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Author Topic: Slatted Rack Positioning  (Read 3009 times)
Natalie
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« on: March 08, 2009, 05:48:47 PM »

I am confused by opposing information that I have gotten for slatted racks.
I have seen in threads and read in some books that the slatted rack goes one way and then I have seen people say to put it the other way.
Which is it?

Betterbee says to install it this way.http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=1065
and then I have seen it the opposite, most recently at my bee club.

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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2009, 06:19:55 PM »

I have always put them with the wide board towards the front (entrance) of the hive, same as what betterbee says
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Natalie
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2009, 06:40:47 PM »

But do you flip them over the other way? That is what I am wondering, I have been told to flip it over (not turn it around) by people at the bee club to give the bees more room to cluster but then I have seen it this way also. I have also read conflicting views on whether to flip it over or not so its confusing to me.
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mherndon
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2009, 08:06:35 PM »

I have mine wide board to front and slates and board closer to brood.  This makes more room between bottom board and bottom of slates.  My bees have done great with this configuration and its just as the website you posted suggests.

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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2009, 08:33:26 PM »

Natalie,

You want the slats closest to the bottom of the frames.  This will prevent the bees from building burr comb on the bottom of the frames,  but still give them room to cluster under the slats.

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rast
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2009, 09:06:20 PM »

 Majority vote, wide slats to front and closest to bottom of frames.
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Natalie
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2009, 11:19:17 PM »

Thanks to everyone and to Robo for the visual and clearing that up. I had bought some and thought that was the correct way to put them in and then the other night at the bee course they demonstrated installing it the other way and I thought the guy was wrong but then thought maybe I was wrong. When someone else asked him about it being the opposite of what he was taught he said its preference.
Obviously you guys are right, especially about the burr comb, it would probably be a huge mess. I am glad that I asked, I am finding that these instructors are not giving very accurate information according to what I am reading and what they are saying. It seems they are very outdated and in this case just plain wrong.
Thank you again everyone!
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2009, 11:41:55 PM »

Natalie,

You want the slats closest to the bottom of the frames.  This will prevent the bees from building burr comb on the bottom of the frames,  but still give them room to cluster under the slats.




Do you also use an entrance reducer that you have removed for the picture?  Would you recommend this kind of setup for a brand new hive of package bees?
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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2009, 07:36:32 AM »

Do you also use an entrance reducer that you have removed for the picture?  Would you recommend this kind of setup for a brand new hive of package bees?


I do use an entrance reducer in the winter time,  but once the chance of frost has past I remove them.  Since I use solid bottom boards the brood chamber is not drafty and the slatted rack provides a buffer and creates sort of a dead air space.  As far as protecting and guarding the entrance,  the slatted rack also helps that too as the first space between slats becomes the defacto entrance that is guarded.
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« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2009, 07:55:04 AM »




I do use an entrance reducer in the winter time,  but once the chance of frost has past I remove them.  Since I use solid bottom boards the brood chamber is not drafty and the slatted rack provides a buffer and creates sort of a dead air space.  As far as protecting and guarding the entrance,  the slatted rack also helps that too as the first space between slats becomes the defacto entrance that is guarded.


I guess that is one on the hive to the left in the picture.  It looks like that one is for 8 frame boxes.  I like your equipment - simple designs that get the job done.  You don't have an article on your site with the critical dimensions for this do you?

I've built my boxes and assembled the frames, but I still haven't settled on the top and bottom components.

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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2009, 10:48:57 AM »


I guess that is one on the hive to the left in the picture.  It looks like that one is for 8 frame boxes.  I like your equipment - simple designs that get the job done.  You don't have an article on your site with the critical dimensions for this do you?

I've built my boxes and assembled the frames, but I still haven't settled on the top and bottom components.



Actually,  they are 10 frame polystyrene hives so they are a bit bigger than wood Langstroth.  I didn't publish the sizes because most folks don't use polystyrene and it would just add confusion.  If anybody needs the measurements for polystyrene, I can gladly provide them.   

I also can't take credit for the simplistic design, it comes from C.C. Miller who came up with the idea many years ago.  There are as good set of plans for normal wood Langstroth in Killions' "Honey in the Comb" .   That is what I used to design mine for the poly hives.   Killion,  who was at one time, the largest comb honey producer claimed Miller's slatted rack was key to his success (along with the T super).
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« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2009, 04:49:51 PM »

I have preferred the slats running the same direction as, and directly under the frames like the Betterbee version. The reason is I use screened bottom boards to help with mites. If you have the slats the same direction as the frames, the mites can fall straight through. If you have them run crossways (perpendicular) to the frames, it cuts down by 50% the area the mites can fall through. Instead they land on the part of the slatted rack crossing between the frames ,and then climb on another bee. That defeats part of the reason for the screened bottom. If you run a solid bottom I guess it wouldn't matter.
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« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2009, 05:02:09 PM »

Your whole premise assumes mite fall off rates is significant. 

But even if it is, comb is not drawn completely straight so there will be some offset of the combs. This is compounded by any shifting you have in your frame placement.  Worst case being you have completely blocked the fall thru zone.  Perpendicular slats will only ever block ~50% regardless of comb shape or frame placement.   Also don't discount the mites that bounce off the slats a fall thru the gap which will reduce the 50% substantially.

I use solid bottom boards, so it doesn't matter to me anyway. Wink
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« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2009, 07:05:45 PM »

A lot of good advice here, for the most part I do all of what everybody is recommeding.
1. slats run same direction as frames for best result.
2. slat side closests to frames or slat side up.
3. Slats create a dead air space that is an insolator during adverse weather.
4. I leave mine on all year, but then I use bottomless hives.
5. Slatted racks will work with any choice of bottom board, including bottomless.
6. An upper vent/entrance (1 inch wide) at the very top of the hive helps ventilation.
7. The only additional protectiion necessary might be a mouse guard but the rack really makes it immaterial.
8. Slatted racks will also work with any type of hive top as long as some ventilation is provided.
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