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Thread: Slatted Rack

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3

    Post

    Could someone comment on the benifits of a slatted rack.At a recent Short course for begining beekeepers one of the instructors recommended them as a ventilation aid to be placed above the screened bottom board. I can not find them for sale.
    Thank You
    DragonLady

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    San Lorenzo, NM, USA
    Posts
    104

    Post

    I understand that the benefits, in addition to improved ventilation, are that the slatted racks provide a) additional space for bees to cluster during hot periods and when they are trying to evaporate water from nectar and b) induce the queen to more fully use the frames near the entrance of the hive to lay eggs.

    I have made all my slatted racks but I believe they are available for purchase from Brushy Mountain (http://www.beeequipment.com). This following link gives you plans to make your own: http://www.beesource.com/plans/bottomrack.htm.
    Bob Bleakley, Mimbres Valley Honey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

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    DragonLady, I love my slatted racks! Put them on last summer and the bearded bees went back into the hives and hung off the slatted racks. Interestingly enough, I lost one hive over winter due to queenlessness and it was the only hive without a slatted rack. Lots of places have slatted racks, but Betterbee is the only one with the slats running with the frames rather than perpendicular to them, which facilitates mite fall. The bonus is they're preassembled! Go to http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=308.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

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    I was a much bigger believer in them before I got the SBB (Screened Bottom Boards). The SBB seems to provide many of the same benefits. Not that I'm against them, I just think they were the best thing around beore we got SBB.

    Betterbee sells them. Beecommerce sells them. Seems like Brushy Mt. Sells them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,118

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    They give more cluster space by providing a lobby which helps relieve congestion. They help cool the hive in the summer, regulate air flow in winter and shield the front of the hive from old man winters icy draft, which will allow the queen to lay eggs closer to the front. They will keep pesky racoons form reaching up into the cluster and grabbing a paw full of comb. They are relativity cheap to build. This is a simple and time proven piece of equipment that has a thumbs up in my book. I use it on all of my hives.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

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    I haven't used one, but wouldn't they also reduce burr comb below the bottom bar?

    I've had hives with such bad bur comb that It was a trick to get one frame out.

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

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    Not when they decide to build burr on the botom of the rack. [img]smile.gif[/img] I've had them do that a time or two.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

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    <regulate air flow in winter and shield the front of the hive from old man winters icy draft, which will allow the queen to lay eggs closer to the front> Maybe that's why on first inspection in early spring all the brood was located to the front of the hive! Never thought of that! Thanks, Brent!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3

    Post

    I thank everyone for their input. In our part of SC we are not too concerned about snow blolwing into the entrance and the SBB seems to provide sufficent ventilating. We will go with the SSB.
    Thanks Again
    Dragonlady

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Posts
    131

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    It may have been a coincidence but I put a slatted rack on one hive and it did quite a bit better than the other hives. It produced 152# of honey while the next closest in production produced 115#. Both those hives were 2# packages last spring on drawn comb. Quite a difference. Maybe it was the slatted rack, maybe not.

    I'm going with slatted racks on all my hives this year.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    536

    Post

    Consider using a shallow with either comb or plastic foundation in the place of a slatted rack. If you already have the equipment it might be cheaper.
    Rob Koss

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