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open or closed floor?

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keithgrimes 

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I'm new to beekeeping and have received as a gift a WBC hive. It has a sliding varroa mesh floor and, underneath that, a sliding solid wood floor. My question is, is it better to side out the solid floor and have an open mesh floor in the hive, or to close it up? Every book I read has a different opinon
 

andypigeon 

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i use open as i think its beter for the bees (more air going in the hive). i have had problems with solid floors. but i think that you will get people who only use solid floors, but i would go for mesh.
 

plumberman 

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My opinion? - keep them on the open mesh floor ( improves ventilation, and more importantly any varroa mites that fall off bees can't climb back up and re infest). My three hives all successfully over-wintered with mesh floors so I wouldn't be concerned about them becoming too cold.

Stick some white paper onto the solid floor and periodically ( every 6-8 weeks) put the solid floor back in for 3 days. Count any varroa present and divide by 3 to give you a daily mite drop count. If you search for the DEFRA pdf "managing varroa" this will give you more accurate guidance as to the significance of the mite counts.

HTH

Roddy
 

VEG 

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The idea of the sliding floor is for it to be used for assessing mite drop and for apiguard treatments.
 
T

Tom Bick 

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I think what is important is that when the tray is closed it fits with minimum gaps this gives you the option of open mesh or closed floor and you can decide what is best at any time.
Also with minimum gaps it must help with apigard treatment as the fumes will have more time to work and not just get blown away with the extra draughts.
 

Onge 

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Leave it open all year round, unless you are treating them or doing a drop count.
 

victor meldrew 

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This one has done the rounds before.
My club has been assessing the benefits of the open mesh floor by using a couple of colonies over solid floors for the Winter/Spring .
We have found these colonies in advance of the rest.
I have over Wintered this year with floors in (put in after oxalic acid treatment)
One colony 2 weeks between inspections in March had drawn comb and filled with brood the space between the bottoms of 14x12 frames and the floor including the depth of a completely empty super which I had placed between floor and brood box.
I had to sacrifice an awful lot of brood in order to sort out the mess created in such a short time , I had delayed removing the super because of the terrible weather we were having at the time.
I won't be using such a super again but I will continue putting the floor insert in after oxalic treatment in future:conehead:.
I made my open mesh floors a long time ago ,when the thinking was 'a 2 " space between mesh and insert was sufficient to prevent varroa from climbing back into the colony'.
I often wonder how bees cope with ventilation when on an open mesh floor as instinctively they line up and generate a flow of air though the colony either for evaporation of nectar and more importantly for air conditioning . Remember air pulled through a slot will increase in speed and is more controllable by the bees to their requirements.
We do tend to blindly follow the latest trend without it being fully assessed?
It is worth thinking about and carrying out your own assessments ?.

John Wilkinson
 

victor meldrew 

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good point!
I have been wondering if to have tray in or out.
If you should leave the inserts in, check the floor regularly as it's a perfect sanctuary for the wax moth, being inaccessible to the bees .

John Wilkinson
 

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