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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Carson City, Nevada, USA
    Posts
    186

    Default Marking your Hives

    Currently I have less than 10 hives however I have plans to expand to 25 this year, 100 next year with 500 in 5 years. With this plan I have many questions.

    How do you mark your hives for identification? Paint, Branding, ???

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    I brand all boxes with a propane branding iron, and also had "outdoor decals" printed with my company name and Florida registration number (1/2 inch lettering). Each hive gets 1 decal on the brood chamber (bottom box) and as stated EVERY box gets branded.
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  3. #3

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    Yes there are threads for this, etc. Link them if you must. I too need a cheap branding iron. Suggestions? Think cheap.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    never seen real cheap branding irons but I can say they last a really long time...mine has been passed up through the family beeks from my grandfather.
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Concrete, WA, USA
    Posts
    761

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    we made our brand -- im a welder so it was simple but if you are not a metal worker - should be someone near your house that can - just let them know what you need -

    the cost of propane branders are way out of my free money stash -
    i dont know why they cost that much but they have the market

    we brand our logo and then just paint the Reg number - but i want to brand it in later -

    we brand our frames tops bottems - everything -- you paid for it might want to spend 2 sec to brand it

    -- here is a tip..... Brand as you build or buy -- otherwise you will hate branding after 3 hrs of it -

    oh and branding plastic frames it is best done outside hahaha but you all knew that

    also most important and you can not forget to do this step
    TAKE PICTURES OF YOUR BRAND- A FEW OF EACH AND PRINT THEM OUT - PUT THEM IN AN ENVELEOP AND SEND IT TO YOURSELF -- DONT EVER OPEN IT UNTIL YOU HAVE SOMETHING MISSING AND YOU HAVE A SHERIFF WITNESS THE OPENING OF IT

    the reason i say to not open it is that the stamp gets a printed date and that shows that your brand was made prior to the theif

    also it helps to post a picture on a website that stores pics- like myspace or facebook or even on here - just so that you have a date of making

    again you paid for it take the time to do it right the first time

    hope this long post helps you out

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    I stencil the outside of the box and that's it. I don't brand. My boxes have brands from every beek around as do many of the frames. These things are sold/traded/mixed up/split/etc. so I never saw the point. The only reason it could help is if you get a bunch of hives stolen and you find them....and then it's not a sure thing to prove they were stolen. Here we don't have that problem...somewhere else it may be a good idea so check your area.

    Oh the stencils cost about $2.50 and a buck for a can of black spray paint.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  7. #7

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    if a thief wants them he will take them no matter how you mark or brand them. I have in the past branded my hives just to find out they just dumped the bee into there boxes and discard mine along the roads. branding frames not practal.
    Don
    one cure is carry a [boom-boom]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    True, they can dump the frames and bees into their own boxes, but then they have to find a place to steal empty boxes too. Most thieves aren't smart enough to switch boxes. They've been educated for many years that the system is on the thief's side. If you don't have your brand on them how will you convince a deputy or a judge that the hives belong to you?

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

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by fish_stix View Post
    Most thieves aren't smart enough to switch boxes.
    Don't we wish!
    What if the thieves are beekeepers themselves? They don't need to steal any boxes, they have their own to fill. They can go into your yard at night and strip out only the center 4 or 5 frames.
    Sheri

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Madison, Alabama
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by peacekeeperapiaries View Post
    never seen real cheap branding irons but I can say they last a really long time...mine has been passed up through the family beeks from my grandfather.
    I made my own branding iron out of bar stock I picked up at Home Depot. With a hack saw and a torch I cut and then bent all the letters and then took all the pieces to a friend that had a welder. Works pretty well. I use a propane torch or my turkey fryer burner to heat it up.

    I also use the turkey fryer to boil my old cruddy frames. This cleans off wax and propolis really fast (compared to just scraping). When I get home I'll post some pics of the branding iron.
    Rohe Bee Ranch "Free Range Bees"
    http://www.rohebeeranch.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Carson City, Nevada, USA
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    Everyone, Thanks for all the tips and insight!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tip of the Thumb, Michigan
    Posts
    676

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    I'm not nearly as elaborate... I just used a black magic maker and letters about 1" inch tall so they're clearly visible. I figured that any thief would either sand, strip off or paint over my markings anyways. It's the stupid thieves that I want to thwart. The clever ones are too expensive to try and combat.

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

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    Joe Traynor provided his beeks with Avid microchips which only needs a 1/8 in dia hole in your box. Insert it and rub wax over the hole. The thief never knows which box or frame the chip is in or if there is one there. This is the same chip they inject into pets for positive ID. It is encoded in AVID data base as your ID. One demo I saw, the reader was 20 ft from the chip and it picked it up. The chips at that time were less than a dollar. Good insurance. They put AVID chips on farm equip. now.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    282

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    Maybe you could take the chips out of the rfid cattle tags. They would be registered in your name with the government.
    Or you could tag all your bees with them (where exactly is the bees ear?)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,665

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    I run between 50 and 60 hives and use the numbered calf ear tags. You can change the number from one to another with a cordless screwdriver and a screw if you need to. I do this for record keeping only, the only way to stop a thief is to catch him in the act. Jack

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Madison, Alabama
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    As promised here is a picture of my home made branding iron.
    Rohe Bee Ranch "Free Range Bees"
    http://www.rohebeeranch.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lancaster CA
    Posts
    410

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    Being broke and cheap, I also made my first branding iron by hand. I heated it with my acetylene torch. It burned up after about 1000 brandings and then I bought a factory made one . The factory one just used a small propane bottle, not the hose and tank set up. I probably have the torch part laying around my shop.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Escambia County, Florida
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    Sharpie.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    I spent the money for a good propane iron. It's worth it if you have very many to do. I was branding more than five hundred boxes and about three hundred lids and bottoms and about 5000 frames.

    My thinking is it may not help me find them (although it might) but it ends any arguments about whose they are. If you have bees on other peoples property (and most of us do) and the owner dies, the kids may claim they are "dad's" hives and you need some evidence they are not.

    Hopefully the brand is large enough for people to recognize from the road.

    http://bushfarms.com/images/DippingBoxes6.jpg
    http://bushfarms.com/images/Clip.jpg
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Siloam Springs, Arkansas
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Marking your Hives

    All good advise if your name is Rohe, or Bush, but what about we Oppenheimers? .

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