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Austin Area Beekeepers Association Message Board › Screened or not screened bottom board?

Screened or not screened bottom board?

mike
user 6416021
San Antonio, TX
Post #: 1
I am purchasing a deep body hive this weekend, that comes with a regular bottom board. My bees are supposed to arrive April 13 or so. I am just curious to know if its preferred to have a screened bottom board or not. Thanks.
Lance W.
user 67471692
Austin, TX
Post #: 18
I use the screen bottom boards (SBBs) without exception but you can certainly keep bees on a solid board. After all bees in trees don't have a screen bottom. There have been several studies however, which have indicated larger brood areas compared to the controls with SBB. In addition a University of Florida study (Dr. Ellis) suggests a 15% reduction in varroa mite loads with the use of these boards. To be fair, this is somewhat unsettled science but 9 out of 10 entomologists recommend them so that is good enough for me.

I will be discussing this (varroa control) in detail with SBBs and other management measures at the May meeting if you are interested. I am afraid it is not a fun subject but fortunately if you can control Mr. Varroa destructor you have solved about 80% of all your beekeeping difficulties in one fell swoop.
Heather J.
user 9683592
Austin, TX
Post #: 11
I've had great success with my screened bottom board. This April marks my 2nd year as a bee keeper. I had converted to a screened bottom board last summer when it got really hot, and I kept it there over the winter. Last week, I inspected my hive for the first time since November, and the colony population was high, lots of honey stores, and only one hive beetle detected. I did keep a blanket on the hive over the winter, weighted down with bricks, as I was concerned that the screening would cool the hive down. On especially cold nights, I simply turned the entrance reducer to the most narrow entrance hole. If you go with the screened board, try to install it before your bees arrive because it's pretty disruptive for the bees to tear apart their hive to install it once they have established themselves. Good luck!
Karl A.
user 12208208
Group Organizer
Austin, TX
Post #: 171
I agree. I've been using screened bottom boards for 3 plus years now even through the winter without any issues.
mike
user 6416021
San Antonio, TX
Post #: 2
Ok, so now the question is, Where do I get one? I didn't see one on dadant's website or rweaver...where did you get yours?
Karl A.
user 12208208
Group Organizer
Austin, TX
Post #: 172
Brushy Mountain:
http://www.brushymoun...­

Dadant:
http://www.dadant.com...­

These are 8-frame versions but 10 frame are also available.
mike
user 6416021
San Antonio, TX
Post #: 3
Thanks yall for the responses and the support. Great group.
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