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Discussion Starter #1
Ok,
Long story short....Many many months ago at our LBC meeting, I grabbed this off the door price table because, if I remember correctly, it was the only thing left, or darn near it!

Some opinions were thrown about as to what t was, or what it was thought to be... But no one seemed to be certain or had supporting details from what I remember, and honestly, I don't remember much about what the opinions of the night were.

Regardless, I'm now curious as to "What is it"? I'll keep quiet about my opinions for two reasons....First, I don't want to sway anyone else's opinion, and more importantly, I really don't have much of a clue as to what it is, what's it's purpose, what's the theory behind it, or how it's suppose to work. :s

As hopefully the pictures will show...it fits on 10 frame equipment, with an opening on one side with "jail bars", other than a small open square area there and a small gap around the inner wall....the entire middle is boxed off.....I realize that's a pretty weak description, so hopefully the pictures will help! :)

Note: On the first photo, that's a shadow on the far side making the gap look bigger on the back side than it actually is...The gap on the back is the same size as on the two sides. Also, there is no distinguishable top or bottom, if you flip it over, it looks the same.



 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is the box inside open on the bottom? If so maybe the box should be turned over and it is a feeder?

NOPE! No, distinguishable difference! If I flip it over, it looks exactly the same as it does in the pictures above. :scratch:
 

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I'm going to guess it is a bottom board or inner cover with top entrance for a queenless cell builder colony. Queen excluder entrance to keep out unwanted virgins. Why it is so thick is anyones guess, possibly insulation. Europeans have strange bottom boards that are complicated for reasons I don't understand..
Maybe there is a secret compartment. Full of valuables, guns or cold hard confederate money
 

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If the gaps between the "bars" are 7mm or less, then it could be an top/bottom entrence with built in mouse guard, the insert being used to decrease the area so lees bees are needed to defend the entrence and provide some insulation.
 

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If the gaps between the "bars" are 7mm or less, then it could be an top/bottom entrence with built in mouse guard, the insert being used to decrease the area so lees bees are needed to defend the entrence and provide some insulation.
Mouse guard, of course.
I still want to know it it contains something inside tho.That would be a good idea. WHo would think to look in a bee hive for valuables? I'll have to make one and send it to Barry to try out.:D
 

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OK, I'll weigh in on this one. It looks like an insulated top for the hive. The thin metal rods at the bottom of the shim are to support the insulated insert. The hole at the front of the insert is to allow moisture to vent out of the hive and to provide the bees an upper entrance.
 

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As a guess, I'll say that the box is intended to be a queen excluder/upper entrance of some sort and that the idea behind construction was to allow easy passage of foragers between supers and brood box.
 

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Perhaps an old time cloake board idea without the complete seperation procedure we use today? Solid enough to stimulate bees to start cells above yet allows access throughout the colony? But why the 3/8" space around the edges. The construction looks very specific. But the excluder/guard spacing looks too big.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A little more specifics and clarification on some of the questions....since apparently I'm not in as small of a minority as I expected on being stumped as to what this is.... :scratch:

Upon a closer look, a few more observations:

1) While it appears to look the same when viewed from either side...On one side the inner box is about 1/4" lower than the top of the outer box, while on the other side the two are flush.

2) There are four small, 3/4" shims, on the front and four on the back which hold the inner box in place...the gap between the inner box and inside of the outer box is 5/8" all the way around with no obstructions on the sides at all and nothing but the shims on the front and back which secure it in place.

3) The bars on the entrance have 1/4" space between them

4) Also, I removed one side of the inner box to check for insulation....Nothing but dead air space!
 

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the insert being used to decrease the area so lees bees are needed to defend the entrence and provide some insulation.
I woke up in the middle of the night and thought "Of course it's to stop them building comb in it if its a top entrance".
 

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My guess would be a top entrance for winter, when snow accumulation is expected to block the bottom entrance. The box would keep the bees from having to heat a larger space and any cold condensation would be guaranteed not to drip on the cluster.
 
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