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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 18th year of beekeeping in April 2023. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Procrastination in Winter Never Pays Off

This April begins my fifth year keeping bees. Every winter I know most beekeepers paint and clean their old equipment - not me. Every year I promise myself that this year will be different. This year I'll paint equipment over the winter. Then bread baking, knitting for the grandchildren, watching movies all get in the way of my actually picking up a paintbrush.

This year as a favor and a surprise, one of my friends arranged to get the nuc I was purchasing from Jennifer Berry for the Blue Heron delivered to her house last night. I was supposed to drive to Good Hope on Saturday morning to get it. Instead it came last night and I was frantically painting equipment into the night.

You'll remember our Blue Heron hives were flooded out last September. I lost my eight frame bottom boards, inner covers, slatted racks in the flood. I have a lot of 10 frame bottom boards and slatted racks. Since I plan to move altogether to 8 frame medium boxes, I added a small feature to my slatted rack to adapt it to the 8 frame hive.

I cut a piece of the leftover board from the top bar hive to fit the length of the slatted rack. I painted it, nailed it to the edge of the slatted rack and adapted my hive bottom for 8 frame boxes. This wouldn't work as well with the screened bottom board because it is lower from the side edge to allow for a bee entrance at the front of the hive. In contrast, the slatted racks are only bee space below the edge, so the box sits perfectly in the space.

Here's the finished result. I also only have top covers for 10 frame but that will go over the 8 frame just as well. I bought ventilated hive covers to use this year as an inner cover at Blue Heron, so my hive is all equipped.....and I am breathless due to my procrastination!

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  1. But you got it done so good job :)

  2. That's a nice adaptation, 10-frame base for 8-frame equipment. I found if I don't let the paint dry for multiple days, the boxes stick themselves together. I hope that doesn't happen for you.

    I use a screened bottom board, but no slotted rack. Do you find the slotted rack makes a difference?

    Thanks - Steven

  3. In the hot south we are always searching for ways to help the bees ventilate the hive. A slatted rack allows them to hang off of each other inside the hive and eliminates the numbers of bees bearding on the outside of the hive. I use them on every hive I have.

  4. Hello Linda, First you have a get blog here. This will be my first year as a beekeeper. I just finish the beginners course from the Pickens County BK club. The two packages I ordered will be here on April 17th. But caught a swarm a couple of days ago, now that was fun.

    So, on to my question. I don't understand the benefit of the slatted rack and the SBB. It would seem to me that you end up blocking half the ventilation you provided with the SBB when you add a slatted rack.


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