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  Monday, 09 March 2015
  5 Replies
  156 Visits
I understand screened bottom boards are helpful with mite load. As the mites fall off of the bees they drop to the ground to be eaten by ants. I also hear they are helpful with moister issues in the winter by providing more ventilation. What's the consensuses for Vermont? Does anybody use them?

I'm going to try a screened board this summer but will replace it in the fall with a solid bottom board to much air flow in the winter
Some articles I have read don't show the screened board to be that great,it may help a little with the verro mite but it will not control them based on a few studies by some university s that I have read articles on the subject.
7 years ago
To date, I've only used screened bottom boards, for both reasons you listed. But because I've never used solid boards, I don't have anything to which to compare my experiences. I think I heard Ross Conrad promote screened bottom boards, emphasizing the benefits of air flow, and this gave me the confidence to continue with screened boards even after moving to Vermont from Massachusetts.
7 years ago
A link to Scientific Beekeeping regarding IPM and screened bottom boards.
Included is a nod to Mike Palmer
Part of my concern about ssb is inhibiting brood nest development which Randy touches on.

7 years ago
I don't believe in the SBB theory of mite control. Think...2/3 of the mites are in the brood. Also, how do mites fall down through a cluster of bees without grabbing on and stopping their fall. If a daily drop of 20+ is high, and there are many thousands of mite in a colony, is the drop really so significant in the mite population control?
7 years ago
I'm fairly new but both my hives have screened bottom boards. I put some bags of leaves around the bottoms last fall to break up the wind but I did leave openings for air circulation. In addition I left the front entrance open as well as the upper entrances. As of today both hives were out flying and the bees seem well.
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