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Author Topic: Hey Old Joe Clark....from Montana  (Read 512 times)

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Hey Old Joe Clark....from Montana
« on: May 17, 2009, 12:00:04 AM »
I goofed up your email, can't remember your handle here on the forum, so this is the answer to your question.  I appoligize for the mess up, but when I hurt real bad and I'm tired, I sometimes can't even remember my own name, but I always answer to Grandpa.

Maybe the anwer to your question will help some one else too.

Thanks for writing, I'm always glad to give my POV in beekeeping.  I'll do the best I can to answer your question
 by telling you how I do bottomless hives.
I made hive stands that are 10 inches high.  The easiest way to replicate them is to take a 2X10 and cut it into lengths the same as the hive body.  I then notch in notches in each upper corner of the stand to inset 2X2's that span the width of the hiive.  A piece of plywood or scrap lumber covers the bottom. The front view looks like this when done:
                            The side view is solid.   I then place a slatted rack on the hive stand.  The small X's represent the 1/2 inch
XXXXXXXXXXXX       square strips I use to hold a mite board.   I use reversable entances as tops with the entrance reducer set
Xx               xX       at the smallest setting during winter and the medium setting during summer.  The bees actually fly up into 
X                  X       the hive or land on the plywood base that keeps the grass out of the hive.  Ants feed on the debrie from 
X___________X       the hive but Since going to a bottomless hive setup I no longer have ants in the hive because they get what they want on the plywood so there's no reason for them to go up into the hive.   
The top vent/entrance is on the same side of the hive as the entrance as, with the way I use the method it also works as a 2nd entrance on heavy foraging days.  All hives should face SouthEast or East or South.  I have some of all three and it doesn't seem to make much difference.  I do not use an inner cover with my set up.  I've found that the inner cover can sometimes cause moisture problems in a hive.  The best way to vent a hive at the top is the way I do it, 2nd best is with a migratory top with a 1/2 shim built into it the includes the vent.
Now if you're using SBB the only difference is the bottom, you're using a screened bottom board instead of a bottomless hive.  I would still recommend the use of the slatted rack.  I make mine out of 3/4 dowling that runs the same direction as the frames. 
I first encountered moisture problems in the 1960's after losing a hive to it, the inside was soaking wet so I set about trying to determine the best solution.  In the process I've found that a properly vented hive makes for a healthier, more productive hive.  It only took 35 years of experimenting.
Hope that helps.
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