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Author Topic: Hive Material Question  (Read 1222 times)
Kurt
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Location: Birch Run, MI


« on: May 03, 2009, 05:53:09 AM »

Hi All, I have a couple questions.

1. Why are all hive boxes I see made out of pine wood? Is it cost? Seems like a good hardwood would last alot longer

2. Why are all the corners routed/jointed like they are? Is it strength or to keep the box from twisting? Seem like a straight glue and screw type corner would work too. I am getting ready to build about 200 super boxes and I have a variety of wood planks already. Oak, poplar, pine, maple. I was going to use it all but I never see any hive made from anything but pine.

Thanks for your help!!

Kurt
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HomeBru
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 07:39:41 AM »

1. weight
2. cost
3. availability

These things take a lot of abuse when harvesting, moving, checking hives so a sturdy joint is important. Do some searching (I did when I started) and you'll find folks using everything from a simple butt joint to dovetails to engineered joints.

From Michael Bush's site, "a ten frame deep full of honey weighs 90 pounds. A ten frame medium weighs 60 pounds. An eight frame medium weighs 48 pounds.".

Oak, for example has a specific gravity and a density of around twice that of pine depending on species so a 3# bare box in pine would be 6# in oak.

You can make 'em out of whatever you want. You can make 'em whatever shape you want. What's being currently used is the result of years of commercial experience (in the US) and lots of playing around by non-commercial beeks. The bees will let you know if they like it...

J-
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irekkin
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Location: south side va.


« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 09:07:25 AM »

mr. bru, how's it going? i'm no expert on any of this but i've been building my own hive bodies and supers for the last couple years. i use whatever i have on hand. plywood, pine boards, hardwood scraps from a near by pallet plant. i use screws in the corners (glue if i have it). they may not last a life time but i really don't care.they've done just fine. to me, part of having a hobby is seeing how much of a do-it-yourselfer you can be.jmo cbw hbb.
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when you're dumb, ya gotta be tough.
justgojumpit
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2009, 07:53:04 AM »

I make my own as well, but I do go through the effort to make them well.  I do the box joints on the corners, and waterproof them with deck waterproofer, which goes on fast, dries fast, looks good, is effective, and cheap.  I may have to coat the hives again in a year or two, but I can always do that on a cool evening with the bees in the hive.

justgojumpit
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Keeper of bees and builder of custom beekeeping equipment.
Kurt
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Location: Birch Run, MI


« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2009, 09:56:11 AM »

many thanks!! That is what I was hoping the answers would bee. I have a pile of various woods that will now become bee boxes.

Thanks,
Kurt
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doak
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Location: Central Ga. 35 miles north of Macon


« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2009, 08:41:47 PM »

I would go through and pick the oak for bottom boards and top covers.
I would save the maple for last. There is a lot of other things could be made from maple.
Cabinets, stools, small tables, churn dash, gun racks, and the list goes on&on&on&on :roll:I would save poplar for some kind of inside work, in your house, Makes good shelving. :)doak
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