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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Columbia City, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    59

    Default Acceptable gap in box joints

    What is acceptable as far as gaps in hive body box joints are concerned? After squaring up my deep body and screwing it together some of the joints have gaps, nothing too great but there seems be some bowing to one end piece and there is some noticeable gaps near the top and bottom of that piece (maybe 3/16" at most). Will the bees just cover it with propolis? At what point is a gap too large?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    3,599

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    gaps are only a problem it the colony is weak and it's robbing season. If they worry you, duct tape is your friend. I have gaps between boxes large enough the bees use them for entrances LOL

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    1,035

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    Gaps are not acceptable if a SHB can hide...
    from the Bee House -http://ecologicalsolutions.com.au/bees/?page_id=8
    40 years - +/- 20 H - TF - Subtropical

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    1,035

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    Any gap big enough for a SHB to crawl in is far too big
    from the Bee House -http://ecologicalsolutions.com.au/bees/?page_id=8
    40 years - +/- 20 H - TF - Subtropical

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Santa barbara, CA
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    Show us a picture!
    If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    Abraham Maslow

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    1,758

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    Paint might seal them off, if these are exterior and you're painting the boxes. I have one nuc bottom board in a recent shipment that wasn't assembled all that great and had a big gap - I filled it with wood glue and I'll paint over that. If these are gaps between boxes, you could consider them an upper entrance... ventilation holes...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    Sawdust mixed with glue, caulk, Bondo...
    Bill

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
    Posts
    592

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    Depending on what gaps you're talking about, corner joints or between the boxes, you can fill the corner joints easy enough with caulk, etc. If it's The fit between the boxes, making sure the wood side pieces are square cut before assembly, if you are making them. Also, you can check the box after assembly on a known flat surface to see it the box lays flat. If it doesn't you may be able to tweak it by holding the box with the high corners on bench edge and pushing down on the other two corners before the glue is dry and get it flat. Make sure the box is square also, measuring corner to corner. Sometimes, with the non flat box setting on the flat surface, the corners that are high is the short dimension (corner to corner) when it's out of square, and clamping the top opposite corners to square the box, will bring the box flat. I am not sure about that last comment being clear.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    3,599

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    Quote Originally Posted by max2 View Post
    Any gap big enough for a SHB to crawl in is far too big
    in my experience any gap to small for a bee to fit through becomes packed with propolis and it quickly becomes a non issue.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    2,764

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    I make all my own boxes at least 100 so far, before I got it down to a science I made 3 boxes where I screwed them so tight I concentrated on the joints and not how well the box sits flat. At that time I needed to use them so I did with the intent to fix later. Well they have been in use for a few years now, they leak bees at one corner, the bees don't care I think they like it. I put a piece of painters tape over those corners late in the winter, just recently all 3 hives have chewed through the tape and using it as an additional entrance. I still plan on fixing them when they are not in use, just a simple tapered shim glued to the bottom will work.

    These hives did not have any more beetles than other hives. I think the beetles will find a way in either way. It's up to the bees to keep them in the corners and from laying eggs.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Southern Virginia
    Posts
    299

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    I've gotten unassembled boxes that must have been cut after the company's happy hour lunch. cuts crooked as can be.

    The bees seem to not mind, and I would just take some wide painter's tape and cover the gaps. Bees wont eat it there, and it can be removed if you need to remove/mess with the super.
    Zone 7a

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,882

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    Look at these bees chewing the wood open.

    https://vimeo.com/140603326
    “Siri, tell Amazon to drone me a beer.” -Homer Simpson

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Saverton, MO
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    You're fine. The bees will regulated all open spaces themselves. Worry more about getting the gaps and cracks sealed well externally to avoid rot.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    1,758

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    Extreme Hive Makeover? This Old Hive?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brown County, IN, USA
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    I make mine from raw lumber, down to the finger joints. I've had issues in the past causing all sorts of oddities in the final product. I fill gaps on the outside with wood filler, then paint. The bees fill inner gaps. Any difference where boxes meet will either be filled or guarded.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Columbia City, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    Thanks for the info, sounds like it is not a big deal. I might throw some wood putty on the outside edge of the box where the box joint gaps are. I was mainly worried about it creating drafts and such in the winter. Like somebody mentioned though, I can just throw some putty on it or even tape to stop any cold drafts, but it sounds like the bees will seal it up if they find it to be a problem for themselves.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Humboldt Co., California
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    I personally don,t like to buy crap and sometimes that is what they send .... No excuse. I buy select grade boxes, pay more for them, and expect good carpentry. I once was talked into just accepting some of the junk by others on this site...was told it was no big deal...could fill caps with caulk, etc. Dumb idea..did it once but never again. Now, I call the company and have them replace it and pick up the junk stuff if they want it back.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Columbia City, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    I actually ended up using a couple large bar clamp to see if I could get it tighter to close some of the gaps and then redid the screws. It is much better now (and nice and square still). I must have not butted them tightly enough to begin with.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Franklin, Ma
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeHoosier View Post
    Thanks for the info, sounds like it is not a big deal. I might throw some wood putty on the outside edge of the box where the box joint gaps are. I was mainly worried about it creating drafts and such in the winter. Like somebody mentioned though, I can just throw some putty on it or even tape to stop any cold drafts, but it sounds like the bees will seal it up if they find it to be a problem for themselves.
    Auto Bondo works best

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    4,901

    Default Re: Acceptable gap in box joints

    I've bought and built all kinds of stuff that isn't perfect and in the long run, it's just fine. Most of us are hands on people and understand that variables exist naturally. We deal with it and move on......quite successfully. I think "acceptable" is a personal choice and since we're dealing with wood and humans, "acceptable" is probably going to be a pretty broad definition.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

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