For my fist blog I thought we would start with a controversial subject. Over the last few years open mesh floors have become very popular in the fight against varroa and very useful they have been. I use them during the summer to measure daily drop and after the treatment with Apiguard.
However, I worry about their use in the winter and so last year I did an experiment. on my double hive stands I put two hives, one with an open mesh floor and the other with a solid floor. Without exception the hives on the solid floors did better and built up faster in the spring.
Now for me this is logical. Bees search out cavities with small openings. Every gap bigger than a bee space they fill up with propolis to cut down on drafts. Leaving them with an open floor in the winter (especially where they are exposed to windy conditions as they are in two out of my three apiaries) seems to be against all that we know and understand.
So the answer for me is simple, open mesh while treating and measuring for varroa and back to good old fashioned solid floors the rest of the time.