Hi, I’m wondering how often people clean out their plastic bottom board?
Welcome to the Flow forum!
What kind of Flow hive do you have? Classic or 2? The reason I ask is that I have a Flow classic and I leave the slider in the top slot year round. I only clean it when I am doing “accelerated mite drop” counts. The rest of the time, the bees keep it pretty clean.
If it is in the lower slot, they can’t reach it to clean it, and it needs rinsing off once every week to 2 weeks. If you have a Flow hive 2, they won’t be able to reach it either. Depending on what you put in the tray, weekly to monthly would be a good interval.
I have a flow 2 cedar hive. The bees have been in a week from a 5 frame nuc, and I had a look at the tray which I put oil in and found about a dozen SHB dead in the bottom.
I don’t know how @JeffH feels about it (he is an SHB experience expert), but I would be inclined to fish out the dead bodies at least and discard them in the trash. All dead insects create a pheromone called oleic acid. This is repugnant and stressful to bees, so living on top of an insect abattoir is not the nicest place for them! Not your fault, just one point of view. For that reason, I would probably change the oil at least once per month, and more often if you have more beetles. However, the oil will dilute the oleic acid scent, so it is probably fine to just remove the dead SHB for now, and do that weekly.
Hi Dawn, thanks for this advice. Yes the dead body thing giving off a smell sounds reasonable… who want to live above that !!!
I will check and clean weekly and replace the oil monthly. It would most probably go rancid after a few weeks anyway. Cheers
I agree with @Dawn_SD, remove the bodies weekly. I would only change the oil when it starts to smell off.
Thanks for the advice