Re: favorite queen for grafting so far
Some of my bottom boards are flippable - one side is an IPM screened bottom board for powdered sugar shake testing for varroa mites, the other is a divider-friendly bottom board with moldings into which the hive partitions fit. Each has it's own 1" entry pointing a different direction - the middle compartment points East, the right compartment exits and enters South, the left compartment exits and enters North.
I make 3 narrow inner covers that slip in between the dividers. A standard telescoping top goes over the whole thing.
Now for the kicker...there is also a slot down the middle of the short ends, allowing me to use only one hive partition, and making a 2 x 5-frame double-nuc arrangement. Of course, that means another bottom board, and half-inner covers. Obviously, I love woodwork.
Almost all of my boxes are made like this - 10-frame medium Langstroths with 3 vertical, 17/64" wide (so the 1/4" ply slips easily) x 3/16" deep (half the width of the frame shelf) slots running down the inside of the short ends. So the cool feature is that any box can be used for a standard 10-framer, a 2 x 5-frame double nuc, a 3 x 3-frame mating nuc, or a 7-3 frame queen isolation egg laying box for queen rearing. A 2-gallon Mann Lake feeder and some hive dummies allow me to make very close to ideal volume for bees to live in from 1 to 10 frames (11 frames if I'm using 1.25" wide frames instead of 1.375" wide - closer to original beespace). Additionally all boxes will soon be 6 5/8" mediums, so any frame in any box, and never more that 51 lbs! I love this setup!
I'm in the process of cutting down my deeps into 6 5/8" medium boxes - it goes slow, as I'm building the medium 6 1/4" x 1.25" wide frames and getting them drawn out, phasing out my deep frames. My goal is all medium boxes and all 11-frame medium broods, about half small-cell foundation and half foundationless frames, and 10-frame honey boxes (I'd use 9, but the frames are 1.25" wide - not very good support for heavier honey frames if you're spinning them).
A lot of my boxes now have 6 cork holes in them, for when they are in 3x3 arrangement and mating season gets hot. I do keep a good supply of corks! But I still have to brand my boxes to keep them mine! Go figure.
Last edited by kilocharlie; 05-13-2013 at 03:39 PM.