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  1. #1
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    Aug 2002
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    Another thing I discovered at Beetopia was that a lot of local beekeepers around here, use a different kind of entrance. You take a 4" x 14 3/4" piece of 3/8" plywood and put three 3/8" x 4" peices of lath on it (one at each end and one in the middle) and use this for an entrance reducer on a standard 3/4" bottom board. It leaves a nice 3/8" opening that is defensible and provides "draft relief" by the door so the queen will lay out to the front of the frames. It doesn't provide as much cluster space as a slatted rack but does provide the draft relief.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2002
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    Evansville, IN, USA
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    Smile

    MrBEE,

    Great idea!

    The small (3/8") openings WOULD be very defendable and maybe the "tunnel" thats created, would help with robbing, too.

    >provides "draft relief" by the door so the queen will lay . . .

    Is it "draft relief" OR "light shyness" that prevents the queen from laying out to front of frames.

    How much "draft" or "light" enters an open SBB? Why does a SBB "produces more brood"? Using a SBB, does queen lay to frame bottoms?

    Is it because a lot of bees ARE cluster under frames w/ Slatted Rack, that encourges queen to lay? Does she like company?

    With a Top-Bar Hive, combs hang perpendicular to entrance, blocking draft & light, how does this effect the laying of the queen?

    Sorry, this is NOT a test!

    Just "thinking out loud"

    ------------------
    Dave W . . .

    A NewBEE with 1 hive.
    First package installed
    April, 2003.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2002
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    >The small (3/8") openings WOULD be very defendable and maybe the "tunnel" thats created, would help with robbing, too.

    Perhaps the "tunnel" does help. I haven't tried this arrangement so have no observations on that.

    >Is it "draft relief" OR "light shyness" that prevents the queen from laying out to front of frames.

    Maybe a little of both, but I think draft relief is the real reason. Light doesn't go around corners but the queen doesn't tend to lay on the ends of the bars even up high enough that no light is getting there.

    >How much "draft" or "light" enters an open SBB? Why does a SBB "produces more brood"? Using a SBB, does queen lay to frame bottoms?

    Wind is generally moving horizontally so probably some draft comes in the bottom but not as much as when the wind is blowing in the entrance. My hives are on four by fours for a stand and between the grass and the low clearance I'd guess little if any light gets in. But most of mine are on Slatted racks too which raises the bottoms of the frames a bit more and reduces the draft more.

    >Is it because a lot of bees ARE cluster under frames w/ Slatted Rack, that encourages queen to lay? Does she like company?

    Certainly it's colder at night and that's when a lot of bees are clustered there so they probably help maintain a constant temperature.

    >With a Top-Bar Hive, combs hang perpendicular to entrance, blocking draft & light, how does this effect the laying of the queen?

    I have quite a few hives on DE vent kits which turn the combs parallel to the entrance and I've had a few top bar hives. With this arrangement, she tends to NOT lay in the first comb (but she tends to NOT lay in that same comb when it's turned the other way either) but does lay closer to the ends of the subsequent frames. Again, I think it's a matter of drafts and the first comb blocks a lot of it when it runs parallel to the entrance. I always build my bottom boards this way, but I have a lot of purchased ones that run the other way.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Evansville, IN, USA
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    Question

    >Light doesn't go around corners...

    How does light from hallway get into every bedroom?


    >queen doesn't tend to lay on the ends of the bars...

    If she did, would brood nest be rectangular instead of elliptical?


    >DE vent kits turn the combs parallel to the entrance... with this arrangement, she tends NOT to lay in first comb...

    Both sides? Or just the one side next to the hive, where "bee space" is maintained.

    How are combs arranged, with respect to the entrance, in a feral nest?


    Im going to make my next "hive stand / bottom board" w/ frames parallel to entrance. Makes sense.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >>Light doesn't go around corners...
    >How does light from hallway get into every bedroom?

    It bounces. When I built darkrooms (I used to be a lithographic photographer) I often put a corner entrance and painted the walls black so you could get in and out of the darkroom without worrying about the light getting in. Still there isn't much that "bounces" from the entrance of a hive to the ends of the combs.


    >>queen doesn't tend to lay on the ends of the bars...
    >If she did, would brood nest be rectangular instead of elliptical?

    It's still elliptical but is more centered and isn't more to the back of the hive.

    >>DE vent kits turn the combs parallel to the entrance... with this arrangement, she tends NOT to lay in first comb...

    >Both sides? Or just the one side next to the hive, where "bee space" is maintained.

    Queens normally don't lay in the first comb on either side. It tends to be stores.

    >How are combs arranged, with respect to the entrance, in a feral nest?

    I haven't bothered to keep a record of what I've found, but when I've put them in a box and let them build what they want it doesn't run exactly square with the entrance either way. It runs at an angle.

    >Im going to make my next "hive stand / bottom board" w/ frames parallel to entrance. Makes sense.

    I always do.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2002
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    Evansville, IN, USA
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    >Light doesn't go around corners...
    >It bounces.

    So if your Bottom Board is painted white INSIDE and out (like most books say), light can (and does) be reflected UP inside hive.

    In my print shop, floor space was scarce, our darkroom had a simple light-tight door.

    >Feral nest combs "run at an angle"

    Maybe it would be best, if the reducer provided an entrance at one end, rather than middle.(?)


  7. #7
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    >Maybe it would be best, if the reducer provided an entrance at one end, rather than middle.(?)

    All mine are like that. But that's how I made them.

    I have painted bottom boards (and it's probably smart) but now mine are mostly screened so I don't paint them inside (what's to paint?).

  8. #8
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    My SBB is painted inside (and out).

    Dont you paint landing board area (inside)?


  9. #9
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    Aug 2002
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    I painted my first hive very carefully. It was from Dadant and was clear white pine and very expensive. After I got a bee journal and found other suppliers I paid less money. I painted that first one on every rim, all over the outside, both sides of the bottom board, the outside of the inner cover, all sides of the outer cover and all sides of the stand. In recent times I paint less and less. If I get them painted at all, I use a roller and do the outside and never bother with the rim and I've been using neutral base when I buy paint for hives. I often use what's laying around, and since I paint tipis, that is usually bright red, bright blue, bright purple, bright green, bright yellow or white. But the last batch of equipment I got, I didn't paint at all. I'm curious to see how it ages.

    I haven't painted anything on any of my SBB.

  10. #10
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    Aug 2003
    Location
    Leonardtown, Md, USA
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    Post

    So what's the bottom line on Slatted racks and mite drop? It seems to me to be counterproductive since most won't reach the
    SBB. I was thinking of making a slatted rack with the openings running parallel with and directly under the spaces between the frames.

    Any thoughts?

  11. #11
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    >I was thinking of making a slatted rack with the openings running parallel with and directly under the spaces between the frames.

    Betterbee makes them with the slats spaced for 10 frame or 9 frame and the slates line up directly under the frames.

    I think it's a great idea.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    allentown , pa
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    I use the slatted rack with slats running parallel with the frames over a SBB. The very next day of installation the tray I had inside was covered with mites. I use it as a natural mite control. Since I manage our club hives, I will convert all of them to the above arrangement. One thing that I will note. If you use small cell like I do you have to change the screen in the Better Bee rack , because the screen is Too big for the naturally smaller bee. I will have to change the screen this year for that reason. All in All it seems to work. One interesting thing with the screened bottom board with a tray, is that when you pull the tray out for cleaning, you get to see whats kinda going on in the hive. Put a super thats been extracted. You will see the wax pieces in the tray. I have found wax moth crysalis in there as well as catepillars down there instead of in the hive. From a natural perspective of pest management its good.

    Grey Warrior

  13. #13
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    >If you use small cell like I do you have to change the screen in the Better Bee rack , because the screen is Too big for the naturally smaller bee.

    Do you mean the screen on the Screened bottom board? What size is it? Are the bees going through it?

    >I have found wax moth crysalis in there as well as catepillars down there instead of in the hive. From a natural perspective of pest management its good.

    I wonder if it is or isn't good. But it is the way it is in nature and maybe the wax moths manage to reproduce at about the same rate regardless and having them in the bottom is better than having them in the hive.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
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    Question

    I just don't see how a slatted rack would cause more mite drop - please explain. However, I can see how it would reduce mite drop if the slats are positioned between the frames to catch the falling mites!

  15. #15
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    The parallel ones shouldn't make any difference at all. The ones running across might let more mites land on something. I haven't worried about it myself.

    I know of no one who has said that slatted racks will cause more mite fall or decrease mite populations, only that the parallel ones would allow more to fall to the bottom.

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