Slatted Rack Plans

Discussion in 'Building plans, blueprints, and finished projects' started by Charles, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Charles

    Charles New Member

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    I've been teaching myself Google Sketchup and I came up with these plans for a slatted rack. I made a dimensioned drawing and an exploded view. It seems easy enough, the slats should be under each frame, especially if your using a SBB. Is anybody using one of these?

    Any critiques are welcome and will be heard :)

    The Full Dimensions:
    [attachment=1:1tkrnjqx]slatted-rack.jpg[/attachment:1tkrnjqx]

    An Exploded View:
    [attachment=0:1tkrnjqx]slatted-rack-exploded.jpg[/attachment:1tkrnjqx]
     

    Attached Files:

  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    quite useful I would suspect and no I have never used this item. I am wondering the why of the solid board(s) on the 'front side' of the device???
     

  3. crackerbee

    crackerbee Member

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    I think it would save some time assembling and cutting if it were like this(I'm lazy).

    [​IMG]
     
  4. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    Help me out please, what this used for?
     
  5. crackerbee

    crackerbee Member

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    This is what I've read regarding slatted racks:


    The slatted rack is my all-time favorite piece of bee furniture, and I wouldn’t try to keep bees in a Langstroth-style hive without one. I insert one whenever I build a new hive and leave it there year-round. If you’re not familiar with them, a slatted rack (sometimes called a brood rack) fits just beneath the lowest hive body and above the Varroa screen or bottom board. It has the same outside dimensions as the brood box and is about 2 inches deep.

    Slatted racks provide dead air space below the brood chamber. This layer of air helps to keep the bees cooler in summer and warmer in winter. In the summer when populations are high, bees congregate in this area which reduces congestion in the hive, spreads out the heat load, and facilitates ventilation by fanning. This increase of space and lessening of heat seems to decrease swarming as well. In the winter, when the entrances are reduced, the air space within the slatted rack acts as an insulating layer between the brood chamber and the cold area below the hive. It also removes the brood nest further from the drafty entrance.

    Because a slatted rack moves the bottom of the brood chamber further from the entrance, the queen tends to lay eggs all the way to the bottom of the frames, thus extending the brood pattern.

    Here are some caveats about using slatted racks:

    If you use a screened bottom board, the slats need to run from front to back— the same direction as the frames. The idea here is that the mites will fall between the slats and then through the screen. If you have the type of rack that runs crosswise, fewer mites are going to fall through so your Varroa screen will be less effective. Similarly, the number of slats should match the number of frames. If you use only nine brood frames in a ten-frame box, your slatted rack should have nine slats. Some manufacturers have designed racks that can be modified for this configuration. There are also slatted racks made specifically for 8-frame equipment.

    At one end of the slats (running perpendicular to them) is a flat board about four inches wide. This goes at the front of the hive and is said to reduce air turbulence at the entrance.

    But the most important thing to remember about slatted racks is this: they have two sides, a deep side and a shallow side. The shallow side goes up. Repeat. The shallow side goes up. If you put it in upside down, the bees will draw comb into the empty space. The next time you try to reverse brood boxes, you’ll first have to cut away the comb and brood hanging off the bottom. You can’t even set the box down without doing serious damage. This is not fun, especially when the box weighs 90 pounds and the temperature is 90 degrees.

    However, once you get your slatted racks successfully installed, you’ll be a convert. Whatever the reason, hives with racks seem to do better than hives without.
     
  6. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    :goodpost:

    Thanks for the info, Crackerbee.

    Are there any other forum members that use them regularly? Pros/cons?

    If there are enough people that like them, I'll probably install them in all my hives next spring.
     
  7. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    Thanks for that info Crackerbee.
     
  8. rast

    rast New Member

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    I used them on several hives for about 3 years. Only difference I ever saw was they did not seem to beard as much. No increase in hive strength or honey production, which to me was the bottom line. Just FYI, I do use SBB's.
    You may have different results than I did.
     
  9. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Thanks Crackerbee for answering my question. Good post.
     
  11. Charles

    Charles New Member

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    Thanks for the great explanation crackerbee! I was doing some research on these when I made the drawings and the extra space your talking about when mentioning deep and shallow sides could be eliminated using boards the full thickness of the rack. From what I've read it doesn't effect the performance and it seems easier to build for the diy'er without a lot of tools. The one in the picture you posted has slots routed in the sides for the slats to slide into.

    But I've never used one :) so I'm shooting from the hip here.
     
  12. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    Here are a couple of pics. of my combination slated rack, screen bottoms;

    Ok; I know all my hives set cross wise !

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    During the heat of the day during a hot summer, the rack is packed with bees, increased production. ????

    Murrell
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    oddly enough long ago when i was doing a commercial gig (associated with the time in my life when I helped shake the bees for a Sears and Roebuck catalogue contract) it was a question in regards to slatted racks to my employer (and second generation commercial bee keeper) that brought forth 'the answer'.... 'after a fashion'. I mentioned slatted racks and my boss said he and his father had tried them back about 25 years ago (about 1960 or so). Then i asked him how had they worked out and he replied 'after a fashion'. You the reader can decide what 'after a fashion' really means for your self.