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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    475

    Default New-style slatted racks

    In Ohio, I used slatted racks on some of my hives. While I wouldn't call it "necessary", I honestly feel they contributed to the hives I used them on - they did create a little dead space just under the frames (which assisted with insulation), and the way they tended to block some of the light coming in from the entrance did seem to encourage the queen to lay further down the frames. But, that was in Ohio.

    Question #1: Has anybody personally found that slatted racks have any beneficial effects whatsoever in the region where I live now (Louisiana/Gulf Coast-ish)?

    Slatted racks' slats traditionally run from side-to-side; across all the frames. However, I've noticed that some catalogs that sell slatted racks, sell versions whose slats run along the frames, from front to back (except of course the wide "shelf" across the entrance end, which is in the same place). In the catalogs, these types of slats say they allow all falling mites to fall all the way to the bottom board/screen/sticky board, whereas the old cross-slats created areas that caught some mites and allowed them to easily crawl back up into the hive. That sounds great; however, it seems to me that these length-wise slats would give up most of their insulative and light-blocking properties because they leave the entire inter-comb spaces completely open to the hive floor. In which case, what's the point? Mites fall all the way down without any slatted rack at all just as well.

    Question #2: (independent of question #1) Are my suspicions about less insulative/light-blocking function justified, or do these racks still work fine in that way?
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: New-style slatted racks

    Quote Originally Posted by melliferal View Post
    Question #2: (independent of question #1) Are my suspicions about less insulative/light-blocking function justified, or do these racks still work fine in that way?
    I think your suspicions will mainly only prove true for the higher boxes in your hive. For the bottom box, IMHO, the slats should function about identically per the light, but might make a small difference per the insulation, based on their orientation. Above the bottom box, the cris-crossed slats would give less light penetration, due to the frames below blocking some additional light due to the crossing. In the bottom box, I think the slatted rack will help with light pretty much identically with either orientation; due to there being no frames below that box to "cross" the light paths between slats.


    (hope that wasn't too confusing to follow...kinda hard to explain my intent there :/ )

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,041

    Default Re: New-style slatted racks

    It would take some fancy testing equipment to determine the difference between the two. And a lot of mite counting. Between us simpletons, is it anything more than conjecture?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    475

    Default Re: New-style slatted racks

    Perhaps not; but I didn't know if maybe someone had actually went to all that trouble already and was just waiting to be exploited.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,572

    Default Re: New-style slatted racks

    Slatted racks have been around for a long time. Some people like them, some don't, but the new style with a solid board in front should decrease the amount of light in the hive, especially with a solid bottom board or with the sticky board in place.

    I'm going to try them someday, but right now I'm working on keeping my bees alive and well, experiments may have to wait until I get more hives.

    A slatted rack should help quite a bit in winter by reducing the wind penetration of the hive. They won't reduce ventilation, but will deflect a howing winter wind, which cannot be a bad thing.

    Peter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: New-style slatted racks

    I have been using slatted racks for several years in a rural setting. We have bee predators (skunks, etc) so I wanted to keep them a little more protected. I've never seen them beard & they build the lower foundation all the way to the bottom bars with the slatted racks. Don't know about the light or mite question. If I was in the city I probably would not use them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: New-style slatted racks

    I have used both styles. I see no difference in mites or drafts.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    799

    Default Re: New-style slatted racks

    Will somebody please post a picture of a slatted rack? Thanks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin rapids Wi USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: New-style slatted racks

    I have both top and bottom entrance,they hardly used the bottom. I had a lot of foragers coming and going ,so I built a slatted rack just to give tthem more room, ( a place to hang out ) since then they use both about even. not that it matters but just something that I noticed

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: New-style slatted racks

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    Will somebody please post a picture of a slatted rack? Thanks.
    There are already many on older threads.

    See --> Link.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    799

    Default Re: New-style slatted racks

    I need a "slapping my forehead" smiley.....

    I see the word rack, and read it. In my head the word rack was being made into FRAME. I had no idea what a slatted frame was.

    I already knew what a slatted rack was. I think my brain is on vacation.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,544

    Default Re: New-style slatted racks

    Quote Originally Posted by psfred View Post
    Slatted racks have been around for a long time. ...
    Rusty is a great believer in slotted racks. If I remember correctly, she attributed her low winter loses to the racks. If she will see this thread, may be she could comment on it. From my prospective, it just does not make any sense to have slots oriented perpendicular to the frames. Light does not bend, I really do not think that the orientation of the slots could seriously affect the amount of light in the beehive. Also - natural beehives have no slotted racks. I think, Rusty's explanation was that bees use extra space for gathering and also, they could manage the temperature better. It would be better if she could explain.
    Серёжа, Sergey

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