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  1. #21
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    U just couldn't hear us laughing, that's all. I didn't want the OP to get the idea I was laughing at his idea, so I left off the laughter.

    U were referring to Gibbs' Boat and not the whole idea of another size of box weren't u?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  2. #22
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    Sep 2013
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    Viola, OR, USA
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    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by bbruff22 View Post
    Folks,


    I'm fairly handy, and I'd like to build some medium boxes to save money.
    It's highly unlikely that unless you can find some cheap lumber or you're building a lot of boxes that you'll save much money. Unassembled medium boxes are cheap.

  3. #23
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    9,546

    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by bbruff22 View Post
    Folks,
    I'm new, so if this is a stupid question please forgive me. I've searched the internet over, as well as this forum, and I have a question regarding medium supers that I cannot find an answer for.
    I will give you some free advice and you can take it for what it is worth.
    1 Buy your first hive and assemble it. That will test your handiness.
    2 After the first season decide how involved you want to be in the hobby.
    3 If you decide to go gung ho and want to build your remaining equipment then buy a used table saw (a good one not a toy). Powered hand tools are way more dangerous than a table saw that is right for the job. This assumes you can get the wood free or very cheap in the case of building lots of hives. Otherwise just buy your hive parts. You will be hard pressed to buy lumber cheaper than hive parts to make it worth your while.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  4. #24

    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore View Post
    That will give you a 3/8" gap between frames when your boxes are stacked, a correct bee space. A gap wider than that will cause the bees to build comb between the frames and you will have a mess.

    [/URL]
    Even 3/8" inch gab between the frames is way too big, no matter what Langstroth said. Why get yourself unnecessary work?
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  5. #25
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Careful there Juhani, you are shooting at sacred cows. LLL is like Moses to some folks. 3/8" Bee Space like one of the 15, oops, 10 Commandments.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  6. #26
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    Dec 2005
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    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Here's something to think about.

    Build odd sized equipment and you will have to keep building odd sized equipment to match it. Plus, no one will ever buy it from you. No one w/ standard sized equipment anyway. It would be just a bunch of kindling to me.

    Buy some bee boxes from an equipment dealer. You'll be glad you did. No power tools necessary for assembly and you help stimulate the economy.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  7. #27

    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Careful there Juhani, you are shooting at sacred cows. LLL is like Moses to some folks. 3/8" Bee Space like one of the 15, oops, 10 Commandments.
    OOPS, I take all back. Please sweat like h... and crush loads of bees, when taking apart full boxes,
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  8. #28
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    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Even 3/8" inch gab between the frames is way too big, no matter what Langstroth said. Why get yourself unnecessary work?
    You might be on to something with a smaller gap between boxes. The 3/8" gap has been used for 150 years and seems to be today's industry standard. I don't have that much of a pioneering spirit so I'll probably just stick with the current program. It would be any easy fix if someone would want to try it. Simply shave 1/8" off the bottom of the boxes.

    Are the bees able to cross over the frames easily with a 1/4" or less gap?
    To everything there is a season....

  9. #29
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    OOPS, I take all back. Please sweat like h... and crush loads of bees, when taking apart full boxes,
    How would a 3/8" gap crush more bees than a "2/8" inch gap? What we call 1/4" here in the US.

    Something lost in translation?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  10. #30
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore View Post
    Are the bees able to cross over the frames easily with a 1/4" or less gap?
    Even though there is a standard nothing in beekeeping is dead accurate. I suspect the "3/8" standard allows the bee space to vary 7/16 to 1/4. If you start with 1/4 the same variation would mean 3/16 on the low side and this might be a problem.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #31

    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    How would a 3/8" gap crush more bees than a "2/8" inch gap? What we call 1/4" here in the US.

    Something lost in translation?
    When boxes are full of honey, I mean FULL, all the bee spaces are filled with burrcomb, which are filled with honey. Nasty job.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    If you start with 1/4 the same variation would mean 3/16 on the low side and this might be a problem.
    Exactly what I was thinking. There will always be variations and ranges with equipment. I would personally rather fight a little burr comb than have the gap closed off. Just my preference.
    To everything there is a season....

  13. #33
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    Nov 2012
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    Kingston, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    When boxes are full of honey, I mean FULL, all the bee spaces are filled with burrcomb, which are filled with honey. Nasty job.
    With small hive beetles in the southeast it's better to have a little bit bigger bee space between supers to allow the workers to corral the beetles better. Also give you a little bit of room to put your strips of natural control in there.

  14. #34
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    Jul 2013
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    Pleasant Shade, TN
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    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    Gibbs is also building that boat in a cellar with no way to get it out.
    Haha! I'm glad I'm not the only one that has said that. Poor Gibbs.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    When boxes are full of honey, I mean FULL, all the bee spaces are filled with burrcomb, which are filled with honey. Nasty job.
    I thought you were referring to when boxes are taken off and put back on. How is what you describe any different w/ 1/4" spacing?

    Bee space is not occupied by burr comb, generally. The 3/8" Bee Space Theory (since bees don't always follow the rules or read the books we do) is that anything smaller than 3/8" will get filled w/ propolis and any space larger than 3/8" will get comb built in it.

    This is often somewhat untrue between bottom bars of an upper super and top bars of the super below when nectar flows are heavy and comb building bees get to work. It may indicate that the beekeeper should have gotten more supers on earlier.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cascade Hunter View Post
    It's highly unlikely that unless you can find some cheap lumber or you're building a lot of boxes that you'll save much money. Unassembled medium boxes are cheap.
    If you don't factor in your time there's a significant savings in material cost if you build them yourself. I just picked up 12' boards at menards recently, and using rabbet joints, each medium cost me less than $3.00 a piece. For small quantities what do they cost now if you purchase them from a retail bee supply business not including shipping ... $10 - $11 each unassembled?

    With your time factored in, it might be a wash. But if someone has time to kill, there is money to be saved building them yourself.
    To everything there is a season....

  17. #37

    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I thought you were referring to when boxes are taken off and put back on. How is what you describe any different w/ 1/4" spacing?

    Bee space is not occupied by burr comb, generally. The 3/8" Bee Space Theory (since bees don't always follow the rules or read the books we do) is that anything smaller than 3/8" will get filled w/ propolis and any space larger than 3/8" will get comb built in it.

    This is often somewhat untrue between bottom bars of an upper super and top bars of the super below when nectar flows are heavy and comb building bees get to work. It may indicate that the beekeeper should have gotten more supers on earlier.
    Well bees in Finland must be different, our bees are happy to fill 3/8" gaps. I mean taking of and putting them back, too, but the biggest nuisance it is when they are full, harvesting time.

    Of course it has a huge difference how dry is the timber when the boxes are made. The so called "heated timber" (I don´t know if you a familiar with the product) does not swallow and shrink. Nor does plywood, which most of my boxes are.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    You guys aren't metric their in Finland?

    Heated timber? Is that what we here call kiln dried lumber?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  19. #39
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    Sep 2013
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    Viola, OR, USA
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    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore View Post
    If you don't factor in your time there's a significant savings in material cost if you build them yourself. I just picked up 12' boards at menards recently, and using rabbet joints, each medium cost me less than $3.00 a piece. For small quantities what do they cost now if you purchase them from a retail bee supply business not including shipping ... $10 - $11 each unassembled?

    With your time factored in, it might be a wash. But if someone has time to kill, there is money to be saved building them yourself.
    This state may harvest over 3 BILLION board feet of timber annually but we cannot buy lumber as cheap as you do. (All the good stuff goes overseas.) So, unless you are one of the HUGE pollinators here, it's not cost effective to build. Small beekeepers can buy unassembled, unpainted deeps for between 8 and 9 bucks. Or at least I haven't found any cheaper.

  20. #40
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    Jan 2012
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    Roanoke, VA, USA
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    Default Re: Medium Supers...Is 6 5/8 height critical?

    Juhani, what "size" bees do you have in Finland, and what breed of bees?
    Is the brood comb cell size 5.4 mm or 5.1 or 4.9, or something else?
    In USA 4.9 mm would be called small cell--there is an argument that AFTER Langstroth's 3/8" the bees have been made larger via foundation size.
    I'm just wondering if bee space would depend a little on bee size?

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