Sunday, April 3, 2011

Busy with Woodenware

What you see here is about a months worth of fabricated & painted wooden ware.  A few peices are left out but the total this Spring is:

10 Frame
2 - Deep Hive Boxes
3 - Slatted Racks
2 - Screened Bottom Boards w/ IPM board
2 - Inner Covers
1 - Telescoping Cover
2 - Medium Honey Supers
2 - Imrie shims

5 Frame
4 - Deep Nuc Boxes
2 - Nuc Slatted Racks
2 - Nuc Screened Bottom Boards w/ IPM board
2 - Nuc Inner Covers
2 - Nuc Telescoping Covers
2 - Nuc Vent Boxes

This is enough for 1 new double deep hive & 2 Nucs.  It also adds a Slatted Rack to all hives in the Yard, plus some additional Honey supers.  More equipment may be needed if I catch a swarm and I plan to try.

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Jared said...

How do you like the slatted racks? I use screened bottom boards and like them. I was wanting to get your openion on them with the varroa, small hive beetles and wax moths....

Hemlock said...

Sorry for the delay I just got back from Atlanta.
From what I have read I like the Slatted Racks. This is the first year i'm using them. I made these based on the Brushy Mountain design (Which is a hair SHORT when added to Dadant hive bodies!!!). They allow the bees to better regulate the temperature & humidity in the hive. So the queen can lay more eggs lower on the frames. The slatted racks also aid in Spring Management as added space in the brood nest.

The Screened Bottom broads are great in my opinion. I have read where up to 20% of Varroa can fall through a SBB and die on the ground. I would recommend that any SBB have a SLIDE IN IPM board. It's easier to do a mite count with one of those than sticking an IPM board in the front entrance and stressing the bees out. I say 'Slide in' because any board place under the hive will eventually draw rain water onto it. This will mix with the hive debris and start a voracious mold epidemic in the hive. I close the SBB's by October and wont open them until April at the earliest. I clean off the slide in board each month during Winter due to debris build up.

I don't know what to say about Wax Moths & SHB. It seems that the only defense against them is a strong well populated and healthy colony. The moths & SHB are always present. If a colony has a good young queen and the right amount of space available to them the bees should be OK. I look at Wax Moth & SHB as indicators. So far it has usually been a case of too much open room in the hive. It's a balancing act. Too much room and one can get pests. Too little room and the bees can swarm.

I've had all 3 and still struggle to keep the colonies healthy without using a bunch of chemicals. Yes I've used Apistan in the Fall but will only use Thymol this year if necessary against the Varroa. I plan to eventually have treatment free bees but I have much to learn before i can let the bees be bees. Go figure!