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Drone Bee
Nov 9, 2008
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Hi All
in the latest BBKA news update it mentions about changing floors, this month or next, do those of you who have OMF do this every year or is it just those with the solid floors ?.
Me thinks you are refering to the traditional prctice of scraping the floor clean of winter debris.

No need to change the floor, though if you have one spare then it makes the task easier.

On poly hives it is pretty much unnecessary.

i use omf all year round and i fence in my sites with animal shelter fencing to cut down strong winds and it seems to work well.
i think solid floors have there place in very exposed areas with the weather and winds, i think it depends on your circumstances, i do think omf help for varroa control when treatments are being used.

I have used omfs all year round for a couple of years.. This year I used oa in December and in view of the colder windier Winter than of late I decided to insert the tray (insulated) in January !!.
I and a friend noticed that a couple of colonies at the branch apiary (on solid floors ) were in advance of the omf'd ones Spring 2008.
I made my omf's during the period when a 2" gap between the mesh and the floor was recommended, this has given me ample room to place insulation on the bottom board.
I still have an empty super between floor and brood box :).
Do you think the super below the brood box makes much difference?
To my mind there are two different issues being discussed and confused here.

I started using open floors long before varroa, as part of using Poly hives. At that time it became obvious from the experimentation that had taken place at Craibstone that top insulation and bottom ventilation was the way to go.

this idea was promulgated quite widely in the Scottish Beekeeper and more local publications. Now of course the wheel is being re-invented yet again. The research at Craibstone having been lost.

Then along came Varroa and open mesh floors and the IPM business came into being.

Lets return to the comment John made about the solid floors being ahead. I agree. In my experience they will be ahead about now and for the next week or two.

In more Northern climes I found that the wooden colonies on solid floors were ahead by a fortnight and the warmer colonies stayed broodless. Then boom the warm ones took off and with in a fortnight out stripped the cold ones leaving them behind no bother.

So why are the cold ones producing brood? The thinking at Craibstone was it was a way of coping with wet air in the hive. By producing brood nd raising the temperature this was dried to an extent and the living conditions for the colony improved.

I would urge a trial John.

I will also pass comment that eventually ALL my colonies had open floors and top ventilation and when running some 60 to 80 boxes the poly hives always out stripped the timber ones and in a harsher climate than here in the Midlands by some degrees.

I would be as adamant if the opposite was true, I tell you no lies just pointing up my observations.

Do you think the super below the brood box makes much difference?

What difference ???
I wish I knew. The idea of the super below the brood , is to provide a space for the cluster to hang below the frames as it had been noted that clusters were hanging below the frames and in actual contact with the omf. Secondly the extra distance between cluster and omf serves to baffle any air eddies capable of sucking warmth from the cluster.
The reason I left said super in position when replacing tray and insulating same was to minimise disturbance .
Hi Sweetums.getting back to your question.
not a bad idea to clean/change your floors on a nice day, in say march, no matter which kind you use. The full varroa floors will most likely be clear of most debris but the wax moth like to make there little cacoons all along the ridge by the slides ect,so good to just get rid of these.
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Hey Dude
Hows it going.

I had made up my mind this morning at work to change the OMF on each hive when its warm enough, i think it would be good practice, particularly as i dont think scraping would remove enough debris.

I am dreading finding any wax moth, little bar stewards, i hope the bees kept them out long enough.