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Author Topic: Mold on the bottom board  (Read 408 times)

Offline CoolBees

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Mold on the bottom board
« on: January 12, 2019, 05:29:12 pm »
I was wondering what this might mean? I noticed 8-10 1/2" diameter gray mold spots growing on the bottom board (SBB) of 1 hive this morning when I changed the sticky board.

I've also noticed that this hive has had water condensing under the lid, and dripping down thru the vent slot in the inner cover in small qtys since last fall when it hadn't even rained here yet. There has been constant heavy condensation on the Bottom Board for some time now. I wipe it off every week or so.

This hive also brings in far more pollen than the other hives. I removed 5 full frames of bee bread when I condensed this hive in Nov. And they had plenty more - more pollen than honey. This hive produces so much pollen, that I bought a pollen trap this winter in preparation for next season.

I did a full inspection and alcohol wash of this hive last week. Mite count was 1. Brood nest was 3.5 frames. Everything looked very healthy - to my eyes. Lots of bees, comb being drawn in super, so I added the remaining frames.

Hive is 10 fr super over a 10 deep.

It's been raining here every few days, then clearing to mid 60's F, sunny, and drying out for a few days. Nothing unusual weather wise. We get about 15 total inches rain per year here.

Should I worry about this? Your thoughts?
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Mold on the bottom board
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2019, 07:01:33 pm »
Sounds very healthy. I would add an insulation board to the inside of the telescoping cover to stop the condensation. Condensation dripping on the brood during winter can easily kill a hive.
Insulation that has metal foil on both sides is best.
Jim

Offline CoolBees

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Re: Mold on the bottom board
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2019, 08:57:51 pm »
Thank you Jim. That is reassuring.

Alan
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Offline paus

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Re: Mold on the bottom board
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2019, 09:13:16 pm »
I have had and am still having success using a screen top that I put a cotton cloth over the screen and fill top with about 1 1/2 inches shavings.  In the spring I dump the shavings and fold the cloth and leave it in the top screen.  NO mold.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Mold on the bottom board
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2019, 09:19:46 pm »
My hives have the 1/2 inch insulation in the top and I use STB with a 1/2 inch insulation covering the screen. I originally only used the insulation during winter until I found out that the hives with the double insulation didn?t beard while the ones with the screen left open did beard.
Jim

Offline JackM

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Re: Mold on the bottom board
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 09:28:42 am »
I live North of you in WA.  I keep an empty super at the bottom, keep the screened bottom year round, use a Miller board to disrupt air flow, and added (can't think of name of this) a top section thing that has screens on the sides.  This allows the hive to vent the moisture.
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: Mold on the bottom board
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 02:59:34 pm »
JackM - thank you for your response.

I'm new at this, so there is much I don't understand.

Is your empty super placed above or below the SBB? ... if above, don't the bees build comb in there?

I leave the SBB yr round also - with the board (bottom?) installed at all times.

A quick Google search did not reveal what a Miller Board was. Can you provide a link with a pic or description?

I would have to see pics of the top screen you are referring to, as I can't visualize it.

Thank you,
Alan
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Offline JackM

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Re: Mold on the bottom board
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2019, 08:47:04 am »
Top thing is a 'vivaldi' boar.  No I don't put the empty super until late season when no nectar and they are more concerned about staying warm.  Apparently the dead area is not used except for dead air space.  They are not building comb this time of year.  The empty super is placed above the Miller board and below the brood

Look I am not saying this works for everyone, it goes opposite of what everyone else does.  This is for a cool moist environment.
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Offline kathyp

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Re: Mold on the bottom board
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2019, 12:08:19 pm »
Be really careful about doing inspections before drones fly.  If you accidentally kill the queen and can't breed or buy a new one, you are done. 

I don't know where you are in N CA, but you might want to restrict inspections to checking for food until you know you can replace her if you squish her. 
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: Mold on the bottom board
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2019, 12:34:21 pm »
Be really careful about doing inspections before drones fly.  If you accidentally kill the queen and can't breed or buy a new one, you are done. 

I don't know where you are in N CA, but you might want to restrict inspections to checking for food until you know you can replace her if you squish her.

Your right. Good advice, and thank you. 3 yrs ago - I learned the hard way what a hive looks like when they go queenless in the offseason and you can't get a replacement. It's sad to watch them pack in the honey as their numbers dwindle to nothing. By the time I could get a queen for that hive, it was too late.

Now I keep an equal number of 5 frame nucs to production hives for exactly that reason. ... but I still try to be extra careful this time of year.
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: Mold on the bottom board
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2019, 12:46:49 pm »
Top thing is a 'vivaldi' boar.  No I don't put the empty super until late season when no nectar and they are more concerned about staying warm.  Apparently the dead area is not used except for dead air space.  They are not building comb this time of year.  The empty super is placed above the Miller board and below the brood
 environment. ...

Thank you! That's a new one for me. I've got a lot to learn - little by little, with help from so many of you, I'm getting there.

It's interesting - on all 4 of my hives, as the bees condensed in the fall, I began removing empty boxes & frames as needed. It seems that every hive ended up with an almost empty bottom box - basically what your describing I think. I hadn't actually thought about it, I just reacted to what they seemed to want by removing frames that they had emptied. I was trying to get to the point of removing the entire box, but in each case, there always seemed to be 1-3 frames of stores in the bottom most box so I left that.
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Offline ed/La.

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Re: Mold on the bottom board
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2019, 01:19:14 pm »
Is it mold or mycillium. A fungus that is rotting the wood would be my guess.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Mold on the bottom board
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2019, 03:16:36 pm »
I have had and am still having success using a screen top that I put a cotton cloth over the screen and fill top with about 1 1/2 inches shavings.  In the spring I dump the shavings and fold the cloth and leave it in the top screen.  NO mold.

I just started this. I would like to use a cloth because it?s easier to break the top.
My bees prepare before winter with much propolis and it?s hard to take of the lid filled with shavings. The frames stick and the bees get nervous when I use my hive tool to shove the frames down.
A cloth might prevent this.

Paus,
do the bees eat the cloth if it is used right above the frames? Do they propolise it much, I would like to keep some ventilation coming through. I have no screen on top. I use a feeder as lid.
It?s the feeder?s bottom board, very thin and provided with holes, above it?s filled with shavings. I think of placing the cloth between the frames and the feeder bottom.
But there has to be ventilation.

Offline CoolBees

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Re: Mold on the bottom board
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2019, 04:38:59 pm »
Is it mold or mycillium. A fungus that is rotting the wood would be my guess.

I had to look up mycilium. Definitely not that. It was blue/green mold spots. I should have taken a picture. Next time.
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