[quote author=Brian D. Bray link=topic=19124.msg143467#msg143467 date=1231122549
I use the rack as the bottom board if you feel you need mouse guards use #2 hardware cloth on the bottom side of the rack. My stands are made to us a slide in sticky board and made out of 4X4s. I cut the 4X4's the same length as the hive then bridge across them with 2X2s.
I'd be interested in seeing a pic of one of your stands. That's a good point about the growing grass, I hadn't really considered that as a serious problem. Do you find yellow jackets a problem later in the season without using a small opening hardware cloth?
I personally prefer closed bottoms verses open bottoms because the warmer conditions help rear more brood earlier and perhaps help against varroa. I know others disagree, but I can only share what works best for me.
Here is some additional reading you might find interesting -> http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,16851.0.html
I hear what you're saying Robo and I have some definite concerns on that front. But I've decided to be committed to observing OBB style hives for a couple of seasons. Ideally I'd run both side by side with bees from the same stock. Who knows, if i catch a couple swarms I probably won't invest in making more stands upfront and that'll give me an opportunity to see them run side by side. I do have a massive cut out to do if the land owner hasn't bulldozed the building by spring. A monster hive that has been thriving in the wall of a barn for three years. Talk about locally acclimatized bees. When I checked on them in late September the air was literally full of bees coming and going. My original plan was to do a TBH or a horizon Lang to save money to put the cut out in though. I may require an extra dose of courage when I go to crack the wall open. :shock: