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Author Topic: Hive building decisions  (Read 645 times)

Offline omnimirage

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Hive building decisions
« on: August 09, 2016, 03:32:10 AM »
I'm close to building my hives, but have a few things to work out first:

1) In order to increase the flexibility of my supers, I'm thinking of building standard medium sized supers, and then installing some sort of "board" in the centre, to separate the hive into two even parts. This way, there will be less volume for the captured swarms to operate from, essentially allowing my medium sized supers to act as nucs. When the swarm becomes strong enough to "move" into a full super, I can then simply remove the board that's dividing them.

Has anyone does something like this before? I'm not sure if this is an effective idea, or terrible one.

2) I've come to learn that, in my area, there's two standards for plank sizes; 19mm, and 22mm. Can I use differing thickness for my hives? Will this cause some sort of stacking issue and expose my bees to the elements? Should I just stick to 19mm for everything?

3) I've been told that it's best to create detachable bases for my hives, though I'm too inexperienced to know exactly what benefits this brings. I might be spelling this incorrectly, but could I simply use Tex screws to screw on the bottom board to the brood chamber, and then, if I need to remove it, simply unscrew the Tex screws to detach it?

I've had some bad experiences with detachable bases, where they've moved at the bottom when working on the hive, causing angry bees to fly out from the brood chamber. If I am not to use screws to attach the bottom board, what can I do to prevent the bottom board from moving, when in use? What sort of bottom board design should I build?

4) Is it important to put a metal roof on the hive lid?

5) I'm confused about the usage of linseed oil, and gum turpentine. Should I coat all of my wood, before building, with a mixture of linseed oil and gum turpentine? How about the inside of the hive? Or, how about the outside of the hive, before painting it?

Offline little john

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Re: Hive building decisions
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 05:02:07 AM »
1. In my view, divided boxes are a mixed blessing - yes, you can get more than one colony in a box - but extracting those colonies when the time comes to do so is somewhat more of a hassle.  Better to have separate half-width boxes which are much handier in many ways.  If the divider is just to cut down the space for one colony, then a dummy frame does almost the same job, a 'thermal-curtain' moveable divider is even better.

2. Shouldn't worry about this - a millimetre or two soon gets lost.  If you should have 2 slightly different widths of planks, then suggest building the ends from one size and the sides from the other - that way they will be reversible.  Or stick to one width.  Not a major issue.

3. Without a fixed base, a hive can then be expanded by stacking such a box on a box on a box ...   

If a base has depth (such as an OMF or similar), then it can be attached to the box above it with stainless-steel toggle catches (e.g. Ebay #231061995951) fixed to the sides.  There are catches specially designed for beekeeping, but cost far more.

4.  Metal roof ? In my opinion the roof is the most important part of any beehive - so yes.  Others will disagree, some vehemently.

5. Very much a personal decision, and location dependent.  I paint inside and out, after gluing (and screwing, if using pallet wood). Others paint outside only, some don't paint at all. Some dip in a beeswax and rosin mix.

LJ

Offline Jamie

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Re: Hive building decisions
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2016, 09:44:55 PM »
There is a full 5mm difference in length between different sources of supers in use here, because theoretically the inside measurement remains constant, not the outside, so don't worry about 19 v 22mm thickness.

A metal lid is a must, perhaps especially in Sydney.

There is no reason to fix the base, just get into the habit of using a ratchet clamp when you're moving hives and they're cheaper than emlocks.

I can't see a good reason to paint the inside, I leave that to the bees. On the outside I use an acrylic undercoat, then two topcoats.

Offline divemaster1963

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Re: Hive building decisions
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2016, 10:33:38 PM »
If your worried about nocking the bottom boards. Just get a wide staple gun ( with 1/4 deep. Like the ones to staple insulation bats in a house wall )and hit the bottoms three or four times on each side. When you need to remove bottoms use you hive tool and just pry it up or use a staple remover. Easy least.

John


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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Hive building decisions
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2016, 04:56:47 AM »
3. Without a fixed base, a hive can then be expanded by stacking such a box on a box on a box ...   

5. Very much a personal decision, and location dependent.  I paint inside and out, after gluing (and screwing, if using pallet wood). Others paint outside only, some don't paint at all. Some dip in a beeswax and rosin mix.

LJ

3) I believe having a fixed base doesn't prevent one from stacking boxes atop of each other, as the base is on the bottom, and the boxes are stacked on top. I have deeps from last year that I built, which I'll be using as my dedicated brood chambers.

5) Sure is interesting. I'm not sure what to do, considering I already own 4 liters of Linseed Oil. I don't have any other use for it. Might it just not be worthwhile using? Just seems like a waste considering I already have the resource.

There is a full 5mm difference in length between different sources of supers in use here, because theoretically the inside measurement remains constant, not the outside, so don't worry about 19 v 22mm thickness.

There is no reason to fix the base, just get into the habit of using a ratchet clamp when you're moving hives and they're cheaper than emlocks.

Hey welcome to the forum :) You should consider adding your location to your profile. Interesting knowing about the 5mm difference. Even more interesting regarding the ratchet clamps; the emlocks are a bit expensive. Where do you buy your ratchet clamps from? Are they just as effective as the emlocks?

If your worried about nocking the bottom boards. Just get a wide staple gun ( with 1/4 deep. Like the ones to staple insulation bats in a house wall )and hit the bottoms three or four times on each side. When you need to remove bottoms use you hive tool and just pry it up or use a staple remover. Easy least.

I really like this suggestion, thanks.

Offline divemaster1963

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Re: Hive building decisions
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2016, 05:18:58 AM »
What little John is saying is we as beekeepers sometimes place new deep boxes under existing deep boxes. Doing this can help building out quicker in the spring. Or if wanting to get the hive to move down onto newer equipment.
Some keepers rotate brood boxes s in spring to get the qween to start laying sooner.

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Hive building decisions
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2016, 05:24:08 AM »
Uh, could you please elaborate on this? I've never heard of this. One can detach the bottom board from the bottom brood chamber, then add another super at the bottom?

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Hive building decisions
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2016, 05:42:13 AM »
Yes, up north it is a common practice in the spring to rotate the brood boxes because the bees have moved up during the winter. Here in the south, during my spring inspection, I often find there is so much wax moth damage that the bees have moved out of the bottom box. It may have been because they moved up and then the wax moths moved in. Normally here, we have enough of a flow that they do not have to move up so it varies by area.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline little john

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Re: Hive building decisions
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2016, 08:46:54 AM »
3. Without a fixed base, a hive can then be expanded by stacking such a box on a box on a box ...   

3) I believe having a fixed base doesn't prevent one from stacking boxes atop of each other, as the base is on the bottom, and the boxes are stacked on top. I have deeps from last year that I built, which I'll be using as my dedicated brood chambers.

The idea I was trying to convey was ... 

If you permanently attach a bottom to a brood box, it can thenceforth only be used as a bottom brood box.  But - if you make the bottom non-attached or very easily detachable, it can then be used for multiple purposes: as a bottom brood box; as a second brood box (should your colony get really big - or if you want to rotate, as others have explained); as a super; or as a feeder shell. 

So - what I'm suggesting is that - unless you have a very special reason for dedicating a box to a particular purpose - you keep boxes and their tops and bottoms separate, as this increases their flexibility - as Sod's Law applies here: the type of box you need in a hurry is always unavailable, yet somehow there's always plenty of the boxes around of the type you don't want !

Which is why some people move towards one size of box and one size of frame - same sort of thinking.
LJ

Offline Jamie

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Re: Hive building decisions
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2016, 04:20:19 AM »
And I was on a cutout job where I put the brood into frames but the bees and queen were hiding behind a column in a frame wall, and above and behind the last rafter. You can then leave the bottom board off, lever up the roofing iron on the shed and sit the bottomless super on top of the column to get them into the brood. You can't do that with a fixed bottom board.

Offline Jamie

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Re: Hive building decisions
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2016, 04:31:28 AM »
This is the tool I'm borrowing; http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/131654225120

The senco 8C0001N sls150mg is doubtless better and the're available down to a really upsetting $51US on amazon but not one of the amazon sellers ships to australia dammit.

Offline Jamie

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Re: Hive building decisions
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2016, 09:05:14 PM »
I ended up with the Ryobi 3 in 1 and it can put the staples in the full 38mm. I built 24 boxes in a fairly short day, worth the purchase.