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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Johnson City, TN
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    217

    Question Making Queen Cages

    I would like to make some 3 hole wooden queen cages. What type of drill bit is used to bore the three holes? It appears to be a router bit since the holes are flat on the bottom. Am I correct?
    Bee just and just bee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
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    2,652

    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    Forstner (sp?) drill bit.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Dell Rapids, SD
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    126

    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    Looks like they use an end mill.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
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    480

    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    Bee Draggle

    How many Queen Cages do you need you can buy thim at. Forstner (sp?) drill bit will cost about $30 or so

    https://kelleybees.com/Products/Deta...3335&grouped=1


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134
    Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA.
    http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,300

    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    There are several different tools that can make cuts like those used in three-hole wooden queen cages. A router bit could certainly be one that could cut such holes. A forstner bit, brad point bit, end mill, spade bit, etc. could also be used. Each would have its pros and cons when attempting to recreate the dimensions and specs of a three-hole queen cage.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 10-30-2012 at 07:58 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,087

    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    The plastic cages are less than 20 cents each when buying 100. Hard to make something that cheaply.
    Dan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    1,973

    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    It seems to me that I saw an example of someone making cages out of wrapping hardware cloth around a bic lighter... Worked pretty slick for low production. No idea where I saw it though...

    Adam

  8. #8

    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    when I make the 3 hole cage I use a forstner bit 3/4 with 3/8 drill bit for ends. wood blanks are 3inches long by 1and 1/4 wide. I use scrap wood all wood is 3/4 inch
    hope it helps
    Don

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    1,925

    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz7DDG2wyaY&sns=em

    Sorry it doesn't really answer your question.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    635

    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    I use a fostner bit on a drill press for which i had a jig made for to drill both end holes then the middle hole. I had to grind a bit of the starter point on the bit off as it stuck out quite a way. with a proper jig set up you don't really need the starter tip anyway.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    2,846

    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    It woudl be sort of ridiculous to make a three hole configuration with a router bit. just cut a mortise if you gone to all the trouble to set it up to make a plunge cut. why go through it three times over.

    The cut is obviously three separate Forstner bit cuts. You can get a 3/4 inch Freud Forstner bit for $9.80 so I don't know where anyone pulled a $30 price from.

    Warning small Forstner bits have chip clearing issues so select it carefully and I woudl not venture to far off the brand name trail.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    When I was a young guy & we didn't have plastic cages I used to make them with a spade bit. We used a NZ timber called Kahikatea which is a very porous soft timber. The bit was in a drill press and the press table was set so the cage went on against one fence and hole was drilled, cage slid against other fence and other hole drilled, then cage centralised and middle hole drilled. There was also a small horizontal drill running that the cage was then pushed into to make the two end holes. Every so often I would spend a day doing this, each cage took seconds.

    Then plastic cages arrived & that's what I've used most of my life. But I think wood is kinder on the bees than plastic so I've now designed a different wooden cage which I make and use. Costs around the same as plastic so no cost advantage, I just prefer wood.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #13
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    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    ... I've now designed a different wooden cage which I make and use...
    I'm interested... Got any pictures of that? Or is it a trade secret?

    Adam

  14. #14
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    OK well it's nothing very exciting, but since you asked here it is.

    It's made by ripping the timber into strips, then using a dadohead to rip the rebate down the middle of each strip, then cutting them to length. Not visible is a hole in the bottom used to put the queen and bees in through, which then gets a little bit of mesh stapled onto it. I can make about 600 of them in a day. A sawbench and a drillpress are essential, set up right each stage of the process only takes seconds per cage.

    Not quite clear in the pic, but there is a small block of wood stapled inside the cage where the candy starts from the bees perspective. It is to limit bee contact with the candy to a small area so the bees won't get sticky. A piece of greaseproof paper is put over the candy before the mesh is stapled on.

    To introduce using this cage a knife or hive tool is used to remove the staple holding the mesh over the candy end of the cage. The mesh is then folded back to allow the hive bees access to the candy, the queen will be released in a little under 48 hours. The nail is to poke into the comb each side of the cage to stop the cage being able to slide down. The cage is put in the hive mesh side up, which allows plenty of contact between the bees, but also allows the queen to easily get away from the hive bees by sitting on the wooden bottom of the cage, if their initial reaction is to try to attack her through the wire.

    Yes, it's more work than just using plastic. But results have been excellent, almost nobody I've sold queens to has had a failure with this cage yet, except when there's been some problem with the hive such as a virgin in it they didn't know about, or something like that.


    Last edited by Oldtimer; 11-19-2012 at 04:16 AM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #15
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    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    Nice. I really like the addition of the nail.

    I have been busy working in my basement on gear, and there is something to be said for doing it yourself - as a benefit unto itself - not as a cost- saving measure. Making it gives you a reflective time, where your mind wanders over the details, and you make modifications on the fly if you like. Best thing in my mind is that making stuff creates a "time machine" for getting through winter...

    Adam

  16. #16
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    there is something to be said for doing it yourself - as a benefit unto itself - not as a cost- saving measure. Making it gives you a reflective time, where your mind wanders over the details, and you make modifications on the fly if you like.

    Adam
    Totally

    I really enjoy this stuff now I'm at a not so busy stage of my life.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #17
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    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    Funny. I'm at a "busier-than-ever" stage, and I still find it to be a benefit.

    I believe the buddhists talk about the importance of everyday tasks; chopping wood, washing dishes, weeding the garden. So much of our effort revolves around removing the need for those tasks. But every one that you remove just leaves room for you to squeeze another, smaller task in. The result is a more chaotic, schizofrenic, 'multi-tasking' state, where your mind (or at least my mind) never has a chance to relax enough really think beyond the pressing moment. So spending 4 hours in the night just building one bottom board after another (or whatever), can really be a benefit beyond what it saves me in money.


    Adam

  18. #18
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    Adam, The buddist focus on the every day is to achieve what? Ya got to keep it in context. I also thrive in chaos. Nobody would want to be near me while reflecting on wood chopping.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  19. #19
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    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    I'm not sure, as I am not a buddhist. I believe it was suggested that mundane, manual or repetitive tasks can be contemplative times, and keep one grounded. That's how I took it anyway. And that's how I related it to the context of making ones' own queen cages.

    Adam

  20. #20
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Making Queen Cages

    Following a request for measurements of my cage here are some pics, I don't think exact measurements are critical but what I tried to achieve is narrow enough to fit between frames without too much disruption but still allow the queen to turn around without undue strain, plus good bee contact while also allowing the queen protection.

    The timber used is NZ radiata pine, which is a fairly lightweight, non aromatic timber, it allows good absorbancy of any fouling the bees may make and keeps them clean and in good condition until they get released in the new hive.






    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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