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Author Topic: Simple oil tray mod for sbb's...  (Read 10901 times)
Intheswamp
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« on: August 18, 2012, 11:31:30 PM »

Ok, I finally worked on my idea to get some oil trays under my screened bottom boards.  I went over and visited with my mentor a while today and we talked about a lot of things.  He doesn't run oil trays but he has in the past and I believe he will again.  He encouraged me to try my idea so here's what I came up with this evening...

My idea is to use the cement blocks that I use as hive stands and the bottom side of the bottom boards as a "slot" to insert an oil tray into.  Naturally the tray needs to be "bee-proof".  My idea is to make the top of the tray to fit closely to the bottom board rather than to seal the entire area that the tray rests in.  The seal not only needs to be at each end, but also on the sides.  Yelp, I'm re-inventing the wheel. Wink

I had stressed over finding a tray that would work and wasn't too expensive.  Joe D had suggested that I check a dollar store.  Well, I looked at Wallyworld while I was close to one (we're about 20 miles from it)...they only had a couple of scratched up ones that I thought might work but I passed on them.  I've looked at the heavier trays, the thin disposable trays, etc.,.  

I was actually going to paint some woodenware this evening but the oil tray project kept bugging me so I decided to tinker with modding the bottom boards instead.  I got some good measurements from the bottom boards and headed to one of the local dollar stores.....SHAZAM!!!!!!!!!!....BAKING TRAYS!!!!!  piano  Nice, unscratched, heavy-duty, 17.3"x11.2"x1" inside dimensions with nice handles/lips extending out about 1" on each end, and $5 each at our local "Family Dollar Store"....thanks for the suggestion Joe D, I don't know why I didn't look there earlier!!!!    cheer

Here are the major parts of the mod...complicated, eh? laugh   (Oops, I left out the two little quarter-round "stops" that will keep the tray from sliding too far forward and the two 3/16"x3/4" wooden runners that will be glued to the bottom of the tray...I guess it's even more complicated than I thought.   grin )  The two long pieces of wood are some 1-1/8" pieces that I ripped from a piece of 1x6 treated pine...this will raise the bottom surface of the bottom board up 3/4".


This is the bottom after adding the shims to the bottom rails and nailing on the two stops...a bead of glue and three nails to each rail and a little glue and a couple of nails for each stop.  The "stops" allow the tray to slide in completely beneath the bottom board with about 1/4" of the bottom board covering the end of the tray...this hopefully will help keep rain from entering the tray.  The stops also correctly position the tray so that the entire screen is above the tray.  The length of these trays are just right for Rossman's 8-frame screened bottom boards...while the width of the tray is a touch wider than the screen....the trays will probably work with other bottom boards, too.  Nice handles to pull the trays out with, too.


A simple shot of the tray pulled out a bit.


This is an "end" shot.  There is a gap that is a touch less than 1/4" between the tray and the bottom board.  With my little experimental tray I made from some metal roofing I know I don't want to give the bees a chance to get into the tray.  I didn't lose but 7-8 bees in that home-bent tray but that's too many for me if it can be avoided.  Rather than fill in this gap I'm going to put some runners on the bottom of the trays and thus raise the tray up higher on the cement block bringing the lip of the tray up close to the bottom board.


I haven't finished this part yet.  This is a 3/16"x3/4" piece of molding...roughly 15" long.  I'm going to epoxy one on each side of the bottom of the trays.  This will lift the tray up higher on the cement blocks and close the gap between the tray and the bottom board.  I believe it will be a snug fit and I may or may not have to sand a bit of wood off.  It should definitely make it close enough to keep any bees out.  I've cut all the runners to length and sanded each end to a sloped edge to make it slide easily on the cement blocks.  Just gotta sand a little on the bottom of the trays and epoxy the runners on.  When I set my hive stands I placed the blocks 9 inches apart (if I remember correctly!).  This distance between blocks should work out well for the trays to slide on...the trays are very rigid and need no support beneath the center of them.


I figure I can use this setup for mite counts and even to simply close the bottom off during really cold weather (we do get chilly sometimes down here in Dixie. Smiley ).  Anyhow, that's where I'm at with the oil trays.  I've still gotta paint but I think they will work good, but the proof will be in the pudding.  Now to find some cheap mineral oil...too many possums, raccoons, coyotes, Huh, around here for vegetable oil.

Ed
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 11:41:56 PM by Intheswamp » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 03:07:29 PM »

Looks good.   Looks real good.  One thing I did a couple years back when the coons were pulling out the trays was just running a piece of masking tape over the tray slot.   They could not reach in (or did not try) through the blue making tape. 
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2012, 10:04:29 PM »

Thanks, Allen, I'm hoping it works out ok.  I got around to doing some of the painting this evening...I tried the "stack the supers on top of each other and paint'em" technique...I hope I didn't mess up too bad.  It sure went quicker than it has in the past.  I had already primed them so the edges do have some paint protection and they're Rossman cypress so they oughta be weatherized good enough...  Now if I can just get'em unstuck when the time comes!  Undecided

Anyhow, getting back to the oil trays...  That is *very* interesting about the coons not messing with the masking tape!  I mean, those varmits will tear up some stuff trying to get to something to eat and they're no dummies when it comes to opening a latch.  It makes you wonder what was going through their minds...interesting.

I'm thinking that I might try a trick I learned building RC airplanes.  Drill a pilot hole into the wood and run a screw or bolt in and out over and over to form threads in the wood.  Then take some CA (super glue) and run some down into the hole to harden the threaded wood.  Let the CA kick off (cure) and then run the bolt back and forth a few more times and you end up with a strong threaded hole in the wood that you can run the bolt in and out of with your fingers.   A bolt placed just behind the tray would lock it in so the coons couldn't pull it out.  It's a thought, anyhow. Smiley

Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
Intheswamp
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2012, 09:38:36 PM »

Well, I got the runners epoxied to the bottom of the trays.  You can see how the tray is positioned under the bottom board.


The tray/runner assembly is a little tight, though.  I need to sand the runners down a bit.  The sides of the tray are a tad taller than the ends.  Sanding the runners down will increase the size of the gap that you see in the end.  That is a really small gap and it being a little larger still will not let bees enter the oil pit.  A positive note is that a slightly larger gap will increase ventilation some.  I'm thinking that if beetles crawl through the gap that it's a 50/50 chance that they'll go down into the oil...hoping that's what they do, anyhow. Smiley   I'm concerned about the tightness of the fit because I figure the weight of the hive may compress the wood fibers some in the bottom board and further increase the tightness between the bottom board and cement block.  I'll sand the runners down some to be safe.

Looking at the picture it looks like the tray is holding the bottom of the bottom board up off the counter top...the counter top is old and not completely level...though the runners need sanding down, they aren't holding the bottom board up as much as the picture would have you to believe.  I think it's going to work ok and if everything works out I'll have these tray systems beneath two of my hives Saturday. Smiley


Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2012, 10:50:57 PM »

Looks pretty good there swamp.  The container I tried under mine weren't close enough to the bottom.  Did get a few bees and even a bird one time.  May have to make some trays for mine also.



Joe
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2012, 10:42:11 AM »

Joe, I took the cue from other folks' experiences about bees getting into the oil trays so I started out intending to have a snug fit for the tray.  I think it's turning out pretty good so far.  The proof will be when I finally get them under the hives.  I believe the 1" deep trays will be deep enough to prevent creating a mess every time I pull the trays out.  The trays are also rigid enough that I can pull them half-way out and they will stay put.

I've been thinking of a couple of more things to do in thwarting the beetles invasion...

The simplest thing I will do is replace the #8 mesh screen that I have over the inner cover vent holes and feeder holes with regular house screening.  I'm not using any upper entrances so this will alleviate beetles entering from above (except, of course, when I have the cover off).  This will force the beetles to attempt to enter from below.

Down below, the underside of the screened bottom board will be mostly sealed off by the oil tray.  The beetles that crawl in through the small gap between tray and bottom board will have the full surface area of the oil pit to flounder into.  Hopefully bees on the screen above will cause some of the beetles that make it to the screen to lose their grip and drop into the oil.  Those that do make it inside the hive hopefully will find the Beetle Jail Jrs that are in there and hopefully the bees themselves will "jail" them.

Closing off the upper access to the beetles and forcing them to enter down below will reduce the area that the bees' (and me) have to defend against.  The focus of this thread has been modifying the bottom board to accept the oil tray...this will be the one biggest weapon I believe against the beetles. 

I would really like to have some #7 wire mesh to replace the #8 with, but I may have to make do without it.  I know that beetles will pass through #8....most beetles, that is.  I've see a few big sow beetles that couldn't possible go through #8 unless you put your finger on them and squished them through it.  evil  But, we can't always be there to do that.  angry  Without having the #7 mesh I'm thinking of altering the screen on my bottom boards in the area just inside the entrance.  By taking out a strand of wire between two other strands you create a 1/4" x 1/8" hole.  I'm pretty sure a bee can't go through that size of an opening but that would easily allow a big beetle to pass through.  My idea is to stagger 2-3 rows of these modified holes at the front of the hive just inside the entrance.  When the beetles come inside they may stumble upon these larger holes and figure it's a good place do dodge an advancing honey bee and plunge to their demise. 

Clipping these wires will weaken the screen some but in regards to the bees themselves I don't think it will matter.  In regards to critters trying to get inside the hive I'm not sure...the tray will be in position a good bit of the time, but during the "off season for beetles" I may remove the trays.  If something really wants inside the hive I don't think the screens will stop them, anyhow.

This thumbnail illustrates what I'm thinking of doing.  The brown rectangles are where I would snip the wires, thus changing the holes from squares to rectangles.  This would be done at the front/entrance side of the screen.


Anyhow, that's it for now. Smiley
Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
Intheswamp
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2012, 10:19:21 AM »

Did I mention that I'm not a carpenter? grin

That for this highly complex and intricate detailed woodworking I used a worn out skilsaw and a drill?  grin

Anyhow, I broke out my old, inherited belt sander and went and bought a belt for it. Smiley  Those runners were too thick and caused the trays to "bind" between the bottom board and the counter-top I was working on.  I figured that this would probably be worse when I slid them between the bottom board and the cement blocks...compression of the bottom board's side rails by the weight of the hive slightly narrowing the tray slot...roughness of the cement block "grabbing" the runners on the tray....I just figured I needed a little more breathing room.

So...me and the big ol' belt sander went to work on those little runners glued to the trays.  They are definitely not sanded uniformly but the trays slide in and out much better and still have a gap so small a honey bee can't get through it....and I didn't gouge the bottom of the trays up...badly.  laugh

I think we're ready to hit Broadway! Wink   Saturday will be interesting when we do the bottom board switcheroo.  Do bees act any differently when you lift the very bottom box away from the bottom board than how they act when you take off an upper brood box?  Smiley

Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2012, 12:19:56 PM »

I switch bottom boards from time to time. The bees don't pay attention to it. Move your hive, from its present location. Place the new bottom in the old location, and then move the brood box. I just remove the cover, put it upside down, place the top super on it and then the other supers, then move the brood box. I try to do it quickly to keep them from getting squished under the rails.
Good luck.
Jim
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2012, 09:18:29 AM »

Thanks for that comment, Jim.  I had envisioned taking the bottom box off the bottom board and setting it to the side and then removing the old bb from the stand and situating the new board and finally setting the bottom box on the new bottom.  Simply moving the original bottom board and box to the side and *then* separating them, etc., makes much better sense...less disruptive to the bees!  Thanks!

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
Intheswamp
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2012, 09:33:04 AM »

I got to thinking about things and I think I feel really compelled to do all I can to help the beetles go back to the dust of the earth and as quickly as I can.  evil

I'm going to be sealing the top side of the hives up pretty good with the window screening.  The bottom will be about as protected as I can protect it with the oil tray.  The inside of the hives have Beetle Jail Jrs scattered throughout them.

The beetles will still be able to enter the lower entrance which can't be stopped due to the bees needing an entrance.  Window screen over the holes in the inner covers will stop the beetles from entering from up top BUT it will not stop the beetles from congregating above the inner cover *trying* to get in.  I'm thinking of putting some type of trap on top of the inner covers but I can decide what kind.  The regular Beetle Jail Jrs would work but their height will cause the top to be propped up fairly high which might cause a problem with wind and excessive draft inside the hive.  I'm thinking of something more slim. 

The Beetle Barns would work great *if* I wanted to use something poisonous in them...I'm even a little hesitant on using boric acid (personal opinion Smiley ).   I like oil traps so I'm going to figure out what I can do in that area.  Hmmm, maybe beetle barns with sticky paper in the bottoms with a little acv and crisco in the centers for a lure?  ...or maybe a little pollen and honey for the lure?

Anyhow, just trying to figure some inexpensive, but efficient ways of long-term beetle abatement.  Living in south central Alabama I figure I might as well start out loaded up for bear, er, uh...beetle!

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2012, 03:03:59 PM »

I don't know but you may have to keep a watch on the inter cover hole with window screen the bees may close it off.  Good luck, Ed



Joe



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Intheswamp
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2012, 05:26:04 PM »

Shoot, they're already closing off some of the #8 screen.  I'll keep an eye on it, though, thanks!

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2012, 12:43:26 AM »

Ok, I managed to make it to the  bee yard this afternoon and get these modified bottom boards with oil trays underneath two of my three hives.  Swapping out the bottom boards went pretty smoothly by going about it in the order that Jim shared with me.  While I was working on the hives I also replaced the #8 mesh screen I had over the escape and jar feeder holes in the inner covers with window screen.  I'm thinking this will help a lot in keeping the beetles out...along with moths and those blasted little roaches.

The colonies are looking good...got stores in there and plenty of brood.  Interestingly, I saw ZERO live beetles in the very brief inspection I did...there were a few in the Beetle Jail Jrs but that was it.  I also gave the grass around and beneath the hives a much needed manicure.  I finished up by doing a good cinnamon dusting around and bneath the hives and on the cement blocks.

Anyhow here is a picture of a hive sitting on it's new bottom board without the tray inserted.  The added wooden strips added another 3/4" of space beneath the bottom board.  You can see the two small stops that were glued and nailed to the bottom...these stop the tray in the proper position leaving about 1/4" of space between the back lip of the trap and the back of the hive body above it.  The tray is just long enough to perfectly reach from end to end of the screen...it's width is wider than the screen, which doesn't hurt anything...just more room to catch beetles.



This photo has the tray slid into place.  You can see that the wooden runners beneath the tray lifted the tray up snuggly against the bottom board.



Here you can see how small a gap there is between the tray and bottom board.  There was a small amount of resistance felt as I slid the trays in.  I will watch this as I'm not sure whether the wood will compress some from the weight of the hive or even if the runners might swell once they get wet.  It's a snug fit...no bees will get in. Smiley



I had to go into town and pick up some mineral oil as I hadn't thought to get some earlier.  It looks like Family Dollar Store is becoming my "go to" place for SHB trap supplies!  I stopped by there and they had some for $2 a pint...I knew I'd need more than a couple of pints so I rode down to Rite-Aid to see if they had a larger/cheaper container.  What I saw was a pint for $5.49!!!!  Needless to say I scampered back to Family Dollar.  I don't know why, but the girl at the checkout gave me this "knowing" sympathetic smile...Huh



These traps are some excellent SHB traps!!!!  As I mentioned earlier, I didn't see any live beetles when I did a brief inspection of the hive while I swapped out the bottom boards.  When I got back from town I slid a tray out to pour some oil in and there were three beetles!!!  They all failed the pressure test and were the first floaters in the oil!   evil

Anyhow, here's a shot of a tray pulled out after I had poured oil in.  I only used a pint but I'm thinking I need to use another pint.  With only one pint in the 17x11 tray the oil will only be a hair over 1/8" deep throughout the pan.  If there's some tilt to the tray then there may be an area that isn't covered with oil.  I'll pour another pint in tomorrow.


I had finished up with the bottom boards and was working on the grass some more when my cellphone rang.  It was my wife...she wanted me to come take care of this...



After taking care of that I went back and finished tidying up around the hives. 

I've still got the big hive that has the 10-frame deep beneath it.  I opened it up just to check the top box and see what was going on.  I found 3-4 beetles on the bottom of the inner cover and pressure tested them all.  I really want to get this hive into all medium boxes so I can slip an oil tray beneath it, too.

Ed





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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2012, 11:17:10 PM »

I use cheap cooking oil, about $8 a gallon. It kills them just as good as mineral oil.
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« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2012, 09:06:36 AM »

I've used vegetable oil and it definitely works.  The problems that I've had with it is that it attracts ants and eventually goes rancid.  I've also heard that it can attract critters such as possums, raccoons, etc.,.when used in the oil trays.  I'm hoping the mineral oil will avoid these issues.  The mineral oil was $2 a pint so that's double the price of the cheap cooking oil that you mentioned...I'll see how it works and if there's "no joy" I'll go back to vegetable oil.  Smiley

Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2012, 10:07:07 AM »

Cooking oil becomes toxic after few days in the open, Thats why you don't put it on butcher block surfaces, you use mineral oil!!! JPP
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« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2012, 11:04:26 AM »

Me likey. How much did each sbb end up costing you?
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2012, 09:28:06 AM »

I'm happy with the mineral oil, so far.  No problems.

Lazy, the oil trays were $5 each.  The 1by's for the bottom of the bottom boards were cut from a treated 1x6 that cost me around $5 and I can probably cut enough of them out of that one piece for at least a dozen bottom boards.  The 1/4" trim was a couple of bucks for a 10' piece...can probably get enough rails out of a piece for four trays.  Plus six nails, paint, a dab of glue, and some epoxy for each.   I dunno...including the trays probably $7-$8 for each modification?   Smiley

Ed
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"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2012, 11:24:00 AM »

Cheep enough. Looks like I have a project ahead of me. 
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« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2013, 12:09:44 AM »

Ok, two problems that I've ran into with this design...

I've got to find a different type of adhesive to attach the wood runners to the bottom of the trays...the cheap dollar store epoxy popped loose from the tray.  I'm pretty sure I need something with flex to it.  I'm also have tinkered with bending the lip of the tray upwards to tighten up the gap.  Jury's still out on that.

The other problem I've encountered is with rainwater filling the trays when we have heavy blowing rains.  I'm seriously considering putting a "roof" over the porch...light weight flashing bent at a 90-degree angle with the edges folded is pretty rigid.  Another option would be to simply not have a porch.

Working on these...

Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2013, 12:11:03 AM »

Please overlook my crappy workmanship...a fingernail clipper knife, a stapler, and scissors were the tools. Shocked

I've been thinking of modifying Intheswamp's Simple Oil Tray (ISOT) screened bottom boards with the hope of them causing more shb to fall into the oil tray below.  I've found that beetles are rather adept at walking across #8 mesh while some are simply too large to go through the mesh opening.  My thoughts have been to build something akin to a shb obstacle course at the entrance.  I've gotta admit that Beetle Jail was an inspiration for this...they have some *really* nice traps.

Anyhow, I removed part of the #8 mesh screening and replaced it with the flashing.  Armed with my high tech tools I cut some slits in a piece of flashing and bent the metal apart there to create gaps.  I bent the metal so that when a beetle passes through the main entrance of the hive that it will run into a staggered series of slits.  As the beetle enters through the entrance the leading edge of the slits bends downward toward the oil tray, the back edge of the slits are bent upwards.  Naturally this will be a dark area that hopefully will be attractive to the beetle.  If the beetle enters the slit there is only a thin edge to the metal which the beetle should have trouble holding on to.  The size of the opening was eyeballed....hopefully it's about right...it's about 1/8" but long.

This will only work for beetles entering "on the floor".  It will not work for the ones crawling down the front of the hive and entering through the top of the entrance.  I'm hoping that the bees will knock the beetles down to the floor either inside or outside of the hive making them have to walk inside.  I'm curious as to how well a beetle can circumvent the thin edge of the flashing, though.  If the beetles have a problem (they lose their grip and fall off) with the thin edge it may be that I can add a thin strip of flashing along the bottom edge of the bottom brood box at the entrance...if a beetle crawls down the outside of the hive when it gets to that edge it may fall off and have to travel the obstacle course.

Here's some pictures of the bottom board with the flashing installed to give you an idea of what I'm doing.  I've still got to add the shims under the rails for room for the oil tray.  Who knows, it might work!...if it does the next version will look nicer!   laugh







Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2013, 05:37:02 AM »

Ed,
That is unique. If I could make one recommendation, most of the beetles that do get into the hive are usually around the edge if the hive. I try to keep the edge as thin as possible. A friend of mine who manufactures hives took my design and eliminated the edge all together by making the sides 3/4" shorter and stapled the #8 wire cloth to the top of the sides and added a 3/4"x3/4" boards on top of the wire cloth. I do not personally do it, I make my side strips 3/8" wide by 3/4" deep and glue and nail it to the side.
The bees are constantly harassing the beetles. In my OB hive, When they get knocked off of a frame they fall into the bees and get attacked all the way till they get to the bottom where, if they hit the screen, they go through it to get away from the bees.
Let us know how we'll I works. You will be able to tell how we'll the front section is working by the number of SHB in the front of the oil tray.
Jim
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« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2013, 10:39:19 AM »

We will try almost anything to combat the SHBs.     Check out what some of our Aussie Friends are doing.  Putting a folded paper towel above the frames.  I don't know how to link it, but its on the top of downunder beek topics.  No chemicals and seems to help.



Joe




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« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2013, 11:12:13 AM »

Jim, I agree with you on the "ledge" on the inside of the bottom board.  I purchased these Rossman scbb's before I was "enlightened". Smiley  I'm hoping one day to set up a tablesaw and do some of my own woodworking.  Dadant seems to have a "no-ledge" design for there scbb's but a few dollars more.  The ideal thing is to make your own, if you're able.  Undecided 

I've thought about getting some triangular or concave shaped wood molding and installing it along the ledge.  When the beetle falls it might give it just enough direction to it's bounce to send it out onto the screen.  I'll look at that today and see if it would violate bee space anywhere...I don't think it would be a problem, though.

Yelp, I figure it will be easy to tell if the slots are working....self-marking. Smiley

Joe, I saw the mention of the "chux" wipes.  I pulled "chux" up on the internet and that's a brand down-yonder with lots of products under the brand.  I wonder, are bees legs simply not "bristley" enough to get hung up in the fibers?  Looking at the picture in that thread it looks like what we call "Handi-Wipes"....kind of an open weave design.

Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2013, 11:40:08 AM »


Joe, I saw the mention of the "chux" wipes.  I pulled "chux" up on the internet and that's a brand down-yonder with lots of products under the brand.  I wonder, are bees legs simply not "bristley" enough to get hung up in the fibers?  Looking at the picture in that thread it looks like what we call "Handi-Wipes"....kind of an open weave design.

Ed

Ed,
I kind of looked into the whole wipes SHB method a while back when I was in heavy research mode.  From what I remember, those that use it claim their is some bee loss but that it's a small price to pay for the SHB control.
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« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2013, 03:00:30 PM »

Joe and Moots, I think I'm going by the dollar store this afternoon and see what they offer.  I think this might be just what I've been looking for for a problem area in my multifaceted approach to shb protection.  I normally keep the top of my inner covers "bee free"...the feeder holes are screened w/#8 and any entry slots are blocked.  Covering the feeder holes with window screening to keep beetles out results in them getting sealed with propolis fairly quickly.  I'm thinking that a layer of the "chux" carpeting the top of the inner board (with a cutout for the feeder holes) might just be the ticket to continue using the #8 mesh but have a deadly "field of play" for the beetles.

I also read where a guy had used the "chux" inside a CD case...and had some success.  That might be another in-hive weapon.

Hmm, I'm really starting to like the idea of carpeting the inner cover!!!  That would cover me top, middle (beetle jail jrs), and bottom (oil tray).  Now I've got to decide which hive to dedicate to a shb research hive. Wink  ...the neighboring hives will probably get "bling envy".

Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2013, 08:07:46 PM »

Thinking about trying some wipes below and above the supers.




Joe
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« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2013, 08:18:52 PM »

I just don't like the idea of the bees getting caught up in it, too.  Are you figuring on putting the "chux" in cd cases?

Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2013, 11:03:47 PM »

Well, I had to go to monkeytown today.   I found out that Target and Costco do not have Handi-Wipes nor any facsimile of them.  I stopped at a Dollar Tree and this is what I came up with...for a dollar.....eight Scrub Buddies!!!!!  grin 

The size should cover almost the entire inner cover.  I figure I'll cut a flap out for the feeder holes and fold it under the wipe....if I want to cover the feeder hole I can just pull the flap out from beneath the wipe.  I'm going to wash them good and wring them out some and generally abuse them some to fuzzyfy them before installing in the hives.  Maybe being a cheap chinese knockoff they'll fuzz even more than the Chux or Handi-Wipes!  It will be interesting to see what happens.   Ed

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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2013, 11:33:08 PM »

Ed,
I think you will find that the oil pan will kill thousands of SHB. If you have them on every hive you will eventually see your population drop because all of the larvae end up in the oil and none get together into the soil and turn into beetles. Hopefully you do not have a apiary nearby that is not using them and are breeding DHB like crazy.
Jim
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« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2013, 12:34:01 AM »

Well, I have scrapped the runners on the bottom of the trays.  It just didn't work out for me and the cheap epoxy that I used.  Maybe some better glue would've worked...?  What I've done is add a strip of wood on top of the shims so that the lip of the oil tray rides on it close to the bottom of the bottom board.  There's no way that a bee can get through the gap between the tray and bottom board.  I like this setup better.





I actually added some thin shims to this but I think it was good enough like this.

Something else I did was address the "ledge" along the sides of the bottom board that the screen is stapled to.  My concern was that a beetle or mite could land on that flat ledge and climb back up.  I added the triangular pieces of wood figuring they might help to direct the "bounce" of the pest out onto the screen over the oil tray.  The back ledge is much smaller so I added nothing to it.  Here's a couple of shots of ISOT with some "bling" added to it. Smiley





Hopefully I can slip this board under one of my hives this weekend and start testing it out.  Oh, I almost forgot...the issue of water entering the oil tray.  I've was going to order a Sunsetter retractable awning  grin but decided instead to put a metal awning up.  I don't have a picture of it, but it's simply a sheet of flashing several inches wider than the hives are wide and only about 6" long.  It is bent at a 90-degree angle the length of it so that one leg of the bend is long enough to extend over the edge of the porch.  Three frame nails or staples and it's attached to the front of the hive.  I crimped the long edges and folded and crimped the corners...it is rigid enough to handle a heavy rain.  We'll see how it works...

The next ISOT will hopefully be much cleaner than this one as this was the trial-and-error one.  All of this is probably overkill, but with only a few hives I can afford the luxury of tinkering.   Hopefully, by the time I build up my hive count I will have streamlined these mods....if they work. Wink

Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2013, 07:50:47 PM »

Well, I think I messed up and put the ISOT under the colony that has the least problem with beetles.  This colony is one we cut out of a stable at an old dairy site last summer.  When the plywood was removed to reveal the comb and bees there was a gang of bees that had probably 30-40 (maybe more?) shb's corralled a good piece from the comb...it was very interesting how they had them herded together in a group.

Anyhow, I ended up putting the ISOT beneath this colony which has few beetles.  I put mineral oil in the tray last Saturday and had looked a couple of days ago and saw no beetles in the tray.  This morning when I looked there were three beetles in the oil...all of them were in the area of the slitted flashing and none beyond that toward the back.  That's only three beetles but it looks like the slits get at least some of them as they come in the entrance.  I'll post more results when I see something worthy to report.

Ed

ETA...I added a small "awning" to the front of the hive.  The bees seem to accept it fine.  This will hopefully keep rain water from entering the oil tray.  The best solution I think is Fatbeeman's where he nudges the tray back away from the front a little bit so that rain simply falls through the screen to the ground.  I'm thinking of ways of accomplishing this with a shorter tray.    We're supposed to get HEAVY BLOWING RAIN tomorrow and tomorrow night so we'll see how it works.  Wink

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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #32 on: June 18, 2014, 12:10:23 AM »

I've updated the ISOT to the ISOT II <grin>.  You can find the newer version here:  http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,44893.new.html#new
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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