Slatted rack
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Thread: Slatted rack

  1. #1

    Default Slatted rack

    Hi all. I'm in Western Australia, warm temperate climate. I have hot summers.

    I've been looking into slatted racks. Those that have them seem to be satisfied with them, but I can't find any comprehensive studies about them.

    I know that the queen will lay closer to the entrance with these racks but I mainly want them for better hive temperature management. Most report that they notice less bearding. But if instead of bees bearding on the outside, they just hang out on the increased space of the rack, out of sight - is there any actual benefit?

    My other concern is the increase of nooks and crannies these racks provide for pests such as wax moths to lay eggs.

    What are your thoughts? They seem to be very popular overseas, but not here in Australia. In fact, I have to make one as no one stocks them here.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Slatted rack

    There have been several threads in which Slatted Racks have been discussed - this is one of the latest:
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...ack-Difference.

    I doubt there will ever be a meaningful study about such devices - as there are simply too many environmental and beehive variables involved - suggest you make one (as crude as you like, for an initial trial) and see for yourself if there are any benefits.

    Some folks swear by their use, others consider them unnecessary.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #3
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Slatted rack

    Quote Originally Posted by Numbatino View Post
    My other concern is the increase of nooks and crannies these racks provide for pests such as wax moths to lay eggs.
    .
    As long as your bees are alive, the wax moths are a non-issue.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #4
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    Jul 2014
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    Fremont, California
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    Default Re: Slatted rack

    I am not aware of a study that supports, or refutes their use. I use them on all my hives. I believe the added air space below the colony lets the bees do a better job of controlling the heat and humidity in the hive. The slats offer a bunch of location for bees to perch and fan air in the directions that they deem best. I leave them on year around.

    Phil in Fremont.

  6. #5
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: Slatted rack

    As far as I know, the worst case is that is is an unnecessary expense. No harm can come from using them. On the other hand, there may be increased use of the lower comb for brood rearing and bees in the hive can do a better job of controlling airflow than the ones furiously fanning on the landing board. I am going to use my first solid bottom board this spring. That hive will get a slatted rack that I aquired a few years ago and is still taking up space in the bee room. I doubt any of the screened bottom board hives would see a benefit.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    asheville, north carolina, USA
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    Default

    I didn't notice much difference inside the hive with the one and only one I purchased , however there was less bearding on the outside. Just a side note: fresh swarms don't seem to like them.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Slatted rack

    I have very hot summers. Perhaps slatted racks would provide a "place to hang out." But I have the same question you do about whether they really need a place to hang out inside the hive, when they can beard on the outside. The picture below is not an uncommon site in July and August in my bee yards. Until a study comes out showing an undeniable positive effect of slatted racks, I will just let mine continue to beard. I do not want another piece of kit to deal with.

    Bearding3.jpg

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    Default Re: Slatted rack

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    Until a study comes out showing an undeniable positive effect of slatted racks, I will just let mine continue to beard. I do not want another piece of kit to deal with.
    Even if the study showed a positive effect, still have to run the cost / benefit equation. If the benefit is small, then cost is high in terms of equipment and time, then why bother ?

    This is what we did with respect to solid vs screened bottom boards. A bunch of years back we had a significant winter loss, and in the spring looking at it, all the deadouts were on screened bottoms, none of the solid bottoms died over the winter. Add to that a screened bottom board costs us about 4x what a solid costs at the bee supply place, and it became a no brainer for us. Have not bought a screened bottom since, and over time, most of the ones we had were removed from service and replaced with solid.

  10. #9
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Slatted rack

    Grozzie, I'm pretty sure if I lived in BC, I would not use SBB either. But here in Richmond it is a different story. I have NEVER seen my bees beard like shown in psm1212's photo. 2-300 at most on even 100+ days. That is why I am going to do a side by side comparison. I am glad I have reached a point where I can experiment without fear of losing all my bees. TF, slatted racks, solid bottoms, 3 deep nuc instead of hiving in a ten frame, so many things to try.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Slatted rack

    FWIW - I've come to the conclusion that Varroa is going to remain with us for a very long time indeed, and so it seems appropriate that the basic beehive design be modified to take account of this. So - all my hives are now to be fitted with 'cavity bases' to accommodate a band-heater equivalent of the Varrox. [a simple steel can fitted with a 150W band-heater; cost around 3GBP ($4 US) each; up to 8 hives dosed simultaneously, controlled by a timer/SSR - no need for accurate temperature control]

    As the cavity will be around 3" high and a permanent feature, I'll be fitting removable Slatted Racks (CC Miller style) in each cavity to prevent wild comb being drawn there. Entrances will be above the Slatted Rack, not below them as currently.

    Dosing 8 hives at a time, I'll probably allow 15 mins for each application, as speed will no longer be an issue. No need for personal protection either, as I'll be indoors during the treatment enjoying a coffee (or beer !).
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Slatted rack

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    FWIW - I've come to the conclusion that Varroa is going to remain with us for a very long time indeed, and so it seems appropriate that the basic beehive design be modified to take account of this. So - all my hives are now to be fitted with 'cavity bases' to accommodate a band-heater equivalent of the Varrox. [a simple steel can fitted with a 150W band-heater; cost around 3GBP ($4 US) each; up to 8 hives dosed simultaneously, controlled by a timer/SSR - no need for accurate temperature control]

    As the cavity will be around 3" high and a permanent feature, I'll be fitting removable Slatted Racks (CC Miller style) in each cavity to prevent wild comb being drawn there. Entrances will be above the Slatted Rack, not below them as currently.

    Dosing 8 hives at a time, I'll probably allow 15 mins for each application, as speed will no longer be an issue. No need for personal protection either, as I'll be indoors during the treatment enjoying a coffee (or beer !).
    LJ
    Is this a concept in your mind right now, or have you actually built some of these?

    I assume the OA pan (or "steel can") is also removable from the 3" cavity?

    So you either have the OA pan in or the slatted rack in the hive at all times, but not both?

    You load your OA pans with the prescribed dosage, close off your entrances, set your timer(s), leave.

    Drink beer.

    Return the next morning to open your entrances, retrieve your OA pans and reinsert your slatted racks.

    Power could be tricky, but could be worked out.

    Very interesting. Would love to see a prototype.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Slatted rack

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    Is this a concept in your mind right now, or have you actually built some of these?
    A bit of both. It's been an apiary-wide idea I've been mulling over for some time, but have been putting off due to 'life' getting in the way.

    Each of the items involved I've already made - the 'cavities' I've been running for some years, albeit with fixed Mesh on top. The Slatted Racks I've been running (again 'fixed' - http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/beek17b.htm) for some 2 or 3 years (and I love 'em).

    The steel can with band-heater I made a few years back, which worked fine, but which was superceded by a brass/copper can design with a delivery tube and closure.

    But throughout my time playing with various OA vapourisers I've remained fascinated by the idea of a uber-cheap device - just a handful of dollars each - so that running multiple units simultaneously (and remotely from the operator) becomes economically viable. Band-heaters are ideal for this - except that (unlike the Varrox) they have a height of 2" or thereabouts. Hence the need for a cavity. It wouldn't surprise me if these weren't quite as good as the top-delivery method - but it'll be a whole lot cheaper.

    I assume the OA pan (or "steel can") is also removable from the 3" cavity?
    Oh yes. The cavities which I've already made (http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/beek03.htm) are 3-sided with a removable back - I'll be making something similar, with a back which now stays in place, and is only removed to withdraw the Slatted Rack and insert the VOA can in it's place. After treatment, the can will be removed and taken to the next hive to be treated, The Slatted Rack will be returned, and the back re-attached.

    The Open Mesh Floor (SBB) previously attached to the top of the 'cavity', will now be attached to it's bottom surface. The VOA 'Can' will be mounted on a wooden board which, when slid into the cavity, will cover that mesh.

    So you either have the OA pan in or the slatted rack in the hive at all times, but not both?
    Not quite - the loaded Pans will only be inserted (in place of the Slatted Racks) just prior to dosing with OA - then close the backs - switch on - walk away - come back in (say) 15-30 mins, then pull 'em out, re-insert the S/Racks and move onto the next 8.

    Power ? 150W x 8 = 1.2 Kw for about 5 mins. I'm running mains so that's not an issue. If somebody was using a 1 Kw suitcase generator, then suggest 4x units for 5 mins, then switch to the other 4.

    All of this still has to be confirmed of course when I put all the various bits together - but I don't foresee any problems (famous last words ...) LOL.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Default Re: Slatted rack

    I'm sold. Going to do a little exploring on your website and see what else you have cooked up!

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