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Author Topic: Standard length for bottom board?  (Read 5678 times)

Offline CapnChkn

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Standard length for bottom board?
« on: July 28, 2017, 09:13:10 pm »
What is the standard length for a bottom board?

Plans are showing a 22 inch length.
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Offline jimineycricket

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2017, 11:33:11 pm »
That's what the plans I use call for.  22"
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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2017, 01:14:24 am »
You can make it any length that you need. You can also make it 19 7/8", exactly the same as the brood box. It does not make any difference to the bees.
Jim

Offline tycrnp

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2017, 01:18:42 am »
Most of our are 22" but some are longer, but Jim's right....the bees use them all.

Offline little john

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2017, 04:45:19 am »
Isaac Hopkins used to make his 24" long - thusly:




...  and moved the brood box in order to vary the entrance size.
LJ
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Offline CapnChkn

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2017, 06:42:45 am »
I make mine all 21 inches.  I have some that are just as big as the box, and I find I have to modify them.
"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2017, 02:01:34 pm »
Mine are all 19 7/8".
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Offline CapnChkn

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2017, 01:13:37 am »
But all your hives have a top entrance, don't they Michael?

I'm trying to make robber screens that will fit every bottom board.  And yes, I understand the mechanics of the things.  I lost every hive I had in the backyard last year to robbers.  We had a drought, unusual in Alabama, for 3 months, and I'm now surrounded by suburbs.  I've had more problems here with SHB, DWV, and probably some alphabet soup I didn't recognize, than I have ever seen before.  In contrast, I had a swarm with a very good, and well bred queen, move into an empty nuc box.

I came up with the idea of making screens like shoes.  Different sizes.
"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2017, 04:36:41 pm »
>But all your hives have a top entrance, don't they Michael?

They do but I would make them that size no matter what.  I don't like to help the mice get in.
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Offline Eric Bosworth

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2017, 01:35:26 pm »
They do but I would make them that size no matter what.  I don't like to help the mice get in.

Top entrances help with that. I also use top entrances I don't see any reason to have bottom entrances. Just use a bottom board the same size as the brood box and if you want a bottom entrance make one but that is an invitation for mice, when the hive is covered in snow, it covers the entrance so that they can't go make bathroom flights on a warm winter day and it allows moisture in during a snow melt. Give me top entrances any day.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2017, 02:33:05 pm »
I prefer the majority of the bees go out the bottom and use a mouse guard in the fall.
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Offline little john

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2017, 06:58:32 pm »
I don't see any reason to have bottom entrances.

One reason is because a top entrance together with an Open Mesh Floor will create a through-draught.  "Horses for courses".
LJ
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Offline Eric Bosworth

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2017, 09:42:47 pm »
I don't see any reason to have bottom entrances.

One reason is because a top entrance together with an Open Mesh Floor will create a through-draught.  "Horses for courses".
LJ
Always location specific. Some hot places might need that... I don't.

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All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns; that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party. ---Mao Tse Tung

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. ---Benjamin Franklin

Offline Sour Kraut

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2017, 10:56:04 pm »
24 minus a saw-cut

you can get 10 out of a sheet of plywood if you are OK with the grain being crossways to the entrance, or 8 if you want the grain lengthwise to the hive body

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2017, 11:12:34 pm »
SK,
Unless you are using the plywood that is impervious to everything, I do not recommend using plywood for hives. They fall apart in a couple of years. Even plywood in my telescoping lids, under metal, are falling apart.
For some reason OSB holds up better than plywood. Problem is it is rough on the hands, very splinterly.
Jim

Offline eltalia

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2017, 12:30:01 am »
"I don't see any reason to have bottom entrances."

Well there go..!.. how dandy, 'cos I do not see any use for top entrances !  Bees don't see this either
as "bees always go up".... in all things.
Throughly BS is the line spun around nectar to bee transfers in respect of bee miles as bees leg it to comb
4' above the entrance. As a pest intrusion prevention it simply displays a lack of insight into critter
behavior, lifting hives to stands covering way more possible intrusions. As an argument to keep feeders
adjacent an entrance during wintering with "cleansing flights" allowed for I can see the logic yet would
opine there are other methods to achieve the same outcome without the installed hazard of
screwing with the colonies "front door"... a practice which will always complicate colony management
for the BK.

More of importance is the screwing over of airpaths for the colony in having the exhaust forced to the
top of the colony at the expense of food resources and numbers. in reversing the natural attributes of
convection in dealing with enthaply nuances of environmental management by those bees so tasked.

And on the use of ply, and other like "short life" construction materials?
Those convinced "solid timber" is the only product that delivers hive bodies into relative infinity had
best rethink the dream as timber is not a sustainable resource, in it's sawn form, has not been for some
years now. So we see emerge fast growing softwoods which are as much junk timber as are the
composite timber products in terms of longevity.
We BKs have to explore and swap anecdotal outcomes on alternatives, inclusive of protection methods,
leaving aside the prejudices (personal preference) often engrained.
Bottom line is bees do not give a rat's as to the composite of their home. Just checkout most trap-out
stories to find the truth of this. One I did last year was wholly enclosed by 2.5mm metal, with a western
bias, so wholly exposed to full sun for 5hours a day in 40+ extremes.

Much has been written - and explored without record - since the times of ye olde bee scribes taking the
bees out of log hives. Us 21st century BKs should be dealing with the world we have, not that written
about largely as experiment and then forcing those ideas on ourselves in being seen by our contempories
as "adhering to principle".

/rant 0ff

Cheers

Bill

(edit - typos)
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 04:46:50 am by eltalia »

Offline little john

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2017, 05:56:24 am »
I don't see any reason to have bottom entrances.

One reason is because a top entrance together with an Open Mesh Floor will create a through-draught.  "Horses for courses".
LJ
Always location specific. Some hot places might need that... I don't.
I don't understand that line of thinking at all.

The use of bottom entrances is well established in Britain - and more and more people are moving over to Open Mesh Floors as they begin to see the advantages - and this could hardly be described as a 'hot' country !  This configuration allows the top of the hive to remain fully sealed - which mirrors the honey-bee's predeliction for sealing just about everything (if it's allowed to) at the top of the hive with propolis.

Although OMF's were first introduced as an anti-Varroa measure, they are now seen as a useful method of providing the means for downward ventilation whilst the sealed (and insulated) upper hive preserves heat.  In addition, OMF's allow debris to fall clear of the hive body, preventing a build-up which tends to attract and then harbour wax moth.
LJ
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2017, 08:25:57 am »
By the same token OMF allows and easier access to the hive from wax moth and small hive beetle.
Jim before there was OSB there was plywood.  It is the polymer used to bond the wood together that makes a difference.  When chip board first came out it did not have this weather proof polymer and if left to the elements it would disintegrate in one year.
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Offline Sour Kraut

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2017, 05:52:44 am »
SK,
Unless you are using the plywood that is impervious to everything, I do not recommend using plywood for hives. They fall apart in a couple of years. Even plywood in my telescoping lids, under metal, are falling apart.
For some reason OSB holds up better than plywood. Problem is it is rough on the hands, very splinterly.
Jim

I have bottom boards of plywood that are going on 7 (SEVEN) years old.

And NOT falling apart.

Please, don't tell me what works and what doesn't here in western IL.

Thank you.


Offline little john

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2017, 06:22:27 am »
By the same token OMF allows and easier access to the hive from wax moth ...

I've always found that the best way of gaining knowledge is to ask questions, rather than to make ill-informed assumption-based assertions.

Those who use continuously-open Open Mesh Floors do NOT suffer from Wax Moth problems (assuming of course that the colony is queen-right and healthy).
 
Those who unwisely keep the inspection slides in place in the misguided belief that this is their normal operating mode, DO suffer from Wax Moth infestations - the reason being that wax moths lay their eggs in the debris which then builds up in the space between the inspection board and the mesh above it, a space to which the bees cannot gain access. It is this build-up of wax debris which attracts the moths and then harbours their larvae.

That the wax moth manages to lays it's eggs with the inspection slide in place should be indication enough that the wax moth does NOT normally gain access to the hive via the mesh floor route.

Further, wax-moths do NOT present problems within Nucleus Colonies (again, assuming that the Nucleus Colony is queen-right and healthy), precisely because there is not the same level of wax debris build-up (even in solid-floor boxes) as so frequently develops when full-sized colonies are housed over solid floors for any length of time.

Wax debris is THE major source of wax-moth infestations in occupied beehives.
LJ
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2017, 10:02:48 am »
By the same token OMF allows and easier access to the hive from wax moth ...

I've always found that the best way of gaining knowledge is to ask questions, rather than to make ill-informed assumption-based assertions.

Not every active hive is in England.  I don't disagree with your explanation but I have read hundreds of posts from southern beekeepers who have had serious problems with wax moths using an OMF.  There is more to it then just debris in the bottom of a hive.  Every swarm is weak when if first starts and no natural hive has an OMF.  How do they make it in the first few weeks?  FWIW I use OMF called screen bottom boards (SBB) and do not have wax moth issues where I live.  But just like England not all hives exist in Upstate NY.
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Offline Eric Bosworth

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2017, 12:49:31 pm »
Well there go..!.. how dandy, 'cos I do not see any use for top entrances !  Bees don't see this either
as "bees always go up".... in all things.

This has caused me to do an experiment. I do not believe that "bees always go up". If that is the case how do top bar hives work? I have never heard of a bottom bar hive. Do they work the same? Don't the bees build comb on the top bar and work down? That was always my experience. With this in mind I set a 5 frame nuc on top of an empty box 5 frame box. We are currently in the middle of a goldenrod flow and I can smell the honey just walking down wind from my hives. We will see if the bees build down. My bet is that they will. I have never seen bees build comb up. Maybe it's a hemisphere thing like toilets flushing in the wrong direction in the southern hemisphere.

As far as top vs bottom entrances, it is personal preference. If you want bottom entrances, go for it. Don't let me stop you. I don't want bottom entrances for 2 reasons, one is rodents. My wife's fe-lion is good but for every rodent she catches/eats there are several more for future meals. The other is that when I am working my hives I like to wear shorts and sandals. Yes working from the back of the hive helps but I find that I get very few if any stings on my legs and feet with top entrances. When I do get stung on my feet it is usually because I step on one that is on the ground.

At the end of September when I steal some honey I will be sure to post how the bees build down rather than up.
All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns; that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party. ---Mao Tse Tung

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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2017, 05:43:17 pm »
Beekeeping is local.  I had my hives on tall stands until I got tired of them blowing over in the wind.  I had bottom entrances until I got tired of the skunks.  I had ten frame deeps until I got tired of lifting 90 pound boxes.  I had medium ten frame boxes until I got tired of lifting 60 pound boxes.  It seems like most top bar hives have legs.  My first ones did.  After the wind flipped them upside down I took the legs off...  Apparently legs are useful for people who live where the wind doesn't blow... I have about half and half screened bottom boards (OMF) and solid.  I have decided the bees and I prefer the solid ones for a variety of reasons.  I don't care for the wax moth larvae on the bottom tray in the screened bottom boards, but they have never infested a healthy colony from there.  Every colony I took out of a tree had a pile of debris full of wax moths at the bottom.  This seems to be the natural state of a bee colony.

One consistent problem for bees is getting rid of moisture.  In the summer to dry nectar and to cool the hive and in the winter to get rid of metabolic waste (CO2 and H2O).  Moist air rises.  Why not let it out?

http://bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#topentrance
http://bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm

My only use for any entrance other than the top is when queen rearing and I have an excluder in place and I need to let the drones out.

My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
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Offline Eric Bosworth

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2017, 09:55:39 pm »
Beekeeping is local.  I had my hives on tall stands until I got tired of them blowing over in the wind.  I had bottom entrances until I got tired of the skunks.  I had ten frame deeps until I got tired of lifting 90 pound boxes.  I had medium ten frame boxes until I got tired of lifting 60 pound boxes.  It seems like most top bar hives have legs.  My first ones did.  After the wind flipped them upside down I took the legs off...  Apparently legs are useful for people who live where the wind doesn't blow... I have about half and half screened bottom boards (OMF) and solid.  I have decided the bees and I prefer the solid ones for a variety of reasons.  I don't care for the wax moth larvae on the bottom tray in the screened bottom boards, but they have never infested a healthy colony from there.  Every colony I took out of a tree had a pile of debris full of wax moths at the bottom.  This seems to be the natural state of a bee colony.

One consistent problem for bees is getting rid of moisture.  In the summer to dry nectar and to cool the hive and in the winter to get rid of metabolic waste (CO2 and H2O).  Moist air rises.  Why not let it out?

http://bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#topentrance
http://bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm

My only use for any entrance other than the top is when queen rearing and I have an excluder in place and I need to let the drones out.
I have not yet had an issue with wind blowing my hives over. It could happen but I currently have them where they are somewhat protected from the wind. I have my bees in 5 over 5 nucs with another 5 frame box for surplus honey. As I migrate to mediums I will winter them 3 high.

Beekeeping is local. What works in upstate New Yuk won't work everywhere. What works in Florida certainly won't work here. It is also personal preference. You for example like 8 frame mediums. I like nuc boxes. Either is fine and so are 10 frame deeps. I don't want to lift them but for someone in better shape than me feel free... Just be careful of your back.

I am pretty sure however that bees will work down rather than up. I always need to move a frame of comb up when I add another box because they don't seem to know what to do with empty space on top. Probably if I wasn't to cheap to buy foundation it wouldn't be necessary.

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Offline Acebird

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2017, 08:34:58 am »
I have my bees in 5 over 5 nucs with another 5 frame box for surplus honey.

To leave your bees in this configuration makes timing and attention critical.  It is not practical for most beekeepers.
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Offline Eric Bosworth

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2017, 02:20:12 pm »
I have my bees in 5 over 5 nucs with another 5 frame box for surplus honey.

To leave your bees in this configuration makes timing and attention critical.  It is not practical for most beekeepers.

Probably not but it works for me. My reason for doing this is because I am trying to increase my colony count. This allows the bees to build up and then I can take frames of brood to create new colonies. What works for me won't work for everybody. I never said it would. I did say that it is personal preference. It was really nice this spring however to take one colony and split it into 3 because it had the swarm cells to do it. They are all doing quite well and I was even able to take frames of brood and honey with the addition of a queen and make 4 more colonies. Yes, it takes attention but I manage quite well.
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Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. ---Benjamin Franklin

Offline eltalia

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2017, 12:57:57 am »
(edit)
One consistent problem for bees is getting rid of moisture.  In the summer to dry nectar and to cool the hive and in the winter to get rid of metabolic waste (CO2 and H2O).  Moist air rises.  Why not let it out?



: smiles:

Crikey Michael..!.. I didn't count on my simple mantra elicting such depths of
prose - I'll have to ready myself for the barrage likely prompted by my forthcoming
treatise on airpaths.. heh ... somebody yelled "incoming!!" ?? :-))))
In the meantime think about the 'rule' in terms of first movements...like just as you
don't jump in your LH drive truck to then take the RH lane, going forward, so does
not the bee fly into the hollow space to begin building comb on the floor, going forward.
It is that first move that sets the format for bees, it is always up.
Whether under your veil, leaving a landing board or trapout, storing honey/pollon on a
frame or indeed a queen setting a laying pattern... bees go up!
Is there light ? :-))

Cheerio...

Bill

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2017, 01:05:15 am »
Bill,
Not sure if you are pulling our legs but bees in a hollow void will almost always build from the top down. As the comb grown, they will eventually move the brood to the bottom and place the honey on top.
Jim

Offline eltalia

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2017, 01:44:15 am »
Bill,
Not sure if you are pulling our legs but bees in a hollow void will almost always build from the top down. As the comb grown, they will eventually move the brood to the bottom and place the honey on top.
Jim

Yep, they go up, as the first movement.. just as you lay out.
No leg pulling going on Jim.. it ia an important "first principle".
I recall you yourself saying SHB were herded to the top of a box under the inner cover. Not
knowing anything about SHB at the time I was not surprised to read that, as, bees go up.
Another example?
Place a frame of bees on a stand, smoke them... now which direction do they head?
Drop to the floor/ground? NO, they go up, every time. Try it for yourself.



Cheers.

Bill

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2017, 12:17:11 pm »
> so does not the bee fly into the hollow space to begin building comb on the floor, going forward. It is that first move that sets the format for bees, it is always up.

Obviously they do not build comb up unless fooled or tricked into it.  They move into any hollow and build comb from the top down.  We as beekeepers create the artificial situation of empty space overhead and the bees fill they have to fix it because there should not be empty space overhead...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
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Offline Eric Bosworth

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2017, 02:57:34 pm »
Like I said in a previous post... It must be a southern hemisphere thing like toilets flushing backwards.
All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns; that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party. ---Mao Tse Tung

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. ---Benjamin Franklin

Offline eltalia

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2017, 03:30:10 pm »
Like I said in a previous post... It must be a southern hemisphere thing like toilets flushing backwards.
   : smiles:
Yet funnily enough, Michael - for bees going up in example of comb
building - has explained the principle with;
They move into any hollow and build comb from the top down.  We as beekeepers create the artificial situation of empty space overhead and the bees fill[sic] they have to fix it because there should not be empty space overhead...

soooooo... by your 'reasoning', Michael's dunny flushes "backwards"?

Tellya what... the day I see bees going down to build comb from the bottom up I'll
be sure to fetch the trusty blunderbus so I kin ketch me one of them there
flying pigs, hey!
   : laughs:


Cheers.

Bill

Offline Acebird

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2017, 04:49:18 pm »
Tellya what... the day I see bees going down to build comb from the bottom up I'll
be sure to fetch the trusty blunderbus so I kin ketch me one of them there
flying pigs, hey!
   : laughs:


I have seen comb built from the bottom up but not so pretty as the comb they build from the top down.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline herbhome

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2017, 06:31:32 pm »
Like I said in a previous post... It must be a southern hemisphere thing like toilets flushing backwards.
   : smiles:
Yet funnily enough, Michael - for bees going up in example of comb
building - has explained the principle with;
They move into any hollow and build comb from the top down.  We as beekeepers create the artificial situation of empty space overhead and the bees fill[sic] they have to fix it because there should not be empty space overhead...

soooooo... by your 'reasoning', Michael's dunny flushes "backwards"?

Tellya what... the day I see bees going down to build comb from the bottom up I'll
be sure to fetch the trusty blunderbus so I kin ketch me one of them there
flying pigs, hey!
   : laughs:


Cheers.

Bill


This is about bottom boards, right? :wink:
Neill

Offline paus

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2017, 07:10:53 pm »
This week I checked a hive that was building comb from the bottom up on a frame that had no guide strip on the top.  Don't know if this would have made a difference, as has been quoted many times  "the bees haven't read the book".  I am thinking new queen, different genetics, upside comb may just be in their genes.

Offline eltalia

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2017, 07:36:52 pm »
" This is about bottom boards, right? :wink:"
Yep, was... looking like it's (topic) moved up :wink:

Cheers.

Bill

Offline Eric Bosworth

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2017, 09:18:10 pm »
I checked my nuc today. It isn't completely filled but big surprise... The girls built comb down.

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Offline Lautrec

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2021, 05:44:11 am »
Honey bees are much more logical than humans. And humans, in general, are much more logical than beekeepers, which means that honey bees and their keepers are often at odds, especially when it comes to building comb. Honey bees in the modern world have many problems their foremothers didn’t have. Those problems include pesticides, diseases, parasites, and humanity all over the place. Give them a chance to handle their issues without forcing them to act on your schedule. You will probably get more honey faster if you stop trying to “trick” them into making comb. Just relax and let them work at their own hectic pace. By the way, related to the standard length for the bottom plate, I calculated how many kg the hive has after I transformed from kg to lbs and I was given approximately 20.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 05:09:00 am by Lautrec »

Online BeeMaster2

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Re: Standard length for bottom board?
« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2021, 09:52:25 am »
Lautrec,
Welcome to Beemaster.
Jim Altmiller