Experiment in our BeeCraft in Alentejo: a symbiotic floor is set under the Top Bar Hive Prâna.
The symbiotic floor helps the colony to radiate and thrive:
In nature, bee colonies usually nest in hollow trees, where the bottom is filled with organic matter full of micro-organisms and other creatures interacting with the bees.
Like humus in the forest, this decomposing organic matter acts like a buffer layer, supporting the bees to regulate heat and humidity 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 the varroa mite is to groom themselves and each other, and to bite off the legs of the varroa mites. However, not all the mites are killed by the bees. Those still alive can easily reinfect the bees that are walking on the bottom board, or climb back into the nest, along the inner walls of the hive.
One option used more and more to prevent this loop is to install a metallic mesh floor under the nest. I tried this technique for several years and I observed that the bees usually react to the presence of the mesh in their hive. They either try to open the mesh with their mandibles or to fill it with propolis.
In the symbiotic floor we experiment with a “non-return system”, that prevents the mites from climbing back into the hive. When they fall down, they stay at the bottom and are decomposed by the micro-organisms present in the leaf litter.