Optional Beekeeping Equipment

For those of you new to beekeeping you may feel a bit overwhelmed when you open up your first beekeeping catalog. There is a multitude of optional equipment and devices for you to use. Each beekeeper makes their own choices through experience. The point of this topic is for you to have a place to ask questions about specific tools or equipment to determine if it is an item you want/need. If you love gadgets as much as I do, you may end up trying the lot anyway.

I am starting this topic off with the Slatted Rack that may be used just above your bottom board.
The end with the wider board goes to the front entrance of your hive. I use 8 frame hives but they are also made for 10 frames.
The purpose is two fold:

  1. It improves air circulation within the hive on hot summer days. My bees do not beard the hive as there is room in the slatted rack.
  2. It delays the queen from feeling over crowded by, hopefully, reducing the urge to swarm.

I’m using mine as an entrance presently in my Lure while waiting for my Bottom Board to arrive.

Slatted Racks seem very much a USA thing. I don’t know many people who use them here in the UK.
There doesn’t seem to be much indication for reducing the “drought” so that the queen can lay to the bottom of the brood frames as many of us use either 14 x 12s or brood and a half/double boxes.
As for baffling the winter cold again a lot of us use nadired shallows.

Me…1) I’d like to equip all the boxes with Arnia’s…not so I can stop inspecting…it doesn’t work that way but I’d love playing with all that data
2) Live Hive Cam
3) A real professional weather centre…:slight_smile:

OK I tried to do research what is nadired shallows please??

I found this - is it extra space without frames??

““The question was — should I add the extra box to the top or to the bottom of the hive? In general, Warre beekeepers nadir instead of super, meaning that empty boxes are added to the bottom rather than to the top of a hive. The theory is that keeping the lid on the hive and simply hoisting the whole thing up to put a new box underneath causes less disruption to the critical heat and scent within the brood chamber. In the past, I have only nadired Warre hives, and last week I added the third box to our daughter hive at the bottom, as usual.””

"Nadiring is a fancy bee keeping word for installing a new brood box on the bottom."

Warre Hives “The bees build natural comb in the first (top) box and extend this downwards into further boxes
new boxes are usually added at the bottom (nadiring),”

Do you have a photo of an Arnia’s? I am always looking to learn new techniques and tools. Photos are more helpful in global communications.

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it is a hive app http://www.arnia.co.uk/

Sorry Valli…a shallow is the size of box that we use as a super for the honey. It is a super only when it is above the brood box…for the purists. Anywhere else it is a shallow box.
After harvest there are often frames that you can’t spin off to use as honey…not capped for example.It is easier to put the box UNDER (nadir) the brood box where the bees will move the honey to where they need it.

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More than an app…it is a real gadget that goes in the hive and uses an app to communicate hive dynamics to the beekeeper

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@Gayle read boyz and toyz LOL

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Thanks @dangerous - your use of an unknown word prompted me to get the glossary up and running.

Because we have people from all over the world - the colloquial differences can get confusing or perhaps misinterpreted - I’m hoping people will use unknown words and I will add to the glossary if I can


One of out Beeks at Solihull likes to use an inspection cover - he says it is less disruptive to the bees. I can see it would be a useful tool in cooler weather when an inspection is absolutely necessary for what ever reason to help keep the warmth in…
I was also thinking it you put an empty super or brood box around it it would cut down on drafts??

This would not be hard to make with some old curtain and wire coat hangers

I use heavy duty chefs’ cloths…like large heavy tea towels…
Not for droughts but if bees are getting tetchy.
I have one of those in the picture and they are horrid to use.When you slide it there are always bees clinging on to the underside; much easier to roll and unroll two separate cloths.
When you inspect, take the first frame out and use it to lay across the top is another trick.

Valli, you can’t put a super or brood box on or you won’t be able to lift the frames underneath it.


I meant just to look - yes I agree - Cloth is a good idea

Hi Gayle, Ive started making up a slatted rack, im not clear of the proper slat spacing. Does anyone know if there are 11 equal spaces, so that the space between the box side and the first frame, and the last frame and the box side are the same as all other gaps, or are they half-spaces? That is, half spaces between the box side and the first frame, and last frame and box side and all other spaces the same? That would give 9 equal spaces and two half spaces on each side. The photo looks like it has a full space one side and a half space on the other side, not sure why that should be…Im supposing that the slats should line up with the natural position of the frames. Any thoughts?

Managed to find this photo on beesource, makes the spacing question clear, half sizes on the box sides and equal throughout the rest. So im going to follow that concept for the one im preparing


There’s a few items I never use, I used a bee brush only once. I never use a bee brush, I never use eyelets in wooden frames. I see people using a frame clamp, I have no desire to buy one of those or a gadget you put on the side of your hive to rest the frames on.

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