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Author Topic: Vertical slatted racks?  (Read 1144 times)
dfizer
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« on: August 09, 2012, 11:43:18 PM »

I have read a little about vertical slatte racks and that they seem to be a must have here in the northeast.  If anyone has any experience with these please let me know a few things... First what exactly do they do?  How do you install them?  Do they replace the screened bottom board?  Are they to left on in the hives year round? 

From what I've read they are supposed to help with wintering and swarm control.... My question is how do they do that?

Basically what I'm trying to decide is if they are worth purchasing for my three hives and if so how do I go about installing them.  I really want to increase their chances to winter over.

Any information anyone may have would be greatly appreciated.

David
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Hemlock
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2012, 12:50:14 PM »

Vertical slatted racks?

I've heard of, and have slatted racks.  Never heard of the vertical kind.  Are you sure about that.

Regular slatted racks are internal air conditioning units for a hive.  Not necessary but those of us who use them like the results.  These are used mostly in the South. 
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David McLeod
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2012, 01:18:37 PM »

Or do as I do and slide a shallow under the deep. Meets all the claims of the slatted rack plus adds storage for pollen to keep it out of the deep. Only down side is more hiding places for shb.
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2012, 01:21:49 PM »

Vertical slatted racks?

Parallel, maybe? As opposed to those that run perpendicular to the frames? They go on top of the bottom board, between it and the first brood box. Gives the bees more room, and supposedly provides insulation that allows the queen to lay further down on the frames in cool weather.

Our bees seem to like them in the heat. Have them on two hives and they have hardly any bearding on the hottest days/nights when the other two seem to have all the bees on the outside. Not sure about the winter claims, but they did swarm very early last spring so maybe the claim that the queen can lay more in cool weather with them has some truth to it.

Here is Brushy Mountain's description:
"Slatted Racks help the colony with ventilation chores. Less comb gnawing, more brood nest and straight comb-pulling are attributed to this version of Dr. C.C. Miller's favorite invention. Our rack is placed over the bottom board and left on year round."
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Hemlock
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2012, 01:51:45 PM »

How do you install them?
  It is a small box.  One simply places it between the bottom board and the bottom brood box.  Slats to the back

Do they replace the screened bottom board?
No, use in conjunction with.

Are they to left on in the hives year round...help with wintering?
 Can be but that just gives the bees more area they have to heat.  Up north i wouldn't want to.

swarm control. 
  They add space to a hive that doesn't get filled with brood or honey.  The bees perceive the extra space.  They help by giving the beek more time to get the next box on before the bees swarm
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JackM
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2012, 07:54:03 AM »

I would like to make a few newbie comments about the slatted bottoms.  In a very humid environment, they can allow a beek to keep the bottom screened board open longer into the end of season.

If the slats are 90 degrees to the frames there will be a natural mixing of the air and a tumbling effect of air moving upward in the hive.  I am hoping to be able to keep my SBB open all winter unless we get a long stretch of below freezing.  In my environment ridding the moisture is of more importance.

I did note on the 100 degree day we had that I had no bearding on either hive, and I expected it.  My feeling is that it like causes an area of air mixing below the bottom frames. 

I see some made with the slats parallel and some with them perpendicular to the frames and I would not use slats that are parallel to the frames as this will not tumble or mix the air, instead allow an unrestricted flow upward.
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Hemlock
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2012, 09:46:15 AM »

Parallel slats allow for the Varroa that naturally fall off of bees to continue through the slats & screened bottom board onto the ground were they die.  On perpendicular slats the Varroa have a greater than 50% chance of landing on a slat and staying in the hive. 

Air does move passively through the hive regardless of slat orientation (it's better with a top entrance).  The bees fanning action moves most of the air.






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Robo
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2012, 07:59:26 AM »

Parallel slats allow for the Varroa that naturally fall off of bees to continue through the slats & screened bottom board onto the ground were they die.  On perpendicular slats the Varroa have a greater than 50% chance of landing on a slat and staying in the hive. 

Depending on how well your frames align and how straight the comb is drawn,  parallel can block from 0 to 100%.  Perpendicular will always be right around 50%.   So how lucky you feeling?

This whole discussion may be moot as it assumes natural mite fall rate is significant, which I am not convinced it is.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2012, 08:14:21 AM »

dfizer.....

Vertical to what  huh



                BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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Jim 134
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2012, 09:02:22 AM »

maybe the claim that the queen can lay more in cool weather with them has some truth to it.

Here is Brushy Mountain's description:
"Slatted Racks help the colony with ventilation chores. Less comb gnawing, more brood nest and straight comb-pulling are attributed to this version of Dr. C.C. Miller's favorite invention. Our rack is placed over the bottom board and left on year round."

Hint:
  No Varroa or SHB in the USA in Dr. C.C. Miller's time of keeping bees.


          BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley

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"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
Hemlock
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2012, 09:29:50 AM »

Parallel slats allow for the Varroa that naturally fall off of bees to continue through the slats & screened bottom board onto the ground were they die.  On perpendicular slats the Varroa have a greater than 50% chance of landing on a slat and staying in the hive. 

Depending on how well your frames align and how straight the comb is drawn,  parallel can block from 0 to 100%.  Perpendicular will always be right around 50%.   So how lucky you feeling?

This whole discussion may be moot as it assumes natural mite fall rate is significant, which I am not convinced it is.
The one i bought (build it yourself type) came with spacers and instructions on how to align everything.  Used the same method since for all the ones i've made.  I like slatted racks the most for the the air conditioner traits but like i said they are not necessary, some of us just like them.
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2012, 10:51:04 AM »

Has anyone noticed SHB hiding in the nooks and crannies of the slatted racks?  I pulled some woodbound queen excluders off recently and found that the channel that the metal screen was recessed into was a virtual highway for shb.  Seems any crack we put into the hives the beetles will find.  I was excited about using the racks for the cooling aspect of them and to get the queen to lay towards the bottom edge of the bottom frames.  Naturally, in areas where the beetles are not at they should do a good job, but being in south Alabama and after experiencing the excluder situation I'm a bit hesitant now on installing racks. ;-\   huh

Ed
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L Daxon
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2012, 12:53:50 PM »

I have them on all three of my hives and like them.  I noticed an immediate reduction in bearding the first day I put them on.  Queen does lay right up to the bottom row of cells in the bottom hive body. She does this because the extra space between the entrance and the botton of the the first brood box cuts down on drafts and thus the possibility of chilled brood.

I also paint the outside of each of my slatted racks a different color and that is how I tell my hives apart.

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linda d
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2012, 04:36:56 PM »

Has anyone noticed SHB hiding in the nooks and crannies of the slatted racks?
There are some spots that can fit a SHB.  The bees will propolis up some of those areas.  Mainly i filled them in with putty, glue, wax, whatever was handy.  It took a minute or two to complete.  All during the time it takes to paint the box.
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