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I've been pouring over the bottom board instructions at http://www.beesource.com/files/ipmbottom.pdf, and would like to make a few changes. I'd like to run these by you guys, to see if they are acceptable.

1) Instead the 3/4 inch thick sides, I'd like to use 1" thick sides, for support strength. I would bevel any edges that extend to the inside/outside of the super above it.

2) The "frame sides" and "Frame backs" are 2" wide - Why not make them 1" wide to extend the area of the screen?

3) The gap above the "plywood frame" in the front is 3/4". This is where the entrance reducer would go, right? Can I increase this to 1" - This is a stock board size and would save me cutting. This would be too big, so I'd fill the space with a large-entrance entrance reducer, which would have a gap of 3/8 inch by 12". for regular use.

4) Why don't the bees build comb in the space between the bottom board frame and the super above? It's larger than bee space, even given the recommended measurements...


Thank you,
spock out.
 

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"..Can I increase this to 1" - This is a stock board size .." i think you will find that a "stock" board is refered to as 1" but is actually 3/4 due to surfacing(planing) a rough-cut 1" board. the changes (1,2,3) will, in my opinion, weaken the bottom structually or be difficult to accomplish without custom milled lumber. good luck,mike
 

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"..Can I increase this to 1" - This is a stock board size .." i think you will find that a "stock" board is refered to as 1" but is actually 3/4 due to surfacing(planing) a rough-cut 1" board. the changes (1,2,3) will, in my opinion, weaken the bottom structually or be difficult to accomplish without custom milled lumber. good luck,mike
Thanks Mike.

The 1" is actual 1" - Rough cut cedar nailing strips. Do you think it will be a problem to use in my entrance area instead of the recommended 3/4"?

Thanks for your other tips... you make good observations about weakening.
 

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I have been making my SBBs with 2x4 sides for over 5 years, 1x3 on nucs. I put the screen on the bottom. The bees will not build burr comb because it is their nature not to build out at the base of the hive. If you ever have brace comb at the bottom, they are seriously overcrowded. Beveling the edges to maintain bee space is not important because they do not naturally work the two outer frames near the bottom unless once again, seriously overcrowded. My bee space is 7/16 not 3/4. I have sold and used hundreds of these in Florida. The bees are quite happy with 7/16 year round. My space to the sliding tray is 7/16 also. Primarily to give a strong edge so it does not get snapped off when moved. Commercially produced SBBs are using thicker sides now. Check the 2010 catalogs.
http://americasbeekeeper.com/April2009 094.jpg 10 frame
http://americasbeekeeper.com/May2009 063.jpg 5 frame nuc
 

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"...think it will be a problem ..." nah, i dont think it makes any difference to the bees. be aware, though , you may want to increase your hive numbers and will need to be consistent with dimensions to be interchangeable. that alone would seem to outway what little advantage to be gained- IN MY OPERATION- your milage may vary :) good luck,mike
 

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I also build mine out of 2x4's
3/4" sticks out all the way around, & I cut the over hang 45 degrees to shed rain.

Construction site scrap is free.
 

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>1) Instead the 3/4 inch thick sides, I'd like to use 1" thick sides, for support strength. I would bevel any edges that extend to the inside/outside of the super above it.
I would try to keep inside dimensions "to print" and bevel the overhang. "Beveling" is always a good idea. I have a 1/4" bevel in everything (BB and supers).

2) The "frame sides" and "Frame backs" are 2" wide - Why not make them 1" wide to extend the area of the screen?
It is best to make the "screened area" as large as possible.

3) The gap above the "plywood frame" in the front is 3/4". This is where the entrance reducer would go, right? Can I increase this to 1" - This is a stock board size and would save me cutting. This would be too big, so I'd fill the space with a large-entrance entrance reducer, which would have a gap of 3/8 inch by 12". for regular use.
I like "everything" the same, for interchageability (as mentioned).

4) Why don't the bees build comb in the space between the bottom board frame and the super above? It's larger than bee space, even given the recommended measurements...
Bees do not build comb all the way to bottom of "any" hive, even in the wild. Sometimes its hard to get "bottom" frames drawn all the way down (some move them up to an "upper" super). Queens seem to "dislike" laying all the way down in "bottom" frames. The "books" say queens do not like the light near the entrance (bees will go where the queen is :)).
 

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>1) . . . Queens seem to "dislike" laying all the way down in "bottom" frames. The "books" say queens do not like the light near the entrance (bees will go where the queen is :)).
Using slatted-racks to give support for clustering , to occlude light (once the bees have clustered on the slats) and baffle drafts, it can help queens to overcome this issue, it also puts that otherwise unused empty space beneath the combs to good use. The original plans I saw for these were for a slatted-rack that could be inserted into the 3/4" deep, open space, provided by a traditional bottom board. Mine do not include a bottom entrance, because when I did, toads would depopulate my hives. This season I am also building an additional slatted-rack (with the slats oriented with their widest dimension horizontal and running from end-to-end rather than side-to-side) that can be inserted anywhere in the hive stack. Though I intend to add it above the one that is already built-in to my SBB's.

 

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I make my sbb from whatever I can find. If I have 3/4 stock, I have size for that. If I have 2 bys, I cut them done to 1&1/2" and rabbit them out ot attach the screem. I use an entrance above the brood and left the bottom open this winter to see how they do. (I have not checked them yet this year so I don't know how they have done).

This year I will make them taller so I can use a board to close them next winter. Has the depth of the sbb made a difference to my bees, no. As long as they have plenty of space, they are happy.

Good luck: Dave:)



Life can be simple, don't complicate it.
 

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Well McSpadden

I really like that design. It is simple and straight forward. I believe that is the one that I will use. It's nice that you brought that site to the front, thank you for the reminder:banana:
 

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I have also used this design, made five bottom boards 2 years ago. They are super easy to build and minimal materials....JOHN
 
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