Experiment in our BeeCraft in Alentejo: a symbiotic floor is set under the Top Bar Hive Prâna.
The symbiotic floor supports the colony to radiate and thrive:
In nature, bee colonies usually nest in hollow trees, which bottom is filled with organic matter. The micro-organisms living in the bottom interact in symbiosis with the bees.
Like humus in the forest, the litter in decomposition process acts like a buffer layer, supporting the bees to regulate heat and hygrometry within the nest.
-A support to face the Varroa mite challenge:
One of the strategies developed by the bees to deal with the challenge of varroa is to groom themselves and each other. Nevertheless, the mites are not always killed by the bees. Those still alive can easily reinfect the bees which are walking on the bottom board, or climb back to the nest, along the inner walls of the hive.
One option more and more used to prevent this loop is to install a metallic mesh floor under the nest. I tried this technique several years and I observed that the bees usually react to it. They either try to open the mesh with their mandibles or to fill it with propolis.
The symbiotic floor is designed with a “non-return system”, that prevents the mites from climbing back. When they fall down, they stay at the bottom and are decomposed by the micro-organisms present in the litter.