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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>can I just tilt it back & slip a 1/4" piece of hardboard under it for winter?

There are a few problems with this. First there is no beespace on the bottom so the frames will be 1/8" from the wire and bees can be squished there when you put the frames back in. Second the bottom bars will get proplized to the bottom and pull off when you remove the frames. Can you? Yes. Should you? Probably not unless you don't have other options...
 

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Just curious...how many hives do you run? If you run enough colonies to consider pallets, then make or buy S.B.B. pallets with the shims (and W-clips) built-in over the #8HC. You can make sticky boards and/or pollen traps to go under them.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>Can I tack on a 1/4" shim to the bottoms to get 3/8" bee space?

Yes, but then you can't lift the bottom box off of the bottom board or swap boxes around. I wouldn't unless I ran out of resources and it was a temporary setup.
 

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I would make a 3/4" rim and fasten the #8 screening to that. Then to close it off, lift your hive & place the hardboard on top. Will be a lot easier to clean in the spring and if you need to reverse your brood boxes or move that box somewhere else, you won't have the screen attached to it.

Of course, read all you can. But I'm not changing out my SBBs since they work fine for me.

Wayne
 

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Maplevalleykennel... Yes you could make 7" boxes, but there is a much better way to do this, and not wind up with nonstandard equipment.

If you have the capability to make your own woodenware, why not just make a 2 inch wide, 3/4 inch thick rim, 19 7/8 X 16 1/4, (if you are using 10 frame equipment). Cover one side with screen. Place it on your hive stand, (screen down) then place your hive on this rim. That will give you the same height as a bottom board. This screen will be the same principle as a moving screen, just used on the bottom. (You may want to use it as a moving screen some time in the future,) When cold weather arrives, tilt the hive and screen back and slide a solid piece of plywood or Advantec under the screen. Problem solved.

cchoganjr
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>Since I'm making my own woodware can I just make 7" boxes to use as dedicated bottom boxes?

You can do a lot of things. Every spring when I dig my way to the bottom board, I lift off the last box and dump off any dead bees and detritus. This would be very difficult with a dedicated bottom box. If that box is empty, I am likely to put it on top so I can track how full the hive is. This is not possible if the bottom is attached. The only hives I like the bottoms attached to are the nucs and that's to simplify moving them around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok let's go the other way. If I have to build BBs and I'm using a top entrance can I dado the sides to make a drawer slot that I can slide either a 1/4" piece of hardboard with a cut out and #8 hardware cloth tacked over it (SBB) or a 3/4" deep drawer that can be used as a bottom feeder?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You can build whatever you can dream up to build if you have the skill. 3/4" would be about right. More would lead to too much burr comb. It's easier just to convert solid bottom boards to feeders with no trays...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#BottomBoardFeeder
I actually got the idea after looking at your BB Micheal. By making a box with a short front I can slide a screen, feeder (like yours), and solid bottom into the slot, making it a triple BB. ****, shoulda kept my mouth shut and marketed my TBB! And I can put a tiny dado in the bottom to accommodate a whiteboard.
 
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