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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Manning, SC
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    Default Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    We all (well, most of us) know what a royal PIA it can be to separate stacked hive bodies. What (if anything) has anyone done to help with this? Any ingenious ideas that you've come up with to help?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
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    1,922

    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    I actually like the fact that they get stuck together. Wind, weather, animals are less likely to have as much impact. What I don't like is when they glue the frames (burr comb) together. A little is okay, but all 10 frames are a PIA.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,923

    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    When burr comb has attached the bottom frames, separating the two boxes can be tough. I usually just pull the top box off, bring along the 6-8 frames that are attached to the bottom, then break them loose and put them back in place... a pain!
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Whitmell, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    The boxes I build I take the belt sander and round over the top outside edges on supers/hive bodies. They need to be stuck together but the rounded edge prevents you from having to drive in a hive tool you just set it in there and pop it loose. It may also prevent osmosis in the crack during rain.
    Don't laugh it's paid for. -- Manure draws more flies than honey.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    391

    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    I keep a wide,flat chisel and a hammer in my goodie box.A light tap separates them.It's also easier on the boxes than fighting them with a dull hive tool.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
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    1,969

    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    Quote Originally Posted by beedeetee View Post
    I actually like the fact that they get stuck together.
    There's always ....one!
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,038

    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    I use to be concerned about this problem until I learned on Beesource that you pry the boxes apart with the hive tool then lift the top box up 1/2in to 1in up and twist. It breaks all the frames loose at once. Lifting all the frames up with the top box is risky. If you bump one of the lower ones it can fall.
    The only precaution is the bottom box doesn't have any weight to it so it just moves with the top box when you twist it. Secure the bottom box in some fashion so you can twist the frames free.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Manning, SC
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    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    Ace,
    Let's try & limit this thread to just techniques to separate stuck boxes (rather than what's stuck all together & how to handle all that once the boxes are "broken.")
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    Guys I used to hassle separating newly painted boxes, the paint may feel dry but the paint to paint joints always tended to stick together. I solved this by running a strip of 3/4" blue masking tape along thetop of the boxes longest sides
    John

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    Piano wire works good
    Cheers,
    Drew

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
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    1,969

    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    Guys,
    Not talking about unsicking (is that a word?) recently painted hive bodies or supers not in use. Talking about in-use hives where the hive bodies and or supers are stuck together. Other than the sanded, rounded corners and the hammer and chisel......any other suggestions?
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    9,038

    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    Quote Originally Posted by snl View Post
    Guys,
    Not talking about unsicking (is that a word?) recently painted hive bodies or supers not in use. Talking about in-use hives where the hive bodies and or supers are stuck together. Other than the sanded, rounded corners and the hammer and chisel......any other suggestions?
    Well then I have no idea what you are asking for. Stuck together from what? Propolis, wax, somebody previously stappled the boxes together. Most people use a hive tool for all three and don't think much of it.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,614

    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    Quote Originally Posted by snl View Post
    Guys,
    Not talking about unsicking (is that a word?) recently painted hive bodies or supers not in use. Talking about in-use hives where the hive bodies and or supers are stuck together. Other than the sanded, rounded corners and the hammer and chisel......any other suggestions?
    Other than a strong back and hive tool as Ace pointed out. I would also be fresh out of ways to do it. However if you come up with a better way then by all means please let us know cause it is a SERIOUS PITA to get them apart. Especially when the honey starts to cool down and become viscous.

    Sorry I have an after thought. Hire cheap labor and sit back and watch them unstick the boxes!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    Are we seriously asking about separating one box from another? Is this a real problem cause I do have one suggestion that might help.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    http://i697.photobucket.com/albums/v...eBodies007.jpg
    http://i697.photobucket.com/albums/v...eBodies011.jpg

    If you look at the way I make my boxes there is an end block on the end of the side walls so from one box to the other is end grain in the corners. I make this block just a tad shorter then the height of the walls and divvy up the difference. When the boxes are stacked it leaves just a small space to pry with the hive tool and you are prying against end grain not parallel grain. I also take the belt sander and 45 chamfer the outside corner just a little.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    I have considered coating the bottom and top of each box with a very light coat of petrolium jelly.
    But I have not tried it.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
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    1,969

    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    That's the idea Ace.......I guess I was stumbling over the English language. I was just wondering what if anything anyone did by way of modifying boxes to make it easier to break them apart w/o damaging the box.....

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    I run parafin wax on all edges (beeswax works great too) prior to stacking. Minimal sticking after that for quite a while.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
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    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    Quote Originally Posted by John D. View Post
    I run parafin wax on all edges (beeswax works great too) prior to stacking. Minimal sticking after that for quite a while.
    They break apart easier after running the wax? I'll try it.......
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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    341

    Default Re: Stuck Together Hive Bodies

    I do something similar to John D. in Post # 18. When rolling molten beewax on to new plastic Pirco frames/foundation with a 3 inch wide foam roller I also coat both the top and bottom edges of all spare supers which are not on hives. In answer to snl, Post #19, yes, it makes it very easy to separate supers with a sharp edged hive tool, but it needs to be refreshed every year or two.

    The suggestion by ralph3 Post # 4 of rounding (or beveling) the outer edges of of the sides of the supers sounds like a great idea too because it reduced the area of contact surface that the bees will propolize.

    Steve

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