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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default combo slatted rack/screen bottom board

    I am going to build some combo slatted rack / screen bottom boards.
    1. How much space between the top of the slats and the bottom of the frames? 3/8" ?
    2. How much space between the bottom of the slats and the screen?
    3. Should the entrance be just above the screen or above the slats?
    4. If I use a top entrance....is there any need to put in an entrance in this combo? Maybe a removable block....just in case I change my mind about a top entrance?
    5. Is there always a need for the wide (4") piece in the front of the slat rack or can you just run the slats all the way from front to back? Any advantage to the wide front board? Even with a top entrance?
    Thanks. Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Kensington, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: combo slatted rack/screen bottom board

    Jimbe,

    I have some of these on my todo list as well. I have read a little on making these and provide my opinion on 1-5 below:
    1. yes 3/8, or traditional bee space you use.
    2. I see this as user preference, or lumber dependent.
    3. I plan to put the entrance at the top of the slats
    4. user choice, removable block sounds like a good idea. I plan to have a drop down door on mine to facilitate quick closing.
    5. user choice. As I understand it the advantages of any front bars are to block winter drafts at the entrance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: combo slatted rack/screen bottom board

    Thank you. Let me know how yours works out...and I will too. Jim

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    857

    Default Re: combo slatted rack/screen bottom board

    Jim,

    I started doing this last year. I buy slatted racks from a local supplier, www.simpsonsbeesupply.com. The slats are flat and do not go the full height of the rack. They are located so there is cluster space below them. I then staple #8 hardware cloth to the bottom. I also have upper entrances.

    I have been happy with them so far. I needed to clean them out in the spring since dead bees accumulated below the slats. I used old political signs underneath them to reduce some air flow during the winter in my out yard which gets windy.

    Tom

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,401

    Default Re: combo slatted rack/screen bottom board

    Nothing like what I wanted was available commercially, so I designed and make my own -->



    This version has screen on the bottom, then a layer of slats on edge and side to side, finally a layer of slats laid out flat and from end to end.

    I've also made several other versions, some with PVC pipe for slats, and etc.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: combo slatted rack/screen bottom board

    Thanks, Joe...Why the double layer of slats? Is this board hard to clean, ie, dead bees, etc.? Does the unit slide in or is it stacked under hives? Jim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: combo slatted rack/screen bottom board

    Tom, thanks. Do you have a 'normal' bottom entrance in addition to your top entances? Jim

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,401

    Default Re: combo slatted rack/screen bottom board

    All the SBB/SR configurations I use are different, I chose this one to illustrate some of the variety possible. In the model illustrated the screen and bottom rack are one unit, the flat, front to back slats are a separate piece. These are my "bottom boards", so debris can easily be removed, if desired, by removing the supers - temporarily, then turning the SBB/SR upside down and tapping it a few times on the ground, using a stream of water or a blast of compressed air, or combinations to dislodge and remove accumulated debris. They can also be designed where each layer is a separate unit, so they could easily be completely disassembled for ease of thorough cleaning.

    There are certainly many variations possible. I tried to keep most of my choices as simple as I could, so it wouldn't be too difficult to build them.

    Main issue is to design bee space between all components and each slat, but space below combs can vary greatly with rarely any issues. For some reason most bees, most times, are flexible about bee space below their bottom-most combs.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 06-23-2012 at 10:53 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,649

    Default Re: combo slatted rack/screen bottom board

    I believe the space from the top edge of a Brushy Mountain Slatted Rack to the slats and front board is about 1/4". I use a reduced entrance routed into the front board. The bees walk up an incline and then onto the screen.

    If making these again I would use a hardwood or mahogany for the front and back pieces. I used 2x3's for my nuc stands but I would use 2x4's for all side pieces of five frame and full size stands.


    http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/j...MVI_8022-1.jpg

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ght=pipe+slats

    This is one of my "Contemporary Hive Stands"using PVC pipe for "slats.
    http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/j...lattedrack.jpg

    On one or two of my stands I placed screen over the pvc pipe where the front board would be. With a reduced entrance like mine I don't think the "mezzanine" serves its original purpose.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: combo slatted rack/screen bottom board

    Thanks, guys! Lots to think about. Jim

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,649

    Default Re: combo slatted rack/screen bottom board

    The reason I would use a 3/4" hardwood (for the ends) is to have more strength for the slots in the back piece and to make the routing easier. Routing out the inclined entrance in the 2x's was a pain...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

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