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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I gathered together some materials to start building some Vivaldi Boards. Before I get started, I am asking for opinions on what would be the optimum height/depth of the Vivaldi Board.
 

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Why are you building Vivaldi boards? What is your goal?

I use a feeder box/shim on top with no vent.
 

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Vivaldi Board.
IMO just another specialized piece which is unnecessary.

A generic hive body does it all - each one of all these "special" functions. :)
If I have the time to spare, I'd just build more standard hive boxes (the one and only truly needed piece of equipment).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
But if you were to build one yourself,what do you think would be the optimum height ?
 

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A box that's deep enough for whatever jar or feeder you will be using in it?

I have one from a buy out.



I would not build one, I use a feeder shim under a box large enough to enclose the feeder.

If you are doing chips or a quilt you can use an inner cover under a shallow box and then your top cover. An inner top cover is not needed unless the bees have access.

Whatever you put on make sure it honors the bee space above the top of the frames, I add a rim to feeder shims for beespace.
 

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They seem to be quite a good idea - better than most modern 'improvements' - although I don't have any myself, as I feed in a different way. A quick Google turned up this:


Measurements of the main board included - you'll need to make your own mesh inner container of course. There must be some videos showing how to make those.
LJ
 

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Might not be the best source of info.....

That is from 2017 before he killed his bees.
 

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Might not be the best source of info.....

That is from 2017 before he killed his bees.
True, but he had years of success using them. His hive deaths were also not likely caused by his wintering methods.

With that, however, I don't see the real use of them. I use the Mann Lake "wintering" inner-cover and place a layer of thick foam on the top/inside. This actually stays on all year long and keeps excess condensation from forming in the winter, and the summer sun off in the summer. They already have a small upper entrance and it's amazing to see how much moisture builds up near that hole, as the bees push it out.

But, if you have the wood put aside to piece them together, and need a winter project, I certainly can't see how better insulation could harm them - but do feel a certain amount of moisture is healthy. As Ian Steppler would agree, the bees use that moisture to drink off of through the winter so they don't dry out.
 

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Right now,one hive consisting of two 10 frame deeps of an Ohio swarm of muttsutts.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A box that's deep enough for whatever jar or feeder you will be using in it?

I have one from a buy out.



I would not build one, I use a feeder shim under a box large enough to enclose the feeder.

If you are doing chips or a quilt you can use an inner cover under a shallow box and then your top cover. An inner top cover is not needed unless the bees have access.

Whatever you put on make sure it honors the bee space above the top of the frames, I add a rim to feeder shims for beespace.
" I add a rim to feeder shims for beespace."
I'm trying to visualize what you mean but my brain is having a hard time of it.
 

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" I add a rim to feeder shims for beespace."
I'm trying to visualize what you mean but my brain is having a hard time of it.
Sounds like he's just talking about the need for there to be space for the bees to move on top of the bars. If you lay a flat piece of wood on the top of a box the bees can't crawl over the frames. By leaving a small shim, or elevating the vivaldi board slighting in the center, this allows the "bee space". Much like how an inner cover is raised around the edges and recessed in the center.

Not necessary and a lot of commercial beekeepers cover their frames with plastic or insulation, but in my experience that makes quite a mess and isn't the best way for us hobbyists to do it.
 

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I dont think there is any question about the value of top insulation. It is nice to have space for frame top feed that can be quickly accessed. For me the need for upper ventilation is debatable but can easily be provided. I have made such contraptions that when lifted resulted in a couple of quarts of bees coming up with it. Sure does not lend itself to quick access and close up. I would make the volume of that space quite small so I kind of like the idea of a loose plastic film to throw over the bees and the feed to contain them and keep them down between the frames. You can make all kinds of cutesy devices but if you have large numbers of colonies the cost stacks up. Nice to have something that serves other purposes so you dont have more seasonal things to store.

I have made all kinds of cute gadgets but in hindsite would simplify a lot of things.
 

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@Wil-7
I'll try to help.
best answer is "it depends"
so Vino is in a certain Zone, you are in a certain zone. the difference would steer you to thicker or thinner.
So if they match then copy his, if you are farther north then His dimensions would be light.
he shows MA you show OH, I looked quickly.

I use a quilt board, I do like the feeder hole, IMO his "hot boxes" are a bit short.
Are you buying the wood?
do you already have it?
If I had to toss a dart for Ohio I would either Split a 10 inch in 1/2 or buy a 6 inch board. Depending on cost.
that would be closer to 4.75 and 5.75 Minus the saw cut on the 10 inch so 4.675. IE if the 6 inch board solution was cheaper I would take the extra inch for less than free. If the 10 Inch solution would be cheaper IMO the 10 Split for Ohio would work fine. his look 3.5 inch or so. mine are boards that were culled for mediums IE they did not make 6 5/8, so they are 5 ish + or- 3/4 depending on the day and the materials the day I made them.
A couple extra inches of shavings and a taller jar if using a jar are good to have as options.
I would size my middle hole with a bread pan, with a bit of clearance. Then you can make the sugar bricks in bread pans and they fit well.
the screen hole, shown, in his pics, is too much air flow IMO, I use 2 holes on each side or end, 5/8 with a screen over.
If it bleeds too much air they will protolyze the bottom screen over.
first year put them on in last of july or Aug and let them "tune" the air flow as needed. so if they plug 1/2 it was only 2 time more than they want. wind , entrance size, stack height, can all effect the air flow thru the device.

compare his temp to yours, adjust , optimize for the feed type you prefer, build

I have also used empty super over a wood bound QE, add a piece of 8Oz duck cloth and it mostly works the same. old blankets over the feed, inner cover with notch down, tele lid over that.

Have fun

GG
 

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@Wil-7
I'll try to help.
best answer is "it depends"
so Vino is in a certain Zone, you are in a certain zone. the difference would steer you to thicker or thinner.
So if they match then copy his, if you are farther north then His dimensions would be light.
he shows MA you show OH, I looked quickly.

I use a quilt board, I do like the feeder hole, IMO his "hot boxes" are a bit short.
Are you buying the wood?
do you already have it?
If I had to toss a dart for Ohio I would either Split a 10 inch in 1/2 or buy a 6 inch board. Depending on cost.
that would be closer to 4.75 and 5.75 Minus the saw cut on the 10 inch so 4.675. IE if the 6 inch board solution was cheaper I would take the extra inch for less than free. If the 10 Inch solution would be cheaper IMO the 10 Split for Ohio would work fine. his look 3.5 inch or so. mine are boards that were culled for mediums IE they did not make 6 5/8, so they are 5 ish + or- 3/4 depending on the day and the materials the day I made them.
A couple extra inches of shavings and a taller jar if using a jar are good to have as options.
I would size my middle hole with a bread pan, with a bit of clearance. Then you can make the sugar bricks in bread pans and they fit well.
the screen hole, shown, in his pics, is too much air flow IMO, I use 2 holes on each side or end, 5/8 with a screen over.
If it bleeds too much air they will protolyze the bottom screen over.
first year put them on in last of july or Aug and let them "tune" the air flow as needed. so if they plug 1/2 it was only 2 time more than they want. wind , entrance size, stack height, can all effect the air flow thru the device.

compare his temp to yours, adjust , optimize for the feed type you prefer, build

I have also used empty super over a wood bound QE, add a piece of 8Oz duck cloth and it mostly works the same. old blankets over the feed, inner cover with notch down, tele lid over that.

Have fun

GG
 

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I too have moved to deep inner covers. I have some Vivaldi boards, some Deep Winter Inner Covers from Mann Lake, and have also made some by ripping down some old boxes and attaching them to standard inner covers that I have. I put foam or Reflectix in them, year around. Depth is 1.5" to 4" I don't put ventilation holes in them any more.

I live in the SF Bay Area, which rarely freezes.
Cheers, Phil
 

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Right now,one hive consisting of two 10 frame deeps of an Ohio swarm of muttsutts.
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@Wil-7
I'll try to help.
best answer is "it depends"
so Vino is in a certain Zone, you are in a certain zone. the difference would steer you to thicker or thinner.
So if they match then copy his, if you are farther north then His dimensions would be light.
he shows MA you show OH, I looked quickly.

I use a quilt board, I do like the feeder hole, IMO his "hot boxes" are a bit short.
Are you buying the wood?
do you already have it?
If I had to toss a dart for Ohio I would either Split a 10 inch in 1/2 or buy a 6 inch board. Depending on cost.
that would be closer to 4.75 and 5.75 Minus the saw cut on the 10 inch so 4.675. IE if the 6 inch board solution was cheaper I would take the extra inch for less than free. If the 10 Inch solution would be cheaper IMO the 10 Split for Ohio would work fine. his look 3.5 inch or so. mine are boards that were culled for mediums IE they did not make 6 5/8, so they are 5 ish + or- 3/4 depending on the day and the materials the day I made them.
A couple extra inches of shavings and a taller jar if using a jar are good to have as options.
I would size my middle hole with a bread pan, with a bit of clearance. Then you can make the sugar bricks in bread pans and they fit well.
the screen hole, shown, in his pics, is too much air flow IMO, I use 2 holes on each side or end, 5/8 with a screen over.
If it bleeds too much air they will protolyze the bottom screen over.
first year put them on in last of july or Aug and let them "tune" the air flow as needed. so if they plug 1/2 it was only 2 time more than they want. wind , entrance size, stack height, can all effect the air flow thru the device.

compare his temp to yours, adjust , optimize for the feed type you prefer, build

I have also used empty super over a wood bound QE, add a piece of 8Oz duck cloth and it mostly works the same. old blankets over the feed, inner cover with notch down, tele lid over that.

Have fun

GG
Thank GG, you have given me great insight as to how I should go about it, in fact, all of you have been a great help. Since I have the 1x6 boards, I will just go ahead and build a box without ripping those boards down. I too, was thinking his Vivaldi boards were on the short side of being favorable, even in my 5b zone. As far as his long hole cuts he routed out for venting, that seems like over kill for ventilation. I was planning on just a couple small holes on each end for mine and then screened over. If I make those ventilation holes in 1" diameter then I do already have some 1" plastic plugs that I can utilize if need be. Since I am very new at this, I am running around in circles on venting or not venting out the top as I see the opinions on both sides being of equal value with intelligent feedback. I wonder if that is where the old saying comes from. " Darned if you do, darned if you don't". I'll definitely keep in mind to utilize any medium boxes that I accumulate in the future so that I can use them in any configuration desired and to cover our four seasons.
Thank you,
Ray
 

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Slightly different design:
Wood Rectangle Natural material Wood stain Crate


For feeding with syrup:
Shoe Synthetic rubber Personal protective equipment Outdoor shoe Art


For feeding with fondant:
Wood Rectangle Gas Hardwood Linens


Opening for top entrance:
Rectangle Wood Shade Beige Wood stain


Opening for internal circulation:
Rectangle Wood Grass Hardwood Linens


Hole and groove for vaporizer:
Wood Grass Wood stain Natural material Hardwood
 

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Thank GG, you have given me great insight as to how I should go about it, in fact, all of you have been a great help. Since I have the 1x6 boards, I will just go ahead and build a box without ripping those boards down. I too, was thinking his Vivaldi boards were on the short side of being favorable, even in my 5b zone. As far as his long hole cuts he routed out for venting, that seems like over kill for ventilation. I was planning on just a couple small holes on each end for mine and then screened over. If I make those ventilation holes in 1" diameter then I do already have some 1" plastic plugs that I can utilize if need be. Since I am very new at this, I am running around in circles on venting or not venting out the top as I see the opinions on both sides being of equal value with intelligent feedback. I wonder if that is where the old saying comes from. " Darned if you do, darned if you don't". I'll definitely keep in mind to utilize any medium boxes that I accumulate in the future so that I can use them in any configuration desired and to cover our four seasons.
Thank you,
Ray
Ray
sounds like you are on the right track.
the plug is a good idea, I use corks for the 5/8
IMO In jan and feb you could block the holes to conserve heat and moisture, then pull them in march when brood rearing starts, maybe 1 at a time (every 2 weeks) to not over impact. I also have my holes up high on the box and use tele lids, I pull them against the holes to block them in windy locations. I have seen them get mold inside , so a coat of Kills' paint on the inside IMO would not be a bad Idea.

Be nice to be able to offer patties and bricks if needed with out cracking the seal.

Post pics when you get a couple done, always nice to see ones better than mine.

I would leave them on till dandelions bloom, the brood nest size reflects the "hive" temp characteristics and removing the Hot box will change it, potentially chill brood. The change over from winter bees to a summer nest is too important to fiddle with. If it fails you are loosing the winter bees and the summer bees are not yet made.

GG
 

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Slightly different design:
View attachment 67063

For feeding with syrup:
View attachment 67064

For feeding with fondant:
View attachment 67065

Opening for top entrance:
View attachment 67066

Opening for internal circulation:
View attachment 67067

Hole and groove for vaporizer:
View attachment 67068
I like the "adjustable air hole", also would allow bees a way out.
your access to the bees for feed goes the other way, I had not thought of that.
I do not see it but I have a bee space under mine.

thanks for posting

GG
 

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I gathered together some materials to start building some Vivaldi Boards. Before I get started, I am asking for opinions on what would be the optimum height/depth of the Vivaldi Board.
Highly recommended project and core to my over wintering success. 100% success in 4 years in 6a high desert. Building your own can be done. I took my Mannlake wintering inner cover, added height and created a feeding screen. Mine is about 4 inches high but I think higher is better for sure. Optimally I think 6 inches is just right. So I added the baggie feeder shim on top of mine to give it extra height. I cover the feeder screen with burlap but other moisture wicking materials are just fine. I also open up the top of the stack each week and add to their sugar slurry with sugar and water. It's fast, satisfying to see the colony and critical to small colonies who may need the extra help. Here's a link to view the board. I have very rudimentary carpentry skills and was able to build boards with the same idea. Highly recommended for backyard beekeepers who are fine tuning their system.
 

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But if you were to build one yourself,what do you think would be the optimum height ?
I liked Vivaldi boards so much that I converted my quilt boxes to Vivaldi boards. The conversion was simple. I cut 1/2 thick plywood to fit inside the box, set shims on the table to hold the plywood up, placed the box, inserted the plywood, and then pocket screwed the plywood insert in place. Instant Vivaldi. I also made some Vivaldi boards from scratch, made the same way.

My Vivaldi boards that are converted from quilts are four inches deep. That is just a little bit too shallow. The ones I purpose built are 5-1/2" deep, the width of a 2x6.

The Vivaldi board is so named for the composer's most known work, "The four seasons." A Vivaldi board can be left on the hive year round and take the place of the inner cover. If you use it all four seasons then it isn't really an extra piece of equipment. One of the summer time advantages of a Vivaldi is that it serves as a ventilated buffer between the sunshine and the hot hive cover and the hive chamber, helping keep the hive chamber cooler.

Or you can use your inner cover as the floor of your Vavaldi board and simply add a shallow super with vents. That is basically a two piece Vivaldi board. You could screw the inner cover to the the shallow super for permanent four seasons use.

My Vivaldis are modified. Mine have 2" XPS foam perimeter with an 8x8 central cutout filled by a screened box that is 2" high. I can fill that space with granulated sugar for emergency feeding. In the summer I flip the box over to block the bees from coming up through the hole. In the winter I place folded burlap over the screened box. I buy a yard and a half of 46" batt burlap, fold it in half twice by width and then in half twice by length and it goes over the screen.


Somewhere I have a picture posted (I miss the old forum photo library) I'll try and find it and add the link.


Edit, found it. Here is the photo of my Vivaldi with 2" XPS from this thread Quilt box vents necessary? This is one of the 4" high converted quilt boxes. I prefer the 5-1/2" taller ones. The taller Vivaldi boards can also house a round rapid feeder.

The pictured Vivaldi has vents that are too large. It is the first quilt that I converted. The ones that I made after this one have 1/2" slot vents. I make my telescoping covers with longer skirts than standard so the skirts hang down below the vents, protecting them from wind. If you want to use round vent holes then an easy plug is one of these: Oatey 2 in. PVC Pipe Test Cap with Knockout-39101 - The Home Depot You can get them in sizes from 3/4" up through 4" and I find them to be super useful in beekeeping for everything from ventilating and feeding to ant proofing. You are going to want some ventilation or your burlap is going to get soaked.

The one idea that Vino Farms Jim had on his new wonky experimental hive that I liked was he placed a round metal rotatable hive entrance cover over his Vivaldi board holes, that way he can open the hole, screen the hole, or close the hole. On my Vivaldi boards I flip over the inner box to screen the hole, but closing the hole requires a small board.

 
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