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Floor problem help - please don't laugh

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Ivor Kemp 

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On preparing for Varroa treatment at the weekend, I noticed for the first time, to my horror, that the yellow Thornes plastic floor board has been taped under the mesh floor since my hive was put together last July!

Although my bees have done very well, this means that they have had a closed floor for over a year and throughout the summer.

I thought they were a bit feisty during hot spells. Do you think this would have made a big difference to their well being?

The other problem is that the slot where you pull the plastic sheet out is round the back of the hive and such is the position of the hive next to a fence it is impossible to pull it out without moving the hive.

The hive is on two breeze blocks and I have a second mesh floor with yellow tray.

Would people recommend:

1. Putting in two new breeze blocks in front and trying to slide the hive onto the second floor?

2. Lifting the brood chamber and turning the existing floor unit round (I already don't think this is a good idea)?

3. Doing nothing until at least the end of the varroa treatment?

4. Something else?

And while we're on the subject, is it best to close up the floor with this plastic sheet for the winter and then remove again in the spring?

Many thanks.
 

milkermel 

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welcome to the joys of novice hood!! dont worry when I was trying to build my first thornes hive i ended up put several piece of wood where they shouldnt bee!!!

dont know about the best way for you to move hive around may well be to bring it forward bit by bit less than 3ft is the accepted amount i seem to remember but dont know how accurate a bees tapemeasure is!! so blocks in front and gradual slide should be fine.

I have had the monitor out over the winter last year which was really cold and my girls did fine and yours sound like they are fairly sheltered.

One of my hives is a closed floor and they were certainly more lively than the others so maybe you are right.

The professionals wil be around soon so probably a more helpful answer or easier solution will appear.

Think you will probably need some soda crystals to clean the board once it comes out!!
 

Frithgar 

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I have a thornes varroa floor as well and there is a gap between the plastic inspection tray and the actual floor so it's not as bad as you might think. They will still be getting more air than a standard wooden floor even though the tray is in.
As for keeping the tray in, some people say you should keep the tray in for varroa treatment and others say it doesn't matter, I'm not experianced enough to be able to answer that one way or the other, sorry.
If you want to remove the tray then simply setting up some blocks in front of the hive and sliding it forward a foot would be the best option, minimal disruption to the ladies and being able to move around all sides of the hive in future will probably end up being a bonus.
Frith
 
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Although my bees have done very well, this means that they have had a closed floor for over a year and throughout the summer.

I thought they were a bit feisty during hot spells. Do you think this would have made a big difference to their well being?
Can't see this is any different to having a solid floor which as still in widespread use

3. Doing nothing until at least the end of the varroa treatment?
Floor is meant to be closed for this isn't it?

And while we're on the subject, is it best to close up the floor with this plastic sheet for the winter and then remove again in the spring?
Most seem to recommend OMF over solid for ventilation over winter, though I'm sure there are many with the opposite view as usual!
 

thedeaddiplomat 

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If I understand correctly, you have a second OMF, which is spare at present. If so, why not simply lift off the brood box and existing OMF together and put the down beside the breeze blocks. You can then position the spare OMF correctly, and in a way which will enable you to remove the yellow card, and put your brood box on this. The existing OMF can then be separated from its yellow card, and becomes your spare? This is what you will want to do in the Spring as well, so as to give them a nice clean hive for the new season.
 
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oliver90owner 

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Your biggest immediate (but long on-going) problem may be wax moth feeding merrily on any cappings which have dropped through the OMF.

Regards, RAB
 

Ivor Kemp 

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If I understand correctly, you have a second OMF, which is spare at present. If so, why not simply lift off the brood box and existing OMF together and put the down beside the breeze blocks. You can then position the spare OMF correctly, and in a way which will enable you to remove the yellow card, and put your brood box on this. The existing OMF can then be separated from its yellow card, and becomes your spare? This is what you will want to do in the Spring as well, so as to give them a nice clean hive for the new season.
Thanks everyone.

With regard to the post above, by lifting the brood box onto the new floor is there not the danger of loads of bees falling out including, possibly, the Queen?
 

Frithgar 

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Do it carefully and keep them as close to each other as possible. After the switch very carefully inspect any fallen bees in case one is the queen.
I prefer to but the floors up against each other so there is nowhere for the queen to fall as you move the brood box over.
The 2nd option is to have a 2nd brood box on the other floor and move the brood one frame at a time, then tip the remaining bees into the top of the 2nd box. More time consuming but some would say you're less likely to lose the queen.
Frith
 

winmag270 

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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
you will get a few bees "fall" out and some will be sitting on the hive floor when you take the BB off, dont worry about this, just knock them off the floor with a sharp tap and they will fly back to the hive.

have a check first to see if the queen is there, but the likelihood is that she will still be busy doing what she does best on one of the brood frames
 

Ivor Kemp 

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Thanks again everyone.

As I have the second (spare) floor and tray, I think I will go for setting this up on two identically sized breeze blocks butted up against the others and sliding the brood chamber across.

Sounds a bit less likely to create a disaster for a novice.
 

Frithgar 

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As I have the second (spare) floor and tray, I think I will go for setting this up on two identically sized breeze blocks butted up against the others and sliding the brood chamber across.
Don't actually slide, pick it up to move it. May be stating the obvious but just had visions of an accidentally pinched queen during a slide...
Frith
 

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