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Hive Base & Screened Bottom Board Modification Idea


In the spirit of ‘5 replies and 10 opinions’ from this wonderful community, I release this thought into the wild:

*Location: Canberra, Australia.

The Flow Hive Base Board (FHBB) comes with two levels of rebates or ‘slider slots’ underneath the Screened Bottom Board (SBB).

After reading the aforementioned varied opinions on SBB’s I am thinking of making up a custom metal tray of a nominal 5mm depth or so that slides easily into the top slot. This tray will still ‘seal’ the bottom of the Hive from excessive ventilation. The tray will then have a layer of Diatomaceous Earth in it to assist with Small Hive Beatle control. Swapping/Cleaning this tray will be easily accomplished.

The lower slots will then be reinforced with 10 mm 90 degree angle aluminium level with the bottom of the slots. Into this bottom level I will then slide a toughened glass pane. Come Flow Frame harvest time - slide the glass out and there’s my shelf for the jars.

Apologies if this has been posted or already done elsewhere.

Discuss…grin…and thank you.

South Eastern NSW & Canberra Australia Bee Keepers

I would just stick to a solid floor such as masonite, marine ply, galvanized sheet for examples. You could be going to a lot of trouble with no benefit. What are the commercial operators doing down your way? I’d copy what they do. The only thing I do that some blokes might not do is place a vinyl mat on top of the honey frames with bee space all around.


Hi there Jeff,

Many thanks for your reply. As with other Screened Bottom Board (SBB) threads on this forum and throughout the onlne beekeeping community there are more opinions on the SBB than there are beekeepers (not suprising). The included SBB in the base of the Full Flow Hive that I have recieved is a nice bonus and, yes, can be either utilised or not - as per user preference. I am keen to try the tray idea ‘just to see’. If it’s not effective hey, no worries.

The glass retractable shelf in the second reinforced slot of the Flow Hive Base will, I think, be pretty darn handy.



Your welcome, thank YOU:) It sounds good. I hope you show us some photos of that as well as your honey harvest.


Hi dragon fly, I’ve been trying exactly what you propose, though have not had any luck with the D earth, however I’ve been finding many hive beetles in my tray. I’ve not switched to good old oil and getting lots of beetles every day, without any ventilation issues.

I’ve just siliconed a small ridge on top of my cor flute board which comes with each hive to make a small dam of sorts where I can place the oil, it’s not ideal but does work until if find a proper tray to fit.

Good luck! Let us know how you go with yours


FYI here are some pics


Great pics as always ymcg and the website is working a treat. If the rain holds off for another half an hour I will open my newbie little hive and swap out one of the hive traps.

My hive is located about 25m from on old deadout one in a camphor laurel tree. I’m wondering if some of the dozens of hive beetles I see outside my hive are from the deadout.


I had an interesting conversation with the NSW DPI (Doug Somerville) yesterday about this very subject. Overall DE does work but may take some time to take affect as the DE slowly breaks down the beetles exo-skeleton which can take several days and up to a week, also any humidity (including rain) will cause DE to begin clumping which will render it useless. Oil is the best method however it does go rancid after about a week in warm weather it will need changing regularly and more often if it rains. Another method to use on your bottom board under the screen is any felt like material, the beetles legs will become caught and they will starve and die, and with the addition of a lip around the edges the beetle larva will not escape into the soil to pupate thus breaking the cycle. A synthetic material could be removed and washed under hot water.
@sciencemaster, beetles can travel large distances to find hives (5-7km). Your deadout if it contains good wax and honey may also contain hive beetles but the ground perimeter around the tree is where there could be many pupating beetles emerging to enter your new hive.
According to Doug, the Apithor trap is singularly one of the most effective methods in controlling SHB. They cost between $5-$7 each and will last for 3 months. Best of Luck…


Anyone have any experience with these baffles?



Thanks for the advice. I now have three traps between the tops of the frames with a few mm of vegetable oil in each one. I emptied one of them today, 4 days after I fist installed it. I counted 50 hive beetles drowned in Canola oil. The advice seem to be to replace the oil each week so that’s what I’ll do.

I will get an apithor trap but won’t install it until I see how the other control measures work.


I wonder whether medicinal paraffin might work in so far that it is oily and wouldn’t go rancid?


Dee, I too am curious about the use of a medium viscosity substance that will not rapidly oxidise and degrade or pose a danger to the hive above with fumes. I do like the ‘non-liquid’ option mentioned by Rodderick. The DE method is certainly humidity dependant upon its efficacy.

I’d wager that all liquid/powder usage or ‘felt’ trap options placed under a SBB will all still carry the requirement of regular inspection for SHB carcass removal - at the very least to minimise mould build up on/in the carcasses and in the tray/felt liner - regardless of the materials used.

I’m sure you’d agree that the regular cleaning also facilitates a timeline of the population of SHB in each hive. This inspection interval gives instant feedback as to the numbers and control progress/regression of the SHB infestation.

Whilst I’d love a ‘set-and-forget’ system for SHB, I think it a nice reminder of the ethics in Beekeeping to keep the hives as naturally healthy as we can, that regular cleaning under the SBB helps reinforce the need for inspections.


I pulled all three beetle traps traps out today from my very first 8 frame hive. None of them had been in more than a week but I wanted to see how the were working. I diluted the gooey oil a ne beetle mixture with a good slosh of metho and swirled to disperse the oil. Then I tipped the mixture through a kitchen strainer I keep in the shed. I tipped the wet dead beetles onto a sheet of white polystyrene foam and counted them individually with a metal marking scribe. It was all very easy. The hardest bit was walking the 30metres to the shed, swirling the beetle/oil/metho cocktail. I’m a man. Mostly I only do one thing at a time.

There were 81 beetles in total in the three traps. Most of them were in the trap that had been in the hive for a week.


@sciencemaster That’s a lot of beetles!


Yes, I had counted 50 in a trap I emptied a few days ago but that count was more of an estimate. The beetles were stuck together in the gluggy oil. Today, the metho combined with the strainer made for a much more accurate count. I really did have a serious infestation of beetles. I’m hopeful that the girls and I are now winning the battle.


Good luck with that - so glad we don’t have shb - varroa is bad enough


They will come and will be a problem in the warm south especially in areas of light soil.
I think those hands off beekeepers that hardly look in their hives might get a nasty surprise. We’ll also have to face the fallout from feral hives.
You’re right Valli, varroa is bad enough.
I also feel sorry for beekeepers who live near honey processing plants having to contend with foul brood all the time.


@Dee It all traces back to unhygienic and bad practice and then Some people go and advocate stripping down and scorching hive for one Hive when all they are doing is putting ALL the local bee keepers and hives at risk.

As You Know here in the UK Dee the lot would have been bonfired by order of the inspectors, “No If’s, No But’s, No insurance, Tough Luck!”

Let alone shb, spiders, wax moth and cockroaches to boot and no one knows what other diseases and pathogens


I have to correct myself here.
I’ve just watched a presentation by James Ellis on SHB and he says the larvae will “burrow through concrete” if the moisture is right :frowning:


I’m just staggered to find you talking about me & my video on a different thread. Surely you read the part where I said the hive is going strong today with a healthy colony. Surely you heard me say that the hive belonged to a farmer. Even if I wanted to burn the whole thing, it wasn’t mine to destroy. I don’t destroy other peoples property. I had the impression that this forum was for exchanging ideas. Not for one person to say another person is WRONG or RIGHT just because you don’t agree or agree with what that person does. You might burn the whole thing, that would be your choice. My choice is to clean & scorch, that’s what works for me & has done for many years. The only beekeeper that would suffer as a result of my “bad practice” is me. My bees are doing fantastic. No complaints here.