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Question for Christy (or anyone): False Floor Effect

 
Blythe Barbo
Posts: 40
Location: Sequim, WA USA - zone 8b
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Have you heard of the "false floor effect?" Any idea why it happens?
A Warre hive of ours swarmed the other day - I figured it must have been completely full of comb; however, when I opened it up to add a box at the bottom, the last box was completely empty (the top 2 were full). I have been talking with other beeks who say sometimes the bees don't want to go to the lower box. I went ahead and added an extra box anyway; I figured it would help with air circulation at this time of year. We've had one of the wettest springs on record, and moisture has been a bit of a problem. I noted some moisture collecting on the landing board at the entrance prior to the swarm, but just thought it must be because there were so many bees (more bees, more respiration - more moisture, right?) - and also figured they'd be close to swarming, but I was quite surprised to find that empty bottom box. Ideas?
 
Christy Hemenway
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Blythe Barbo wrote:Have you heard of the "false floor effect?" Any idea why it happens?
A Warre hive of ours swarmed the other day - I figured it must have been completely full of comb; however, when I opened it up to add a box at the bottom, the last box was completely empty (the top 2 were full). I have been talking with other beeks who say sometimes the bees don't want to go to the lower box. I went ahead and added an extra box anyway; I figured it would help with air circulation at this time of year. We've had one of the wettest springs on record, and moisture has been a bit of a problem. I noted some moisture collecting on the landing board at the entrance prior to the swarm, but just thought it must be because there were so many bees (more bees, more respiration - more moisture, right?) - and also figured they'd be close to swarming, but I was quite surprised to find that empty bottom box. Ideas?


None. Sorry - I can see them filling the lower box when needed, but then again you don't say how long it was there either... so hard to tell.
 
Blythe Barbo
Posts: 40
Location: Sequim, WA USA - zone 8b
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you don't say how long it was there


Since last spring / summer. Yes, hard to tell. Sometimes it is hard to think like a bee! So much to learn! (Hope I win a copy of your book!)

Thanks, Christy!
 
Emily Cressey
Posts: 45
Location: Lynnwood, WA. USA
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How far off the ground is the hive?

I have heard that most people don't put their Warre hives up high enough, and that ideally the entrance should be at least 3' off the ground due to moisture/evaporation from the ground making it damp and dewy down below.

Emily
 
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