Snelgrove Method
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Snelgrove Board for National Bee hives

A Snelgrove board can be used for many manipulations in bee keeping that require switching of bees between different parts of a Bee hive.

Snelgrove Board

This version uses pivoted entrance closure pieces, and is as I used to manufacture them. The original Snelgrove design had removable wedges (that could easily be lost).

Construction is based on a sheet of plywood the same size as the hive that it is intended to be used on. The illustration shows 9 mm which gives a robust degree of strength, but 6 mm should be OK (although I have never tried it) most of those that I manufactured were 8 mm... Simply because I had a large stock of that material at the time.

Rim pieces and entrance gates are 9 mm x 28 mm stock, and note should be made that the National hive has bottom bee space and that there is a danger of propolisation of the tips of the top bars to the inner edges of the underside rim. This can be overcome by the use of petroleum jelly on the rims. A dab of petroleum jelly on the countersunk screws that are used as pivots also makes life easier. Small round headed screws make excellent knobs for the gates, but leave the heads sticking out about 9 mm otherwise they are difficult to grip with gloved hands. It is worthwhile taking time and effort to round The hinge ends of the gates and to shape the rim pieces accurately.

There is a hole in the centre of the main panel... The size of this is not critical, I used 100 mm square, but I have seen examples with up to 250 mm square holes. Whatever size it is you will need to fit a screen mesh on both sides of it.

The Snelgrove board can be used either way up. The method of use will be described separately. There other uses to which this item of equipment can be put, with some extra strips across as is shown in the illustration below.

Modified Snelgrove Board

This version may have wire mesh panels in all compartments or not depending on how you are going to use it. If you use it in conjunction with a brood box that has its sides grooved internally, and divisions that can be slid into place to form three nucleus boxes, it makes a useful tool in raising a few extra nucs.

I have even taken this a stage further with some of my personal kit... I have made some boards with gates on all four edges (but offset from centre) and strips arranged for three nucs one side or four the other. Which means I can also use two 5 frame nucs if required.

 Written... 02 March 2002, Upgraded... 13 June 2006,
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