Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Slatted Bottom Boards

Mark invested in some slatted bottom boards this year, to help with ventilation.

Some beekeepers think it's an unnecessary expense.

We like them for the following reasons:

  • bees don't beard on the front of the hives -- they can congregate down below the brood chambers. If you have an urban bee yard and it freaks out your neighbors to see bees bearding ("They're SWARMING!"), slatted bottom boards might be a good option for you.
  • ventilation. Mississippi is hot. We have screens on top to help with temperature, but the extra ventilation may help us cut down on common bee diseases, like Nosema.
  • the bees seem calmer. Maybe it's because they don't feel as crowded, but our colonies on the slatted bottom boards don't seem as aggressive.
  • we can still use oil traps for pest control, rather than chemicals.
Here are two pictures.

The hive entrance is to the right.

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