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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
    Posts
    424

    Default Scrounging up supers

    I'm looking at the expense of expanding. I know I can increase colonies without a lot cash by picking up swarms, splitting and doing cut outs. But what about defeating the cost of woodenware? I'm assuming I'll need to make it myself, but I'm curious if anyone has found a good source for cheap material or cheap supers. I'm looking at running all mediums, probably 8 frame boxes...
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Scrounging up supers

    Materials for pine boxes is fairly cheap. I would make my own if I had the tools/workspace/know-how to do it. Purchasing pre-cut complete hives(2 deep)/frames/foundation is running me about $115 per hive. I imagine if you could make your own woodenware it would be a fraction of that.
    ...This, and my heart, and all the Bees
    Which in the Clover dwell.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Ar. USA
    Posts
    302

    Default Re: Scrounging up supers

    Using Ponderosa Pine, and making very calculated cuts to reduce scrap, you can build a bottom board, 2 deep boxes and a telescoping cover for about $30-$35, not counting your labor.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: Scrounging up supers

    We just cut out 276 eight frame deeps this week at a cost of $6.81 each, not counting our labor. Lumber is expensive down here as Central FL is a long way from the mills. Today we cut 144 telescoping lids at about a buck apiece for the 1/2" 4-ply plywood and using the 1x2 drops from the 1x12s for the sides; so about $1.50 each for the lids. Screened bottom boards also use the 1x2 drops plus a piece of 1x4 for the landing board; total cost about $2.00-2.25 each. Those closer to the sawmills should be able to do them cheaper. I sure will be a happy camper when I can just order them from Dadant though! Already in the 90's here, can't wait for Aug and Sept.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Scrounging up supers

    I've been going to Menards and buying their scrap 2' pine boards or lateley they have had a huge pile of 4' pine boards that have chunks out of the end or a knot hole and been paying $1.69 each. I cut out the bad and use the rest. I can make a deep hive box for less than $5 not counting the paint. Supers about $3. Speaking of paint. I got to Lowes or Home Depot and purchase their mismatched light colored paint by the gallon for a buck or two.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
    Posts
    424

    Default Re: Scrounging up supers

    I suppose there isn't any magic answer, just find the cheapest lumber source and build.. I live in the heart of timber land, so maybe I can find someone local the cuts there own.. Just thought I'd go fishing for ideas here on the forum. I was able to snag some old ship lap building siding, it's already got the frame rest cut . But it is 60 or 80 years old, so I'm not sure how well it will hold up in the long run.. I've heard the box store drops idea before, I should probably look into that. A while ago it seemed new lumber vs precut boxes didn't offer much of a price difference locally, but it seems like the cost of precut boxes has gone up locally.
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,149

    Default Re: Scrounging up supers

    Use whatever you can get for free as scraps from construction jobs, and don't obsess about fancy joinery. 3/4" advantech works great - heavy, but it's all heavy when it's full of honey. Whatever you use the bees will cover the inside with propolis anyway, and when you start making a bunch of money from honey sales () you can buy boxes made out of organically grown teak if you want to. But as long as the cash flow is all flowing out of your pocket do what you have to in order to grow to the size you want.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,779

    Default Re: Scrounging up supers

    Last year I was at home depot and the "cheap" wood cart was filled with shorter (around 4') lengths of wood. Not all of them were great but most were in good enough shape to cut down and make mediums. I ended up bringing home enough lengths to make a half dozen mediums. Yes, there was more waste than if I had bought the right lengths to begin with but the final cost was 1/3 of what I would have had to spend otherwise and the scraps kindled a lot of nice warm fires last winter! They also gave me the raw materials for a lot of entrance reducers, shims for pail feeders, etc.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Canton, Texas USA
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Scrounging up supers

    I like your mindset, but I have this problem with a framing square---they don't like me for some reason. LOL
    LtlWilli

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Scrounging up supers

    If you have enough to order the better part of a pallet, you can cut your costs significantly. I get mine by the pallet for about $6/western and about $7.50/deep. $75/pallet freight shipping.

    You're going to have a tough time getting materials for that price. Factor in the labor and it's a no-brainer.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: Scrounging up supers

    The sad part about the Menards scrap wood was just last year that $1.69 wood was $.49 for a 4 ft section. I bought about 10 boards and used 3 to make outer covers. The rest will be used to make mediums. I also got some $.49 2x6 boards 4ft long and I am using those to make hive stands. Not sure why they raised the prices. Watched that wood go from $.49 - $1.69 in just a couple months after I started buying it at $.49. Now I will just wait for the standard boards to go on sale.
    Nick Hubbell
    www.findlaybee.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Ar. USA
    Posts
    302

    Default Re: Scrounging up supers

    Supply and Demand. When you bought, supply went down, demand went up, and prices went up!! If you hadn't bought any the price would have stayed down!!!! Don't seem fair sometimes, does it? !!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tulsa OK. USA
    Posts
    846

    Default Re: Scrounging up supers

    No real help on cost but. To help with getting a square box, I used a 2ft.X2ft peice of 1/2 plywood and set a hive box in the center (just eyeball it) and then placed four 16 in. boards around the box on all sides and screwed them down to the plywood. Then all you have to do is place the four boards you cut out for a new box inside the jig and it holds them upright and pretty square. I used 3/4X3/4x16 in. boards but any size will work. Really speeds things up. Jim
    Stop and smell the flowers, 50,000 ladies can't be wrong
    Bsweetapiary@aol.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
    Posts
    424

    Default Re: Scrounging up supers

    Quote Originally Posted by iwombat View Post
    If you have enough to order the better part of a pallet, you can cut your costs significantly. I get mine by the pallet for about $6/western and about $7.50/deep. $75/pallet freight shipping.

    You're going to have a tough time getting materials for that price. Factor in the labor and it's a no-brainer.
    How many westerns come in a pallet?
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

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