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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Cleveland, TN, United States
    Posts
    8

    Default Hive body assembly problems

    I recently picked up two new medium hive bodies which only needed to be assembled. Upon assembly, we have discovered that the boards were not all cut to the same height, so the box doesn't set level. One of the boards is only 6.5 inches. Currently when I put an empty frame in it the frame touches the table the box is sitting on. How far from the bottom of the box is the frame supposed to rest?

    My husband is willing to cut me some small pieces to glue onto the sides to level the box. Is all of the bee space supposed to be at the top of each box or do we need some at the bottom too.

    Thanks for your help.

    Lisa

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Hive body assembly problems

    I have struggled with poorly precut supers all spring. I took back a load of 100 of them, and the next batch wasn't much better. Some of the problems were due to side wall boards no deep enough, but most were due to incorrect alignment of the finger joints. We have had to chisel the finger joints on about ten percent to get them together.

    Below the frame bottom the box should extend 3/8". I would run the box through the table saw and make the bottom square and level, then glue on the additional material to acquire the 3/8" bee space. Myself, I would rather have more than 3/8" than less. It is very frustrating if your frames are resting on the frames below. Makes spacing almost impossible.

    Luke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,716

    Default Re: Hive body assembly problems

    > How far from the bottom of the box is the frame supposed to rest?

    This is not an easy question to answer without referring to your other boxes. While Sharpdog offers reasonable advice, what you really want is correct bee space from the bottom of the frames in the upper box to the top of the frames in the lower box.

    If all your boxes are manufactured the same way, the "extra" space in the box that the frames do not occupy can be at the top, bottom or split between the two. But a problem arises when the "extra" space in one box is in a different location from its adjacent box.


    Bee space: A space (1/4- to 5/16-inch) big enough to permit free passage for a bee but too small to encourage comb building. Leaving bee space between parallel beeswax combs and between the outer comb and the hive walls is the basic principle of hive construction.

    Beesource Glossary of terms, some with illustrations: http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...eping-Glossary
    Those interested in how boxes manufactured/sold by major vendors vary in size may find this study of the difference in hive box measurements interesting:

    http://www.beeculture.com/content/BeeSpaceArticle.pdf
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bloomington In
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: Hive body assembly problems

    Where did you get the equipment.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    595

    Default Re: Hive body assembly problems

    I'm not sure what "standard" is because I make all of my boxes and my frames. I consider it to be part of the hobby, and for me it is just a hobby with no commercial aspirations. I have my boxes set up with the tops of the frames even with the tops of the boxes. I have anywhere from 3/8" to 1/2" from the bottom of the frames to the top of the frames i nthe box below. I try for the golden 3/8," but I'm not what one might consider an expert in wood working. As a blacksmith, i prefer to work with the steels

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: Hive body assembly problems

    I make all my own boxes and the quality is better than anything you can buy, so I don't have any trouble with assembly, and I do it for 1/3 the price of store bought. All you need to make boxes is a table saw.

    Oh, to answer the original question, 1/4" under the frames for beespace, and 1/8" above.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: Hive body assembly problems

    KPeacock, even though it just a hobby, why not make your boxes identical to the standard dimensions instead of making the tops of the frames flush with the top of the box? I know its just an 1/8" were talking about. John

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,048

    Default Re: Hive body assembly problems

    When I look at Mann Lake boxes, the frames rest level with the bottom but they use a larger frame drop to compensate when stacking boxes but it does create burr comb issues on covers time to time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Cleveland, TN, United States
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Hive body assembly problems

    Thank you everyone. We are planning on inspecting our hives in the next day or two, so I will see where that manufacturer put the bee space and try to keep them the same. Wishing I had stayed with just the one company. Oh well, I guess another lesson learned

    jmgi do you put handles in your boxes with your table saw?

    Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: Hive body assembly problems

    Igano, yes I use a stacked dado blade to do the handholds and a jig I made to hold the board. John

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,572

    Default Re: Hive body assembly problems

    Kelley boxes have 1/4" over the frames and 1/8" under, so that's how I've been making boxes and frames, just to keep everything the same. What's important is that the space be very close to 3/8" between the frames in the two boxes.

    Note that Kelley deep frames are usually somewhat wide between boxes, almost 1/2", and I always get lots of drone brood in between boxes. I've cut my deep frames to give 3/8" and leave a bit more space on the bottom rather than extra space between boxes.

    Peter

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