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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cassia, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Check out the new hive I built....photo HEAVY :-)

    I've been building a new hive the past couple of days. If you've read the ringing cedars book series you'll know wherer I got the idea from. You can also google anastasia hive and find a couple hives built using the same idea.

    I used 2"x12" lumber. It took two 16' boards to make.

    First I cut the boards to length to make them easier to manage in the table saw. They are 48" long and have angled cuts down the side with the table saw set at 30 degrees.


    Here's a good picture of the angled cuts down the length of the boards.


    Starting to take shape. I have the first two boards glued and screwed together. I used 12 2.5" screws spaced every 4 inches. I would of used a little longer screws, but that's what I had and I think they'll hold up fine.


    Three boards glued and screwed. The second board wasn't sitting flush on the table as I drilled the holes and there's a slight bump where boards 2 and 3 meet. grrrrr So I started using clamps to hold everything in place.


    Four boards glued and screwed. Now you can get an idea what this is gonna look like.


    Five boards. Getting closer.


    Now all six boards glued and screwed.


    Maybe you can get an idea of this hives size by seeing all the other items in the shop around it. It's big. LOL


    I'm going to put it on a stand at an angle similar to this. The top will have a lid screwed in place and the bottom will have a removable lid where I can reach in and get some honeycomb.


    Coffe can inside the hive giving an idea of the interior space. From the flat inside to the opposite board is roughly 16.25 inches.


    Corner to corner measurement. I think it was somewhere around 22.5 inches from exterior corner to corner.


    I still need to build the ends, create an entrance, and finish the exterior. Now I have some questions.....where to put the entrance? I'm going to use a 3/8" punch router to make the entrance, do you think that the similar 16 cm length used in TBH's is sufficient? And where would you put the entrance? On the top end near the....top? Or down the side near the top? And if I put the entrance on the top or the side I'll need to make an overhang to keep water out. Or do you think if I centered the entrance on the top end would be better? I'm kind of partial to having a single entrance on the top end/lid somewhere near the top so that only one comb will be exposed to the elements.

    What should I finish the exterior with? I've been reading for about an hour this morning and am now more confused. I need to finish it with something that will last for a very long time, and I also have to consider that I can't remove the bees to re-finish it in the future. So I may need something safe to use while the bees are in it. From what I've been reading a turpentine mixed with beeswax applied hot and with a heat gun will get the turp and wax to soak into the wood, but a high quality exterior gloss paint may be better???

    Now I need to come up with a suitable name for this massive hive. ;-)
    Last edited by newbeee; 04-18-2012 at 07:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Delaware County, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Check out the new hive I built....photo HEAVY :-)

    Without moveable combs, how is this hive going to be inspected? Isnt that mandatory in Idaho?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Check out the new hive I built....photo HEAVY :-)

    That's awesome. How did you come up with the idea to set it at an angle?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,284

    Default Re: Check out the new hive I built....photo HEAVY :-)

    Personally I like to do wood working with my pants on.

    Looks like a fun project.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Check out the new hive I built....photo HEAVY :-)

    Well, I called the ID dept. of agriculture, and if there is a law about movable frames in hives, don't worry too much, it'd take 'em YEARS to find it before they could consider fining you! *rolls eyes*

    That said, the hive looks really cool, I just wish it were legal to keep bees in some similarly beautiful, but now illegal, hives down here!

    As far as an entrance, maybe you could save all of the combs from being exposed by putting the entrance near the "top" of the "bottom" end cap? I don't know about your mouse/skunk problems up there though, so it may or may not work.

    For waterproofing, if you have access to a way to do it, you can get beeswax (or paraffin if you don't have enough beeswax) to soak DEEPLY into a piece of wood by preheating the wood to about 200F. Simply preheat the wood, then apply beeswax liberally & allow to soak in (preferably still in the hot area)...then repeat. I'm betting wax-impregnated wood would last for MANY years before moisture would cause much concern there! I preheat my top bars in a 200F oven for about 20-30 minutes & apply a little wax that's allowed to soak in before melting chunks of comb onto them for comb guides, works great.

    Also, I had a question about why you chose to line up lap joints along the sides, rather than butt joints? To my mind the butt joints are easier to line up flush (or at least more forgiving of not doing it perfectly), and with that cut angle should give you just as much surface area for gluing; though I have to admit, your lap joints look cooler & you did a great job lining 'em up!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Check out the new hive I built....photo HEAVY :-)

    I had one just like this off a plantation house column. Pain in the ass. I got the bees out and burned it. use a regular box. Seems like stubborn overrated advice, but Ive never had one in a log gum situation make it past one season. Between beetles, moths, and all that extra and unmanageable space, it's just a recipe for disappointment. just my .02 cents. and Ive killed alot of bees to get there lol

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    1,310

    Default Re: Check out the new hive I built....photo HEAVY :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by robherc View Post
    Well, I called the ID dept. of agriculture, and if there is a law about movable frames in hives, don't worry too much, it'd take 'em YEARS to find it before they could consider fining you! *rolls eyes*
    Ok, I finally got a call bock from someone who actually knew someone who actually knew something (say that three times fast)...
    The word (2nd hand) from the state apiarist is:
    In order to have the hive inspected, so you can get a certificate/registration (required for moving hive across county lines, selling honey, or selling pollination) your hive will not work, as it has no movable frames. Other than that, for private, hobbyist use, it's not illegal to keep bees in pretty much anything you'd like up there.

    So yep, you [u]can/[u] keep bees in it, just don't ever try to make money off of them

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cassia, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Check out the new hive I built....photo HEAVY :-)

    phew....I was getting concerned about someone showing up and making me dismantle the hive before I even had any bees in it. I have no intentions of selling anything. More than anything I just wanna get some feral bees from a swarm and give them a good home, and they'll bless me with more fruits on the trees and veggies in the garden.....and of course some delicious honey. ;-)

    cpm - I got the idea from "The Ringing Cedars" book series. When I read about it it made sense to me.....as in it's kind of like a tree that grew huge and the inisde became rotted away and then fell over....or there's even sometimes branches like that at angles like that which have the inside rotted away....though it would be a HUGE branch. LOL I'll find that link which describes what is talked about in that book ....... the last post describes it http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=49972

    I saw the pictures of the one in that link and decided why not go with a hexagon....bees make hexagons.

    RiodeLobo - Hilarious. Had me laughing pretty good, I had a good one liner which I think is appropriate but I noticed a different thread shut down because someone was joking and I thought that too was just fine to say....but the thread was closed, and I don't want the administrators on my tail again....I guess I did something wrong when I first posted this thread, but I can't figure out what....I thought maybe it had to do with breaking the law by building this hive? I dunno? But anyhow I'm glad to see that I'm not.

    robherc - thank you for checking that out for me. I had no idea about there being laws and such and I was feeling kinda down about someone possibly showing up and making me tear the hive apart and making me pay fines. I really don't know why I made the joints like I did. I was considering doing something a little different, "like in the link above", but went with the simplicity. And I kinda thought it would make the joints kinda strong by pushing the sides into one another. I don't build with wood much, "that's not my shop", but it sure is a lot of fun when I get to do it.

    Littlestinger - I honestly didn't know....thankfully robherc looked into that for me all on his own.

    Skinner Apiaries - thanks for the advice.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    1,310

    Default Re: Check out the new hive I built....photo HEAVY :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by newbeee View Post
    I honestly didn't know....thankfully robherc looked into that for me all on his own.
    Yeah, researching legal snafus in other states for ppl makes me feel special...gives me ways to use up even more time that I didn't have in the first place!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cassia, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Check out the new hive I built....photo HEAVY :-)

    Thanks again robherc. I sure was worried last night. But today I did find the statutes online and read them, I'm definately in the hobbyist category.

    Here's a couple pictures of the progress on the lids.

    Boards cut to rough size.


    And the boards being glued.


    Sometime in the next few days I'll cut the lids to shape and I'll put some lap joints on em so they fit right into the ends of the hive.

    Thinking on the entrance again....there are skunks in the area and two years ago we had a huge mice problem. Though it seems when there's that many they tend to wipe themselves out. The owls, cats, and dogs sure did love em though. If I were to put the entrance down the length of the hive on the side what sort of issues may that bring up, if any? I see the pictures in the link a couple posts above have their entrance down the length of one of the sides. Though looking at that I'm still partial to an entrance on the front/top lid just so that the entire length of the hive won't be exposed to the elements. Does anyone think it would matter.....we get cold winters and TONS of wind.

    As far as an exterior finish/protectant.......what about beeswax and turpentine melted in a pot and applied hot. I was reading on here and someone mentioned that the turpentine will carry the wax deeper into the wood pores. I also have a hot air gun that I could heat the wood with first and then apply it? Anyone have any experience with this? I definately need something that's gonna last a long time.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Check out the new hive I built....photo HEAVY :-)

    nice wood work but Im not too sure how practical it will be. at least the only person you have to satisfy is yourself. good luck

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    1,310

    Default Re: Check out the new hive I built....photo HEAVY :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by newbeee View Post
    Thanks again robherc. I sure was worried last night. But today I did find the statutes online and read them, I'm definitely in the hobbyist category.
    <snip>
    Thinking on the entrance again....there are skunks in the area and two years ago we had a huge mice problem. Though it seems when there's that many they tend to wipe themselves out. The owls, cats, and dogs sure did love em though. If I were to put the entrance down the length of the hive on the side what sort of issues may that bring up, if any? I see the pictures in the link a couple posts above have their entrance down the length of one of the sides. Though looking at that I'm still partial to an entrance on the front/top lid just so that the entire length of the hive won't be exposed to the elements. Does anyone think it would matter.....we get cold winters and TONS of wind.

    As far as an exterior finish/protectant.......what about beeswax and turpentine melted in a pot and applied hot. I was reading on here and someone mentioned that the turpentine will carry the wax deeper into the wood pores. I also have a hot air gun that I could heat the wood with first and then apply it? Anyone have any experience with this? I definately need something that's gonna last a long time.
    If you check out the "Is entrance reducer necessary" thread, there is a good bit of discussion on keeping mice out of your hives in there...also, the "chicane" entrance that I showed in the post I linked there, would work quite well for keeping rain from getting in if you put it on the top end of your hive; just be sure to drill a couple 1/8" holes though the bottom of it (outside the lid...not into the hive) to let any trapped rain water drain away.

    Once again, you're quite welcome on the info...I like researching laws...gives me kicks

    As far as heating the wood with a heat gun, why not use something like a closed-up car/truck to preheat it? I know if I leave the windows up in my car, without putting the windshield reflectors up, it'd get hot enough inside to melt beeswax nearly every day...might make for a cheap way to preheat the hive before sealing.

    Oh yeah, and if you're gonna use turpentine, DO NOT get it on the inside surfaces of the hive! I highly doubt the bees would appreciate that much (not to mention how bad it'd be if that taste got into the honey).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cassia, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Check out the new hive I built....photo HEAVY :-)

    I like that chicane entrance. That's exactly what I'm gonna do.

    Should I make the entrance larger than the average top bar entrance size? I used a 3/8" router bit and I think I went 16 cm long in the TBH I built last year. Think I should increase the length 50% or more? Really shouldn't be a problem by increasing the length right?

    I'm starting to lean away from the beeswax application as it is seeming difficult to do, and it appears that the wood gets some sort of weathering that turns the wood a gray color. At least in some of the pictures I saw.........

    Here's what I did yesterday.

    Ends/lids cut to shape.


    Lap joints made so they sit in/on the hive.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    1,310

    Default Re: Check out the new hive I built....photo HEAVY :-)

    The wood WILL turn grey from UV exposure through the beeswax, that's true simply because the beeswax doesn't block the UV...you'd have to get a UV inhibiting sealer to do that; the only problem there is that most sealers need reapplied every few seasons, and I know that'll be a problem for you, with bees in the hive (toxic fumes)...so it's a trade-off either way.

    As far as the entrance, right now I only have 3/8"x2" entrances on my TBH hives and the bees don't seem to mind. That would be equivalent to a 2" hole chicane entrance using 3/8" plywood (I don't recommend going over 1/2" plywood for keeping the mice out...thicker ply would make it possible for mice to get in) for the middle, chicane section. If you want more entrance space than that, my personal preference would be to put two to three 1.5" hole chicanes next to each other, with just a thin spacer-strip of wood between them (could make a multi-cavity chicane section pretty easily with your router...even round the ends of the slots if you wanted to get "fancy"). Or, if you wanted to, you could do a 3/8" slot entrance, just like your TBH hives, and chicane it...but that might make it slightly less effective as a mouse deterrent (they might be able to get in sideways, then turn to get thru the chicane section...I don't know for sure, but I know they can get in a LOT of places that you wouldn't expect).

    For making the entrance larger than avg, I don't really see the benefit; unless you're dealing with some special bees that have larger colonies than normal (like the AHB we have down here), I don't see where there'd ever be enough bees in the hive to need the bigger entrance. That said, I'm pretty sure the SHB would appreciate the larger opening, if you have those up there.


    Hope this helps,
    Rob

    P.S. An advantage to having multiple chicane entrances, that I just thought of, is that you could block off some of them with screen to have an "entrance reducer" effect, while still giving your bees plenty of ventilation.
    Last edited by robherc; 04-21-2012 at 08:39 AM. Reason: afterthought

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Check out the new hive I built....photo HEAVY :-)

    Neat idea. Where you at in Burley? I started keeping bees last year in Rupert. They came through the winter well. Started with 3 langstroth hives and 2 top bars. Now have split and have 6 langs and two more packages coming on the 28th. PM me some time and maybe we can talk bees. Nice looking wood work. Bee curious how it works.

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