Sunday, September 22, 2013

Quick Recharge of Sticky Boards

Since I started beekeeping I have used Crisco Shortening as a coating for my mite sticky boards.

I would scoop a clump of the shortening into my hand and spread it with my fingers.  This process was a bit slow and not so bad when I only had 2, then 4, then 6 hives.  Now that I'm bordering on 19 hives it's too time consuming.

I had heard of a paint roller being used but what I've opted to use is a putty knife.  I can toss a glob onto the board and then spread it nice and thin with the knife.

But the best part of all is the clean off.  Previously I'd use paper towels and rub off all the build up of mites, pollen, bee parts and miscellany.  Again, a time consuming process.

Now I angle the sticky board over a metal garbage pail which I keep in the yard.  Then I scrape the old stuff with the putty knife straight into the garbage.  No more wasting of paper towels.  And it's super fast too.

The putty knife can be used to help clean off a bottom board if needed but be careful not to take the paint off too.

For the most part I find I don't really need to clean bottom boards.  I leave the sticky boards in all winter, make sure the back is covered and insulated against the cold.  All the debris collects on the sticky board which I then pull out in spring and scrape off.

Also don't forget to have a small tilt in your hives so that water will run off - depending on which way you have your sticky board located, front or back.  Mine are at the back so I have the hive platform at the front wedged up a bit with cedar shingles.
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