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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Carver, MN
    Posts
    17

    Default Do I need a bottom board?

    Fledgling beekeeper here. I'm going with 10 frame mediums and I'm thinking about making up some "nucs" like this: http://parkerfarms.biz/Images/10framenuc2.JPG out of regular 10-frame medium hive boxes. Then, simply building the hive up from there and using a simple piece of plywood on top for a top entrance.

    Advantages:
    - Bottom boards are just plywood
    - Top boards are just plywood
    - Nucs are just one-level hives
    - Hives are just multi-level nucs

    Disadvantages:
    - ?

    Obviously I know nothing at this point. What am I missing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,612

    Default Re: Do I need a bottom board?

    And bees are just insects.

    Your logic is absolutely correct. It is the everything in between that determines how well you manage bees to get them to do what you want done.

    cchoganjr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    1,765

    Default Re: Do I need a bottom board?

    Do I need a bottom board? ....Answer. I'd make one with the entrances in it, that way you you can use the HB for well ........everything you'd use a HB for........


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,441

    Default Re: Do I need a bottom board?

    What do you mean a bottom board, or bottom entrance?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Carver, MN
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Do I need a bottom board?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    What do you mean a bottom board, or bottom entrance?
    I mean the traditional bottom board with entrance. I'd like to just tack on a piece of plywood to the bottom of a medium and add in a front nuc-style opening, as pictured.

    So my stack at minimum would be:
    plywood bottom, medium body w/ nuc entrance, plywood top.

    It could grow from there into something like:
    plywood bottom, medium body w/ nuc entrance, additional mediums, plywood top with a top entrance.

    One thing I believe I need before I can just tack on a piece of plywood to the bottom is a bit of an additional gap to create the right bee space. One other piece of equipment that I think would be useful here is what I believe is called a follower board, so that I could reduce the size of the box when using it as a nuc. As it expands, I could first remove the board, and then I could add additional hive bodies.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Farmington, NM
    Posts
    733

    Default Re: Do I need a bottom board?

    I still make my bb's removable on my nucs so that I can use the box without the bottom. I like to start my splits, swarms, etc in 5 frame nuc boxes and when they are building up nicely, I like to add another nuc box with foundation on top and get them to draw it out. Once that's done and they are really well established, I put them in a 10 frame box and add another 10 box with foundation to them. AND continue to feed sugar water while all this is going on.
    Plant Hardiness Zone 6B, 5300 ft., Bee Zone A/B, Proverbs 24:13
    https://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/2RBeeFarm

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,488

    Default Re: Do I need a bottom board?

    Your bottom board can be a lot simpler than the contrivances custom has stuck us with. The major drawbacks to just a piece of plywood are,

    It is hard for the bees to clean house and a mess, result is usually rotten.
    No adequate space between bottom of frames and bottom board: See rotten festering mess on the bottom of your frames.
    No HOT weather ventilation possible. I don't want a hole in the floor when bees are trying to keep babies warm, but when it does finally warm up at night, I like see them have some air.

    My bottom boards consist of a 16 7/8 by 22" piece of 1/2 inch plywood. A three sided rim on 5/16" pieces ripped off 1 by scraps and 7/16" by 3/4" slices cut from 2 by scraps for stiffeners and legs if you will. Soak the legs only in the copper naphelate coating and they last a long time and the chemical is safely away from the bees. I don't use stands unless something is handy. These are cheap. I nail them on the bottom box and can easily pick up a hive to move it.

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