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Thread: Building Hives

  1. #1
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    greenup kentucky USA
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    Default Building Hives

    Has anyone had any good luck with building hives

  2. #2
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    Hazard, Kentucky
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    Last edited by wheeler88; 10-20-2012 at 08:44 AM. Reason: add link

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    I have built 4 double deep 10 frame langstroths including the frames. all from found wood. so the cost was nothing but my time. I am still looking for some exterior oops paint to keep that cost down as well. I plan to make 3 med supers for each hive in time. still looking for the wood to make those. I also managed to get 4 nuc boxes out of the free wood.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    Have built some supers and Beesource link above does provide proper inside dimensions. However, I question the vertical height dimensions as it results in greater than 3/8 or bee space vertically between frames. Frames being 9 1/8 and dimension is 9 5/8 results in 1/2 space. Seems to encourage comb, honey and drone brood that is messy to clean. 9 1/2 makes more sense to me
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  5. #5
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    Strafford, NH, USA
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by mgolden View Post
    However, I question the vertical height dimensions as it results in greater than 3/8 or bee space vertically between frames. Frames being 9 1/8 and dimension is 9 5/8 results in 1/2 space. Seems to encourage comb, honey and drone brood that is messy to clean. 9 1/2 makes more sense to me
    outside dimensions are 9 5/8 but you have a 5/8 rabbit for the frame rest. You need to measure your boxes again with your frames inside and see what your bee space really is.

    I have built 50% of my boxes but find that time is my most precious commodity and I don't save enough $ making my own to justify the extra time. I do buy boxes that ihave to assemble and make a lot of my other equipment though. If you are interested in wood working why not give it a try, if not it probably won't save you much in the long run in my opinion.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    The secret to saving money is get your wood for free. Get to know some building contractors and get into their scrap piles for short pieces of wood, Advantec, etc.

    I have built all of mine for years, and now build them and sell with bees. Lots of fun to build, and I buy very little wood.

    Also check out uTube for Videos on how to make them. Go to uTube and then search whatever you want to make.

    If you have specific questions, I will try to answer them for you. Contact me at cchoganjr@scrtc.com

    cchoganjr.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    [QUOTE=Fishman43;860005] outside dimensions are 9 5/8 but you have a 5/8 rabbit for the frame rest. You need to measure your boxes again with your frames inside and see what your bee space really is.

    Yes I know, there is a 5/8 rabbet for frame rest. I have no idea what you are talking about.

    I have stacked the supers with a couple of frames in them and measured the frame to frame vertical spacing and suggest you do the same.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    mgolden...Just curious, what did your vertical spacing measurements come out to.

    The thickness of the top bar hanging on the rabbet, is also part of your bee space equasion, between the two boxes.. Bee space also depends on if the inner cover, (or migratory cover) is flush with the top of the box, or there is an indention in it.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 10-20-2012 at 12:42 PM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    I'll make the math and visulization simple. Say I put in a frame rest so that the top of the top bar of the frame is flush with the top of the super. If the frame is 9 1/8 and the super is 9 5/8 then the bottom the frame to the bottom of the super is 1/2.

    If the super below is visulized the same, then the top of the frame below is flush with the top of super. So 1/2 space.

    Inner covers in our climate are ver common and have 3/8 rims on both sides of them. So bee space just under inner cover is accounted for. Inner covers provide top entrance, ventilation, wood to absorb any problem moisture build up before it drips, 3/8 air insulation space on top side of inner cover.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  10. #10
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    greenup kentucky USA
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    Are we saying that 1/2 inch is too much space between frames

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    mgolden... I guess that is the difference. My boxes, (and Kelly's) are 9 9/16. The top bar is only 3/8 inch where it hangs on the rabbet, so you have 1/4 inch above the top bar. In other words, the top bar is not level with the top of the super, bur rather is 1/4 below.. Thus, Kelly inner covers and migratory covers are flush with the top and do not have the 3/8 inch rim that some companies have. I think the term normally used is having bottom bee space or top bee space.

    If yours are flush with the top of the super, and you used a flat migratory cover or flat inner cover, the bees would glue the top bars to the top, because there is no bee space. So, your inner covers have the raised 3/8 to allow bee space above the top bars. Works great as long as you don't interchange equipment from different manufacturers.

    cchoganjr

  12. #12
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    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    There should be that extra 1/8 to 1/4 from the top bar to the top of the hive giving you at least 3/8 bee space.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  13. #13
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    Oct 2011
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    Building your own equipment is a lot of fun! But from financial point of view it is not profitable in my opinion - depends, how much free time you have and how valuable your time is? If you buy cheapest ugliest wood in Home Depot (only option to me) - cost of materials would be approximately the same as unassembled commercial unit of comparable size. I have a lot of fun "inventing" new designs for beehive components, but if one converts it into the money, my boxes would cost probably $100 apiece. But I just very happy to work with wood - it brings me back in my childhood when I observed how my grandfather worked with plane, he was a carpenter. I already made more boxes than I needed...
    Серёжа, Sergey

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by mgolden View Post
    Have built some supers and Beesource link above does provide proper inside dimensions. However, I question the vertical height dimensions as it results in greater than 3/8 or bee space vertically between frames. Frames being 9 1/8 and dimension is 9 5/8 results in 1/2 space. Seems to encourage comb, honey and drone brood that is messy to clean. 9 1/2 makes more sense to me
    I agree with reservations. The proper hive body depth is closer to 9 1/2 than 9 5/8. The reason for the extra depth in commercially produced equipment is the wood they use. The wood isn't completely dry...would be warped and cupped it they mill the parts from dry wood. So the manufacturers cut the boards a bit wide so when the wood shrinks, the hive body won't be undersized...which is worse than a bit oversized.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Samaria Honey View Post
    Are we saying that 1/2 inch is too much space between frames
    We are.

  16. #16
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    Adjust as you feel the need to. I've kept bees in boxes with these dimensions for over 15 years without any issue. Go figure. Guess the bees aren't that picky.
    Regards, Barry

  17. #17
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    greenup kentucky USA
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    This is my first full year in beekeeping learning as I go and hives here in my area to buy is kind of expensive around $20 for brood boxes 9 5/8 cut out I put them together, just trying to see if I can save.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    Without going into all the details of why. the dimensions of the frame in combination of the actual distance from the surface the frame rests on to the bottom of the box. results in a frame that sets 1/4 inch below the top edge of the box and is 1/8 inch short of the bottom of the box. when stacked there is a 3/8 inch bee space between the bottom of the frames in the upper box and the top of the frames in the lower box. I have 15 boxes with frames total that I have built from these drawings. It may be a bit of slight of hand type effect but it does work out with the dimensions as they are on the plans.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  19. #19
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    Eatonville WA USA
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    Samaira Honey I have been keeping bees for two years know and I have made all of my equipment tops, bottoms screened and unscreened All of of my supers deep and shallow even feeders. I use a table saw and 1/4 inch by 1 3/4 staples I also use glue on all my joints frames to . I tried to make frames got about fifty before I said the heck with this and ordered frames from Western Bee Supply. I buy all my lumber from a real lumber yard Home Depot prices will send you to the poor . I can make a deep for about 4 or 5 dollars shallows for about 3 to 4.50 depends on the price of wood I used the plans from the University of Min. real easy plans to follow. Good luck on building your own equipment.

  20. #20
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    Oct 2011
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    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    Default Re: Building Hives

    If your rough stock is nearly dry, as is plywood for example, then bee space is 1/2 inch. Another example is dry salvaged lumber.

    9 5/8 is quite liberal and depending on dryness of material it will result in bee space being violated.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

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