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Thread: Honey House

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
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    636

    Default Honey House

    Hello all, I want to build a Honey House that will facilitate 500 Hives Max . Anyone have any good ideas on a floor plan and size of a building without getting too many questions thrown at me. Like type of extraction equipment etc ..

    PM me if you actually have experience with planning how to build one please.

    Thanks
    Ben
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Spanish Fork, UT, USA
    Posts
    337

    Default Re: Honey House

    I run a 500 hive operation and have a few ideas for your honey house. Our facility has five rooms.
    Extracting room - this room has two extractors, the uncapping knife, capping dryer, sump, water heater and sink.
    Hot room - this room is heated by a water heater that circulates water through pipes in the floor. This room is where I move the honey supers that need to be extracted.
    Comb room - This is where I store all my supers after they have been extracted. It is large enough to hold about 1500 medium supers.
    Honey tank room - This is where I drain and package my honey.
    Storage room - this is where I store misc stuff. Honey containers, tools, equipment to be repaired.
    On the side of my honey house is a garage where I park my truck.

    In the winter I clean out my hot room and turn it into my workshop to build new equipment and repair old equipment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    636

    Default Re: Honey House

    Do you have any photos of your building ? and what is the building size ? I am trying to do it right the first time and I guess going a little bigger than I need would be good as well.

    Thanks for the input !

    Ben
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Gothenburg, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Honey House

    If you go on cook and beals website they have floor plans for extracting rooms that should give you a general idea, otherwise Jon Bs idea sounds good. I'm not sure how necessary the water heater is in the hot room, we run 1500 hives and usually the summer heat keeps it around 100 degrees though we like to run a space heater on there over night to keep it toasty.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,449

    Default Re: Honey House

    I think that a number of the equipment suppliers have layouts for different sizes of beekeeping outfits. Maxant did at one time. Maybe you should contact them.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    254

    Default Re: Honey House

    Floor heat in the hot room is a must, ditto on what jon said i leave ours all winter. U can use that hot room for winter work and its relativly cheap to heat.
    AKA BEEMAN800

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Winston Salem , NC
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Honey House

    Do you store the supers wet? Is the super storage room conditioned? Thanks
    larry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,043

    Default Re: Honey House

    Ben: I would design the dimensions of my extracting room to accommodate a system like this should you choose to upgrade in the future.
    http://www.cowenmfg.com/pages.asp?pageid=97404
    the unit is 19' long and would require at least another 8 to 10' on each end to fit comfortably. It is very important to spend some time strategically placing floor drains as well taking equipment placing and traffic flow into account. I would agree that a room with a heated floor directly adjacent to your extracting room would be a requirement as well. Make sure all doorways are wide and tall enough to accommodate whatever type of forklift you may choose to use in the future.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,479

    Default Re: Honey House

    Im in the process of building myself. Here are just a few ideas that I have put into my facility.

    Windows, lots of natural light
    I dont like walls, so I designed a large extraction room, and a large hot room which doubles as a wintering shed.
    12 foot ceiling
    tin walls and ceiling inside and out
    floor wash drains or gutter. I chose a U drain gutter system because of its simplicity, hidden features and self cleaning option
    I have water service in the building, hot and cold.
    Fully serviced waste water and sewer system.

    I built in an office/employee lunch room that will be finished with drywall. It allows a place for workers or visitors to gather and do business without having to be forced to enter the actual processing facility. Im finishing this area with drywall to add a touch of professionalism to the facility. My operation will be centralized in this area.

    I have a loading pad on the outside of my honey house to load and unload my truck, with my lift truck, which has direct access to my honey house. This way I can have a clean pad and not track in dirt from outside as I load and unload my boxes.

    I do not store any of my boxes in my buildings but rather store all my boxes in dry van semi trailers. I have a loading dock next to the honey house for convenient access. Semi trailers are cheap storage solutions and they are relocatable. I will store my boxes away from my facility to help minimize the risk of fire.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: Honey House

    At the end of the day...once you've decided on the minimum number of rooms and their minimum dimensions....double both.
    I have a one room 14x20 honey house. I extract from about 200 hives. Once the honey is extracted and bottled I have to store it elsewhere. I could handle another 100 hives if needed.
    Do you have 500 hives today? Do you plan to store the bottled or barrelled honey for an extended period of time in this same house? I know you didn't want a load of questions but....way too many variables to throw out blanket solutions....in my opinion.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    614

    Default Re: Honey House

    Good for lots of concepts but may need some updates for 2013.

    http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&...J2llsvvFhTWo8g
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
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    636

    Default Re: Honey House

    Thanks for all the ideas , it is hard choice to make. I'm just having a hard time trying to get the project started . L O L
    I don't know how much the project will cost , I guess the main thing would be getting a price on the construction of the overall build once I decide how big to make it for now , with the capabilities of making it larger as time goes on.

    I need to think a lot on what I need , rather than what I want. So if you smell smoke , that's just me thinking : )

    Ben
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,043

    Default Re: Honey House

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Im in the process of building myself. Here are just a few ideas that I have put into my facility.

    Windows, lots of natural light
    I like natural light as well but, personally, I wouldn't overdo the windows. If you dont clean them regularly they can get unsightly in a hurry. The windows in our extracting room get cleaned daily during extracting season and they still never seem to look clean.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,459

    Default Re: Honey House

    Two story, extractor upstairs, honey tank down stairs. gravity never fails.

    Never used a hot room, never found a need.

    Uncappers and extractors all operate about the same. The big decision is honey/wax separation. Choose and choose wisely.

    Crazy Roland

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: Honey House

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I like natural light as well but, personally, I wouldn't overdo the windows. If you dont clean them regularly they can get unsightly in a hurry. The windows in our extracting room get cleaned daily during extracting season and they still never seem to look clean.
    one thing nice about windows is they attract the bees from the lights, mess on the lights or mess on the windows
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Skiff, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Honey House

    Ian do you live close to Miami Manitoba?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    5,479

    Default Re: Honey House

    the big town of Miami
    Last edited by Ian; 07-17-2013 at 11:36 PM.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    636

    Default Re: Honey House

    Are you talking about a cappings spinner ROLAND ? I was looking at the Maxant Junior for now .
    I like the maxant brand , they seem to be great quality.

    Or do you recommend a different brand ?

    Ben
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grey County, ON, Canada
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Honey House

    I just built one last year that sounds similar to Ian's but I did my extraction room with no windows whatsoever... I just stick a broom handle under one overhead door to keep it up a hair and kill all the lights at the end of the day and it works like a giant bee escape... If you get the vapour proof T5 lights a pressure washer takes the bee crap off them pretty quickly. It's sort of a pain not being able to see out sometimes so I've been thinking about a dinger similar to what you'd find at a gas station to let me know if someone shows up. I'd definitely build big... It's amazing how much stuff a person accumulates that really can't sit outside

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,479

    Default Re: Honey House

    dont you guys find sun light motivating? I agree , window cleaning is a pain, but I would rather clean windows once a day than work in a shed without natural light
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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