Slatted Rack Difference - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    I tried solid bottom boards on a couple of hives this last winter - the result was chalk-brood in both. No other hive in the apiary has detectable levels of chalk-brood. Those affected hives were then placed on Open Mesh Floors, and - at the time of writing - that chalk-brood has largely disappeared.

    Britain of course is well-known as being a generally cold and damp island - well, it certainly isn't hot and dry ! - and my particular area (drained land at sea level) is quite possibly the dampest area in Britain. And so it should com as no surprise that OMF's (our term for SBB's) are favoured over here. Nothing to do with being a 'following' - but rather that mesh floors have provided us with a cure for chalk-brood, as well as other ventilation-related issues.

    And - fwiw - they were 'invented' a century and a half ago ...
    http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/open_mesh_floors.html
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    I guess a test sample of 2 hives for a few months is proof positive.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I guess a test sample of 2 hives for a few months is proof positive.
    So I give an example from my own experience to illustrate that it corresponds to observations made by Roger Patterson and others in the UK, regarding the correlation between chalk-brood and Open Mesh Floors - then someone starts talking about 'proof'.

    There is no 'proof' of anything (except self-contained mathematical arguments) - ever. You will not find one single biological research paper - ever written - where the researcher claims 'proof' for their results.

    'Proof' is but a fiction: a rhetorical device often used for the purposes of provoking an argument.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    Agree completely and my post was in line with what you say. Not about proof, but spotlighting the absense thereof.

    As an aside, after a fling with screened bottoms when they were the latest fad, all i run now is solid bottom boards. Never saw chalk brood for quite a few years, i thought perhaps it had gone extinct or something.

    Then around 3 years ago i purchased a breeder queen from what was supposed to be the ultimate bee, raised a whole bunch of queens from it, next thing, chalk brood everywhere, but only in progeny from that breeder. In some cases so bad I chose not to sell the nucs.

    Haven't raised any more of those, and chalk brood gone away again. My suspicion is chalk brood is in the breed.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    >My suspicion is chalk brood is in the breed.

    There are probably several traits that contribute to chalk brood or contribute to it's prevention. Chalk brood can't reproduce at the normal temperature of the brood nest. But bees are usually able to maintain the normal temperature. But if they expand the brood nest too much too soon in the spring they can get in a bind where they can't keep it all warm. This is genetic. Then there is the hygienic behavior of being on top of the problem and removing the infested larvae before the spores are released which is genetic. Then there is the immune system being able to fight the spores, which probably is also genetic. Then the drive to keep the brood nest the correct temperature may also be genetic.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    My suspicion is chalk brood is in the breed.
    That could well be true. It's caused by a fungus, of course, but indeed some strains of bee do seem more prone to this complaint than others - maybe it's something to do with the protein make-up of the larvae outer membrane (?) or something similar.

    Patterson tells of a story (http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/chalkbrood.html) in which a known 'chalk-brood queen' was allowed to reproduce, and her daughters were observed to be more-or-less chalk-brood free. It's a curious and confused picture alright - but I think you're very wise not to risk selling nucs headed by such queens. It's hard work gaining a good reputation, but the easiest thing in the world to lose it.

    I'm in two minds whether to take a daughter or two from one of those chalk-brood colonies - the colony in question is so docile and ticks all the right boxes - except for that one issue. But - I certainly wouldn't sell queens from her - at least not until I've established that the chalk-brood problem has disappeared.

    LJ

    Genetic 'susceptibility' - that's the word I've been looking for ...
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    Very interesting Michael. Especially about the temperature, I never knew that.

    And your post too Little John.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  9. #28

    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Dan, you're killing me
    Lol.
    Somebody has to stir the pot occasionally.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    I do have slatted racks on all my hives. I will keep doing it untill I get too lazy to make them and then won't. I have solid bottom boards. I used to have a picture back when I only had three hives of when I added the rack to two of them. There was a definite difference on the bearding. My hives still beard but it was a noticeable difference when I had them side by side with each other.
    I like them and have never had a mouse problem with them and I do have 3/8th entrance but no mouse guards.

    I won't like them if I want bees in a box and don't have one to use.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    I too am a fan of slatted boards. Although there may be little scientific basis for it, I do see the benefits.
    1. It gives the bees a space to cluster in the evening and hang out with the queen, and who doesn't want to hang with the queen.
    2. it gives the bees a place to perch and control the airflow in the hive. All those slats are places bees can perch, and fan, and move air as they see fit. Its also a great place for bees to evaporate water and to help keep the hive cool on hot summer days.
    3. The space below the slats offer a plenum for mixing the air, and slowing down windy blasts from getting into the brood chamber, which allows the bees to control the temperature better, I believe.
    4. It makes for a good hand off zone for the foragers to exchange their loads, and head back out. (Sure would like to research this to confirm)

    I generally keep a small entrance year round, and make sure there is some top venting of some kind to allow the bees to better control their own environment.

    Cheers, Phil in Fremont.

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    All these slats are only making up for insufficient air buffer under the brood nest and insufficient continuous vertical comb span (a natural thing to have).
    With my tall frames + 2-3 inch air below them I need no slats and have none of the issues listed here and unsure what is the fuss about (basically, a made-up problem to solve).
    The slats are making up for the design flaws in standard Lang/Dadant specifications designed in for the industrial mobility, storage, and compactness (the design flaws - from the bee point of view, not human point of view).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Ukrainian frame experimentation.

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    Greg
    The slats are making up for the design flaws in standard Lang/Dadant specifications designed in for the industrial mobility, storage, and compactness (the design flaws - from the bee point of view, not human point of view).
    So if you have to build something to fix what you see as a problem, you have to build something.
    You are building your tall frames and I build a slatted rack.

    If I want to use standardized equipment that could be bought anywhere and interchanged at ease, the slatted rack if having things you recognize as accomplishing something seems to be a good way to get it accomplished.

    I like them but would not be upset to run with out them either.
    Cheers
    gww
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  15. #34
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    Biddeford, Maine, USA
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. I really appreciate the info!!. I went ahead and built the racks this weekend, painted the outside, and installed them yesterday. Thanks again!

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    Greg.....

    You are building your tall frames and I build a slatted rack.

    gww
    Well, as you know, gww, I just take your standard frames and turn them side-ways.
    Done.
    I wish I had time to build much lately.
    Not.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Ukrainian frame experimentation.

  17. #36
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    May 2018
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    My carniolians built drone comb all over slatted rack, also queen had a place to run to during inspection. Did not use them this year.
    Glad I read this thread, will put them next no-rack hive and see if there is any difference.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    Quote Originally Posted by AnVil View Post
    My carniolians built drone comb all over slatted rack ...
    A colony which is desperate for drones will build drone comb wherever it can. The 'fault' lies - not with the equipment - but with beekeeping practice, by not allowing an adequate amount of drone comb to be built within the comb array.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    A colony which is desperate for drones will build drone comb wherever it can. The 'fault' lies - not with the equipment - but with beekeeping practice, by not allowing an adequate amount of drone comb to be built within the comb array.
    LJ
    Very true.

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Slatted Rack Difference

    Just a summary of the history of slatted racks from what I can suss out on this topic trolling the internet, and reading books.

    V.1 - C.C. Miller made the first ones, or at least documented them around 1900. His were crude affairs, and simply split a board with an axe to make the slats. I like a good crude prototype to prove an idea. Worked great. Bees don't care about straight cuts and artistic beauty. Used a 2 inch deep bottom board, so not standard to todays standard.

    V.2 - Then in the 1950, Carl Killion improved the design, by adding the 4" slat in the front, and made with more modern woodworking tools. He made his so it would slide in and out of the bottom board, which he also made 2" deep as best I could tell. The important dimension was the 5/16" from the top of the bottom board that it slid into. Carl, in Illinois, used them year round, and did cut-comb honey. He was looking for a lot of hive ventilation to get the comb honey capped as soon as possible. He was also a big fan of running 9 frames in a 10 frame box and running follower boards for better ventilation in the hive.

    V.3 - Then in the 1960s, Bovard in Hawaii made the slatted board we know today that fits on top of a standard bottom board, with the 3/4" sides on it. This results in about 1.5" below the slats. As best I can tell, he was also the one who turned the slats 90 degrees to match the frames above. Still kept the 4" board in the front.

    All of these guys were focussed on air flow in the hive, and adding some dead air space below the colony. Simply making a deep bottom board results in comb being built down below the frames. So it was often called a "false floor", which makes sense. You can attain somewhat similar results by just adding a plywood bottom to some of those deep screened bottom boards I suppose.

    Thanks Little John for insight and photos.

    Serge Labesque is also a fan of the air space below the colony, and the follower boards concept. Rusty at Honey Bee Suite is also a big fan of slatted boards.

    Thanks to Michael Bush for getting "Honey in the Comb" reprinted so I can actually find a copy and understand better Carl's intent.

    Cheers, Phil

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