Screen Bottom Board Helps Reduce Varroa Mites

Screened bottom boardThe idea of having a screen bottom board made from 1/8” hardware cloth is that the mites will fall through the screen when the bees groom them off.  With the solid bottom board removed (only recommended in summer when nighttime temperatures are regularly above 55°F), the mites will fall to the ground and hopefully, die or be devoured by some other insect.  In practice, however, the screened bottom board is not one of the most effective mite control methods.  In our estimation, it has a 5-15% efficiency rate.  However, if you are like us here at Wild Bunch Farm and do not use chemicals (including essential oils or formic acid) to control mite populations, you will take any advantage you can get.

Our hives were designed with chemical free beekeeping in mind.  We try to make sure we give you every advantage, no matter how small, to keep your bees alive. A screen bottom board comes standard on all of our hives and includes a solid bottom board to cover the screen bottom during colder months.

Our removable bottom board, which covers up the screen bottom during colder months, has rubber weather stripping around the edges and is attached with machine screws to form a tight seal.  No cold air will be getting up under your bee cluster during the winter.  Having sealed joints also reduces a lot of pests like small hive beetle and wax moth from entering your hive.  Don’t get me wrong, you will never fully prevent these pests from getting in, but reducing the amount of places they can enter will help the bees keep their numbers in check.  Read more about our air-sealing techniques.

Screen bottom board

 

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