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Hive Doctor Bottom Boards

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Hi there,

 

can colonies successfully winter with the Hive doctor bottom boards in freezing conditions? 0 to -5 degrees? Or would they get to cold?

 

thanks

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They are fine.  Heat rises.  Cold falls.  What part of that says ventilated floor will be a problem.

And HD floor are only semi ventilated.

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Thanks for the reply.

 

I understand the science, just curious for some feedback off someone who has personally wintered with them in freezing conditions.

 

cheers

 

 

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1 hour ago, Rookie said:

Thanks for the reply.

 

I understand the science, just curious for some feedback off someone who has personally wintered with them in freezing conditions.

 

cheers

 

 

So your not really in Auckland?  We don't really understand 'freezing' in a South Island way up here.

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2 hours ago, Sailabee said:

So your not really in Auckland?  We don't really understand 'freezing' in a South Island way up here.

 

Do they successfully work in the South Island? Or is it easier for them to stay warm for winter in the wooden bottom boards?

 

cheers

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I have ventured that far south but many commercials are using them so must be OK. Personally I have wooden bases with SS mesh ventilation without chill problems.

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I’ve got a couple and they worked well over last winter. The colonies aren’t as damp with floorboard ventilation and that makes them healthier and stronger. 

 

Beware the hungry rats though... they chew on the plastic! So I prefer my home made ventilated bases. Timber and SS mesh. Cheaper too. 

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I have around 50 hives and they are all on HD bases.  My bees have not had a problem

 

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1 hour ago, CHCHPaul said:

 

Beware the hungry rats though... they chew on the plastic! So I prefer my home made ventilated bases. Timber and SS mesh. Cheaper too. 

Yep. Rats love our HD bases 

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9 hours ago, Rookie said:

Thanks for the reply.

 

I understand the science, just curious for some feedback off someone who has personally wintered with them in freezing conditions.

 

cheers

 

 

 

Global warming means I wouldn’t worry too soon up in Auckland. 

 

We we get cracking frosts in Canterbury, lots of mesh users

Edited by Josh

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On 12/02/2019 at 8:58 AM, Rookie said:

Thanks for the reply.

 

I understand the science, just curious for some feedback off someone who has personally wintered with them in freezing conditions.

 

cheers

 

 

 

In Germany the rule is, floors stay open during all winter no difference if it's 5 or =20C bees don't care. Reducer gets taken off so dead bees don't block up the entrance.  Floors get closed in spring when there is brood so the brood does not get damaged by the cold. 

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I can confirm what Manfred said.

successfully overwintered hives in Southern Germany with temperatures up to -20 Degrees during night for several weeks. Not a single hive lost. Bottom Boards were fully open with SS mesh. practically eliminates condensation. While the NZ Italians might prefer a bit warmer temperatures than the buckfast and carniolans i had back there i think theyll be fine whereever you place them if they have an adequate strength going into winter. Some northern european Beekeepers seem to have italian breeds as well.

i have two main reasons for meshed bottom boards, the first one having not to worry about ventilation especially in the summer when entrances are reduced the second being able to use a sticky board (although i dont make it sticky) to very quickly be able to check mite levels.

An open bottom board might even be beneficial if it would make the bees stop rearing brood for some time which would enable you to do a very effective treatment against the mites. I however dont know if that would actually be the case or not

If you want to add insulation a VERY good place to put insulation is under the outer lid. During Summer (heat) and witer (cold)

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As I am still a bee student can I confirm that here in Richmond/Tasman I do not need to to fit trays to my HD bottom boards?

 

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The damp is what I struggled with in Auckland. My boxes were very very wet inside. HD bases, north facing, and an insulated lid (polystyrene underneath).

I switched out a couple of boxes late spring and weighed them as I did so. After sitting in the basement for a few weeks they were each over 1kg lighter. A litre of water in each box is a lot.

 

Im tempted to give them a roof with eaves sitting a little clear of the standard lid. I think I have leaky hive syndrome.

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6 hours ago, AndrewNZ said:

As I am still a bee student can I confirm that here in Richmond/Tasman I do not need to to fit trays to my HD bottom boards?

 

Yes.  You do not need the trays

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41 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Yes.  You do not need the trays

 

Thanks Trev.

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2 hours ago, cBank said:

The damp is what I struggled with in Auckland. My boxes were very very wet inside. HD bases, north facing, and an insulated lid (polystyrene underneath).

I switched out a couple of boxes late spring and weighed them as I did so. After sitting in the basement for a few weeks they were each over 1kg lighter. A litre of water in each box is a lot.

 

Im tempted to give them a roof with eaves sitting a little clear of the standard lid. I think I have leaky hive syndrome.

 

the fact that the standard outer lids you get here are so unsuitable also gives me grief. im used to conical lids with about 2cm per side overhang and closed outer edges. you happen to know of any source for something like that?

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10 minutes ago, Christi An said:

 

the fact that the standard outer lids you get here are so unsuitable also gives me grief. im used to conical lids with about 2cm per side overhang and closed outer edges. you happen to know of any source for something like that?

 

I don’t, I was going to try making something after seeing these. My deeply average welding/soldering/woodworking skills could probably knock something together, but it’s unlikely to be as flash.

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We hobbyists often make telescoping lids that fit down over the top box, but they would not really work for commercials as it would make shifting them more of a mission, and they wouldn't effect the damp caused by the plastic bases.

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1 hour ago, Sailabee said:

We hobbyists often make telescoping lids that fit down over the top box, but they would not really work for commercials as it would make shifting them more of a mission, and they wouldn't effect the damp caused by the plastic bases.

 

Do you think the HD bases cause damp? I’d have thought they’d reduce it. It’s the main reason I converted but maybe my assumption is wrong.

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40 minutes ago, cBank said:

 

Do you think the HD bases cause damp? I’d have thought they’d reduce it. It’s the main reason I converted but maybe my assumption is wrong.

I don't honestly know as I use wood with a stainless steel mesh, and haven't often had a dampness problem. I think the mesh gives better ventilation. 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Christi An said:

 

the fact that the standard outer lids you get here are so unsuitable also gives me grief. im used to conical lids with about 2cm per side overhang and closed outer edges. you happen to know of any source for something like that?

Old sheets of corry iron. Run over them with the car back &  forth to flatten them makes it easier to cut them oversize, bash the overhang down a bit. Rock on top done.  These fancy slitted corner sprung lids are for fairies and commercials.

Edited by yesbut
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On 3/04/2019 at 8:50 AM, yesbut said:

Old sheets of corry iron. Run over them with the car back &  forth to flatten them makes it easier to cut them oversize, bash the overhang down a bit. Rock on top done.  These fancy slitted corner sprung lids are for fairies and commercials.

Using the car overdoes it a bit!  I leave them corrugated, put a 2x2 front and back so it holds the polystyrene in place and locks onto the top box and fold the side corrugations down and nail onto the wood. A few roof screws from the top as well.  Stick it out front and back, just like a shed roof.  Rock is optional, but handy to keep one there and use as a hammer to get those glued up boxes apart.

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55 minutes ago, Beehaving said:

Using the car overdoes it a bit!  I leave them corrugated, put a 2x2 front and back so it holds the polystyrene in place and locks onto the top box and fold the side corrugations down and nail onto the wood. A few roof screws from the top as well.  Stick it out front and back, just like a shed roof.  Rock is optional, but handy to keep one there and use as a hammer to get those glued up boxes apart.

I think bothering about attaching bits of wood is overkill !

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Posted (edited)

As any boatie will tell you, ventilation is the key to dampness. Although having a better  roof, for us noncemmercials, is always going to help. It’s a lack of ventilation that allows moisture to trapped in the hive. 

 

Polystyrene sheeting prevents condensation, but it’s not going to help with humidity. I have a modest hole in my top cover, mesh and a ventilated box above it. In winter I leave a sack up too to soak up the condensation and it dries during the day with cross ventilation. Works a treat on my hives down here in Canterbury (they’re kept in an area called Marshlands, need I say more😉)

 

interestingly, my top feeders are causing a real condensation problem at the moment. They must be blocking the ventilation and bringing more water into the hive. 

Edited by Josh
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