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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    632

    Default Migratory pallets

    Everybody says position your hives facing southward. But with pallets, the pairs of hives are facing in opposite directions.

    How do y'all set up your pallets? Any specific way, or just whats best for the forklift?

    Just wondering for future plans?

    Thanks, Johnny

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,957

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Broke-T View Post
    Everybody says position your hives facing southward.
    Well, first I am not a commercial guy, and second if I have my choice I will face the entrance east. The morning sun on the entrance seems more helpful than any other direction if all else is equal. By that I mean if wind, fences, peoples activity, and almost anything else says that the entrance should be another direction, that's what I do. Direction of entrance is about the lowest idea on the totem pole.

    In our orchard, the semi shows up and the commercial guys unload the pallets, but we place them where we want. Direction of the entrance isn't even on the radar.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,549

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by beedeetee View Post
    .... Direction of the entrance isn't even on the radar.
    Exactly. We set the yard up in a configuration conducive to working the bees and taking up the least amount of space due to our having to bear fence every yard.
    Sheri

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    632

    Default

    We have a few bears here in MS, mostly up and down the MS River. None in our area thankfully. Bees are problem enough.

    Here in East Central MS we have good spring flow and fall flow but not much in summer, no rowcrops. Couple of hours north east of here their are lots of soybeans and cotton around the Tombigbee River.

    I already have trailers and forklift for use on farm so I could be making pallets instead of bottom boards. Move bees to crops in summer and then back home in fall.

    Johnny

  5. #5

    Default

    I don't have bear problems like John and Sheri but I keep the hives as close as possible to speed up working them. I am not concerned about direction hives are facing though.

    Matt
    Columbia City, Indiana

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    960

    Lightbulb Another Idea!

    Johnny, here is another option for you to consider.
    Take a look:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...n/DSC00227.jpg

    What you are looking at are hives with heavy-duty solid bottom boards and matching pallets:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...n/DSC00300.jpg

    The advantages are:
    You can boom hives from one pallet to another.
    You can load your truck with your tractor at home and unload at the destination with your boom.
    If you are cherry-picking hives, you can load your truck with the boom onto pallets and get unloaded by a forklift driver at your destination.

    The advantages are mainly, flexibility.

    Disadvantages:
    This set-up is slightly heavier than clip pallets.
    More stuff to deal with.

    This year when I took bees into the desert, 185 miles away, I loaded the truck with the forklift. But HEY, I didn't want to drag my forklift over the pass (4000 feet) and all the way there!!! So I just threw an extra pallet on top and when I got there I boomed them off, onto pallets.
    But when it was time to bring them back home, I paid a beekeeper over there to load them on my truck with his Bobcat. Flexibility.

    If you decide to go this route, make sure that all of your pallets and bottom boards are the same:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...n/DSC00226.jpg

    I build all of my parts on a jig so that they come out identical.

    Its not for everyone, but I'm really happy with this set-up.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,549

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Broke-T View Post
    Everybody says position your hives facing southward.
    In Wisconsin, the main reason to face the hives southward is to avoid that cold north winter wind, and take advantage of ol sol, but once on pallets, migrators usually go to where it's warmer in the winter. I would imagine in your area the north wind is pretty warm, relatively speaking, and yours would be a nice bee wintering area.

    Harry, the first couple years we went to TX we sent the bees on bottom boards and regular pallets. We nailed the lids down and screwed the boxes to the bottom boards instead of strapping them. Since we were down there to make splits and queens and they needed fed, we had to pull the nails and unscrew the boxes to work the bees, then nail and screw them back on for the trip home. Ridicalus!! It was a pain to say the least, and going to clip pallets made our life infinitely easier.
    Sheri

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    632

    Default

    Harry, in the second pic the bees are on the edge of a field in bloom. What is it?

    Sheri, the pallets I have seen don't look treated or painted. How long will they last?

    Johnny

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,549

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Broke-T View Post
    Sheri, the pallets I have seen don't look treated or painted. How long will they last?Johnny
    Johnny, the beeks we know best use treated wood for their home made pallets. John made his own out of treated wood, oldest are 5/6 years old, they look like new. I think Mann Lake's pallets are available treated or not. I think treating would be worth the extra $$, unless you were building bees to sell asap, maybe even then, as a savvy customer might have an interest. I imagine the climate and the presence of ants or termites would determine how long they would last if not treated.
    Sheri

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    960

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnK and Sheri View Post
    Harry, the first couple years we went to TX we sent the bees on bottom boards and regular pallets. We nailed the lids down and screwed the boxes to the bottom boards instead of strapping them. Since we were down there to make splits and queens and they needed fed, we had to pull the nails and unscrew the boxes to work the bees, then nail and screw them back on for the trip home. Ridicalus!! It was a pain to say the least, and going to clip pallets made our life infinitely easier.
    Sheri
    Yes, Sheri, I can see where that would be a real pain!
    We don't nail lids down.
    We don't screw boxes to bottom boards.
    I can see where that would really be a bummer!
    Also, my pallets are not "regular" pallets, but rather custom pallets matched to the bottom boards.
    Again, not perfect, but aside from a few drawbacks; there are a few advantages.
    Thanx!
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

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