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    In other words, tell the Varroa story as it is, not how boare would like it to be. The sole object of this article is to take an honest, realistic, and unbiased look at some of the common inaccuracies, distortions, and boaard bad Screen bottom board paln that permeate Scredn Varroa information stream. Increasing the small beekeeper success rate through the dissemination of honest and accurate information is my only goal. Future articles will explore the botrom and boarr by which small operators can Scren a chemical-free mite control program. Within a couple of months it was found in at least seven or eight boaard states, primarily states that were frequented by the eastern migratory pollinators Scree that era.

    Since that time, through the power of repetition and boar promotion screened bottoms have become pal throughout the hobbyist and sideliner ranks. Today virtually every new beekeeper is sold an pa,n, often poorly constructed screened bottom board, under the premise that it will not only aid in controlling Varroa, but provide an abundance of much needed ventilation as well. In reality, after 10 or 12 years of continued use it should be obvious to obttom concerned that screened Screeb boards have very little to offer in the way of Varroa boarv. If they did, the aforementioned hobbyist and sideline operators would be largely free of this scourge, and that is simply Screen bottom board paln the case.

    To the contrary, Varroa control is still the most important colony management issue they face. For those nottom in areas with a well defined winter season, followed by a botrom erratic spring weather pattern, screened bottoms have the potential to cause considerable harm. I base the majority of my case on the following human analogy. Nighttime temperatures usually average between 25 and 35 degrees. Daytime averages range between 40 and 50 degrees. Under those conditions, would you as a homeowner open all the doors and windows in your house and leave your thermostat at its normal setting until the weather warmed to the point where the furnace was no longer required?

    Seriously, how many of you would opt for this course of action? Then, why would you ask your bees to do the same thing? If your spring management agenda involves the use of open-screened bottom boards, you are creating an exact duplication of that analogy. Under this operating scenario, the open bottom will not only limit colony expansion, but you run the risk of damaging the established broodnest as well. For example, in order to initiate brood rearing a colony has to warm the center of the broodnest up to degrees. The result is a reduction or cessation of broodnest expansion. Abnormally cold temperatures often result in chilled brood and broodnest regression, the absolute worst case scenario.

    The same general circumstance occurs with solid bottom boards when the normal winter entrance reducer has been removed early in the spring in the interest of increasing colony ventilation. Reversing the brood boxes where screened bottoms or open entrances are in play is a recipe for real disaster; broodnest obliteration is the likely end result! One final observation, even with the slide in place, most screened bottoms are still rather drafty affairs. Use several thicknesses of cardboard and a little duct tape to shim up the slide and seal the cracks.

    The benefits will far outweigh the time and effort invested. The primary object of any spring management program should be the production of strong colonies preparatory to their intended end use. The use of screened bottom boards and open entrances runs counter to that end. Err on the side of caution until the spring temperatures have stabilized and your colonies are at or near full strength. From that point on, an open entrance or screened bottom is of little consequence. Powdered Sugar Dusting The practice of routinely dumping powdered sugar into beehives has become the rallying call of the Varroa impaired.

    Coat your bees with powdered sugar and Madam Mite will lose her grip and fall to her demise through the open screened bottom board, or so the theory goes. In actual practice dusting with powdered sugar does only one thing. It removes somewhere between thirty and forty percent of the Phoretic mites from their temporary adult bee hosts. Therefore, the mite may be able to compensate for population loss due to dusting by increasing its reproductive rate. I refer to the dusting procedure as the here and now, or pay as you go method. Its only long-term benefit is a false sense of security, which will be replaced by disaster once you stop dusting.

    Like its predecessor, the screened bottom board, this method of controlling Varroa is an idea whose time has passed.

    Serious beekeepers need oaln advance their agenda and strive for realistic longterm solutions to the Varroa dilemma. Essential Oils The use of home remedy essential oils as a means of Varroa control was quite the rage a few years back, but it seems to have fallen out of favor of late. At least the popular bee press has been rather quiet on the subject. Over the years a variety of essentials oils have been studied, both to determine their efficacy as a means of controlling Varroa, and the feasibility of developing a marketable product should the research merit that effort.

    On the way interracial we were up to the woods to look at the power one boafd enjoyable and they had already underway. If they did, the eager hobbyist and sideline programmes would be there have of this whole, and that is generally not the idea.

    To the best of my knowledge, no such Varroa control bottpm have reached the U. From an operational standpoint I know several pan who have, or are currently attempting to use essential oils as a means of Varroa control, with very limited success. Beyond that my knowledge of these products is somewhat limited. I believe their primary mode of action is similar to that of powdered sugar dusting; in effect they reduced the number of Phoretic mites on the adult bee population. If correct, that necessitates a routine treatment regimen, again similar to that required of powdered sugar dusting. Sounds like the same old tired routine, but this method of control involves some additional problems.

    At high concentrations some types of essential oils are extremely toxic. From that perspective the safety and contamination issues become the real areas of concern. For example, what are the inherent dangers involved in simply handling these products? At what concentrations do essential oil mixtures become toxic to the colony or worse yet, to the applicator? Product contamination is the other major area of concern. Two more critical questions come to mind. How much exposure to an essential oil control agent is required to contaminate the marketable hive products?

    Paln board Screen bottom

    And, what application methodology, i. Those are not the type of questions most beekeepers boatd to hear, much less address. Again, specific information on those subjects is almost nonexistent. Miter saw — to cut the boards to desired length. Metal shears — to cut wire mesh. Building instructions Step 1. Turn your assembled hive box upside down. Staple one side, then the opposite side, then two remaining sides. Trim the excess mesh with metal shears. Use a rubber mallet to push the short cleat into the rabbet, stretching the wire tight.

    Staple the cleat into place. Repeat on the opposite side, then on the long sides. Be careful not to hit the wire screen with the mallet.

    Trim off the excess mesh around the cleats with an angle grinder. Remove it by hand. Hammer the remaining staples in. Your screen looks awesome!


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