I am in the Pacific Northwest, where it is usually temperate, Sometimes wet and cold. We are now having a heat wave, in the 90-95 degrees F. I have a flow hive with a screened bottom board, but my other hive is a Langstroth with a solid board bottom. I have a cheap screened bottom board but it is wire mesh. Should I put in the screened bottom board one on the Langstroth?
Hi Jen, I switched all my screened bottom boards to solids awhile back. I did this either by placing the coreflute or some spare cedar shingles on top of the mesh of the prebuilt ones, or by cutting plywood to size and having bottom entrances. I also use slatted racks:
These go between the bottom and the brood box - they create extra air space that allows big colonies to spread out & move air when it’s hot, and helps buffer the lower brood area from cold winter air & moisture.
I would vote for the solid base. In hot weather the bees work hard to cool the hive. Cool air is denser so just falls out the bottom if the hive with a screened base. All my hives have a baffled top vent to allow the hot air out in summer. 90-95 degrees is only low to mid 30s in celsius so not that hot really.
Another thing about screened bottom boards is that they are a huge opening for the guard bees to handle that adds another stress to the hive.
All my hives have screened bottoms with an oil tray underneath which seals the opening. You would be surprised what gets trapped in the oil. In my case mainly SHB and their larvae, also waxmoth larvae. This breaks the lifecycle of these pests and reduces the load on the hive.
Thank you all for the advice. I also have a verticle slat board in place on the hive.
I meant to say i have slatted racks in place.