I'm contemplating pallets either next year or the following year. A friend has a bobcat and said he'd be willing to let me rent it whenever I need it until I get my own.
My questions is ... when moving bees on pallets... do you guys strap the hives to the pallets w/ metal banding? I've seen some commercial guys who do it and others who do not. What is the consensus? Seems like alot of work if you have alot of hives.
What is used to strap down the hives on flatbeds? Rachet types straps I assume but haven't seen it done.
When we first moved bees we used to actually screw the hives to standard cargo pallets, lol, wow talk about a PITA.
Now we have clip pallets, which keeps the bees from moving around. And yes, ratchet straps to hold the pallet stacks to the flat bed.
Banding pallets is a lot of work. We do it only when we go to a pollination job in southern Alberta. We send them 3 high. Boxes shift too much if the are not strapped. When only 2 high it's not a problem. Like John and Sheri our pallets have clips. If I were to do it over I would get the clips that do not have that 1/2 inch gap between them, this way the boxes would touch each other. The advantage is when tying down you can go front to back with the tie-downs, so only 4 are needed. My boxes are dipped in paraffin and rosen so even in the damp climate we experience here the boxes would not rot if they touch each other.
I know people use pallet clips but I have still seen some people use banding with pallet clips... and I wasn't sure why that was necessary and/or if that was typical.
Some keepers that move from there summer spots down to there winter yards will ban them for these reasons.
To keep the pallets From shifting,
To ensure that who's ever at the other end can unload easyer.
Also, they may not be traveling to see them for months or so, there winter yards and the straps will keep the cows, wind (lids) ect.. from disturbing them. This happens often when out-of -staters move to Calif for winter and send bees out but the owners may not come for months.
The guys that I know who send their bees to Maine for blueberry pollination strap their hive bodies to the pallet. This makes it more likely that the guy who is unloading the semi won't throw the hives off of the pallet. They often try to unload as fast as they can. They have lots of loads to unload.
Originally Posted by Dan Williamson
The hives are also ferried out to their locations on smaller truck w/out strapping each row. Another time saving technique, I guess. So, if the hives are strapped to the pallet you're less apt to loose them on the bumpy roads.
I don't strap mine to the pallets and the other larger commercial outfits I'm familiar w/ don't either except as described above.
Hi Dan. Why wait till next year throw them on pallets this fall. I use the U shaped clip pallets. I don't strap them to the pallet. When moving bees I net them down and use ratchets straps usually one per pallet to hold them down. 64 hives a load.
Columbia City, Indiana
Originally Posted by jean-marc
We have the space between ours and we tie down front to back with four straps and a three high loads with out any problems.
I like the space because it keeps the over lapping down when working the hives.
When I'm moving bees from my holding yard to regular locations (farthest away are about 15 - 20 miles), I don't bother tieing or strapping the pallets to the truck, just put them on (64 hives at a time, 2 pallets high) and away I go. They are heavy enough to stay put as long as you aren't taking corners real fast. Biggest concern is with covers coming off (especially front row, above the truck cab, get caught by the wind).
As far as type of clips, I have some pallets with the U shape, and some with the W shape. When building new pallets, I use the U shape; I have found pallets with the W shape can cause a stack of pallets to be somewhat tippy, important when loading a semi with a stack of 4 pallets high.
We like the space between the boxes too. We can strap front to back without problems. We like them also because we can pressure wash between the boxes prior to hitting the road to California, don't want to give those border guys any excuses to pull them over for noxious weeds or ants or other current pest a la mode.