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Is there any good reason that the bottom boards are designed as they are? I can certainly understand why there is the the 3/4" distance from the top of the rim to the surface of teh bottom board, but is there any reason to have the 1"x below the bottom board as well? It seems like it would be much faster/easier/cheaper to simply use some plywood cut to the dimension of the box, and then add 3/4 x 3/4 strips around the perimeter of three sides. If in contact with the ground, i can see how this is undesirable. If on a hive stand, whats the benefit of making the dado cuts so the 1"x boards "wrap" the bottom board?

On a different note, I'm not convinced that the inner cover/telescoping cover is a great arrangement. It seems like a lot of material is used to construct this combination and I have yet to see the necessity of it. Has anyone made a hybrid kind of cover? I'm thinking something along the lines of a migratory style cover, with the addition of an aluminum covering. I think about 3/4" oversize on each side with 3/4 x 3/4 strips along the underside will keep it securely in place. If I cut these strips in a manner that left about 2" of the corner without them, it seems like i could easily dislodge the cover using the hive tool. The only downside I can see to this very simple design is a violation of beespace above the top bars. This wouldn't be very difficult to correct.

So, if you've had similar thoughts, or perhaps even tried designs of this nature, please let me know your experiences/concerns/opinions. I will be replacing a few tops and bottoms when we warm up as some of my current experiments have not worked as well as I'd like.

Thanks for the input
 

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Air space to keep everything as dry as possible and minimal contact with the stand/ground is why the bottom boards are designed the way they are.
I never tried to experiment with cover designs much so I can't help much there.
I don't think bee space is much of a concern on the top of the hive, but how will you adress the ventillation issue with your hybrid covers? Year round shims under them?
 

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I have not used plywood, but I can build bottom boards with 1x12 pine with 3/4" strips for about $9. I use them for my swarm bait hives. Underneath I make a "H" pattern with the strips. I did build 1 without the strips on the bottom and it seemed strong enough for just resting on a stand. I like using a 1x12 because the two 11 1/2's together make a nice landind board on the front. The only problem is wood prices are so high right now, I could build 1 last year for about $6. I wished my paycheck would go up that fast.
 

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I'm in Florida, so what I do may be different...but, I started with migratory covers, which warped, leaked and let in beatles...so, I went with a telescoping cover, the traditional inner cover for me didn't work cause when it got hot I had a lot of bearding. I started making a screen inner cover with vent slots on the sides. No more bearding, to control ventilation or heat, I put a piece of plywood on top of the screen with a smaller hole, generally during the summer it is the open screen with telescoping cover that works for me.
 

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LangStrom, designed and built a USABLE hive that was good for the bee's as well as the beek, made it easier to harvest honey and manage/protect the bees in it and has become the standard the world over. now if you have a better Idea, just build it and show beeks all over the world that your design is better and should be the new standard.
 

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>Is there any good reason that the bottom boards are designed as they are? I can certainly understand why there is the the 3/4" distance from the top of the rim to the surface of teh bottom board, but is there any reason to have the 1"x below the bottom board as well?

The "standard" bottom board is a "reversible" bottom board. It has a 3/4" gap on one side and a 3/8" or 1/2" gap on the other side. The idea was to use the 3/8" in the summer and the 3/4" in the winter with the idea that in winter you needed to allow for the dead bees piling up. People often do the reverse of that and use the 3/8" in winter to keep the mice out and the 3/4" in the summer for more ventilation...

> It seems like it would be much faster/easier/cheaper to simply use some plywood cut to the dimension of the box, and then add 3/4 x 3/4 strips around the perimeter of three sides.

It will work fine.

>If in contact with the ground, i can see how this is undesirable. If on a hive stand, whats the benefit of making the dado cuts so the 1"x boards "wrap" the bottom board?

If in contact with the ground it will be rotten in a year or two...

>On a different note, I'm not convinced that the inner cover/telescoping cover is a great arrangement. It seems like a lot of material is used to construct this combination and I have yet to see the necessity of it.

I see the reasons, but I agree it's not necessary. I don't use inner covers.
http://bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#innercover

> Has anyone made a hybrid kind of cover? I'm thinking something along the lines of a migratory style cover, with the addition of an aluminum covering.

Brushy mountain has one in their catalog...

> I think about 3/4" oversize on each side with 3/4 x 3/4 strips along the underside will keep it securely in place.

It will stay in place once there is propolis and you have a brick or a rock on top...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm

> If I cut these strips in a manner that left about 2" of the corner without them, it seems like i could easily dislodge the cover using the hive tool. The only downside I can see to this very simple design is a violation of beespace above the top bars. This wouldn't be very difficult to correct.

The beespace at the top is never quite right. If you had no propolis buildup and the cover is flat on the top you have 1/4" (minimum beespace). As soon as there is any propolis build up you have less. My top cover is a little over in the front (where the entrance is) tapered back to what probably ends up slightly under at the back, but they don't tend to build comb where the traffic is.

The other thing you can use for an inner cover is those plastic burlap sacks (assuming they didn't have insecticide coated seeds in them). If you want to harvest propolis you could also use window screen...

>LangStrom

LangSTROTH
 
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