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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Rockland co, ny
    Posts
    38

    Default ?s before buying equip.

    I'm new and have read so much. Sometimes to much info makes a more difficult decision. I like things as natural as possible but don't want to make thing more difficult for me. Can't figure out what frames and more importantly foundation to go with. I like the idea of all wax but sounds more complicated and less durable than wax coated plastic. Next one book I read recommended a slatted rack, anyone use or experiment with and see a difference. Last ( for now ) I think I'm going with cypress hives, can I stain or preserve the exterior with out solid paint. Something that will not harm bees but keep the natural wood look. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: ?s before buying equip.

    I made all of my woodenware, so I can't comment on the material choice. I used regular pine whiteboard for msot and cedar for a couple of boxes just the see how they hold up. On the two set-ups i plan o use for my nucs, i painted them white. My swarp traps i have coated in a clear spar urethane. a lot of folks seem to think that the clear will not be as durable, and they make good arguments to that effect. I do find the clear finish more easthetically pleasing and at my small scale, i don;t mind the extra work refinishing if required.

    I elected to go plastic foundation for durability, , but I am also going to mix in some foudnationless frames and see how well they do. My hunch is that I will eventually be all foundationless on my honey supers, but time will tell on that. I like the idea of foundationless so I COULD do cut comb honey as a novelty gift for family and friends, but I'll likely be extracting nearly all of my honey. Foundationless gives me the option of doing either without any planning involved. I will be reinforcing the foundaionless frames with monofilament fishing line. I have no aversion to using the stainless steel wire, but i have miles, literally miles, of monofilament that i will never use as I've converted nearly all of my fishing gear to super lines.


    I have no input on the slatted rack, but i look forward to seeing responses about it.

    FWIW, I made all of my boxes and frames using nothing more than a table saw and a skill saw for making the hand holds. My hand-me-down router table is so beat up that it is essentially worthless, so i made all of my rabbet joints using the table saw and the ripping fence. I cobbled a jig and made one body with box joints, but it was much more labor intensive, and I don't think it will be necessary to have the additional strength. As a small time hobbyist, i will not be moving my hives around much, so they should be plenty solid enough with glue and 1/4 crown staples holding them together.

    take all of this with a grain of salt...i don't have any bees yet, so my input is based strictly on word of mouth recommendations, reading, and videos.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: ?s before buying equip.

    Try some of both plastic and hooked wire wax. I would recommend black plastic for a new person. The bee's will draw out the wax faster but they work plastic with a good wax coating fast enough. For frames buy all wedge top bar as they will work on both hooked wire and plastic. As for hive body finish stain if you want. The bee's wont care. I have played around with slatted racks and have not seen much if any difference. I have a stack in the barn that I would love to sell

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Rockland co, ny
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: ?s before buying equip.

    I thought about building the boxes but the savings do not seem to be significant . Don't know if it's worth the time for me .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: ?s before buying equip.

    Make sure you end up doing some sort of protection for the cypress. I left mine bare, and several boxes are in very bad shape (and one ruined) after just one year.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: ?s before buying equip.

    making gear certainly isn't for everyone. I looked at the cost of buying 4 deeps, 4 mediums, the 80 frames, and the covers and it was a bit over $300. I bought all of the lumber, paneling and sheetmetal for under $100 and probably have 30 hours or so into making them. I had the paint, glue, staples, brads...etc on hand already. I really enjoy working on projects though, so for me the time investment is free. If i don't have proejcts to work on, I get anxious and start inventing projects that NEED to be done. This filled that void for me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,594

    Default Re: ?s before buying equip.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttankofish1 View Post
    I thought about building the boxes but the savings do not seem to be significant . Don't know if it's worth the time for me .
    Check out the cost of commercial boxes from Miller's. For me they end up being cheaper than getting free shipping from Mann Lake...

    http://millerbeesupply.com
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Rockland co, ny
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: ?s before buying equip.

    I will defiantly put something on them. I would like stain , I was just worried about the smell bothering the bees. I know it's only on the outside but it's a stronger smell than pain and does not dissipate as fast

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater,TN
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: ?s before buying equip.

    I run all my colonies except my nucs on slatted racks. I originally made them with solid bottoms but I now put a screen bottom in them. I experimented with them for about a year or so b4 I switched all mine over. The things I like about a slatted rack are the bees will draw comb all the way down to the bottom of the frames which they won't do a lot of times with a screened bottom, I have also noticed that my bees don't beard in the summer like they did in the past. They are time consuming to make unless you can make a lot at one time. I cut out 50 at one time and sold a few. There are a few places that sell them I think brushy mntn is one but you still have to have a bottom board under them which makes them very expensive, mine have the rack, bottom board and 4 12 inch (2x4) legs so they don't have to be put on blocks or anything else because they are also my hive stand.
    Major

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: ?s before buying equip.

    I have built 100s of deeps and mediums. At the price of 1X material I only do it if I get free wood. I do build all my migratory tops, all season vent tops, feeders and pallets. I use 4 ways. Frames are cheap and I dont like to get my fingers that close to a saw to save 70cents.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Rockland co, ny
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: ?s before buying equip.

    I am a good woodworker with no bee experience. I worry about bee space and dimensions. Maybe buy one and use it for presice measurements .

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: ?s before buying equip.

    I thought I'd do the same thing, but we're dealing with bees here. They live in dead trees, walls of houses...etc. I figure close enough is close enough. My frames aren't 100% square, but I think they'll be fine, but i have no idea so far without any bees to let me know what they think. The interior dimensions are important if you want to use standard size frames for easy compatability with other folks down the road. The ideal spacing for parts is 3/8," or so i have read. This seems to be the consensus.

    I did a lot of my stuff similar to this guy's videos. He uses routers a fair bit, but you can do this with a table saw as well. He does a good job of stating dimensions. the end result is the same as otehr standard plans i have seen.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/Carpfish29/videos

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,123

    Default Re: ?s before buying equip.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttankofish1 View Post
    I worry about bee space and dimensions.
    You can get complete plans and dimensions for virtually all hive woodenware at the Build It Yourself section of Beesource:
    http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yourself/
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Rome, GA
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: ?s before buying equip.

    I was in your shoes this time last year. My personal experience with foundation was; My hive kits came with wax coated plastic foundation, so thats what I used. I sprayed them with sugar water and Honey bee healthy before I installed them and the newly installed package drew them out just fine. After the bees were established they didn't draw the the plastic foundation out as well until there was a full blown flow on. I later tried the wax foundation with the support wires, the bees seemed like those better.

    I hope this little bit of info helps
    Last edited by Ddawg; 02-22-2013 at 07:25 AM.
    Let's Eat Grandmaw ........... Let's Eat, Grandmaw.......Grammar Saves Lives

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