



Are the big energy companies bleeding you dry?


Is way too much of your hard-earned family income going up in smoke?

Are you worried about what could happen if the ageing grid system fails?

You need to watch this short video NOW to find out how YOU can cut your energy bills TO THE BONE within 30 days!

WATCH THE VIDEO NOW



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

Barefoot Beekeeper Podcast



Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


4th Edition paperback now available from Lulu.com

See beekeeping books for details and links to ebook versions.
site map
php. BB © 2001, 2005 php. BB Group

View topic - Screen Floors in Winter - Natural Beekeeping Network Forum