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Author Topic: slotted rack  (Read 669 times)
JackM
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Location: Washougal, WA


« on: October 27, 2011, 08:30:04 AM »

Well I saw a post earlier and realized all my research over the last few weeks has not included anything on slotted racks.  Other than a brief mention I have not run across one in my list of research books and online stuff.

Could you please educate me on your opinions of the use of, when to, when not to, why use, why not use.  If your profile does not have where you live please elaborate as I take that into account on every post.

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AliciaH
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Location: Enumclaw Plateau, WA


« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2011, 01:24:47 PM »

Jack, I was about to put my husband in charge of building racks for me before I attended the WSU's Beekeeping Field Day this past June.  Beth Kahkonen is the Apiary Manager there and she turned me on to a different concept that does the same thing:  Using a western below the bottom brood box. 

I call it "Beth's Basement" and what you do is put all new foundation in the western, or drawn foundation that has only been used previously for brood (my understanding is that it needs to be dry).  Beth said not to use drawn foundation that had previously been used in honey supers as the bees would have an increased need to work the frames, which nullifies what you are trying to achieve...providing extra space for your foragers to hang out at the end of the day.  It reduces bearding and relieves the crowded conditions inside the brood area.

I tried this on about half my hives this summer and the bearding disappeared on these boxes immediately.  I also noticed over the course of the summer a marked decrease in the number of queen cells built in comparison to the hives that didn't have a basement.  I just got done pulling them for winter but am planning on putting them on all my hives next spring.

The reason I liked this idea is because many of us have a spare western around.  I was willing to try it because it meant I wouldn't have to buy, build, or store another piece of specialized hive equipment. 

Anyway, that's my story and gives credit where credit is due.  If you have any questions, I'm sure you could reach Beth through WSU's website.
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2011, 10:45:08 AM »

Nice info, Alicia.  Thanks for sharing.  Down the road in my newbee journey I may just try this!

Ed
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BlueBee
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2011, 12:21:25 PM »

Some people around here also use this idea of “beth’s basement”.  In the fall the basement gets fill up with pollen.
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