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Author Topic: Building supers and nucs  (Read 1503 times)
Field Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 526

Location: Central Arkansas

« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2013, 12:05:39 AM »

I build a lot of Bee Hives.
I use Box Joints or Rabbet Joints using dado blades on the table saw.
I use a Jig to make my box joints and can cut them as fast as I can a rabbet joint.
I use Pine or Spruce for my boxes and such.
A 1 X 12 is actually 3/4 - 13/16 inch thick depending on where it was planned.
I use Tite Bond glue and brad nails.
I have built around 400 or so boxes this year.
When making the box joints be sure to measure the thickness of the lumber with a pair of calipers.
When setting up the jig use a calibration board (scrap piece of the board) to set the height of the dado blades in the jig.
With the Jig I have I can cut box joints in enough boards to make 4 boxes in 10 minutes.
The frame rest is 3/8 X 5/8 inch cuts.
I have found that anything above 1/2 inch rabbet joints use a dado blade.
I have had 2 router bits in the 3/4 inch break.

Richard Vardaman (capt44)
House Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 54

Location: Denmark

« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2013, 02:15:10 AM »

Does anyone see a problem with using Tilia wood?   Its cheaper here in Denmark and it lasts longer then pine.    I want to build some swarm boxes for next year.


PS. Any links to swarm box building would be helpful

Official bee stalker of the bee yard
Bee keeper since July 31, 2013
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 13859

Location: Nehawka, NE

« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2013, 09:17:39 AM »

Tilia is Basswood.  It makes great honey... it is a stable wood (doesn't warp so much), but I'm not so sure how well it weathers.

Here is a thread on the subject:

Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 250

Location: Hillsboro TN

« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2013, 10:52:49 AM »

you can go to the equipent section here. Look for the D.Coates 5 frame nuc. Those make go swarm traps. I have built several like that.

Just a beek trying to get ready for winter.
Galactic Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 3292

Location: Jacksonville FL

« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2013, 11:38:28 AM »

Does anyone see a problem with using Tilia wood?  Its cheaper here in Denmark and it lasts longer then pine.    I want to build some swarm boxes for next year.


PS. Any links to swarm box building would be helpful

One of our original large bee suppliers built his company around this tree. He planted them for shade, protection, and the flowers and then later cut them to build the bee boxes. I don't recall which one it was but I think it was Dadant, or possible A.I. Root.

If I could grow them, I would love to replace every pine on my farm with Basswood.

"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
House Bee
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Posts: 230

Location: Coastal Central California

« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2013, 01:31:56 PM »

Tilia/Basswood is used for the interior sides of drawers in cabinets because it doesn't warp.  Anyone struggling with a pine box that wants to cup and spread would appreciate Basswood.

I build nucs with solid-wood front and back, and ply sides.  I cut a rabbet for a frame rest, exactly the same as a full-size box. Top and Bottom are "migratory" cover design out of ply with 2x2 lip on the front and back.

I screw or rope the top and bottom on (depending if it travels or not).

The advantage of this system is 1) the ply side to solid front can be screwed into solid wood, and is a solid connection, making a long lasting box.  2) The dimensions are exactly the same front to back - 19 7/8 - as full-sized hives. 3) all pieces are interchangeable and compatible with full-size bottoms and tops. Making a double hive simply consists of sistering up 2 nucs on a full size bottom with a little divider strip tacked down the center of the bottom.

I have a variety of heights -- regular deeps and mediums for nucs, and trap boxes that are up to 24" high.  The taller boxes are a response to the Seeley research on swarm selection of 40 liter volume.  I add medium frames, so there is a lot of free space in the box.   The bees start building comb on the frame, and I recover them before they build (very far) into the free space below. (well, most of the time).

The regular and medium depth utilize scraps from rabbeted front pieces of full size cut-offs.  The extra-tall design uses a  nominal 8 (7 1/2 net) fence board run vertically.   The vertical boards are just the right width for a 5 nuc.   They are slower to make (each rabbet must be cut individually) and have a risk of cupping on the long axis.    The ply sides can be scrapped out of any thing.  With a butt connection to the rabbeted front, their width (1/4 to 3/4 scrap) is totally inmaterial.  Tops are cut to 9" to accomodate any size side.
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