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Thread: slatted rack

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Riverton, UT, USA
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    7

    Default slatted rack

    I've been considering using slatted racks. Currently I run 11 frames in a 10 frame box for brood though, which I believe means for best results, I'm going to need a custom slatted rack if I try it.

    Anyone else try a slatted rack with 11 frames?

    Anyone else care to post experiences with a slatted rack, good or bad?

    Anyone try a slatted rack in the top of the hive (vs the bottom)? Seems like this might be good for isolating the top of the hive from weather a tad more (Of course I've got a full top entrance as well which most don't have).


    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: slatted rack

    It doesn't matter how many frames you have. All of the old slatted racks and half of the current slatted racks have the slats running at 90 degrees from the frames... I have not tried one on top. If you did you'd need to put it upside down and I still don't know how that would work. It seems bees like to hang out near the brood nest and that's going to be at the bottom...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Brandenburg, KY
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    336

    Default Re: slatted rack

    Ours run parallel to the frames. We make our own and have 8 frame equipment. Significantly less bearding in hot weather, brood is closer to the bottom of the frames as we run screened bottom boards year around. Always have bees down there hanging out. I like them, but have not kept track of statistics between hives that have them vs those that don't. One of these days I'll collect the data : ).

  4. #4
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    Mar 2013
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    Riverton, UT, USA
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    Default Re: slatted rack

    Any problems with the bees building comb down in the slatted rack?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Loup City, NE
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    97

    Default Re: slatted rack

    Not at all. I use Killion style slatted racks on all my hives.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2010
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    Brandenburg, KY
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    336

    Default Re: slatted rack

    Nope, I've never had a comb problem. Now I have one hive that propolizes(?) like crazy. Sticky, silly putty stretchy kind of propolis. They propolized the screened inner cover until it only has a saucer size hole and the slatted rack until it barely had slats any more. I took their slatted rack away from them and let them keep the ruined inner cover. They layer everything in heavy sheets of propolis. It's interesting to open them up and see the heavy sheeting but thank goodness I only have one hive that does that. Couldn't work bees if they all did that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Central Oregon
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    Default Re: slatted rack

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    ...If you did you'd need to put it upside down and I still don't know how that would work. ...
    I have seen others talk about turning them upside down in certain conditions but I fail to see how that is different. I have not bought a commercial one so that might be the difference. I have only built one based on plans I found on the net and there wasn't a difference between the top and bottom. What is the difference between the top and the bottom?

  8. #8
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: slatted rack

    I find round, hard ladder combs with no stores under strong hives. They are merely showing us that they are better architects than us simple humans.


  9. #9
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    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lexington, SC, USA
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    Default Re: slatted rack

    Quote Originally Posted by scallawa View Post
    I have seen others talk about turning them upside down in certain conditions but I fail to see how that is different. I have not bought a commercial one so that might be the difference. I have only built one based on plans I found on the net and there wasn't a difference between the top and bottom. What is the difference between the top and the bottom?
    I am researching the slatted rack as well, and it seems that some designs have the slats as thick/deep as the unit (~2" deep), and some have the slats as only 1/2" thick/deep - so there would be open space under the slats if the unit is 2" thick. If all the parts are the same thickness, it would be easier for me to DIY, but if the space below is needed for insulation or clustering, then...

    Also, some have slats running the whole distance from front to back (in line with frames), and some have a solid board for a few inches at the entrance.

    What difference would these options make in function?

    Another related question. The Slatted bottom is supposed to reduce bearding - but why is bearding something I want to reduce. If they are clustered in the bottom, they are still not doing any work in the hive? I guess they may be safer inside than out?

  10. #10
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    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lexington, SC, USA
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    Default Re: slatted rack

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    I find round, hard ladder combs with no stores under strong hives. They are merely showing us that they are better architects than us simple humans.

    I assume this is the under-side of the slatted bottom. The bees would enter the hive, travel over the ladder comb and up thru the slats into the brood area. I wonder if the bees put the comb there to have a comfortable spot to climb, cluster, or hang about as they enter/exit the hive?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Roanoke, VA, USA
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    Default Re: slatted rack

    An improvement I need to make...my slatted racks have slats that fit into grooves -- unfortunately leaves a small gap which is a perfect SMB hiding place -- I am going to fill those gaps.
    I slatted racks until SMB showed up. Currently have removed them and am using Freeman oil traps.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Logan, UT
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    Default Re: slatted rack

    I also am running a custom slatted rack (9 frames in a 10 frame hive) and from what I read it was best to have them run below the frames. So I made my own w/ 9 slats only. I do have about 3 1/2 inches in the front which is supposed to provide some added protection from wind from the lower entrance. I also run a Bush style top entrance and fully open screened bottom boards. The ventilation has been great with no bearding to speak of at all. I have noticed no strange comb building below the rack. I have some plans I drew up which would be fairly easy to modify to fit however many slats you need.

    I am new enough to beekeeping that the jury is still out, but I'm pleased so far with the results. I have two hives that started as packages this spring, and I think between the two, I should be getting 100-150 pounds of honey at the end of the month off of them. Are slatted racks the secret? Who knows, but I like them.

  13. #13
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    Jun 2013
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    rensselaer, ny, USA
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    Default Re: slatted rack

    I bought some slatted racks for my hives, but when I got them home I started to wonder whether they would interfere with my varroa monitoring stucky boards. Seems like they would act as catchers for falling varroa and prevent the beasts from falling straight down through the screen.

    Now I'm not sure whter to use them.

    Anybody had problems using a stucky board with a slatted rack installed?

    Enj.

  14. #14
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    May 2013
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    Kinder, Louisiana, USA
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    94

    Default Re: slatted rack

    If they are made correctly, ie. slats running parallel to the frames, they should line up with the bottom of the frames and not block any falling debris.

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Default Re: slatted rack

    >Anybody had problems using a stucky board with a slatted rack installed?

    Even without the slatted racks the Varroa on a sticky board tend to go in lines that correspond to the gaps between the frames. Of course with a slatted rack it will be similar. Will some fall to the rack and then climb back up? Probably, but some will also fall all the way to the floor. It's hard to say how many of those that fall are dead already. I've never seen much difference in Varroa with or without a SBB so I think most of them are dead when they hit the floor. Those are going to make it to the bottom sooner or later anyway.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
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    Default Re: slatted rack

    With the brushy mountain slatted rack you assemble it yourself.
    It would be easy to add an 11th slat & change the spacing to suit you're 11 frame brood boxes.
    Dan

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