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  1. #21
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    Thanks for the clarification.

    It also cuts down on drafts.
    Well that is the opposite of increased ventilation so I guess it is not so obvious.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Coatesville, Pa, USA
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    833

    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    Ok My question. . . If you're using upper entrances instead of lower entrances does it still "accomidate bee behavior"? I've been planning on doing this also and have thought of several different ways. I want to use upper entrances due to skunk / mouse etc predation. Is the bee behavior simply to hang out inside the entrance so if anyone is using upper entrances then the top should be a slatted rack?

  3. #23
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,067

    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    I'm sure not an expert, but I would say that no matter what the slatted rack should go on the bottom if you use one. It's not a matter of the bees hanging out inside the entrance it's the bottom of the comb.

    I think I remember Michael Bush saying that he used slatted racks with hardware cloth stapled to the bottom along with top entrances.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    3,594

    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    It's getting busy at the contemporary ...

    http://s275.photobucket.com/albums/j...deo4_11_11.mp4
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,347

    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    Acebird,
    The slatted racks can do both, reduce drafts and increase ventilation. Remember each bee is like a miniature power fan. They are respirating water vapor (increases humidity), metabolizing (creating body heat), blocking drafts with their bodies, and fanning their wings to move air around and through the hive as suits their needs. The slatted rack simply gives them a platform/perch where they can more efficiently perform these duties, and also provides space for bees to congregate in the relative safety of the hive, away from the combs of the brood nest or honey storage combs where their body heat or respiration might interfere with honey curing or brood rearing.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #26
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    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    It's getting busy at the contemporary ...

    http://s275.photobucket.com/albums/j...deo4_11_11.mp4

    Beecurious - I am having a little trouble understanding the point of your videos - could you help me understand what your are trying to show? To me, it is just bees and an entrance to a hive. Over and over. What am I missing?
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post
    Beecurious - I am having a little trouble understanding the point of your videos - could you help me understand what your are trying to show? To me, it is just bees and an entrance to a hive. Over and over. What am I missing?
    What's being shown, is an entrance that is different from most any other. The entrance is in the face of an assembly which combines a SBB with a slatted rack.

    The various short videos show different levels of activity.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
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    860

    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    BeeCurious - Thanks for the explanation. Should I be seeing a difference in activity in some way between a standard entrance and the entrance you show? Its a well-built and nice looking entrance in the videos, but I guess I am not picking up on the benefits of the entrance design . . . ?
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    3,594

    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post
    I am not picking up on the benefits of the entrance design . . . ?
    I made these in an attempt to combine a Screened Bottom Board and a Slatted Rack into one assembly. As mentioned in the first post, I would prefer to have a smaller entrance that is easier to defend against robbers and a 3/8" entrance fits nicely...

    I don't make any claims concerning the usefulness of SSB's or Slatted Racks but I have been pleased with what I built. Some of my "Contemporary Hive Stands" use PVC pipe as slats...

    If I make more (I have 8 now) I'll use 3/4" mahogany or oak for the front and back pieces to simplify the routing of the entrance and the slots for the screen and stickyboard.
    Last edited by BeeCurious; 01-04-2014 at 10:39 AM.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  10. #30
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    Jul 2011
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    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
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    860

    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    Thanks for the explanation. Reduced entrances make sense to me. I use standard SBB, but I have the entrances reduced to half-width or less year round. I, too, like to see a little crowding at the entrance to ensure adequate entrance guarding. For me, at least, it is a rare hive that has a large enough population to adequately guard a full-width entrance.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    2,971

    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    Shinebone, You probably hit on the number one issue with full width entrances. many believe the typical entrance of a lang hive is far to large for any colony. Seldom do I see my bees so busy they can actually fill up that entrance. In fact about the only time I think I have seen a full width entrance really busy has been during orientation flights. Combine that with the entrances you might find on cut outs or locations of the bees choosing and often those entrances are extremely small. yet there are no ventilation issues. or I assume there is not.

    I have started to look at various bottom boards. in order to select my favored one. I have always planed to start beekeeping and spend the first few years trying out different things in the interest of selecting the equipment I want to build entire apiary out of. bottom boards are starting to lag behind considerably. I am up to 21 hives and still have not done much to check out various ones.

    I know I want a better entrance reducing system. possibly a small entrance such as this one. stick board and I would even like a method to feed the bees at the bottom of the hive as well.

    I am not sure I want a full screen bottom. but a smaller entrance and some additional screened ventilation fro method bottom is probably a part of the entire design.

    I am inclined to be more of experimenter than I am a production manager or profitable business type. I am now in the midst of deciding just how to build up my apiary to suit those pursuits wile still having it generate an income to support it.

    Beecurious do you have any dimensions or drawings for your design? Making drawings is time consuming and one of the alternative skills that seems to go along with every primary talent. I see innovation as a talent and the ability to create those ideas and share them as the alternative skills needed to get it done. I would be happy to work on drawing in sketch up if I have a clear idea of the dimensions of your bottom board.

    If there where some way to add a compartment to put a bowl of sugar water. it is right up there with my all time favorite designs. Nice craftsmanship as well.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  12. #32
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    A full width standard entrance, with a collection of various length wood strips to reduce the entrance down as necessary seems to allow the most flexibility to fine tune crowding/guarding.

    Also, a SBB allows crowding at the entrance and hive ventilation to be adjusted independent of one another.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  13. #33
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    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    How about a slatted rack type device positioned on the very top of the brood chambers instead of the traditional bottom of the hive? It would have to be a redesigned slatted rack, different than what is currently sold. The slats would have to be a bee space apart and be approximately the same height as the whole slatted rack itself, so that you would have very nearly the correct bee space above and below the slats. An upper entrance slot (whatever width and height you want to make) would be cut into the front face of the exterior board of the slatted rack, and a bee space would be created behind the front board inside the rack so that the bees could go either upward or downward in the hive unobstructed. You would get extra clustering space between the slats, an upper entrance, and with the rack situated between the brood nest and the supers, it may serve as a barrier to the queen going up into the supers as easily if you don't use an excluder. You would also need to use a sealed bottom board under the brood chambers, or I guess if you wanted you could still have some sort of bottom entrance, I wouldn't in my case because of skunk problems. Any opinions good or bad about this idea?

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    the only thing I would say to watch out for is you don't want the bees thinking the slatted rack is the top of the hive.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #35
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    Ace, so you would be afraid of the bees plugging out the brood nest with honey and not storing it above? The thought did occur to me too, but the only way to know for sure would be to try it.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    That is why I said what out for it.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #37
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,121

    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    >Well that is the opposite of increased ventilation so I guess it is not so obvious.

    Ventilation is limited and consistent. Drafts are gusts of wind that blow through. The right amount of ventilation is a good thing. Drafts are not a good thing as they are never the right amount. They vary between nothing and too much.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #38
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    Aug 2013
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    carney, maryland, USA
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    575

    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    Quote Originally Posted by valleyman View Post
    Good pictures. I do not fully understand the benefit of the slatted rack. can you enlighten me? I have adopted one of your concepts in a way. I have put my entrance reducers in and intend to leave them. I might take them out during the heaviest spring flow. I also intend to cut out a 1" X 3/8" notch in the bottom of all my supers for entrances. This will not change the bee space between them. If I need to close them in the late summer/fall to prevent robbing a 2"X 3/4" X3/4"piece of sheet metal angle can be slid between the boxes.
    What do you think?
    Rather than cutting your supers, you might want to consider building frames from 1 X 2 (or smaller) and putting the 1 X 3/8 notch in them. You may regret cutting your boxes later. It will alter your spacing slightly, but I think will be a better way to go.

  19. #39
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    >What do you think?

    I think you'll regret the holes eventually.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  20. #40
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Hive entrance of my combination SBB/Slatted-rack

    A hole I am for, way easier to plug than an notch.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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