Hi Flow users
I have tried a few things the replace the corflute base of the Flow hive with something to fill with oil to catch small hive beetle. Recently, I found the (almost) perfect thing.
Its a tray from Ikea, called Poppig. Its $10 in Australia. Food-safe, rigid, should last forever. The lip slides into the grooves in the Flow hive. Its flat enough to be used in the top or bottom slots.
I say almost perfect because it was just a touch wide for my hive. I had to shave off about 1mm from each edge. I used a rasp (a coarse file) and then some sandpaper to smooth. Length-wise its a perfect fit.
The view from below - please ignore cobwebs.
I think if someone is going to invest any money & time, a good improvement would be to convert the sbb to a solid floor with no step down after the bees enter the hive. In other words, a flat floor. It will be much easier for the bees to keep the floor clean.
now to find my nearest Ikea
Ha ha- I just bought two of these trays to use in the long hive I am building. I didn’t think they would be such a close/perfect fit for the regular flow hive. These could work well with diatomaceous earth as well as oil. Nice!
The other day I noticed at Coles- they had anodised metal cookie/baking trays that look to be almost the exact same size and dimensions as these ikea trays- and they are only $7. I might bring in a tape measure and see if they will also fit.
I looked at various metal trays, including the ones you mentioned. They were not quite the right width and metal is much harder to modify than plastic. Some of them also have a slightly curled or sloping edge, meaning they would not slide in. The Ikea tray has 3mm thick edges, and flat (i.e. 90 degrees to the hive wall).
the only concern I had with those ikea trays is that they are made from compressed paper- sealed with some kind of plastic layer I guess. I am not sure if they might swell up if exposed to damp for a long period? If you shaved down the edge- it might be a good idea to seal that area with wood glue or something?
@JeffH I am not sure if the sbb has a step down? I think the opening is flush with the screened bottom? so when you insert the coreflute into the top slot you virtually have a solid floor. Though maybe harder for bees to ‘sweep’ with the mesh layer perhaps?
One advantage of the screened bottom with a flow hive is that if any honey leaks at harvest it falls through the screen and can be collected on a tray or on the coreflute. If you had a solid bottom it would pool there and could maybe trap/drown some bees? Having said that last time I drained my flow frames there was no leakage I could see.
I use Correx (which is the equivalent) for my inspection trays here in the UK
You can buy it 10x4 ft in different thicknesses and cut it to size with a saw
#Arulen, thank you. I’ve been out to measure up all the baking trays I had and hadn’t thought of IKEA, but of course!
I just checked these trays against my hoop pine flow hive - and unfortunately they don’t fit. you would need to cut off around 1cm or more of each side- taking almost the entire lip of the sides of the tray. So it looks like they will only fit the cedar flow hives.
That is an awesome idea. I have a problem sometimes there are bees down there as well. I think there is a problem with the mesh and they are chasing the beetles. The are always cranky if I find them below. I have a fly screen over the rear entry so they cant come in that way. I know some people have complained that the mesh was damaged or moved or what ever. I have been using the carpet on the corflute approach. I also sprinkle diamatish earth ( im not going to spell check) on the carpet. I find the beetles are below on hot days. I have a great idea however it will mean fixing my mesh before I can try it as I don’t want to hurt any bees. So that is a full pull apart of the hive. I only have one and no spare boxes. Is this possible or should I just order a new base and deal with the original one later?
I love having spares of everything, so I would order one. However, if you can’t, you can easily fix it. Put the inner cover next to the hive, then put both of the hive boxes on top of it. Putting that down first maintains the bee space under the lowest box, and helps prevent squishing bees. If a lot of bees are bubbling out of the top box, you could cover it with an old pillow case.
Now you can inspect and fix your SBB with a dinner fork, as suggested by Cedar when this issue first came up. Then just reassemble the hive. The bees will be fine as long as you don’t take more than an hour or so.
Ill have to wait a few more weeks I broke my neck Christmas eve so a few more weeks till lifting stuff. These beetles are a right pest.
The last two times I harvested my flow frames- I didn’t see any honey falling down onto the coreflute at all. I think if you have a screened bottom- even if honey did leak it wouldn’t be that much of an issue? I can see some honey running over the faces of the frames- and out through the bottom- but I would have thought the bees wouldn’t have to spend that much time to lick it up? On my mothers hive when we harvested and had some spillage- the bees were able to lick up a pool of honey at the entrance in just 20 minutes or so. After the first harvest- spillages have been minimal from that hive. Luckily we don’t have any issue with beetles that we have seen yet here in South Australia
You have given me an idea about how to address the honey flooding problem that I experienced last season. I can insert a slotted base between the brood boxes and the flow frames which includes a queen excluder instead of a screen. During extraction I will insert the Ikea plastic tray as a capture tray to prevent honey from flowing into the brood box. I intend to try the recommendations from my previous post to prevent the flooding. Honey Flooding during extraction.