Varroa Mesh

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Darryl

House Bee
Joined
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
179
Reaction score
85
Location
Rossendale, Lancashire
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
5
I'm planning to make my own OMF. Woodwork is sorted but I'm looking for a source of varroa mesh either in sheets or on roll.
Can anyone recommend a supplier who doesn't charge a fortune for it?
 
make my own OMF
Considered solid floors? Supposed advantages of OMF were promoted when varroa arrived and research indicated that a small % of varroa would fall through a mesh floor. No doubt the suppliers seized with pleasure an opportunity to diversify in a limited market, and the OMF became the default floor.

I followed this mantra for many years but more recently, digested the message from the bees and this forum and have abandonded the dogma: solid, or solid with a 30% mesh at most, as that seems to be the proportion of floors left unpropolised.
 
I've recently bought from these, very good service.
Just a little tip.
I viewed and bought 5 pieces of mesh straight away, had I been a bit more obsevant I would have noticed they had sent me a message offering a 6% discount.
So, save the item in your watch list and look out for a message, you never know.
They did send me a code for 10% off on future purchases, i can't find it otherwise I would gladly pass it on.
I suppose you could give them a small order to try them out, then place the main order if and when you get the voucher?
 
Considered solid floors? Supposed advantages of OMF were promoted when varroa arrived and research indicated that a small % of varroa would fall through a mesh floor. No doubt the suppliers seized with pleasure an opportunity to diversify in a limited market, and the OMF became the default floor.

I followed this mantra for many years but more recently, digested the message from the bees and this forum and have abandonded the dogma: solid, or solid with a 30% mesh at most, as that seems to be the proportion of floors left unpropolised.
My plan is to make OMFs with a solid, removeable varroa board. Additionally I've made some removeable UFE's which reduce the amount of open mesh by around 25%. Hopefully I can have the best of three worlds. OMF, UFE and solid floor. I'll trial all variiations this season.
 
My plan is to make OMFs with a solid, removeable varroa board. Additionally I've made some removeable UFE's which reduce the amount of open mesh by around 25%. Hopefully I can have the best of three worlds. OMF, UFE and solid floor. I'll trial all variiations this season.

I made mine so they seal closed, too. Hopefully to cut out any draughts from under the hive.

James
 
D
I ended up with quite a few like that, hence my move back to solid floors.

James
Ditto: zero difference apparent on varroa over a few years.
Another unproven beekeeping myth in my view.
 
Another unproven beekeeping myth in my view.
and goodness knows where it came from, as the OMF was around long before varroa. Just the usual self acclaimed expert somewhere inventing their own little theory.
I like OMF and my bees do well on them. I've raised colonies on solid floors and OMF side by side with no discernible difference in performance or overwintering. It's just that at the moment going over to solid floors from OMF is very fashionable and people will imagine the 'massive differences' in their actions.
Waif a few years and something else will be the 'in thing'
 
I wasn't aware that switching back to solid floors from OMF had become "fashionable". I had the impression that most people still toed the "OMF is an important part of IPM" line. Other than perhaps half a dozen posters here and possibly only one (other than me) at my local BKA I don't think I've heard that many people talking about it at all.

On the other hand, if the bees are smothering an OMF in propolis as in the earlier photos, a sensible beekeeper surely takes the hint? (Which obviously doesn't mean that everyone should be doing it without thought as to why and what the consequences are.)

James
 
I had the impression that most people still toed the "OMF is an important part of IPM"
well the BBKA acolytes do, but switching back to solid floors seems to be the new veganism.
On the other hand, if the bees are smothering an OMF in propolis as in the earlier photos, a sensible beekeeper surely takes the hint?
Just leave them with the same OMF then as they enjoy playing with it so much - some bees are just naturally sticky bees and will propolise anything, seen a few colonies behave like that over the years, I had a few doing it one season, and it wasn't just the OMF, any spave between and under frame lugs were swimming in propolis. but since then have left it alone.
 
The biggest advantage of OMF for me is vaping treatments and the detritus /uncapping where one can see where they are located during the winter period. Typically ivy grains on the ground under the floor debunks the myth thta the bees don't or have little use for it.
 
The biggest advantage of OMF for me is vaping treatments and the detritus /uncapping where one can see where they are located during the winter period. Typically ivy grains on the ground under the floor debunks the myth thta the bees don't or have little use for it.
Clear CBs allow you to see the bees unless deep in the comb..
But I rarely if ever open a hive between October to March unless feeding.(and that is fondant on top bars ) SO knowing where bees are is interesting but of little practical application - as far as I am concerned.
 
and goodness knows where it came from, as the OMF was around long before varroa. Just the usual self acclaimed expert somewhere inventing their own little theory.
I like OMF and my bees do well on them. I've raised colonies on solid floors and OMF side by side with no discernible difference in performance or overwintering. It's just that at the moment going over to solid floors from OMF is very fashionable and people will imagine the 'massive differences' in their actions.
Waif a few years and something else will be the 'in thing'
Interestingly of the hives I have inspected so far, I would say judging by hives in the same apiary, that mine on solid floors are ahead of those on OMF.
I didn’t really think about it initially but when I looked back that certainly seemed to be the trend.
 
I've always had mesh floors ... but my stands have a space beneath the floor and the space is only open at the rear where I can slide the inspection board in - which stays in all the time (cleaned regularly) - about 70mm belows the actual mesh. My hives are Paynes Polys and the moulding of the floor sits a fair way below the mesh. I've never had any serious propolisation of the mesh. I suspect that if the mesh is propolised then it's because the bees decided it was too draughty for them .. Derek Mitchell was saying, a while ago, that mesh floors can be the source of draughts but as long as there is no serious windage under the mesh then I can't see that would happen.

Bill Bielby said in 1972 that "For most economical wintering, hives should be highly insulated and completely draughtproof." (Page 44 Home Honey Production). Bill knew a thing or two about bees - mostly from observing them and experimentation but these new fangled notions take a while to catch on.

Bees who decide to improve their home by propolising mesh floors are a clear indication that there is something about that hive and/or location that detracts from their desire to keep the ambient temperature in the hive at their desired level. If they don't fill the mesh with propolis ... they are probably happy !

My stands:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/99514363@N06/albums/72157644503927472/
 
Interestingly of the hives I have inspected so far, I would say judging by hives in the same apiary, that mine on solid floors are ahead of those on OMF.
I didn’t really think about it initially but when I looked back that certainly seemed to be the trend.
I see exactly the same. Went through 40 colonies on Tuesday with mix of floors (and boxes). All the most advanced ones on solid floors ( top 10) and most of the least advanced on mesh. Makes more of a difference than poly/wood box I think.
That said in a few weeks I doubt it will be noticeable and I like mesh for moving them
 
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