Slatted rack installation - Newtown NSW

I had trouble finding one locally, so ordered one from Mann Lake in the US after much discussion on here and a recommendation from @Dawn_SD (thanks). Hive inspection - advice please, Newtown, NSW, Australia

I have family travelling down under fairly regularly from LA and NY, so it arrived with my niece in her luggage along with a spare bottle of @AntCant

I stained/sealed the pine with Sikkens Cetol HLSE like the main hive body, but in a darker stain so the pine would somewhat match the Cedar hive body.

The next day, in 40 degree sunshine, almost no bearding. In cooler weather right after, I noticed the landing board was totally empty, but now the guards are back out front and others hanging out.

Still have the umbrella up on the crazy hot/sunny days just to be safe as the sun hits the brood box directly and assume that its crazy hot internally.


I am so glad it seems to be working for you. My bees still beard after a major inspection, but otherwise they are very comfortable with their slatted rack. :blush:

1 Like

:slight_smile: - yep, still bearded after the last inspection.

My only issue is that its a touch larger than the Flow Hive 2 body, so i need to channel my inner handyman and figure out how to shave off a few millimetres.

I don’t think the Virgo in me is going to be able to get over that its not flush. :roll_eyes::smirk:
Don’t get me started on colour matching the pine and cedar woods with various stains. Still didn’t get it 100%.


Just a quick question, what is bearding after an inspection?
Also what is a slatted rack designed to do?

Looks to me like you did a beautiful job! :blush: Give it a couple of months, and the weather will fade it all to within tolerance. :wink:

It is when bees spill out onto the landing board and front of the hive after you have opened the boxes and disturbed them. No matter how gentle I try to be, they seem to do it, but they do it more in hot weather, and much more in hives with no slatted racks. They stay out for a couple of hours, and once they have gathered their composure and cooled off, they go back in, no harm done. :blush:

Slatted racks were designed by people like C C Miller (famous beekeeper) many years ago.

They increase the space under the brood box, but above the bottom board. They achieve many things. One is to encourage the queen to lay all the way to bottom of the lowest frames. Another is to improve ventilation and “hang out” space for bees on hot days. They seem to reduce hive congestion and make for happier hives in my hands. They are easy to find in the US, and hard in Australia, although you can get plans to build one, if you are handy with wood.


@Olie02 i couldn’t find one here and I am not handy with wood, by any stretch of the imagination, hence getting it from Mann Lake and brought down.

One thing i did find in the research on slatted racks was the fact that it actually helps in heat and cold, which i liked.

1 Like

Well done @Ropate on fitting your salted rat @Dawn_SD :grin:.
I’m a Virgo myself and feel your pain, suggest having the overhang at the rear, due to the slope of bottom board, this will stop rain settling along that ridge.


I know you’re right… It’s perfectly logical! However, the back is the one facing me every morning on the patio table as I drink my coffee.

Out of sight, out of mind?! :joy:

1 Like

Thanks @Dawn_SD, yeah my bees seem to be always hanging around the entrance, especially during a split and at night…

Another Virgo here - you read my mind about pushing the extra edge to the back :grin:

1 Like

You did do a beautiful job with your setup, Robert :blush:

1 Like

I just found this good little video - it covers what Dawn already said, plus the fact that the slatted rack adds a buffer against the potential for scorching when doing OAV treatments.


:grin: I’m going to have to seal and stain the little exposed bit

I just checked on my hives, they seem to be ok but they are bearding out the front of the hive.

I checked the hive last week and they are still drawing out new comb on wax frames so there’s plenty of space in the hive, they just seem to do this at night… They are also pretty edgy when they are doing this, I got stung just going out and inspecting (because I got to close and probably because my fingers seem like a threat close to the enterance😅)
It’s not really that hot at the moment, and this seems to happen only at night. Does anyone have any ideas of what’s happening??

Thank you🙏🏼

1 Like

You probably used a white light at the entrance instead of a red light which bees can’t see. The white light will make the bees very defensive. The largest number of bees in the hive is at night when all the forager bees are in the hive for the night. So that wax producing bees can do their thing in making comb some bees will hang about out of the hive, that is very normal in a strong hive, so it is a good sign.


Thanks @Peter48, as long as it’s a good thing😅

More moustaching than bearding. :grinning:

I notice your galvinized lid is not painted Ollie. I’ve found painting it white and even putting some insulation in can dramatically reduce bearding. I’ve not had large bearding on my colonies since doing this. I used to want a slatted rack however I don’t feel it’s necessary now.


Maybe salted rats would work then, as your local supplier suggested? :rofl: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Nice job Robert :slight_smile: But you can hardly see the difference at all. Or the giant overhang! I wouldn’t worry about it…

Anthony, I wonder how your Virgo temperament is going now?



@skeggley what will painting the roof white do??? Is the beading because of heat?