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open mesh floor and ants

 
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mark.b
House Bee


Joined: 14 May 2014
Posts: 16
Location: Sileby, Leicestershire, uk

PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:57 pm    Post subject: open mesh floor and ants Reply with quote

Hi

I have been keeping bees for a couple of years (treatment free) tried warres but not been to successful with the honey harvest but managed to increase the bee population with a few swarms. Anyway trying nationals now and see how things progress I intend to manage them with minimal intervention and no treatments. I have never used a mesh floor before and I do have a lot of ants in my garden I was wondering about ant powder but see it is harmful to bees so that is out any thoughts on the ant bait box beneath the hive to try and stop the pests? Also do you leave the draw of the mesh floor out in the summer and then close them up for winter?

Thanks in advance
Mark
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 447
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why would you leave it open in summer? Cool air sinks and the bees work hard to cool their hives in summer and you are letting it fall out of the hive. My hives have solid floors and have no problems over summer.

Cheers
Rob.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you are really worried about ant put vasoline around the hive stand legs. You could also put the legs in empty bean cans with oil in but this is overkill for something that is unlikely to happen to a strong colony. Like the man says leave the mesh closed whenever possible.
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mfk
New Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2015
Posts: 9
Location: Frankfurt/Germany

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im very curious about the open mesh floors, since I haven't understood yet how these would improve the climate inside the hive. However quite a few people seem to use them.

What are the points in favor?
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mark.b
House Bee


Joined: 14 May 2014
Posts: 16
Location: Sileby, Leicestershire, uk

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know myself as this is the first one I have used but they have advantages in that the bottom board can be cleaned easily slide it out scrape the muck off and slide it back the bees stay the hive side of the mesh, you can put a sticky sheet in the bottom if you do mite counts. They may also help with reducing condensation as the water vapor will travel to the cooler temperatures. Also in hotter temperatures you could open the draw up to increase ventilation if required even though the other replies advise keeping it shut whenever possible.
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BBC
Scout Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2012
Posts: 398
Location: Bicker, Lincolnshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every single one of my hives (*) has an Open Mesh Floor - I consider them essential in order to provide adequate ventilation. The only time they are closed (by a slide or similar) is during Oxalic Acid Vapourisation and should very strong winds be forecast in winter. But as soon as the gales pass, they are opened up again.

(*) The only exception to this are two National boxes I put together in a hurry a couple of days ago, where the boxes were placed on solid floors. Today - 35 degrees C ! - they were the only two hives (out of several dozen) bearding because of the heat. Tomorrow I'll be making them OMF's, so that they can also enjoy the comfort of adequate ventilation.

Colin
BBC

Forgot to add:
"They may also help with reducing condensation as the water vapor will travel to the cooler temperatures."

Air loaded with water vapour rises - which is why we have clouds high up in the sky ... Smile
In beehives, moist air migrates upwards towards the warmer area near the top - warmer air of course being able to hold more moisture than cold air - until it meets with a cold surface that is, at which point it condenses out.
_________________
Bees build Brace Comb for a reason, not just to be bloody-minded.
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mark.b
House Bee


Joined: 14 May 2014
Posts: 16
Location: Sileby, Leicestershire, uk

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Colin

Thanks for another view on mesh floors, that's 2 closed and 1 open.

I agree warm air holds more moisture.

warm air rises, heat travels to cold, water vapour goes to the coldest point this is why you get condensation on surfaces and ice on cold surfaces. Ice will move from a cold surface to an even colder one

How warm is it where the clouds are? the warm air has long since cooled and the water vapour has condensed due to the cold.
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1123
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Natural Beekeeping, I always compare to a colony in a hollow tree.

How many tree hollows have an open floor?

Also, bees are less likely to move into a bait hive with an open floor (and are more likely to move out if a swarm is placed in one). They choose a solid floor (or closed OMF).
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1569
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My original colony is 17 yrs old and currently 7 years treatment free and has a solid floor. I only once tried an OMF without a cover and the swarm I put in absconded from it. I covered it and they settled. I agree with Trekmate. Generally I feel my bees are happier with solid floors although I am now trying the eco floor which I think is a good compromise and an excellent idea but it's too early to say whether it is better than the solid floor.

I will say that most of the hives that have solid floors are Nationals which of course have a trickle vent in the roof and they get the entrance block removed in summer, so they can draw a good amount of air through if they wish to. I have one TBH bait box that has housed a colony for 3 years now and they do just fine with no ventilation or insulation. I tend to drill a 1 1/2 inch hole in the floor of bait/nuc boxes that are going to be transported any distance and cover it with mesh but these sit on a thin 1/2inch slat of wood on a solid stand, so there is no significant light or air flow through it and the bees can propolise it if they want to.

I very rarely get bearding and my hives are in full sun.
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