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Thread: bee box ??

  1. #1
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    Oct 2011
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    Default bee box ??

    I nave some new bee questions. Thanks for any help.

    Is it ok to make your bottom board out of pressure treated lumber ?
    I it ok to use masonite in or on your bee box ?
    Is it a cost factor as too why you would use a migratory top instead of a telescoping top ?
    Do you put any air vent under your top ?
    Why a 10" smoker over a 7" smoker ?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    1. Pressure-treated lumber is treated with pesticides to deter rot and insects. It's not appropriate for anything the bees will touch.
    2. You can use Masonite but it warps and falls apart when it gets wet. Much better to use regular wood or plywood.
    3. Most hobbyists use telescoping tops. They help keep the rain out. Migratory tops are great for stacking hives on pallets because they don't stick out wider than the hive.
    4. I use an inner cover with a vent hole in the edge or a screened inner cover. You need somewhere for the moisture to go. For a detailed explanation of why upper ventilation is important see my post http://www.honeybeesuite.com/physics...ey-production/
    5. Depends on how many hives you want to smoke before you have to re-fuel.
    Rusty
    http://www.honeybeesuite.com "A Better Way to Bee"

  3. #3
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    Aug 2005
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    Hi SunnyBee,

    Welcome to BeeSource. Your questions are good ones and I'll take a crack at answering them, though in the age old tradition of beekeeping you should count on other beekeepers have very different opinions from me.

    I would not use pressure treated lumber for my bottom board. Some of the chemicals pressured into the wood include pesticides or pesticide like chemicals intended to keep insects from damaging the wood. As bees are insects, I would keep any materials they come in contact with free from pesticides. I do use pressure treated lumber as part of my hive stand.

    Masonite. Masonite is frequently used as a hive divider - for example if you were making a 4 compartment queen castle out of a single deep you might divide the box up using Masonite. Masonite is not strong or durable enough to make a bee box out of.

    Migratory/telescoping cover costs. The cost of covers is not the primary reason for choosing one over the other. Migratory covers are used when the hives will be moved and colonies need to be arranged so that the sides are touching. The big reason for using an inner cover is to be able to get the outer cover off without difficulty. The bees will "glue down" the inner cover but not the outer one - The idea being that you can use your hive tool to pry up the inner cover or migratory cover when you want to get into the hive. I should note too that an inner cover doesn't have to be a board. Some people use old grain sacks and like them very much. Typically hobbyists use telescoping covers and an inner cover.

    Air vent - A lot of people swear by having an upper entrance for their hive (not quite the same thing as an air vent, but close!) I have 7/8" auger holes in my brood chambers off to one side about two inches from the top of each box. I'd check with other people in Florida about the best practices for ventilation there.

    10" vs 7" smoker. Primary difference is fuel capacity. If you are dealing with 1 or 2 hives there is no reason to spend the money to get a larger smoker.

    Hope this helps!
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  4. #4
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    Oct 2011
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    The smoker is about $3.00 more for the 10". Is there any thing negative about the 10" smoker with 2-6 hives?
    I was thinking of the masonite as a slide in bottom board under my screen in the winter and to use in my inner cover top, not as building the boxes.
    Do you only paint your bottom boards or do you treat them with anything to make them last longer?
    Do you do any type of hive identification and if so what ?

  5. #5
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    Aug 2005
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyBee View Post
    The smoker is about $3.00 more for the 10". Is there any thing negative about the 10" smoker with 2-6 hives?
    I was thinking of the masonite as a slide in bottom board under my screen in the winter and to use in my inner cover top, not as building the boxes.
    Do you only paint your bottom boards or do you treat them with anything to make them last longer?
    Do you do any type of hive identification and if so what ?
    Nothing negative re: 10" smoker for 2-6 hives.
    Masonite as slide in board - ok. Masonite is not terribly good when mixed with water so you may be replacing it before too long.
    Masonite used to be used as the material in inner covers. Its use has been discontinued because it is not terribly strong. If you will be placing a feeder on the inner cover Masonite is probably not the best choice.
    I paint all areas of my bottom board that the bees do not have contact with.
    I don't do any sort of hive id - I've been thinking about it but haven't done anything yet.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    First I would say don't close off the bottom screen and if you do I would suggest a plastic sheet because a lot of water can go through the screen. Masonite could swell up so bad you might not be able to get it out.
    The negative I have with the 10 inch smoker is weight. Can you comfortable work with it?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  7. #7
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    Palm Bay, FL, USA
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    Get the 10" smoker! Instead of masonite for your slide-in board use corrugated sign board, the stuff you see every election, on every corner. It's plastic and last's forever; easy to see mites and other wildlife that falls through the screen. BTW, in FL you can leave the slide out all year unless doing a mite drop count. We don't have winter down here! No reason to close off the bottom board.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    Every one has been a big help. I am going to stack 3 sets wide 2 concrete blocks hi 8' wide with 2 4X4 8' PT boards laying on them. I will set my bee hives on top of the 4X4's . Does this sound ok ? This will make the bottom of the bottom board about 20" off the ground. I may only use one block hi , for 12" instead of 20" . What do you think ?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    The negative I have with the 10 inch smoker is weight. Can you comfortable work with it?
    Ace, do you ever stop to think before you post? The difference between a 7" smoker and a 10" is a really thin piece of sheet metal that forms a cylindar 4 inches in diameter by 3 inches tall. A couple of ounces at most.

    Although I guess if you are loading your rocket ship for a trip to planet Acebird, every ounce counts.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    Do you know who the poster is? Every once could count. Are you saying a 7" smoker will not work for 5 hives? You must be reading the want ads when you are in your hives.

    Sunnybee think about those hurricanes when mounting your hives. Nabber's got some suggestions.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #11
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Every once could count.
    Only when it is your brains (or lack thereof), Ace.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    The thouhgt of a hurricane has been on my mind since hurricane Charlie came over our place. It cleared out the place i am most likely to put the bees. Nabber86 do you have hurricanes in KS or just little dust storms? LOL It would be nice to here what othere in fl. had happen to there hives in a hurrican. My first thought was to get the 7" smoker but some one told me for the extra $3.00 just get the 10" one. I am thinking it will be harder to handle .

  13. #13
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    Welcome to the forum SunnyBee, and just for the record, are you really worried about an extra ounce of weight in your smoker? If it's a money thing, $3 dollars extra is a rain drop in a hurricane compared to what you are going to end up spending on this hobby. FWIW, you might want to shop around and look at the cost difference between a basic (beginner) smoker and one that is the next model up as far as quality. The price difference will be a lot more than $3, but may be worth it over the long haul.


    We had an EF5 tornado in Joplin last spring (about 2 hours south of here). Plus Andover and Greensburg Kansas several years ago. I'd say they were a little more than dust storms.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    If you can go somewhere to touch and feel both of them you will get a better idea even if it belongs to another beekeeper. It might even be better handling one that is stuffed full of fuel to get an idea. The taller one will knock over easier.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #15
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    If you can go somewhere to touch and feel both of them you will get a better idea even if it belongs to another beekeeper. It might even be better handling one that is stuffed full of fuel to get an idea. The taller one will knock over easier.
    Yeah Ace, the weight from that extra handful of twigs is really going to make a difference as far as how the smoker performs in your hands.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    The taller one will knock over easier.
    Or it won't because if is heavier.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Or it won't because if is heavier.
    PLEASE. Dont get him started on his moment-arm lecture. It is rife with errors and he uses poor logic. It would greatly pain me have to point out all the errors, agian.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    As far as the smoker goes...I got the 10" Dadant from Western Bee With the logic that it carries more fuel and burns longer.
    The weight compared to my sons 7" Smoker isn't that much different. I like the 10" and "Should" be the last one I'll ever have to buy.
    After you use it a few times, the creosote from the wood i burn in it gets around the rim and lid and gets kind of sticky so even if you knock it over the lid isn't going to fly open and spill fire onto the grass. Besides making them easier to load and stack, the migratory lids
    simplify the equipment needed to make a hive. You can staple the lid to the hive if you're moving it.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    OK, I think we all get the idea here. Ace, have you had firsthand experience with both smokers? I haven't, so I can't comment on making a comparison. If I did, I'd have to premise my comment. I could say something about the shorter one however.
    Regards, Barry

  20. #20
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    Default Re: bee box ??

    Well I have both... actually several of both (Brushy and Dadant). Seems to me the 10" is easier to light and stays lit longer (of course). As far as the weight difference goes... never even thought about it.. so must not be an issue.. at least for me. I don't even carry the 7" on the truck anymore.... so that must tell you something.

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