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One of the most critical decisions that determine the success of a beekeeping venture is the type of beehive chosen. Honey bees are very sensitive and will respond instantaneously to the prevailing conditions within and outside the hive. We have no control over the outside world, especially the changes in weather and seasons. However, the inner conditions within the hive are under our control. This therefore means we directly impact the bees through the choices we make with regard to the beehive box and its accessories.
Different types of beehives are available in the market and there has never been a time as this when you can simply type in a brand, or design of a hive and get all the information you need. Client feedback in particular is easy to come-by and truth be told, a client comment, whether positive or negative is right. You might disagree with this, but it makes sense when you think about it.
With that said, in this review we’ll be looking at the Farmstand Supply Ultimate Bottom Board. This standard bottom board for the modern hive is compatible with most hives.
The Bottom Board Explained
The bottom board is simply the base of the hive. Earlier versions of the bottom board were the solid board. Later on, the screened bottom board took over the industry.
The bottom board holds in place all the other components of the hive. It also determines the nature of the entrance of the hive. It will help reduce or enclose the entrance so as to keep off larger intruders such as mice and others. Most of the bottom boards in the market are made of wood and that means they will only last longer when kept off the ground. The hive stand or a few blocks of cement can elevate the hive and keep the bottom board from rotting.
Screened vs Solid Bottom Board
The screened bottom board became popular due to the prevalence of varroa mites. They are however more costly when compared to the solid bottom board. The solid board also provides more warmth during colder months. A drawback to the solid bottom board is the fact that various substances such as debris, pollen, droppings, beeswax, pests, and others collect at the bottom. These may harbor pests and cause diseases. Fortunately, you can avoid these by cleaning the bottom board regularly.
The screened bottom board provides excellent ventilation unlike the solid board. They are however predisposed to pests that will find their way into the hive. Winter cold can also be problem since it does not enclose the hive against infiltrating cold. Either of the bottom boards is best suited for the Langstroth hive. All you have to consider are your needs and preferences.
About the Farmstand Supply Ultimate Bottom Board
The Farmstand Supply Ultimate Bottom board is designed to fit 10 frame standard Langstroth hives. The board is made of molded technopolymer that does not require painting. This material, unlike wood will never rot or tear and wear easily. It lasts much longer and also does not require painting. It is also delivered pre-assembled, meaning it comes is ready for installation.
As a beekeeper, you should be aware of the fact that the hive needs to remain dry in all seasons. This bottom board with its drip edges at the top, in addition to self-drainage at the bottom ensures the hive stays dry. It is also allows for excellent flow of air within the hive, so as to keep the hive comfortable for the honey bee colony.
The features of this bottom board include:
- Compatibility with standard 10-frame Langstroth hives.
- Made of molded technopolymer which is strong and durable. This also does not require painting.
- Boasts self-drainage at the bottom and in-built drip edges at its top that guarantee the hive is kept dry throughout the seasons.
- At the bottom is an embedded stainless steel mesh in addition to a slide-out inspection board.
- Available also are reversible/removable pieces that will also work as entrance reducers and mouse guards.
- The upper part of the board allows for passive ventilation so as to keep the hive’s interior within the required moisture and temperature levels.
- Delivered already assembled. Therefore assembly is not required.
- Unit dimensions are 23.8 x 19.5 x 5 inches and it weighs about 7.9 pounds.
Pros and Cons
- Well-built and is compatible with standard Langstroth 10-frame hives.
- No assembly required.
- No painting required.
- Provides excellent drainage to keep the hive dry at all times.
- Allows for free airflow to keep temperature and moisture within required limits.
- Can work as entrance reducer and mouse guard.
- The slide-out boards allows for easy inspection of the hive.
- The entrance reducers do not give the bees sufficient space to carry their dead outside.
The Farmstand bottom for 10 frame Langstroth hives is worth it thanks to its design and material. It is lightweight, durable and built with the needs of the beekeeper in mind. It makes it so much easier to inspect the hive with the least disturbance to the bees. The board is also well designed to drain well both at the top and bottom. The mouse guards/entrance reducers included do an excellent job, even though it might restrict the bees from carrying their dead to the outside for disposal given the small space available. You therefore have to clean the hive interior regularly.
A Final Word
Bottom boards have come a long way and with the advent of molded technopolymer, bottom boards things have become even better. The Farmstand Supply Ultimate Bottom Board for 10 frame hives is a solid unit that is quite durable. It is well designed and functions as expected. The screened bottom in particular makes it easier for dead varroa mites to be eliminated from the hive. It also allows free air flow within the hive. It also comes with a lightweight top cover that provides the required insulation. The board comes pre-assembled and will fit easily into any 10 frame hive. I would not hesitate in recommending it to a friend.
Have you ever used the Farmstand Supply Ultimate Bottom Board? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of it.Check Price Check Price (Australia)