Above-right we see a very simple design of a screened bottom board (SBB). The picture immediately to the left shows my new screened bottom board design which allows for easy screen and heat-tape tray removal. The picture on the top-left is a four hive design of a screened bottom board. You can view the construction of this four-hive screened bottom board here.
A couple of years ago I was roaming the internet gathering information on integrated pest management (IPM). I came across a website describing the use of screened bottom boards for counting Varroa mite concentrations within the hive. A research paper describing this study was written by Jean Pierre Chapleau of Canada. His website contains information on the research done on this topic and has an updated version of their screened bottom board if you can find a way to access their web site.
Searching around other websites I noticed that several vendors were selling screened bottom boards of a similar design as described in Mr.Chapleau's research paper. I purchased three screened bottom boards from three different vendors and each had its own unique design. The screened bottom board shown at the top-right has a screen which has been stapled onto the frame and is non-removable. It also has a small 1/2" hole in back which allows for delivering smoke into the bottom of the hive. Another screened bottom board has a removable screen tray which slides out the back of the hive. This allows for the removal of dead bees, mice, wax cappings, etc. without the beekeeper having to poke a stick or tool into the hive.
After using these screened bottom boards for two seasons (2008-2009) I decided to build a few more while incorporating my own design. I liked the idea of a removable sliding screen and a slide tray for keeping count on varroa mites. This year (2010) I also started using "heat tapes" to bring some extra heat into the hive during the cold winter months (see Assisted Electric Heating). I decided to incorporate all these features into my new design and the following pictures show the construction process and the final product of my design.
The above picture shows the back and two sides of the screened bottom board. The back piece has been cut to allow for the insertion of the top removable screen tray followed by the center heat tape tray and the bottom "sticky" board or varroa mite "counting board". The two sides have been dadoed to allow for all three trays to rest and slide into position.
The above picture shows the screened bottom board with the top removable screen tray and the bottom slide tray for varroa mite count. During the warmer weather I remove the "heat-tape tray and cover up the hole with the center wood cover as seen above.
Just for show I have placed my ventilated inner cover (VIC)
above the new screened bottom board with the "heat-tape" tray and controller showing.
The following video shows the features of my new screened bottom board design.
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This web page was last updated on February 15, 2012.