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hive bottoms

 
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pdb
New Bee


Joined: 27 Apr 2016
Posts: 7
Location: newport south wales uk

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:41 am    Post subject: hive bottoms Reply with quote

hello which is the best hive bottom for a south wales hive a mesh or soild wood floor if mesh do you cover up in winter thank you
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AugustC
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on what you want... i know not very helpful.

Do you intend to count and treat for varroa?
YES - Then a mesh floor does make this easier but I would recommend the mesh remain covered as much as possible and the bottom board is cleared regularly to stop wax moth (as bees can't get to it to clean it).

NO - Then mesh is just something else to look after. Hard bottom is easier you could also consider an eco floor. just search the forum for threads.
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Merinos
Foraging Bee


Joined: 12 Sep 2011
Posts: 163
Location: Brussels, Belgium

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In an hive your best enemy is humidity & bees produce a lot of water...

That is why my hives floors are always open.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My oldest colony....18years old.... has a solid floor. My experience is that bees don't like open mesh floors and although I have tried them, my hives now have solid or eco floors.
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never seen a hollow tree with an open floor! Let the bees control their environment.

Some of my hives have mesh floors, but are kept closed year round and cleaned regularly (because of wax moth larvae).
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pdb
New Bee


Joined: 27 Apr 2016
Posts: 7
Location: newport south wales uk

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you all for replying but if you use a soild floor how to you control the hive bettle and other pests i was told that when yousugar dust the betles fall throg the mesh floor and cant get back in the hive
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly we don't have small hive beetle here in the UK yet and a mesh floor would not benefit the colony in that respect anyway, but I think you probably mean varroa mites. Some of us find that our bees are managing to control varroa mites without sugar dusting or any other treatment and that having a solid floor may even be part of that, by maintaining a more stable and humid atmosphere within the hive.

So you can already see the problem with beekeeping ..... that even amongst so called "natural" beekeepers we can have totally opposing views on quite significant aspects of hive design and hive management. One saying humidity is bad and another saying humidity may be beneficial.

There are probably no right or wrong answers, but just what works for you and your bees in your climate...... It's always good to have at least two hives, so why not try one of each and figure out what the correct answer is for you.
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crmauch
New Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2016
Posts: 3
Location: Honey Brook, Pennsylvania, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pdb wrote:
thank you all for replying but if you use a soild floor how to you control the hive bettle and other pests i was told that when yousugar dust the betles fall throg the mesh floor and cant get back in the hive


I've been weighing the same question. (I'm in the process of building my hives) Here in the U.S. there is also differing opinions but my feel is the consensus is against mesh.

Most also seem down on the sugar dusting as well. One beekeeper who does have solid bottom and does sugar, slides in a flexible panel underneath, does the sugar dusting and then removes the panel after about an hour (as I understand it he coats the panel with oil beforehand).

From what I've read and studied so far, I would not have a mesh without a bottom board that can be opened and closed (but then as noted you have to watch for moths.). But things might be different for the more moderate/maritime climate of U.K.

Personally given the easier construction, I'm going with a solid bottom.

Your mileage may differ.
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Odisej
Nurse Bee


Joined: 10 Mar 2011
Posts: 40
Location: Slovenia, EU

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:
My oldest colony....18years old.... has a solid floor. My experience is that bees don't like open mesh floors and although I have tried them, my hives now have solid or eco floors.

Solid floor.
Yes !
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RuthK
House Bee


Joined: 09 Jun 2014
Posts: 13
Location: Devon, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made an eco floor for my first hive, with 'forest floor' material on a mesh base; but I had a couple of problems which led to the loss of the colony.

First, a lot of black mould appeared on the combs, which concerned me. Too much damp, presumably. But much worse for my poor bees was wasps entering the hive where the eco floor met the main body of the hive. There was no gap when I made the hive, but wood being a natural product tends to shrink and twist - even the 1" thick Douglas fir which I'd used to build it.

I stuffed sponge into the join all the way round, set numerous wasp traps, closed down 2 of the entrance holes (I also have a periscope entrance) and fed the bees, but by then word had got out and every wasp in Devon seemed to be partying in my hive. They drank the syrup faster than I could replenish it and one day when I went to top up the feeders every single bee was dead on the floor of the hive.

This year I've discarded the eco floor and covered the bottom of the hive with varroa mesh. There is now not a single micro-space a wasp can get in. I've also replaced the wood on the front of the periscope entrance with mesh as I think this will help the bees cool the hive and enable me to see what's going on at the entrance.

I have to say, watching the video of Phil's bottomless hive, I have no idea how they would have coped with an invasion of wasps/badgers/etc etc.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My "eco floor" have a varroa mesh between the hive and the floor. This is because they were retro-fitted and there is the possible problem on wax moth in the eco floor (though would obviously be separate from the hive still). It does also mean though that any natural bedding down of the material in the ecofloor doesn't mean the bees build bigger combs down into it.
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