OMF and Swarms

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Do224 

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I’ve often read that swarms don’t like taking up residence in a location with an open floor.....and if you’re baiting your hive as a swarm trap you need to put an inspection tray under your OMF.

My swarm has been hived for a week now and I’ve left the inspection tray in so far as didn’t want to risk them absconding if I removed it.

Is it time to remove it now for ventilation?
 

rook66 

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I’ve often read that swarms don’t like taking up residence in a location with an open floor.....and if you’re baiting your hive as a swarm trap you need to put an inspection tray under your OMF.

My swarm has been hived for a week now and I’ve left the inspection tray in so far as didn’t want to risk them absconding if I removed it.

Is it time to remove it now for ventilation?
They won't leave now if you remove it.
I caught a large swarm last week, the same method but with a couple of bits of beer mat with lemongrass on the insert,, I took it out after a couple of hours.
 
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Erichalfbee 

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I’ve often read that swarms don’t like taking up residence in a location with an open floor.....and if you’re baiting your hive as a swarm trap you need to put an inspection tray under your OMF.

My swarm has been hived for a week now and I’ve left the inspection tray in so far as didn’t want to risk them absconding if I removed it.

Is it time to remove it now for ventilation?
What do you think?
 

Do224 

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What do you think?

Reading around on here it sounds like a lot of people leave their inspection tray out unless treating for varroa...but then I also understand beehives used to have solid floors which would suggest there’s no harm in leaving it in either.

I would have assumed it should be left in over the winter to help retain heat...but again reading around apparently that’s not the case
 

Erichalfbee 

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A project for the winter. Make your own floor with UFE ( plans in the sticky section) make it deep and you can leave the inspection tray in 390ED43F-07D1-4049-B0B8-DB6383D17B05.jpeg
 

Erichalfbee 

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Reading around on here it sounds like a lot of people leave their inspection tray out unless treating for varroa...but then I also understand beehives used to have solid floors which would suggest there’s no harm in leaving it in either.
If you leave it in you have to clean it every couple of days
 

drdrday 

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Reading around on here it sounds like a lot of people leave their inspection tray out unless treating for varroa...but then I also understand beehives used to have solid floors which would suggest there’s no harm in leaving it in either.

I would have assumed it should be left in over the winter to help retain heat...but again reading around apparently that’s not the case
You're right - as usual it's just one of those things that no two beekeepers are likely to agree on. When choosing a home bees apparently tend to prefer a solid sealed floor, which makes sense as they're looking for security and a safely sealed up home. Having said that, all of my bait boxes have at least partially meshed floors, and still caught swarms. As soon as they've settled in, and especially once they've got brood in the box to look after, the bees really don't seem fussed.

An OMF is more for us beekeepers to monitor what the hive is up to. Especially, over winter, or in early spring it's nice to have the board in so that you can take a look every few days and get an idea from the debris of how big the cluster is, where in the box it is, whether they're uncapping stores, or how much brood they might be raising - all without cracking the lid and disturbing them.

You can get a *very rough* idea of mite levels by counting how many dead mites fall through onto the board over a few days. Or better yet, you can do an accelerated mite drop (such as a single OA vape) to more accurately count varroa levels by seeing how many phoretic mites had been in the hive and killed off by the treatment.

When it comes to providing ventilation, or keeping in heat, that's probably even more contentious. I think it really depends on where your hive is located. If you're in a particularly cold, or very windy and exposed area then your bees might benefit from the board being in over winter, but personally I haven't found it essential at all. My default position is to leave the board out unless I'm monitoring something, or need the hive sealed for an OA vape.
 

GeoffWhite 

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One very experienced and wise beekeeper that I know won't allow mesh floors in his hives, solid floors only for him, and an RBI that I spoke to recently was talking enthusiastically about the positive health results the AFBI are getting from experiments in getting rid of hive floors altogether.
Personally I think that condensation is the root of much evil, and only put the inspection tray in when necessary. I'm also becoming disillusioned with polycarbonate crown boards, also because there always seems to be condensation on the underside. The poor bees are frantically trying to get the hydration level of the nectar down, and it seems prudent not to hinder them...
 

Erichalfbee 

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One very experienced and wise beekeeper that I know won't allow mesh floors in his hives, solid floors only for him, and an RBI that I spoke to recently was talking enthusiastically about the positive health results the AFBI are ugetting from experiments in getting rid of hive floors altogether.
Personally I think that condensation is the root of much evil, and only put the inspection tray in when necessary. I'm also becoming disillusioned with polycarbonate crown boards, also because there always seems to be condensation on the underside. The poor bees are frantically trying to get the hydration level of the nectar down, and it seems prudent not to hinder them...
If you have insulation on polycarbonate crownboards you get condensation only in the corners
Apart from the fact that the bees can’t get to the debris what’s the difference between a solid floor and omf with the inspection board in?
And how do you run a hive where the RBI has got rid of floors all together ?
 

Boston Bees 

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an RBI that I spoke to recently was talking enthusiastically about the positive health results the AFBI are getting from experiments in getting rid of hive floors altogether.
Bit confused as to how this would work, and what the purpose would be (rather than just having a solid floor)
 

hemo 

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Are the poly carb CB's insulated ? If not then moisture will form if one side is cold.
 

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