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Bottom Board attach to brood box or not?


#1

I wish I had attached my bottom board to the brood box with screws. Here’s why.

Where I live it’s standard to have only one brood box and winters are relatively mild, South Australia, still mite and beetle free.

I was attempting to do an inspection of the brood box since it had been about two months since the last one, and we have not had much of a honey flow. Things were going along ‘tickety-boo’…

When, I did a lousy job of separating the super from the brood box, and when I went to lift the super off, the queen excluder and two frames of brood moved with it. This slid the brood box OFF the base and all hell broke loose.

I have managed to get things halfway back together, but the broodbox is still cock-eyed on the base, resulting in an unexpected ‘entrance reducer’. Sorry, no photos.

I’ve observed the bees coming and going and they are managing, however I need to get the brood box and super sitting correctly on the base to reestablish the entrance properly. I’ve left them alone a few days while I think of the best plan on how to proceed next.

I am thinking the best thing is to pull out flow frames one by one, to lighten the load. Then adjust the broodbox onto the base squarely and reload the flow frames. Kind of an ‘opportunity’ to view the flow frames if we have any honey. I’ll skip the broodbox inspection for now.

Does anyone have a better suggestion?

And…for the next hive…does anyone out there attach their base to their broodbox? Or have I missed this as an option of what to do during hive setup? It seems like for a backyard beekeeper newbie, attaching the base to the broodbox would be more helpful than not.


#2

Hi Susie,
Sorry to hear of your troubles, I do know that the wooden boxes don’t interlock and are prone to slide around. I would not be keen on screwing the bottom board and brood box together but you could either screw some sort of guide onto the bottom board to prevent the box from sliding in any direction or use locking fasteners that are available off eBay to lock your boxes together, I believe dawn uses something similar.


#3

These look great. I bet they could be attached even now with the bees resident.

Wonder if Bunnings has them?


#4

Haven’t seen them in Bunnings but there could be something else similar. Hope this helps your issue.


#5

Hi Susie -strong fingers should be able to move the box and base into alignment - you probably already tried that. I happened to have some long woodworking clamps which I found were great at realigning skewed boxes. I didn’t need to lighten the load of frames inside using the clamp. In relation to the unexpected attachment of frames and where there is no excluder, I tried the suggestion of twisting the supers as you remove them, which I think helps stop the problem of extra frames coming up too - I realise in your case you had the excluder issue as well. The queen excluder is more problematic and I think that needs to be really carefully prised free of the super first as best you can but it is a sticky little object - often sticking to the super not the brood box.


#6

Susie,

Your plan sounds good to me. Accidents like yours happen to most of us. I’m betting if your like us you LEARNED a great lesson

Sooner or later that bee-glue (propolis) causes all of us issues. That’s just part of beekeeping.

Got a quick story: last year I was working on a double deep 10 frame … One of the student pried the two apart with their hive tool. We were only going to lift enough at one end. We were going to look for possible queen-cells. I had my I-phone camera ready. Too make a lonnng story short … Several frames were bridged to the bottom frames n as he lifted several bottom lifted then suddenly broke loss n dropped in their place in the brood box. But guess what ?? Some mighty unhappy guard or angry workers nailed me in my two bare hands … Darn ! Missed a (maybe) great pix ! And felt I’ve done a lot of things in my 72 years of life ! One of the like a temperary pin cushion … Cautiously I turned n walked away … I scraped the 11 stinger away n dabbed on toothpaste to relieve whatever effect the venom might have ( I’m lucky … I only get pin-pricks n few days of itch ! Moral to my thots n story … We must learn from our mistakes n mishaps to become a better Beekeeper.

Good luck Susie … Wishing you the best ahead n great harvests of liquid sweet gold. May we also learn n become better bee helper.

I’m sure we have many more lesson ahead. Take care !!

Cheers n Ta Ta,
Gerald


#7

Thanks Dan. Will give the twist more attention this next time. I wish they made teflon coated queen excluders. :slight_smile:


#8

I got some from Ebay awhile back.
$2 each

The issue I have is that the screws are a bit small and because the pine is a bit weak they could easily pull out.
Saying that, they’re well good enough to keep everything lined up and tight for moving from A-B on the trailer

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Quick-Toggle-Clamp-Holding-220Lbs-100Kg-Capacity-Latch-Metal-Hand-Tool-GH-4001-/401185896797?hash=item5d688af95d:g:wrkAAOSwnHZYlVUW


#9

Thanks for the link! Good to know what works on the hives. I just need something to hold the base and brood box together when we twist the super off. That or another pair of hands and a stronger helper…:wink:


#10

Every time I’ve had bottom boards permanently attached I have regretted it. You go to get the dead bees off the bottom in the spring and you have to remove every frame… I only like them attached on nucs where I’m often moving them around. Once the bottom is glued with propolis the box will not slide off of the bottom board…