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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    265

    Post

    Looking for ideas for the ideal honey house keep in mind currently run just under 500 colonies & will eventually expand(hopefully in a few years). Will have plenty of room for storage from trailer & another big building so storage is not an issue. Building will probably be somewhere around a 30x60 neighborhood.

    So to all the commercial beekeepers if you had to do it over again how would you set up the ideal honey house?
    AKA BEEMAN800

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,288

    Post

    Try a search on "honey house". The subject comes up from time to time.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    265

    Post

    Tried that & not much luck.
    AKA BEEMAN800

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
    Posts
    512

    Post

    1. Make sure extracting area is not too small (mine is currently cramped and not big enough to change to a bigger set up). Shouldn't be a problem with a 30 x 60 building.

    2. A hot room is critical IMO. I do have one but know a few guys who don't. Heat in the floor would be very nice.

    3. Be able to move pallets of supers into the hot room. I can't in mine (not enough room) and therefore have to take drip trays off the pallet and then wheel them into the hot room, a major pain and takes a lot of time (& extra work).

    4. Extracting area should be heated. Mine isn't, & time becomes critical to finish extracting when it starts getting cool in September.

    5. Flow of full & empty supers should be logical and they should be able to be moved around without a lot of effort. Mine is somewhat lacking in this regard.

    These are the things that I would've done differently (& plan to once I expand my building) that I can think of.
    Gregg Stewart

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    265

    Post

    Yeah still not sure on the heated floor part. The current one has got us buy just looking for ideas from other people so I am not forgetting something dumb.
    AKA BEEMAN800

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

    Post

    Dadant and Cown and Swienty have plans. Your machinery will dictate your plan, I would think. I think there is a sample plan in The Hive & the Honeybee. If you sit down and draw out a plan of your building and logically map out each step of the moving, extracting and storage of your frames and supers, you can then do an imaginary walkthrough. Then after you build your honeyhouse, you can go back and change it to something that works. I bolted my 18-frame extractor to the floor of my barn, found out it shakes the whole barn. So, I will be building a new honey house with a concrete floor(with a drain)and ample tight storage for supers. I put my capping-cutting tank on wheels and put my supers on a rolling furniture pallet. That way I can move them to an efficient position where I don't have to handle them too many times. You never build a buidling large enough. With 500 hives, I'd want a truck level loading dock.
    Banjos and bees... how sweet it is!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    6,635

    Post

    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
    Posts
    512

    Post

    Not sure how spendy heated floors are. I have found in my hot room (usually stack supers 6 high, sometimes 7) the top two are nice & warm, the middle two are OK, but the bottom two are kind of cool.
    Gregg Stewart

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lexington, KY, USA
    Posts
    504

    Post

    Hi Brian, As to the heat, I would look into radiant heat from above. Electrically it is more expensive but it will heat only the areas that you want to. That is especially imporatant when you put up a metal building and don't want to spend a lot on insulation. Take care and have fun.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    I would go with floor heat as Gregg suggests, if you can swing it. Also, use electic off peak for your source. Cheap, and by the time the power company starts cycling it off more (usually Dec, Jan, and Feb here).... you'll be done extracting.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
    Posts
    923

    Post

    Radiant floor heat is cheap and efficient. I'm presently installing it in the house and will add it to honey house in the hot room over the winter.

    I use an LP fired tankless water heater as a heat source.

    BubbaBob

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    If you aren't going with floor heat now then have the concrete guys lay in PEX loops and stub them off for now. Then you can go with it later.

    As BB says...... I is not an expensive system at all. If you are laying the slab yourself, make sure you insulate below the slab and the edges.

    A water heater is all you need,,,,, off peak electric is my choice as it equates to 65 cent propane here.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    There was a TV show that began every
    episode with:

    "Space... the final frontier..."

    One simply can never have too much square
    footage. Equipment changes over time,
    and layouts are modified. Don't know about
    you, but a 3-foot wide clearance is a bit
    narrow in my view for a hand-truck of supers.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Post

    just a few observation...

    heat rises and shelters built with the heat in the slab tend to 'feel' warmer than the air temperature of the structure would indicate. this form of heat source is not very quick, so I would question how effective turning the system on and off (peak hours) might actually be.

    concrete supplies house now offer a 'self leveling' concrete mix that allows adding the heating loop directly on top of an existing slab.

    creating heat via electricity is an extremely ineffectient conversion.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    Not sure what the efficiency numbers are. What I do know is that per BTU, my off peak is compareable (on a BTU basis) to propane (which I also have) at less than 70 cents per gallon. The last propane I bought (nearly a year ago) was $1.38/gallon.

    As to the system being tured off......... this rarely (if ever) happens during the months you would be extracting.

    No matter what source you use....... floor heat is wonderful. Especially if you insulate well.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Posts
    342

    Post

    Here's a site that has the material you need for radiant flooring. It will give you an idea of materials cost. I ordered my materials at the local lumber yard when they had one of those "% off" sales. You can use a water heater or a small ultra efficient boiler.

    farmtek.com

    My new office and dog kennels will be heated with radiant floors. Makes a lot of sense because you're only heating the "people" area, not the ceiling. I'll do honey extracting there too because I'll have a floor drain and janitorial sink setup. Milk paneling on the walls...very easy to hose off and keep clean...actualy looks pretty nice too!
    Buy locally, buy only humanely raised animals, eat in season, keep bees!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    You definitely want the pex hot water heat in the floor. Once the slab is warm you can loose your power and it will stay warm for days. The cost is very low compared to hot air. No dust, heat rises, it is great. I bought the stuff on line and installed the system myself in my woodshop / barn, except for the pex, had the concrete guy lay the pex and attach it with ties to the re-rod before they poured.

    If I ever build anything again, including a house or honey house, I will use it. Floor drain is a good idea too.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    I heard from a friend the other day that there are new federal regulations (EPA? FDA?) regarding honey processing facilities. It might be worthwhile checking into that to make sure that your honey house plans do meet the guidelines, or how they may vary from them.

    If I come across anything, I'll post it.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Falconer, NY
    Posts
    206

    Post

    Heated floors are great.

    Please, if you do it yourself learn as much as you can first. I have seen these systems become very expencive when not installed properly.

    Try these web sites to start with.

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/


    http://www.radiantpanelassociation.o...x.cfm?pageid=1


    http://www.wattsradiant.com/

    Make sure your tube has an O2 barrier

    Have your boiler properly sized.

    dont scimp. it always costs you later.

    tom

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,072

    Post

    As Sundance suggested, install the pex in the floor now and then you can hook it up when you want to, can't do that later if you don't put the pex in now. Radiant floor heat is the best, and you have alot of options for the source of heat, boiler, outside woodstove, hot watertank, ect.

    peggjam
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

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