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I have run out of bottom boards, so I thought I would try building some. I don't have a router to cut out the inset in the side and back rails, so couldn't I just use 3/4" exterior plywood for the bottom and cut side and back rails that give me a 3/4" opening that I can leave open or put a reducer in? I have never flipped my purchased bottom boards to use the smaller opening, so why have it?
 

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I use 1/3 or 3/4 whatever I have laying around and cut 3/4 in shims leftover from making boxes from 1 x lumber they work great
 

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I have run out of bottom boards, ... I have never flipped my purchased bottom boards to use the smaller opening, so why have it?
Most of my hives only have the smaller opening turned up...99.9 percent of them. Less area for the bees to protect and my bees have done just fine in both the Northeast and South.
 

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Google... Georgia bees top bottom board...John Pluta has a video for a combo top/bottom board. Very simple and versatile. so far I love them.
 

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I've done the dado and I've tacked strips to a piece of plywood. Both work equally well on the bee side of the board. They could care less about the effort I put into the bottom board, as long as it suits them. If you tack strips be mindful of moisture and ants, if the board winds up sitting on a flat surface.
 

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For plywood a dado to put the plywood in cut into solid wood is going to last a lot longer than if the edges of the plywood are exposed, paint or no paint.

Other than that, all you really need is something to put the hive on. I do recommend putting strips on the bottom as well as the top if you decide to do that, it keeps the bottom board off whatever it's sitting and and it will stay drier that way and rot less.

Peter
 

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Ross, I HAVE USED YOUR design and they work great and are practically free with scrap 2x material. Thanks!
You can also use a few passes on the table saw without taking the time to set up a dado, or if you don't have a dado. If you are just banging out a quick one Ross's work great! BM
 
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