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Why are bottom boards reversible?

5694 Views 20 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  sqkcrk
While getting ready to make up bottom boards for 5 frame nucs, I wondered why all the standard size bottom boards I have are reversible. I've never reversed any. Merely reduced the entrance as needed. What's the history and logic? Is the point getting the main bed of the bottom board up off the ground?
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I was always told that bees need more space to come and go in the summer when the population is large, then you flip it over in fall to reduce the entrance to keep out pests, reduce robbing, drafts, etc.

Honestly I've never reversed them and always use the small opening based on recommendations of a large beekeeper when I first started keeping bees. I honestly don't see a need for the larger opening and I even have a few hives that only have a 2 1/2" x 3/8" upper entrance and they have been just as productive as hives with much larger entrances.

-Tim
 

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According to Idiots guide to beekeeping, it's a summer/winter thing.

The larger is for winter to allow space for dead-bees... In the summer the smaller one is to be used so they don't build comb in the space.

Sounds like a lot of lifting.
 

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We make ours BB 1/2 in and we rip some one inch strips some 1/2 way across some with really small openings and some 3/4 across. We switch them in and out. It is the left over rips from making the bottom boards.

They are all Screened so the opening is just traffic control the SBB allows the ventilation.
 

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Honestly I've never reversed them and always use the small opening based on recommendations of a large beekeeper when I first started keeping bees. I honestly don't see a need for the larger opening and I even have a few hives that only have a 2 1/2" x 3/8" upper entrance and they have been just as productive as hives with much larger entrances.

-Tim
Tim same here was told the same nonsense. I use plywood and 3/4 inch strips of pine nail to a deep with a 3'' opening (easier for transport all so) and just a piece of ply for top with no inner cover.
 

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They were originally built w/ a summer side and a winter side. 3/8" side for summer. The otherside for winter. According to Dr. Doolittle's 1908 publication "A Year's Work in an Out-Apiary".
 

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Are you sure about that Mark? I believe it's the other way around. 3/4" side for summer to give plenty of room for foraging bees, and 3/8 side for winter, enough for ventilation and small enough to keep mice out.
 

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Page 1 of the previously sited book reads "As I use the Dr. Miller bottom board, the same having a two-inch-deep side for wintering, and a three-eighths-inch-deep side for summer,..."

Didn't look right to me when I read it. And if I hadn't just gotten this book and looked at it when this Thread Question came up I would have said the opposite. Some more reading is required to find out why. Or if Dr. Doolittle made an error in his book.
 
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