Bee Debris

30 May

In Atlanta (or “Hotlanta” as Linda’s Bees calls it), screened bottom boards are more than a good idea. They’re life jackets for your hot summer hive.

In the dry heat of Albuquerque, I’m still unsure if it’s part of my vital support systems.

Currently, I’ve got a screened bottom board and then below that a solid board. I’m still unclear whether I should remove the solid board during our dry summers, but until then I enjoy pulling it out once a week to explore the bee debris.

Bee Debris

There’s a jumble of yellow, green, and orange pollen in addition to an assortment of wax flakes, bee wings, propolis, and unidentifiable gunk. It’s so pretty I might just use it to decorate holiday cookies 😉


5 Responses to “Bee Debris”

  1. Linda T June 3, 2008 at 2:59 pm #

    I’m enjoying your blog so far. ..isn’t it fun to keep it?

    If you put a solid bottom board under the screened bottom board, some of the advantage of the screened bottom board for ventilation is lost. Having a SBB with nothing below it allows air to circulate throughout the hive as if the hive were bottomless.

    However, looks like there’s about an inch of space between the screen and your solid board, so that may still allow for the ventilation.

    Another advantage of the SBB is that it helps with mite drop. The varroa falls through the screen and can’t get back to the hive – your bottom board placement may still keep the varroa out if they fall off of the bees.

  2. Chantal June 3, 2008 at 3:51 pm #


    Thanks for the note. So you know, I tried removing the bottom board yesterday but I think it confused the bees as they started clustering under the screened bottom rather than returning through the “front door.”

    Sound familiar?

  3. beegirl211 June 9, 2008 at 8:45 am #

    I love your blog! Fantastic entry! Thanks for stopping by the “burbs”..

  4. Norm February 19, 2009 at 5:10 am #

    My opinion is different to Linda’s.
    I feel that bees in a hot environment cool their hive by evaporating both nectar and water. If you leave the bottom off under the screen they are having to work a lot harder to try and cool the ambient air that is now open. As long as they have access to water, they will be fine closed.

  5. Chantal February 19, 2009 at 7:58 am #

    So Norm, you leave your bottom board on all year? Do you use a top bar hive?

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