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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belfield, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    608

    Default Bottom for a Queen Castle

    I am toying with the idea of building a queen castle during some of my winter 'down' time. I am thinking of perhaps a three compartment (3 frames/compartment) box with a telescoping top.

    My question is this: Would a screened bottom or a solid bottom be better. I can do either while still keeping each compartment separate and secure.

    Are the benefits of increased ventilation greater than subsequent cooler temperatures inside the hive or the extra energy needed to keep the temperature around the brood sufficiently high.

    I am in North Dakota - so burning hot summers aren't really a problem.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,176

    Default Re: Bottom for a Queen Castle

    I made one. I wouldn't use a screen bottom board, there are not that many bees in a compartment to regulate the hive temperature. Queens returning might find their way to the wrong side of the screen.
    Also, consider making the depth about 10 1/2 inches. If you come across naturally occurring cells on bottom of frames you can put them in a compartment with less fear of squishing them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Bottom for a Queen Castle

    Adrian is right. We started just splitting a deep box into 3, 3 frame compartment and giving each an entrance on opposite sides. Screwed on piece of plywood for bottom. This put bottom of frame about 1/4 inch off bottom.

    Turns out, a lot of swarm cells are on bottom edge of frame and extend below frame 1/2 inch or more. We pulled off all bottoms and added 3/4 ripper around box then put bottom back on.

    Also returning queens can end up on bottom and not find way back into hive.


    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Leetonia, Ohio
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: Bottom for a Queen Castle

    I would not thought of that extra depth for the bottom cells. Excellent advice I would say thank you!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,590

    Default Re: Bottom for a Queen Castle

    The bottom of Brushy Mt's queen castle is not completely solid. There are gaps between what are maybe 3/8" thick boards. They mention that in their description if I'm not mistaken.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    745

    Default Re: Bottom for a Queen Castle

    Quote Originally Posted by NDnewbeek View Post
    My question is this: Would a screened bottom or a solid bottom be better. I can do either while still keeping each compartment separate and secure.

    Are the benefits of increased ventilation greater than subsequent cooler temperatures inside the hive or the extra energy needed to keep the temperature around the brood sufficiently high.
    We bought BM queen castles and made screened bottom boards. We only used them in two compartments, still just with 4 frames each plus a feeder on each side.. They worked just fine and come Fall, we slid the mite tray in to close up the screen for the winter. I also like being able to slide the mite tray out and see what is going on during the cold season. We are in VA and have hot and humid summers so that is another difference.
    I have a zillion photos if you want to see what we did.
    karla

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