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White bottom board


#1

Hello All,

We are new bee keepers and have a question about the white bottom board and wax foundations.

We received our Nuc around 3 weeks ago. Everything is going well except the (4) empty frames we have put in with the bees wax foundations keep somewhat warping/melting and attaching to one another. We have replaced them three times now.

I need to mention that we are in south Texas.

I decided today that we need to remove the white bottom board thinking that is may be too warm in the hive. What exactly is the white bottom board for other than when it is really cold which is not an issue here in Texas. Will removing it cause us to have a problem or more of a problem with hive beetles or mites?

Can someone help me out. Should I keep the white board out and proceed? Do I need to purchase some plastic foundations on a RUSH or continue with the bees wax.


#2

Keep the white board out. The top board with the hole in it should not have anything blocking it(the hole that is).

I have a Warre hive and I use a piece of window screen to increase the air flow during the hottest days of the summer. This is put over the top box. However, I have difficulty removing the screen from time to time due to the bees using the propolis to seal off any cracks around the edges. If you have a complete Flow, then the bees shouldn’t be getting up above the frames but due to the tight fit, it might prevent air flow under your conditions.


#3

Every now and then, you should put the white board back. But, first take a magic marker or something that will allow you to make a grid pattern on the board. You should put this back under the hive when you have some cooler days - for Texas, mid seventy’s to the mid eighty’s. In this way you can monitor for undesirables like the mites, etc. The grid will help determine where you might have an issue and this will narrow down where to look for the critters. Less disturbing of the girls.

Hope this helps


#4

Also, see the link ‘pests and disease’


#5

You don’t say how the wax foundation is mounted in your frames. Is it wired? If so, is it wired vertically or horizontally, and how did you embed the wire into the wax and/or attach it to the frames? If you just slid in a sheet of unwired foundation, that could be the problem - it won’t hold without the right type of frame. If you are using the wood frames that came with the hive, have you tried the comb guides and no foundation? You could go foundation less in your brood box - you just have to be gentle.

If you can give us a bit more info, we will do our best to help you sort this out.

Dawn


#6

Hi Larry, I’m thinking along the same lines as @Dawn_SD. If you can make it to a local beekeeping club & ask if someone can help you to properly fix the wax foundation into the frames. Or go with foundationless, as Dawn said.

I would slide the white board in the top slots, directly under the wire mesh. The bees will circulate as much air as they need through the entrance only. There is no need for any additional ventilation.

Good luck with everything, cheers:)


#7

Hello Dawn,

We have the wax with the vertical wire. We were trying to use the frames that came with the Flowhive. The wax has the wire embedded in them. We did just slide the wax in.

Are the thin light strips of wood that came with the frame kit the comb guides? Can I use them to wedge the wax foundation into place?

Thank you,
Larry


#8

Hi Larry,

Thank you so much for the information. Now we know what the problem is. The frames that came with the Flow hive cannot be used reliably with pre-wired foundation. In order to stabilize the wired wax in the frame, you need a wedge top frame like this one:
http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeeping-supplies/product/FR-921.html You have to “hang” the foundation from the top of the frame. It is really easy, you just separate the wedge from the top bar of the frame with a box cutter or pocket knife, then nail it back in to trap the wires and foundation at the top of the frame.

I would not try to use foundation like you have with the Flow wood frames. It can be done, but the effort just isn’t worth it - you would need to glue it in with molten beeswax, or cut the frames up a bit. If it was my hive, I would wood glue (Elmer’s or standard PVA glue) in the comb guides (yes, those thin, light strips are the comb guides), and try it out with no foundation at all. Your local bee club probably tells you to use foundation because that is what we have all done for years, but more evidence is growing that there is a lot of advantage from not using any. I am trying a mix of foundation and no foundation in my hives, and next year, I will have some personal comparisons.

I think your problems are all from the foundation sliding out. If you really want to use foundation, I suggest you get the frames I linked above. They are cheap, good quality, easy to build and they work very well with vertically wired foundation.

Best of luck

Dawn