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Proplised mesh floor

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House Bee

Joined: 30 Jun 2014
Posts: 11
Location: somerset, uk

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:33 pm    Post subject: Proplised mesh floor Reply with quote

We received a swarm last May which did really well all through last summer and seems to be coming through the winter in fine shape. We built our tbh to Phil's original design (mesh floor with hinged solid floor). Last summer they started to propolise the mesh floor. We figured they thought it was too drafty so we closed the floor door. We has a quick peek at them a week or so ago and noticed that they have put a complete thick solid layer of propolis on the floor.

Has anyone else experienced this?

We also seem to have a black substance on the inside walls where the bees were - but not after the follower board, where they weren't living in the winter. I am concerned it may be mould caused by them closing up the source of ventilation.

The bees look so healthy and are very active, plenty of brood and some drone cells seen, honey stores available and loads of pollen being harvested so we are a bit perplexed!!
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Foraging Bee

Joined: 16 Jun 2013
Posts: 107
Location: UK, Cambridge, Milton

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Parts of my stainless steel mesh floors are blocked up - not the entire floor, but patches. I don't really worry about it - still plenty clear areas for mites to fall through and be counted, but I might aim to remove the floors at some point and clean them up (expect washing soda - sodium carbonate - will shift it). I intend to construct my next hives with the floor easier to remove. Perhaps blocking up the floor is just a characteristic of your colony - one of mine deposits 'stuff' all over the observation window, while the other doesn't.

Similarly, I think the walls of my hives tend to have some black mould - I don't think it's anything to worry about. Have you any reason to worry about a bit of black mould? Some combs of honey remote from cluster have some mould too, but I expect the expanding bees will sort it out.
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Quality Top Bar Hives by Andrew Vidler

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)

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See beekeeping books for details and links to ebook versions.