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hardware cloth above and below an eco-floor?

 
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Chris L
House Bee


Joined: 05 May 2016
Posts: 10
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:41 pm    Post subject: hardware cloth above and below an eco-floor? Reply with quote

I've built my first hTBH with an eco floor. The bottom of the eco floor is 1/8 inch hardware cloth and I've filled the floor with old composted leaves and some soil and pine needles and chips from our tree line. It's removable, held on with chest clips. But I wondered whether it might be useful to attach a mesh or hardware cloth floor to the bottom of the hive body itself, so that the eco floor would have that mesh surface both above and below. I was thinking that this would allow me to temporarily place a sticky board below the brood to check for mites, and also to provide a smoother surface so that the bees wouldn't crawl through the leaves, etc., to get under the follower boards. What would be the disadvantages? Have people done this?
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1574
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

When I first installed an eco floor it was a retro fit to a hive with a mesh floor, so essentially what you are suggesting. The huge disadvantage was that the eco floor then provided wax moths with a wonderful environment to breed right inside the hive and the bees could do nothing about it because they couldn't access them to remove them. Wax cappings dropped through the mesh for the wax moths and by the time I realised there was a problem, the eco floor was heaving with wax moth larvae and wax moths looking to invade the hive and breed there too. It was horrific so I wouldn't recommend it for that reason alone.

Also, in the states, you have small hive beetle and having a mesh floor would similarly provide them with the perfect conditions/space to breed whilst being safe from the bees. In fact, if you live in an area that has significant problems with SHB you may be best not using an eco floor.
There is a member who has developed a neat system for trapping SHB in top bar hives. I will find the relevant thread and post a link.

Regards

Barbara

Here is a link to one of the threads about it
http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18946&highlight=
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Chris L
House Bee


Joined: 05 May 2016
Posts: 10
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much, Barbara. That is exactly the kind of problem I would not have foreseen, and we certainly do have wax moths here. SHBs, though, are really not a problem here in Colorado (yet) where it's quite dry and gets very cold in the winter. But I'll skip the mesh below the hive body - I can quickly drop the eco-floor to check it, or even dig around a little at the ends of the hive behind the followers to see what sort of critters it's harboring.
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