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Thread: Bee Trailer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Kalispell, Montana
    Posts
    134

    Default Bee Trailer

    I have my first trailer almost finished. It is 16 ft long 8 ft wide and 7ft high inside and is built on an old camper frame. The hives are 20 inches by 24 inches and holds standard deep frames. The hives are 17 frames deep and 3 frames high with a 18 by 24 Plexiglas door on the inside. I have a 36 in walk in door on the front end and a 4 foot walk way between the hives. The trailer is built on 3/4 in plywood with 7/16th siding and 1 1/2 in Styrofoam insulation on sides and top. I have a screened bottom that is 1 1/2 in off the floor and a double screen between the top and bottom hive and a 2 in by 12 in screened vent on the top. I have 12 colones on bees in the trailer at this time to see how they do this winter. I asked lots of questions and got ideas and suggestions from many people but can already see things that I would do different on the next one. I have a 28 ft trailer frame setting here to be cut down to 18 or 20 ft and hope to have it done before spring. The 16 ft trailer has 36 hives and the 20 ft one would have 52 and Im not sure I wont that many in one yard. My main goal for putting the bees on a trailer is so I can move them easily throughout the summer from one flow to another without so much work and by myself. Iv asked the local bee club for some of the more experienced bee keepers to look at the trailer and make some suggestions before I start the next one and the only response I got was its not going to be me so Im on my own. I believe its a good idea for honey production but not for pollination because its not practical to move the trailers long distances as you could with smaller hives on flat bed trucks. I cut a 2 ft by 3 ft window into the walk in door so I could open the window next summer for ventilation and found out real fast that that was a mistake. The bees covered the Plexiglas doors trying to go to the light and I had to cover the window to keep it dark inside. Im trying to get pics down loaded but doing to good at it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    4,993

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    I think it's a fabulous idea and commend you on your work to build it and give it a try. I've seen videos of similar setups from foreign countries and may I make a small suggestion from what I've seen? The ones I've seen videos of have a peaked roof with windows at the roof that can be tilted open so that bees can get out from hive inspections when bees will be flying. They also give light for the beekeeper to work by. Other than that, I have no suggestions but think it's great and you inspire me to maybe make up one for myself. Hope you get the pictures figured out as I'd love to see them.
    20+ years, raise my own queens, feed when needed. I treat, but have not perfected varroa management yet.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,413

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    I tried to make one for the same reason, I can easily move the hives to a couple different locations during the summer. I simply can't do it by myself without something like this set up.

    But since I don't know how to weld (And my husband gives me the evil eye when I tell him I want to learn) had to have it modified by someone else. It wasn't quite right and I have not used it yet.

    I do plan to finish it this winter though. First thing to do is cut off the horizontal bar that was welded on at teeth level. Add a couple heavier vertical side supports instead for welded wire stability. Sides are 5' high, made from galvanized livestock panels sold at most farm stores.

    It still need d rings to hook my electric wires to for bear protection. Finish painting with cold galvanized and it will be usable. I already have my solar charger set up.


    Heres the rough draft:
    trailer deck is 6 1/2' x 14'. Not quite as big as I wanted but it was cheap. It isn't fancy but is sturdy and pretty well built.








  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    hvac how about some pics?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,601

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    But since I don't know how to weld (And my husband gives me the evil eye when I tell him I want to learn) had to have it modified by someone else. It wasn't quite right and I have not used it yet.
    My wife went and took a class private from a welder in CA and now she is a welding fiend.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,861

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    >I tried to make one for the same reason,

    How are you going to setup the hives on the trailer?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    2,055

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    Lauri - Don't forget to keep a ball lock on there when sitting on site. Lots of folks would see that as an invite to start keeping bees.
    Thomas Bartram

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Kalispell, Montana
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    Looks like a good solid trailer, Mine has 36 permanent boxes built on it and I don't plan on taking the bees off the trailer, just moving them. I'm hoping to be able to harvest the honey and do inspections without lifting heavy hive boxes. With the removable Plexiglas doors I can slide the frames out from each level and replace them without all the work. I have two entrance disks to lock the bees in on each hive for moving them and am adding 12 volt LED lighting and a 12 volt fence charger too. Lots of little things that I would like to change on the next trailer. Need to come up with a better way to feed or water the bees. I'm thinking about a 10 or 12 inch pipe up high with a gravity line to each hive.Need to give this idea a little more thought.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,413

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    Single row down each side. Probably transport with rigid foam between them. Then remove the foam once it is parked if the weather is warm enough. I already have the foam for overwintering, and when pulled out you can easily seperate box's for inspections. It's close together but I can get my hands in between to work them.
    Something like this.



    It's what I am thinking anyway. I may change my mind once I start to load them though. We'll see.

    I have a lot of double deeps overwintering that can go. With 8 frame deeps I Might get 10 on each side.

    I already have a couple yards on private property behind locked gates.
    Last edited by Lauri; 10-13-2014 at 04:49 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Kalispell, Montana
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    Iv been trying to add pics for three days and keep coming up with download failed. Sorry but Im not very good on a computer and not doing something right.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    (Rader can likely cite the pix tutorial) The in-forum pix software is twitchy. It is far easiest to host the pix on the "Photobucket" site.
    1. go to photobucket (do a google search), create a log-in, select upload button and drag and drop


    2. copy the IMG tag (accessible by clicking on your upload, and clicking on the line with the tag)


    That lets photobucket do all the hosting and inserting. Works spiff.

    On the trailer -- 36 hives x 200 lbs is 3.5 tons, plus the trailer weight. We are talking high Class III- Class IV hitch and a big truck.

    I did a little utility trailer for custom pollination. Two issues -- orchard owners wanted scatter drops rather than a single location, and someone stole the trailer (and the bees). If you are just moving them to pasture this won't have my issues, but lock down the hitch.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    8,714

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    If you are getting "Failed" messages when trying to upload photos to Beesource, the most likely reason is that your photos are too large. The image must be no more than 800x800 pixels and no more than 195Kb file size. If your photos exceed ANY of the limits above, the upload will fail. Resize the photos to a smaller size, or alternatively you can upload to a hosting service like Photobucket that JWC mentions above.

    Most photo hosts can automatically deal with oversize images. Once you have copied the Photobucket "IMG" link mentioned by JWC, you can just paste that link in your Beesource post, and the photo will then display in-line in your post.

    Many image manipulation programs can do photo resizing, but if all you want to do is get the image small enough to work within the limits above, a free online photo resizing site is easy to use. Here's one:
    http://www.resizeyourimage.com/
    Graham
    . . . . . . "those who want to see, can see". - - [Oldtimer - 2016]

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Kalispell, Montana
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    JW, The trailer has a 10000 lbs hitch beefed up frame and is pulled with a one ton diesel pickup. I have 5000 lbs stabilizer jacks on the four corners that I can easily lift it off the tires to level and stabilize it. I don't believe the weight will be a problem. I am a little worried about someone stealing the trailer. I am installing strip LED lighting, a 7 inch 12 volt fan on a 8 in vent and a 12 volt fence charger hooked to a deep cycle battery inside the trailer. Smoking the bees inside the trailer got a little strong so I added the fan to the vent on the back of the trailer and open the door and no more smoke. Good advice on the hitch lock, thanks.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    I also had thought about wrapping chain thru the wheels and axles and locking it to make it even more of a hassle to steal. This would be in addition to the hitch lock.

    Or you could take a couple tires off.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Kalispell, Montana
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    With a 12 volt system on board I wonder how expensive a GPS would be? If it was stolen you mite get lucky and recover it.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,145

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    The next step to my beekeeping endeavor is to get a trailer that can be wired for bears and then do some migratory odfrank ninja beekeeping.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
    Beekeeping Facebook Page

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    Some picture would be great.

    I think trailers are a great idea. My idea is to have hives permanently mounted on the trailer. I may take them off in winter if I find time Ha!!!! I have one 95% finished. It is 8 x 5 tandem box trailer . My climate here is quite mild and no bears. I have welded two each side for the hives to sit on and a rail underneath with circles to attach tie down straps. I use 8 frame hives and can get 5 hives on each side. The trailer does not have brakes so have to limit what I carry. Technically without brakes my total load can only be 750 kg less the teh trailer weight so a payload of 400 kg. The trailer cost me $200 to purchase (licensed) but did not require a lot of work to renovate and then modify. I think about $500 all up. With 10 hives I don't have to get too much more honey to pay for itself.

    My first trailer still needs a lot of work on. An unlicensed tandem boat trailer for $40. Probably end up cost over $500 as well. My third trailer cost $300 (unlicensed). A tandem pontoon trailer. I will have a working area of 5 metres and is 1.8 m between the mud guards. Needs a bit of repair then modification to take hives. I think this will take 16-20 hives depending on how I configure the hives.

    Boy' do I hate shifting bees.

    I'll try and post pictures when complete.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Jim Thorpe Pa
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    I have a future plan to do this project as well. In our part of the world you can pick up landscaping trailers very cheap in the winter time. My plan is to floor mount t post acceptors into the four coners so I can stretch the electric wire taunt enough or maybe just electrify the whole frame. I am a year or two away from this project but really enjoyed all of the thoughts expressed in this thread. Cheers to you all.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,413

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    I was hoping to show you something well built & unique, but thought you might as well see my struggles too. My trailer would probably be good for transporting nucs and packages, but I don't do that, nor do I ever intend to.

    For about two seconds I thought about having hoops welded on top to support a tarp, but it would totally look like, well, you know.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,861

    Default Re: Bee Trailer

    Friends unfinished bear/bee trailer, this was a commercial gardening trailer:



    Harvest day on my bee trailer: The hives face in, there are sideboards, I work from the outside. Every second hive is missing.


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