Saturday, March 6, 2010

IPM counting board debris

I'm interested in whether the debris on the IPM counting board correlates with the winter cluster location.  I'm using "debris" to describe everything that falls through the screened bottom board--not just varroa mites.  Is there a correlation between the winter cluster location and the debris--how can I use this information? 
In the image above, counting board debris marks the bee space between frames and the absence of debris marks the location of the eight frames.  As the IPM grids does not line-up with the frames, I'll flip-over my counting board so that the white un-marked side faces up. I'm tired of ignoring the counting board grid lines and using my finger to count the frames.

In the image above, the bees on the frames mark the top of the winter cluster (3D sphere)in the first deep hive body.   The counting board debris and winter cluster locations seems to line-up.  To make the debris more obvious, I'm scraping and washing the counting board surface clean after every inspection.

During spring swarm control, a quick look at the counting board debris may help plan which honey frames to remove for "checkboarding" in the second deep hive body or which frames get starter strips to "open the brood nest" in the first deep hive body.

1 comment:

Cassandra said...

You are so right about the bottom board telling you so much about what it going on in your hive. I look for mites, beetles, colors of pollen wax cappings and to see if any moisture has built up so I know I need more ventilation. Good post.