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Author Topic: spacing and profile of slatts on slatted bottom board  (Read 1113 times)
windfall
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« on: February 20, 2011, 11:26:27 AM »

Been doing a bit of reading on old threads about slatted bottom boards.
There seem to be a lot of folks who really like them, and some who are neutral and very few negative.
Betterbee has them pretty cheap, but if a person were going to make them...a few questions:

top profile of slat; I see Brian is a proponent for dowels and his reasoning sounds good, debris/mites fall off. Has anyone taken this a step further and cut the slat tops to peaks..45 degrees from both sides?

spacing; I see the plans over at beesource using 3/8 slats on a 3/8 spacing...others use slats approximating top bar width 3/4-1" and space 3/8....I believe most doing this are running the slats parallel to the frames and trying to align gaps. How well does this work out? does it make for blockage when spacing of frames shifts over time with propolis build? What happens if you decide to squeeze 9 frames in and 8 frame box...or gap nine frames in a ten? I believe it's Robo who has mentioned that with slats running perpendicular you always have min 50% free fall...that sounds nice and easy, especially if the tops are shaped to deflect mites/debris.

related to spacing. Plans seem to have a great variety of difference in the space under the slats..not even accounting for the additional space a bottom board will add, anybody care to comment on that?

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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2011, 11:48:52 AM »

top profile of slat; I see Brian is a proponent for dowels and his reasoning sounds good, debris/mites fall off. Has anyone taken this a step further and cut the slat tops to peaks..45 degrees from both sides?

That is all predicated on the assumption that natural mite fall rate is significant.  I question that assumption.  If it was significant,  than screened bottom boards would be all you need for mite control, and we know that is not the case.

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spacing; I see the plans over at beesource using 3/8 slats on a 3/8 spacing...others use slats approximating top bar width 3/4-1" and space 3/8....I believe most doing this are running the slats parallel to the frames and trying to align gaps. How well does this work out? does it make for blockage when spacing of frames shifts over time with propolis build? What happens if you decide to squeeze 9 frames in and 8 frame box...or gap nine frames in a ten? I believe it's Robo who has mentioned that with slats running perpendicular you always have min 50% free fall...that sounds nice and easy, especially if the tops are shaped to deflect mites/debris.

I have primarily used the 3/4 on 3/8 with the beesource plans and the Miller/Killion design, and have always run them perpendicular to the frames.   I know the new fad is parallel, perhaps based on a false assumption rolleyes but definitely an assumption that market them over the traditional.  Yes it was me that said with the perpendicular arrangement you have ~50% opening.  With the parallel you can have anything from 100%, if your frames are perfectly drawn and aligned, to 0% if your frames are out of alignment.  An as you stated,  you limit your options when you run parallel,  at least if you are bought into the mite fall off advantage.

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related to spacing. Plans seem to have a great variety of difference in the space under the slats..not even accounting for the additional space a bottom board will add, anybody care to comment on that?

Not important.  The bees see the top of the slats as the bottom of the nest cavity, so bee space is not an issue.   The more space you have below, the more they bees can cluster without having to hang on the front of the hive.  The Miller/Killion as 1-5/16"  below the slats and I have never had an issue.
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Tommyt
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2011, 02:23:53 PM »

Robo
  IMHO you have one of the best sights around and you pass on your Ideas,Inventions,theory, with that said,
How is it that no-one has yet to try a louver-bi-fold door panel as a bottom board
I think if one would and attach an oil pan under it,it would be the,Cadillac of a slatted bb and hive beetle/mite killa'

http://www.etodoors.com/images/galleries/c81e728d9d4c2f6/137498036592_large.jpg



I know the doors cost $$ but dumpster diving is as cheap as free pallets

Tommyt
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windfall
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2011, 03:56:18 PM »

Robo, I know you have doubts about mite fall rates, but I am not sure what you mean by "significant"? They could be significant but not enough to solely eliminate the problem. It would seem a reasonably dependable reduction of any sort would be an aide to the colony even if not a complete cure.
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Robo
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2011, 04:07:31 PM »

It would seem a reasonably dependable reduction of any sort would be an aide to the colony even if not a complete cure.

That is for you to decide.  But don't overlook the fact that while allowing for some portion of falling mite to be eliminated, you may in turn be assisting the varroa to better multiple in a more ideal cooler and drier environment.

I know the whole IPM theory is to use multiple management techniques that add up to be sufficient to control varroa.  Just make sure your techniques are adding to the control and not detracting from it.  Also understand that IPM can also stand for Increased Profit Margin for the suppliers/sellers/proponents of the equipment/tools to implement these techniques.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2011, 10:56:00 PM »

I have not noted a significant difference in Varroa with or without a SBB, but then I don't have any significant numbers of Varroa.  I went to solid bottom boards just to save buying feeders... I convert the solid bottoms to feeders and covers so I have a multipurpose piece of equipmentn.
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Michael Bush
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