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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Florida, USA
    Posts
    253

    Default Average life of hive equipment

    I was just wondering what yall have found to be the average life of equipment such as boxes, frames, comb, bottom boards, etc. I know there are a lot of variables but just tell me what you would expect for well made, regularly painted, hive equipment.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaston, SC
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Average life of hive equipment

    a LOT depends on what wood,, how well preserved,, etc,,, cant give you a lot of info,, but lots depends on the care given

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    485

    Default Re: Average life of hive equipment

    I have some boxes and frames , bottom board and inner covers and lids that are 30 -35 years old.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: Average life of hive equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by dfortune View Post
    I know there are a lot of variables but just tell me what you would expect for well made, regularly painted, hive equipment.
    I'm using hive equipment that's been around for 30+ years. As you can probably guess, this was not commercial equipment, but used for a family hive and so wasn't beaten up quite so much over the years.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    710

    Default Re: Average life of hive equipment

    Have supers made of cypress that I have been using for over 40 years. No rot, no holes, best wood in my opinion for supers. OMTCW

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,621

    Default Re: Average life of hive equipment

    We are reworking roofs from the late 30's, putting the galvanized on new wood. Most of the deeps our family made in the 40's are still functioning, but have been repaired often. A frame from the 90's in "new".

    Crazy Roland

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,473

    Default Re: Average life of hive equipment

    Bee equipment should be considered permanent. Painted woodenware kept off the ground has an indefinite lifespan, meaning it will last long enough you should not need to replace it within a decade or so, and probably much longer. My brother's hives are seven years old, and we are just now considering repainting them -- the paint looks good with only some mildew on it. I think it's time -- paint now, don't have to worry about peeling paint in a few more years so no scraping, no rot in the box joint, etc. Plain pine from Kelley.

    Most important consideration is to keep water out of the joints in the corners and to not pry the boxes apart on the thin part behind the frame rest. Used gently and kept painted the boxes should last decades. Frames will last a long time, but are prone to damage from being propolised in place badly, requiring some force to remove.

    Peter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Florida, USA
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: Average life of hive equipment

    Wow! I never would have expected they lasted so long. Sounds like i could get a lifetimes use if i build them right an take care of them. Now what about comb? I know the brood comb gets more and more layers of cocoons and poisons built up in it but it seems to me comb from honey supers would last for ever?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: Average life of hive equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by dfortune View Post
    Now what about comb?
    You'll get lots of different opinions there, but I've heard of putting them on a 5-year cycle. YMMV

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Average life of hive equipment

    The only woodenware that I have seen problems with were abused badly. Mine are still going strong, after 7 years, with glue, screws and 'out of the elements' storage. My brood comb I do cycle out. My honey super comb is in great shape.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    roswell, georgia, USA
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Average life of hive equipment

    Well maintained, boxes (and frames) should last for a good long while, the issue being the frame ends of the box with only 3/8" of wood, which tend to get a lot of abuse. Foundation color will tell you when to retire them. Well used brood only lasts a few seasons, with the supers some years longer. But it is a matter of cost and opinion as well. There are some long time beeks that run on decade-old stuff.

    I find that my older (frames) all tend to be wired and I don't feel like dealing with that so I retire them, but not until after they have turned a wicked color and are not servicable.
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,621

    Default Re: Average life of hive equipment

    If the cocoons get too thick, the bees tear to down to the midrib and draw it out again. How long the frames last is also determined by how many synthetic chemicals have been absorbed by the wax.


    Crazy Roland

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