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Author Topic: ------slatted rack  (Read 1505 times)
Buzzen
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« on: September 01, 2010, 07:54:41 PM »

Who uses a slatted rack above the bottom board and what is the intended purpose of it?
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melliferal
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 08:09:25 PM »

IIRC, the purpose of the slatted rack is to shelter the bottoms of the lower brood chamber frames (the ones closest to the entrance); this has the effect of convincing the queen to lay brood all the way to the lower edges of the comb there.

Open to correction.
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 08:13:43 PM »

A Slatted Bottom Rack fits between the bottom hive body and the bottom board. It provides cluster space for bees, allows air circulation without allowing a direct draft on the brood, and helps prevent crowding near the hive entrance.  Better wintering and swarm control. In the winter, it keeps the brood chamber warmer so the queen can lay right to the bottom of the frame. In the spring and summer, when hive populations are at their largest, it provides a cluster space in the hive which can reduce swarming.
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Buzzen
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2010, 11:39:16 PM »

So does anyone use them?  I'm in a cold climate so would like to help my bees (when i get some) winter easier.
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tillie
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2010, 12:06:11 AM »

I use them on all of my hives - in the deep South in Atlanta, we have very hot summers.  The slatted rack allows the bees space inside the hive to hang out and seems to help with both ventilation and bearding.

Linda T in Atlanta
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tecumseh
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2010, 07:51:31 AM »

a slatted rack has two purposes.
1) it allow for a large area of cluster space when the hive gets crowded.

2) it blocks the sunlight from reflecting on the very bottom of the frames which encourages the queen to lay in that area at the very bottom of the comb.
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Hemlock
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2010, 10:16:32 AM »

So if one is using screened bottom boards for Varroa control, among other things, won't the slatted rack defeat that purpose?

@melliferal - Go Browns!
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Shawn
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2010, 10:33:35 AM »

I use them on all four of my hives. Before I used them it seemd the bees would always beard a lot even in cooler temps. I would find the brood would always be a lot higher than they are now that I use the boards. Cant say they help with swarming.
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Tommyt
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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2010, 10:52:54 AM »

Question 5
Dr. Miller used a ____________ to reduce the swarming impulse in the spring by spreading out the colony population. It provided more room for the bees.

a. slatted rack
b. screen bottom board
c. queen excluder
d. Miller feeder
The correct answer is: a
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2010, 01:31:19 PM »

So if one is using screened bottom boards for Varroa control, among other things, won't the slatted rack defeat that purpose?

@melliferal - Go Browns!

Not entirely.  They could certainly reduce the drop rate by giving the mites a place to land.  That's why some suppliers are starting to make slatted racks with the slats running the same direction as the frames.  Of course if you use one of these and get your frames misaligned they will block more than a traditional rack would.

Screend bottom boards probably make any ventilation benefits in slatted racks irrelevant, but their other benefits would still apply.
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Sparky
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2010, 09:37:19 PM »

So if one is using screened bottom boards for Varroa control, among other things, won't the slatted rack defeat that purpose?

@melliferal - Go Browns!
As fermentedhiker indicated Betterbee Inc., is one of the companies that make the rack boards the same direction as the frame to let most of the mites drop down to the screen bottoms unobstructed.
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Hemlock
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2010, 10:56:10 PM »

Thanks
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L Daxon
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« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2010, 11:48:24 AM »

So if the slatted rack helps prevent bearding on the outside, why is that a benefit?  What difference does it make if the bees hang out on the slats inside or on the front of the hive outside?  Do they really not like hanging out outside?  If they are hanging out outside because of the heat, it sees to me hanging out inside on the slatted rack will just keep more heat inside the hive during the hot summer.

Also, I have a 3 deep, 8-frame mediums brood chamber and most of the brood seems to be in the top two boxes (though not exclusively).  If the slatted rack encourages the queen to lay more brood in the bottom box, does that mean I will eventually get more brood production or will the queen still lay the same amount just spaced differently between the 3 chambers.  (hope this last question makes sense??
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linda d
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« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2010, 09:33:22 PM »

So if the slatted rack helps prevent bearding on the outside, why is that a benefit?  What difference does it make if the bees hang out on the slats inside or on the front of the hive outside?  Do they really not like hanging out outside?  If they are hanging out outside because of the heat, it sees to me hanging out inside on the slatted rack will just keep more heat inside the hive during the hot summer.

Also, I have a 3 deep, 8-frame mediums brood chamber and most of the brood seems to be in the top two boxes (though not exclusively).  If the slatted rack encourages the queen to lay more brood in the bottom box, does that mean I will eventually get more brood production or will the queen still lay the same amount just spaced differently between the 3 chambers.  (hope this last question makes sense??
The slatted rack was never intended to keep the bees from bearding on the outside of the box as much as it was made to provide some additional space on the inside so the bees would think they are not running out of room to delay swarming. With this summer heat we had this year the hives that I had racks on had less bearding on the outside than ones without. Think about how bees cool the hive. Additional bees between the screened bottom board and the slatted rack can move air between frames as they see fit.
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Hemlock
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« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2010, 08:18:15 PM »

That's about the best argument for Slatted Racks I've heard.  I'm going to seriously think about them now.  Thanks
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JD
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« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2010, 07:43:52 PM »

It also helps with critters not being able to reach up in the hive. JP
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tecumseh
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« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2010, 06:57:06 AM »

Idaxon writes:
So if the slatted rack helps prevent bearding on the outside, why is that a benefit?

tecumseh:
there you go asking another hard question.

just to place slatted racks in their appropriate place... some 30 plus years ago after reading an article in the bee journal concerning slatted racks, I asked the second generation commercial beekeeper for whom I worked as to why he shouldn't consider slatted racks on some of his hives.  He stated that they had tried these some 20 years before.  so then I asked him had they worked as advertised and he quickly replied.... 'after a fashion'.  I interpreted this to mean sometimes they did and a lot of times they did not.

during the same period there was an advertisement in the bee magazines for a device called 'cluster frames' that was suppose to do much of the same thing as a slatted bottom rack only in hung like a frame (it appear to me to be similar to a follower board made from some kind of punched/perforated material).  the advertisement ran in the bee magazines for a few months until some industrious soul did a series of experiments to see if they did as advertised.  I am quessing you know the punch line here.... they did not. 

from a purely economic analysis....the cost of constructing such stuff is fairly well known, the cost of maintaining the item absolutely not know, and the benefits purely speculative and somewhat to highly random.

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L Daxon
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« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2010, 10:35:08 AM »

Well, I went ahead and ordered a slatted rack which arrived yesterday and I will put on today when I do a powdered sugar dusting to fight a varroa infestion.  I am pretty sure I have already lost one, possibly two swarms from this hive in the past couple of weeks, but the bees are still bearding pretty bad.

I just had this one hive most of the summer until I hived a small swarm last week. I always planned to go to two hives next spring but now I think I will do 3 or 4.  (I know, I know, that is how the addiction starts  grin)  It is great to be able to try different things with different hives and see what works and what doesn't seem to.  Hopefully I will be able to compare hives side by side, one with slatted rack and one without, and see if I can tell much of a difference.
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linda d
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