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Corflute - do we need it?


#1

Hi I haven’t been on the site for a while and am catching up on the posts. The zip on my suit broke about a month ago and, until today, i hadn’t checked the corflute board for a least a month. I usually check and clean it once a week.

I was stung on the hand last month, and am reluctant to be stung again. However I managed to hobble together the bee suit this morning to check the board and had intended to crack the hive but the zipper failed - again- so stopped at the corflute and external inspection.

I’ve uploaded a pix of the board taken today. I have two questions for the brains trust:

1 Is anyone able tell me what they see on the board, in particular do you recognise the grey looking powder? In the hive there is an apithor trap and I monitor for SHB. It might be wax moth gunk. I 've had it before in various places on the board, and it is 'moth season:!


  1. Secondly, has anyone tried the flow hive without any sort of bottom board, just relying on the mesh particularly in summer. I am in northern New South Wales, Australia. It strikes me that as the bees are such tidy wee beasts, can maintain the temperature of the hive, and can’t clean the bottom board themselves a dirty corflute could drive them bonkers. Is there a problem with removing the bottom board, particularly during summer? Wax moth and beetle already have a large entrance.

#2

It is hard to tell without a really close view, but it is probably a mix of cappings, and other hive junk. Could be some mould too, which is normal in moderation in hives. If you want a better opinion, could you take a photo with the camera in “macro” mode from about 10cm away?

The Brits do that, don’t they @Dee? I don’t like it personally, as it gives a huge area for access by wax moths, SHB and ants. SHB are not yet a problem in the UK, so they can get away with it.

I would guess that your slider was in the lower slot. If you leave it in the upper slot instead, the bees will leave it much cleaner, because they can reach the junk and throw it out themselves. :blush:


#3

I don’t like open bottom boards. They are really large entrances for SHB and the guard bees cannot patrol it properly. Also, in summer the bees work hard to cool the hive, with an open bottom board the cooler more dense air simply sinks right out of the hive so they are constantly fighting a losing battle. In case you didn’t gather it I am not a fan. My bees have a small but busy entrance about 1x10cm in summer and half that in winter. Combined with a Warre style quilt top they handle the heat and cold very well. Sometimes I think we fiddle with them too much.

Cheers
Rob.


#4

I have taken to leaving my coreflute in the bottom slot all of the time. My thinking is it’s good for airflow whilst stopping any gusts or chills from the ground. Originally I would put it in the top slot in winter when it is very cold- thinking it would help keep the heat in- but then I had issues with excess moisture. There are usually a few bees in that space- and I figure they can keep it clean if it’s in the bottom slot.


#5

Most in the uk use mesh floors with nothing under except for closing up to vape or measure varroa. Bees probably do better on solid floors.
No beetle here. Wax moth can’t get through the mesh.


#6

Its hard to give any real advice when we don’t know where you are located. My comment was based on your SHB comment not your location as I cannot find it.

Cheers
Rob.


#7

Thanks Dee, Semaphore, Rob, and Dawn for your responses. Rob i am in Northern NSW near the Queensland boarder on a farm. Dawn you said a bit of mould is normal in moderation? I am surprised at that and surprised at the amount of it on the corflute.

I thought you would be able to enlarge the pix on this forum software, i’ll try to edit the pic or take another.

It gets hot here in summer and the winters are mild, 2-3 degrees in the eve and 0-1 at its coldest, so i don’t think the cold is a serious issue, the heat and housekeeping concern me more.


#8

When you consider that hive humidity is frequently 50-60%, and sometimes higher in winter, the conditions are pretty good for mildew growth. The temperatures in the climate you describe are perfect for some moisture and mould growth. If the bees can reach it, and they don’t like it, they will remove it. However, if the slider is in the lower slot, they will likely ignore it. Most mould really does no harm at all - I wouldn’t worry about it with the small amount of colouring on your slider.

You can, a little bit. Not enough to see what is on the board though. Wax moth poop is pretty small - about 1 to 1.5mm long and 0.5mm or less wide. You need good enough resolution and focus to detect something that size. :blush:


#9

Are you sure wax moth can’t get through. We’ve had our flow with a split for three weeks. Yesterday I found a moth larva on the core flute. It was in the lower position. Could it simply have fallen through from above or had been layed there by a moth. Rest of the hive clean. Very puzzeling.


#10

The moths lay their eggs in the debris underneath. If you have your corflute in the lower position you have to clean it regularly.


#11

Dee, I can’t get the corflute into the top position. The bottom board may have warped or the channel is full of junk and i can’t get in to clean it.

I monitor the corflute sometimes twice a week, sometime twice a fortnight. I often find WM lavae on them. I squash them and in doing so skew the balance in the bee’s favour.


#12

Hi Katerina,
The wax moths breed in the core flute slider rails, so it’s worth the effort scraping it clean once a month. My hives are high enough off the ground so I can sit underneath for a good clean. Not my fav job.
With the core flute in the upper slot, there seems to be less accumulation of wax moth doings.


#13

That’s no problem at all. Just give it a wipe every few days.


#14

Thank you that’s a good tip.