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Interesting, thanks for sharing. What do they look like from the inside?
 

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Very nice. Nicely made too. :)

I have slatted racks above my open SBBs too, but I just used commercially bought pieces and stacked them.
 

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has anyone tried to cut the slats to make a " V " shape on the top, so that any debris will fall through instead of stopping on the horizontal top of the slats?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've never heard of triangular slats, but I have some stands with PVC pipe as "slats".
 

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Good pictures. I do not fully understand the benefit of the slatted rack. can you enlighten me? I have adopted one of your concepts in a way. I have put my entrance reducers in and intend to leave them. I might take them out during the heaviest spring flow. I also intend to cut out a 1" X 3/8" notch in the bottom of all my supers for entrances. This will not change the bee space between them. If I need to close them in the late summer/fall to prevent robbing a 2"X 3/4" X3/4"piece of sheet metal angle can be slid between the boxes.
What do you think?
 

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I like the idea of one piece: slatted rack - screen - insert - lower intrance. But how do you clean the screen, or drag out dead bees, mid winter/early spring? Just wondering. :s
 

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I'm trying a similar setup. The slatted racks are made just like hive bodies, and the slats just lay in the frame rests. The slats are made out of pieces that were rejected from making frames - slatted racks don't get extracted so they can be knotty.




This is a medium nuc I'm using as a cell builder - the entrance through the slatted rack has a piece of excluder over it to keep out lost queens. I've also since put a drone excape cone next to the main entrance. I've just put this out and populated it so I don't know yet if it will work as planned. I swapped it into the location of a full size hive to load it up and it's amazing how many bees can go in and out through that small entrance.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I like the small entrances.

And I like the unusual look as well.

Some of mine have PVC "slats".
 

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has anyone tried to cut the slats to make a " V " shape on the top,...
In a previous thread I said I wanted to build a SR with slats 2-2.5 inches tall X .075 inches thick by 12.25 inches long. (8 frame size) But I wanted the slats between the SR side rails at a 45 degree angel, (creating a V shape from every viewing angle). Then leave a bee space of 5/16 inch between the top of the slats and the bottom of the frames provided the hive has a top bee space. Also I planed to use a two 2X4" 12.25 inches long with one narrow edge ripped on a table saw at a 45-degree angle. These two boards are installed flat wise with the wide side up. The fall off from these 2x4s would be triangular when viewed in cross section. These trapezoid boards replace the 1 inch board intended to encourage the queen to lay lower in the brood nest. A bee space of 5/16 inch is left between these 2x4 boards and the bottom of the frames.

Returning foragers would need to go at least 3 1/2 inches deeper into the hive, turn a sharp corner, with guard bees both behind their backs and above their heads, be recognized again, navigate a choak point, then climb a 45 degree slope to access the lower box's frames. Viewed from above this SR would look like a cheese grater or a file. Not only would this give the bees more area to hangout but it would provide the bees a way to organize a defense in depth to hopefully guard better against SHB intrusion. Hornets, wasps, yellow jackets, robbers, bumblebees etc. would be out of luck getting past this SR. During cold snaps in spring brood rearing I would expect to see bees clustered shoulder to jaw between the slats blocking drafts thus conserving warmth.

Look at some of the medieval castle keeps and remember a dozen or so defenders, (3 defenders at one castle) often frustrated entire armies.

I am under the impression that bees won’t use a flat board slanted at a 45-degree angel to build comb on, and that this is why long hives are built the way they are. Is this true?

Viewed side on my rack would look something like the crude sketch below.
\\\\\ /////
 

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I do not fully understand the benefit of the slatted rack.
I don't either if they are flat on top. I have heard of some people using dowels. I suppose PVC pipe would work but PVC in the hive?
 

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. . .I love my slatted racks. It's quite obvious that ventilation in the hive is greatly improved with slatted racks. . .no moisture in the winter and no bearding in the summer. Last year, instead of entrance reducers, I put robber screens on all of my hives. The girls really seem to like it. . .gives them a sense of security, I guess. They're much calmer when I mow in front of them and when my chickens jump up on the stand they don't get excited anymore like they used to!
 

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It's quite obvious that ventilation in the hive is greatly improved with slatted racks.
OK it is not obvious to me. How does it create more ventilation than an open bottom?
 

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Bees tend to congregate on the bottoms of the combs. In a regular hive configuration without a slatted rack there is no space for them to do that.

If you just gave them the extra space (by using a deep box with medium frames FE) they would probably build more comb on the bottom of the frames, and they they would be back to having no space to hang out.

A slatted rack gives them space to hang out, but discourages them from building comb in that space. So it helps to prevent swarming and bearding. It also cuts down on drafts. At least that's the theory as I understand it.

It's not a mite control device - at best it doesn't hinder the function of a screened bottom. Not much anyway.
 

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OK it is not obvious to me. How does it create more ventilation than an open bottom?
It seems obvious by the behavior of the hives. You can find lots of pictures of side by side hives with and without racks and the hive without has a huge beard. It may not exactly improve ventilation (although you can also use them with a solid bottom in which case it probably does) but it accommodates the behavior of the bees.

These have been around for a long time and most people who use them believe that they help to prevent swarming. Not scientific, but it kind of is a preponderance of evidence for what it's worth.

Of course lots of people think magnetic bracelets prevent arthritis.
 
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