What is an Ecofloor ?
Instructions for building an Ecofloor with sustainable materials…..
In our BeeTower hives, the floor is made of vertically arranged end-grain wood pieces embedded in natural clay plaster and small pieces of wood and chopped straw. which thus form a breathable floor underlayment, what we call Ecofloor.
Years ago, British beekeeper Phil Chandler first introduced a development of his Ecofloor for the Top Bar Hive on his YouTube channel, which usually involved loosely layering branches from the forest.
I tried that, too. But now I mainly use short-cut tree slices about 3 to 12 inches long, depending on the layout of the hive. The spaces in between are filled with smaller pieces of wood and natural clay to fix them in place, because smaller wood chips lying loose on the ground are carried out by the bees through their preening instinct. The most suitable wood is from dead trees or fallen branches, which can be found in any forest. According to research results (team of Professor Jürgen Tautz, University of Würzburg in Germany) dead wood has even better properties in absorbing or releasing moisture than normal cut wood.
These end-grain wood discs should therefore help bees to regulate the indoor climate in their habitat even better. Such an Ecofloor also insulates very well against the effects of cold from below, similar to a natural tree cavity.
Even though the Ecofloor, like all interior surfaces of a bee dwelling, is propolized by the bees over time, the surface remains relatively transparent to release or absorb moisture because propolis is breathable.
Words and photos by © Jan Michael