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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Got me some land, with a slab!

    So, I started looking for a place to have a yard and put up a honey house, the place I found has a slab (16 x 24) it's even in a good spot! Long story short, the guy I am leaseing from runs a custom saw mill right next store, he has also agreed to help me build what I need. That's where you guy come in, I will be somewhere between 50 and 100 hives by years end (subject to weather and planning) and plan to expand to around 300 in a few years.
    As far as the honey house goes, I am looking for design info I have lots of options at this point,1 floor with a loft, 2 full floors or something else? I have never set up a honey house before so I am looking for ideas that will allow for good flow of work.
    Thanks in advance for all your help!
    Brac

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,849

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    Sound like a big enough structure for your needs. Maybe add a container in time to relieve space in the workings of the extraction area. Scrap the loft idea.

    Fewer the walls the better.
    Make the extracting area easily accessible, be able to work a trolley around it with a man standing working aside it.
    Make a hot room large enough to hold a days pull. If I were you, I wouldn't build a hot room, just keep your whole building warm during the night. That way you dont have to work around walls,and it leaves you lots of space if you bring in two days pulling. Having the ability to pull honey when the sun shines and having enough to extract during a day or two of rain speeds up your extraction process. Keeps things going when the rain is falling,
    line the ceiling with tin, and the walls with a washable covering.
    Wire all your equipment over the wall exterior, (code here on sheds/buildings)
    Include a wash sink, hot water if you can,
    lots of lighting, go florecent, and in your space I would put six lights on the ceiling,
    Build your building with the idea of future expansion. Perhaps an addition of a hot room.
    With your building dimensions, and a storage container, and a full addition the same size as what you have, you will have just enough space capacity for 500 hives.
    Build with the idea of loading docks, or loading pads,

    Just a few thoughts.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    If you are going to package your honey for retail sales, the loft idea (which I use) is good to store jars and containers. I also use mine to store the hive top feeders when they're not needed. And miscellaneous other things. Gets that stuff off the main, working floor, and out of the way.
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,641

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    With a loft or second story, Do you have some sort of lift? I would think using the stairs would cause a lot of extra work. I would think building a bigger one story bldg. would be better.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    Too bad the slab is poured. Radiant heat in the floor in sections would be the way to go. You can set your full supers on a section to warm them and not have to run heat where you are working...really bad (hot) during the summer. Make sure when you run wire you do it for 220 in addition to 110. Even if you don't plan on it now...you may need it later. Hot water in the honey house is a must. Plan for that. You will need it to clean equipment, the floor and yourself. In the roof if you can or top of the wall have a sun panel or window that you can open. Bees coming in with the supers will move to this so you can get them out. Otherwise you will need a good shop vac to get them out daily. If you can't do an in floor drain, build a place where the slab meets the wall that you can squiggie water out. Huge time saver when cleaning up. Make one entrance a garage door. You will need this. I personally would run two on each end and made sure you get insulated ones to keep in your heat.

    Just a few things that popped into my head. Good luck.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    For heavy or bulky items, I went to the lumber yard and bought one of those channel tracks for sliding doors. I bolted it to the ceiling joists, then installed the set of wheels, rigged a block and tackle. Don't put really heavy stuff up there.
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    I really like the floor drain idea, maybe i could add a few feet to the short side and get one. another thing that has come up is I may have the chance to get a 200 or 300 gallon milk tank, I' asumeing this is a good idea, and someone can tell me what to do with it.
    Brac

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Lake Park, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    Yep it is a good idea because you can use it for a holding tank for the honey or give it to me. lol

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,122

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    Radiant heat can be added on top of the slab. Roll out the pipe then pour an 1-1/2" of light weight self leveling concrete over the piping. Just circulate hot water through the pipe loop.
    Dan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    Check with the Health Department for their rules/requirements/guidelines.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Central Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    Adding to SteveG's idea. I would reinforce a ceiling rafter right above your loading door. A $50 chain hoist will allow you to load or unload barrels of honey.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,938

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    I've been to a few honey houses owned by members of the Western Maine Beekeepers Association. None were too elaborate so I don't think that complying with the regulations is too prohibitive. A lot of it seems like common sense. I believe Tony Jadczak, the state Bee inspector, inspects the "facility."

    You'll need a source of hot water for sure. I think you would want it, anyway.

    Wayne

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lancaster CA
    Posts
    410

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    If you are not going into forklifts and pallets, 40ft shipping containers set up on foundations at truck deck height make a great honey house. Mine had a lift built under the floor next to the uncapper to lift a stack of supers to working height. No bending over. 8ft of the door end had copper tubing on the floor with 1/4 inch aluminum plates on top of that with automatic hydronic heat controls ,a propane hot water tank and 3 inch styrafoam insulation boards for a hot room that held 92 supers at 110 degree. The floor of the rest of the house was covered with 1inch grates. No stick, no slip. The 20 gallon 3 baffel sump was built into the floor with a gear pump which lifted the honey through 2 inch pcv to the roof. From there it flowed to a loading dock through a flexible hose to fill up to 12 open top barrels. The barrel lid with fill bung had a switch that would sound a horn when the barrel is full. The uncapper/extractor was a Cowan design which used 3ft of space along one wall. I had 3ft of space down the center and 2ft on the opposite wall to stack the empty supers. All this used 25 ft of length. The far end of the container had 15ft X 8ft sink area. Other amenaties were a small window high on the west end with a bee escape cone and nuc on the roof. Built in shop vac tubing throughout. And hot water plumbed throughout. The loading dock was truck deck high and the opposite side of the dock had another elevated 40ft container that was used for super storage in the winter. Everything was truck deck height for rolling super stacks to and from the truck or loading full barrels. Both containers had 36 inch doors cut into the sides at 10ft from the closed end. these doors opened out onto the dock. Just another design to think about.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    jjg, very intresting, I could get a container way cheaper then I could build a structure. What was used as a wall covering in your container? What was used to seal around openings for pipes and such?
    I have been giving thought to the pallet thing, as I do have a forklift available at the site. I would however need to find one that would have off road tires for unloading.

    Where do guys get "bee pallets" ? are they bought or made, where could I find a drawing?
    Lots to think about.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lancaster CA
    Posts
    410

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    The containers I used were aluminum. The extracting room container had the ribs on the outside, so my interior walls were smooth sheets of aluminum. Real easy to cut and modify. My storage container had ribs on the inside with 1 inch of insulation and smooth 1/4 inch plywood over that. While writing the post, I forgot that you can only find steel units today. But steel is still workable, just need tougher tools. Out here the containers, reconditioned and painted in and out sell for $3200.00. The best thing is they are portable and not subject to California property tax.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Lake Park, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    http://www.cherokeebeeclub.com/Honey...equirments.pdf
    http://mathispollenators.farming.off...m/default.aspx
    Here are the requirements in Georgia most is just common since stuff making sure you can clean up and it's bee tight. And a link to our honeyhouse I just built it's 50x100 made of block and of course there are some things I missed on and had to fix. One thing is lights make sure they are coverd so if a bulb was to break glass won't get into honey. I would say you want at least one door that is 8x8 so you can bring in pallets larger extractors that sort of stuff. I built two large doors in ours one 10x16 I can drive our F350 in the building and a 8x8. If you intend to drive a lift on the slab you may need to consider the thickness of the slab as lifts and honey are heavy. I have poured 6 inches thick with a 1 inch slope to the middle for drainage. I would also say you may want to consider where equipment is going to be placed and have electrical outlets for extractors and such in the ceiling. Doing that you won't have cords laying on the floors to be trip hazards while working. I havn't done it but a friend mentioned it would be a good idea to have the weather proof outlet covers (the little snap shut doors) if I was going to hose down walls cleaning up. I saw someone said you'll want 110 and 220 voltage in there that's true there are pieces of equipment that may need the higher voltage. It's easier to add that from the start than add it later.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Lexington, South Carolina
    Posts
    261

    Thumbs Up Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    Great site.
    You should put up a family photo,with all the history you got there.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Lake Park, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    Who me put up family photo? You gotta be kidding we ain't in this to scare the daylights out of folks. There are people out there with weak hearts gotta consider them Brooklyn. We are all on it but all at once I think maybe to much for the general public. But thanks for the commit on my site. Maybe others will post the honey house pictures they have helping brac design his.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lancaster, Ohio. USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    A word of caution to those who use containers. I hauled these overseas containers for many years and one thing I always noticed was the skull and bones sticker I had to break to open them up.

    Almost every load that comes into the U.S. has to be gassed to kill any vermin or insects that could harm our eco system. These containers have wooden floors and all kinds of places for these poisonous chemicals to lay until stirred up by sweeping or wind. These containers are used for several years before being retired and have been gassed hundreds and maybe thousands of times by who knows what kind of pesticide or chemical in as many different 3rd world countries.

    I only bring this up in this link because someone suggested using a container for honey processing or storage.

    I try to warn everyone I can about this in hopes it will prevent serious illness or cancer in the unsuspecting buyer's future..

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Got me some land, with a slab!

    James, wow that could be really bad, never heard of that before, we used to use them as offices sometims on jobsites. I wonder what it is they gas them with, now and then, as I'm sure it has changed over the years.

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