Bottom for a Queen Castle

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Tyro, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    I am toying with the idea of building a queen castle during some of my winter 'down' time. I am thinking of perhaps a three compartment (3 frames/compartment) box with a telescoping top.

    My question is this: Would a screened bottom or a solid bottom be better. I can do either while still keeping each compartment separate and secure.

    Are the benefits of increased ventilation greater than subsequent cooler temperatures inside the hive or the extra energy needed to keep the temperature around the brood sufficiently high.

    I am in North Dakota - so burning hot summers aren't really a problem.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Mike
     
  2. wfuavenger

    wfuavenger New Member

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    I think it would be easier on the bees, since there are fewer bees in each compartment, to have it closed off. I have a queen castle and it is closed off on mine.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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  4. Flyman

    Flyman New Member

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    Hi Tyro,

    First let me say cool summers are not my problem. Having said that, I made several (about 10) queen castles last year using the Brushy Mt. castle as a pattern. However, I made the bottom board as a SBB. The only issue I have is the interior partitions sometime are not bee tight against the screen bottom. I think this is my problem because I don't notice it hurting the bees any and I don't think they care.

    The Brushy Mt. I have as a pattern (it has a solid bottom board) seemed to have heat related issues last summer. 110 degrees may not be your problem and the solid BB will be fine.
     
  5. rast

    rast New Member

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    I'll second that and probably wouldn't use SBB's in ND. either. But for those of us that do, here's how I solved that floppy screen problem on my mating castles.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. DCoates

    DCoates New Member

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    That bottom is nicer than mine. I built pretty much the same thing but I was a little concerned about loosing too much heat with relatively small clusters so I cut two 1 1/2 inch holes (bird-house entrance cutter) in the bottom board per section and put mesh over them. It has worked fine but kudos to doing a fine job and posting the pictures
     
  7. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    Thanks to all for the advice. I went with a solid bottom - being in ND and all. I also had a bit of a brainstorm when it came to the entrances and being able to close off the box and transport it. As a result, with the dividers removed, I can use it as a swarm box as well.

    I also made it an extra 3/8" deep (3/4" below the bottom of the frame) so that it won't crush swarm cells.
     

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